What Is A Hawkbill Knife Used For?

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When on the hunt for knives, especially when looking for survival, tactical, and outdoor gear, it’s always best to know what the function of each knife is.

That way, you don’t end up getting certain tools for the wrong purposes, which isn’t only frustrating, but can also lead to you damaging your premium blades.

So to help you out, we’re going to be talking about a very specific tool in this article: the hawkbill knife.

This is an oddly shaped tool that not a lot of people know about, but it can be one of the most useful ones in any survival kit.

So if you’ve been wondering what exactly a hawkbill knife is for, then you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more.

What Is It?

A hawkbill knife is a tool that has a pretty unique shape.

Its name comes from the similarities it shares with the shape of a hawk’s beak or bill, which is probably the best way to describe the blade’s shape.

The inner curve of the blade is the part that is sharpened while the spine is left dull, which will allow you to place your finger on the spine for more control when slicing.

This tool also boasts a very sharp point that can be used for piercing, which when combined with the shape and sharpened edge of the blade, can make certain specific tasks much easier to do.

And that’s about all there is to the sharp tool that can make a huge difference to your outdoor or survival arsenal.

In the next section, we’ll be discussing the different advantages of a hawkbill.


Firstly, the shape of the blade allows it to be used for a wide range of tasks.

Since it’s designed to utilize the entire blade when slicing, you don’t have to use that much pressure to cut, which makes it ideal for tasks such as slicing boxes, rope, stripping wires, and splicing tapes.

These blades have recently seen a huge rise in popularity as tactical knives.

This is because, besides all the practical uses such as the examples we mentioned above, they are also very brutal combat knives.

The shape of the blade is very reminiscent of an animal’s talon or claw, which can do a whole lot of damage when needed.

That being said, if you don’t have proper combat training, the shape of the blade might actually be a hindrance as it requires proper technique to be used effectively in combat.

On top of that, these knives are also used commonly by first responders as they can easily cut through tough materials such as seatbelts.

This blade is also known to stay sharp for a very long time, and if for some reason you find that the sharp edge has become dull, the point will stay sharp for a very long time and can still be used to pierce a lot of objects.

And once material is pierced, even dull blades can finish up cutting and slicing tasks very easily.


Now, it’s time to talk about the disadvantages of these knives.

For one, they can be very hard to sharpen, especially if they are made out of premium steel such as M390.

This is mostly because of the odd shape of the blade, so you might actually have to call a professional to sharpen a hawkbill knife.

On top of that, while the shape can be useful for a lot of specific tasks, from a wider perspective, the shape can actually be limiting.

That’s why most people who use hawkbill knives make sure to add certain modifications to the handle or blade shape so it can accomplish more of their needs.

So if you’re looking to make the most out of your hawkbill, make sure to check out what modifications you can do and which ones would suit your needs the best.


Here are some popular uses of a hawkbill knife.

  • Cutting rope
  • Cutting fishing nets
  • Self-defense (if you have the proper training)
  • Slicing wire
  • Slicing linoleum
  • As a multiple-purpose slicer by first respondents


So there you have it.

This is basically all you would need to know about hawkbill knives.

Of course, when it comes to the different variations of this blade, that would be a different story, but we’ve provided you with most of the foundational knowledge you’ll need on this tool.

When it comes to legality, that’s also a tough question.

Most states and countries have their own unique set of laws, rules, and regulations when it comes to tactical and survival knives, so it would always be best to read up on your local knife laws before buying one of these tools.

And if you think this would be a useful tool to have in your kit and it’s legal to own in your area, then it might be time for you to get one yourself and get your hands on one of the most unique and useful knives on the market today.

Last Updated on July 22, 2021

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My name is David Strong. I'm a knife expert and a US Marine veteran. I used to fight in Iraq, so I gained lots of combat experience there, especially when it comes to combat, tactical, and outdoor knives. And this blog is where I share my expertise with you alongside my friend Andy.