Advantages and Disadvantages of a Hawkbill Blade Knife

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Hawkbill Blade Knife

May 30th 2020

hawkbill knife

Hawkbill EDC Assisted Flipper

It’s important to have a good idea of what you’re looking for in a knife before you buy one and to know if your potential choice will be able to meet your needs. This is especially true when you intend to rely on an item in survival situations.

If you’re looking at a tactical hawkbill knife, which has an unusual shape, you want to be sure you understand its advantages and any disadvantages, depending on the situation.

What is a Hawkbill Blade

hawkbill shape resembles its namesake, a hawk’s beak, with a sharp downward curve. The inner curve is the one that is sharpened, and the spine is left dull, which allows you to place a finger to guide it.

It’s typically used for cutting and slicing, and the sharp point can be used to pierce materials.

Advantages of a Hawkbill Knife

This shape utilizes the entire length of the blade to cut, so you don’t have to apply as much pressure when cutting. While it’s great for cutting open boxes, splicing tape, stripping wires, and even tough jobs like rope, hawkbills have recently been making a shift in uses.

Hawkbill knives have been rising in popularity for tactical purposes. Not only are they very good at the more mundane cutting tasks, but they’ve also proven to be excellent in combat situations. This has led to the rise in production of tactical hawkbill knives.

Another advantage to the knife is that even after the blade had dulled, the point is still extremely sharp. So if you’re unable to sharpen the knife, you can pierce the material, and sometimes that’s enough for even a dull blade to finish the cut.

tactical hawkbill knife

Disadvantages of the Hawkbill

Due to the inward curve of the cutting edge, hawkbill knives can be difficult to sharpen, particularly if you have one made from a premium quality steel like M390. If that is the case, you may need to consider having the knife sharpened by a professional.

Since the shape is so specific, the curve can limit the uses of the knife, especially if you select an unmodified version of the blade. A way to circumnavigate this is to decide what you’ll be needing the knife for, even in extreme situations, and to choose a modification that negates this.

You may need to speak to a supplier or knife maker to determine what modification will work best for you. At Off-Grid Knives, we can promise to provide the best customer service possible and answer any questions you may have.


It’s not unusual to find a blade that has had its shape modified. Usually, it’s to help the knife have a wider range of functions or to make it fit a specific task. Hawkbill knives are no exception, and they’ve been combined a variety of tips. Some examples of changes are with a tanto style tip which can offer more tip functions, and a karambit blade, which they closely resemble already.

One modification to avoid is the fully serrated version. When it comes to tactical blades, it’s better to have either a straight edge or a partially serrated. Full serrations have too many restrictions, and in the end, a properly sharpened straight edge can perform as well as or better.

When you find a tactical hawkbill knife for sale, make sure the distributor is reputable and uses quality materials. After all, this knife may need to save your life.