All about Hawkbill Knives

Hawkbill Knives

As anyone who’s ever looked at a knife has noticed, there are a lot of different blade shapes available. Some are great for everyday carry, others are more specific in their purpose. One that has is very task specific is a tactical hawkbill knife. Originally meant for utilitarian purposes, hawkbills have turned out to be excellent for the hard usage of combat situations.

What is a Hawkbill?

A hawkbill shape is one where both the spine and the cutting edge curve downwards, much like a hawk’s beak or a talon. It utilizes the entire edge for cutting and works best by pulling it downward.

This has been used in the past for cutting linoleum, carpeting, or for pruning. Recent years have seen a surge in modified blade shapes, and it’s several of these that have brought out the hawkbill’s tactical aspect.


The blade’s inward curve prevents it from slipping off surfaces and materials, which gives it an added degree of safety. The curve also provides a longer cutting edge than is normally seen for knives of a similar size.

The shapes give excellent control over the knife, and tasks such as cutting tough rope in bad weather are much easier, and possible without slipping. This makes it a good tactical knife. It’s perfect for cutting jobs, like boxes, wire, rope, and even tougher items such as small branches.


It’s not particularly good for stabbing, as the point faces downwards, and some may find the inward curve difficult to sharpen. While it excels at the jobs it can perform, it’s not as versatile as some other blade shapes, making it less likely to be used as an everyday carry by most people.

Uses of a Hawkbill

This shape is excellent for tradesmen, farmers, boaters, and anglers. The inward curve helps it catch onto the material and hold it throughout the cut, preventing slips and accidents. The exact origins may be lost to time, but there are many anecdotes of it being used by those who work with their hands.

While the curved shape doesn’t lend itself to traditional Western knife fighting tactics, there are styles developed in Southeast Asia that are perfect. Held in a reverse grip, it can be used in wide, slashing sweeps. In the hands of a trained user, it is an effective fighting technique.

This has led to a rise in hawkbill modifications to give them more tactical advantages. Combined with extras such as a glass breaker or seatbelt cutter, it’s an ideal knife for those who like to be prepared.

Finding the best tactical hawkbill knife for sale can take a bit of searching, but it’s worth it. Just remember to check out the seller first, and look who the knife maker is. It can make all the difference between a knife that lasts two days, and one that lasts a lifetime.