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Clip Point Vs Spear Point – What Are the Differences?

Clip point vs spear point, which one should you choose?

A clip point has a clipped-off front section, whereas a spear point has a symmetrical shape with a point aligned to the center of the blade. The tips also vary in strength, with the clip point being weaker when compared to a spear point. As a result, the clip point is better for precise cuts, and the spear point is stronger for piercing.

But there’s a lot more to cover here, so don’t go just yet! Continue reading to learn which blade style you need.

Clip Point Vs. Spear Point: A Short Summary

SubjectClip PointSpear Point
ShapeStandard shape, featuring a spine with a clipped-off front section.Symmetrical shape, featuring a point aligned with the center of the blade.
Cutting PerformanceVersatileLimited
Tip StrengthWeakStrong
UsesPrecision Work, Deboning Meat, Piercing Entrails, Cleaning Fish, Field DressingSlicing, Piercing, Cutting, Scoring Cuts, Self-Defense
LooksClipped OffDagger Alike
SharpeningEasierHarder

Key Differences Between Clip Point and Spear Point

From the shape to the strength of the tip, the differences between spear point knife and clip point are noticeable once you use them. But you shouldn’t buy either without knowing which is the most suitable for you. 

So, learn here about what sets these blades apart to find the ideal one for your tasks.

Shape

Clip point blades have a clipped-off shape near the point connecting with the spine. The cut-out area comes in two forms, which can be either straight (ESEE 4 Knife) or concave (Buck 110 Knife). This particular shape is what creates a fine point that comes in handy for pocket knives, and fixed-blade knives like some Bowie knives. Even some pen blade knives like the Böker Pen Knife Classic have a similar shape.

Spear point blades have a symmetrical shape that forms a point aligned with the center of the blade. Depending on the model, a spear point can have one unsharpened edge or two sharp edges. However, spear point knives with a sharpened spine are illegal in many places.

Spear points are most commonly used in pocket knives like the Kershaw Launch 4, and fixed-blade knives like the Fallkniven 3K A1 Knife. Daggers also feature spear point blades, but this type of knife is illegal in many states. 

Cutting Performance

The spine of a clip point doesn’t have an edge, which allows you to perform different cutting techniques. For example, you can place your thumb on the spine to make power cuts as you process wood stock. 

The spine of a spear point may have an edge, meaning you won’t be able to make power cuts. If you use a tactical spear point knife like the Smith & Wesson SWHRT3 with double edges, there’s no way you can use your thumb to apply pressure on the spine because you would cut yourself.

Read Also: Clip Point or Tanto Point?

Strength of the Tip

Clip point blades have a weaker tip, which is also narrower. For this reason, people prefer the spear point blade for their thrusting knives (daggers) or pocket knives. Despite not being super strong, the clip point does work for light tasks like wood carving projects

Spear point blades have a stronger tip due to their design that connects the spine and the cutting edge. This shape often creates a dual-edge design, which leads to a reinforced and stronger point. As a result, the spear point blade is the ultimate type of blade for piercing thicker and tougher materials like leather.

Uses

What is a spear point blade used for? The spear point is suitable for drilling, piercing, and cutting. This blade can also make scoring cuts, which is why many utility folding knives feature spear points as well. Because of its pointy design, this type of blade is also great for stabbing strikes and piercing. 

Plus, spear points are decent for slicing despite not having a prominent belly as some other blades as the drop points do. You can use this blade shape for hunting, second only to the drop point knife.

What is a clip-point knife good for? Clip point blades are ideal for tasks like deboning the meat, piercing entrails while cleaning fish, and field dressing. Unlike spear point, using clip points the right way does require a bit more skills and a proper technique.  

Looks

Clip point blades are among the most popular tactical-like shapes, often seen in fixed-blades and folding knife models made for hunting. They have a sharp and narrow point that doesn’t seem as aggressive as the spear point. 

The spear point blade looks like a dagger, which corresponds to their nature. Since people use this blade shape mostly for self-defense, an intimidating look is a plus.

Sharpening

Clip point blades are easier to sharpen. In fact, some people decide to sharpen the clip point’s back edge to make a secondary edge. This sharpening technique is easy and improves the cutting performance of the tip even more.

Can spear knives be sharpened easily? The spear point blade is harder to sharpen because it has a symmetrical shape. Whether you have a single-edge (with a false edge) or double-edge spear point knife, maintaining that symmetry is necessary to make the knife look as good as possible. Naturally, that also means you have to put in extra work and time to make the spine and cutting edge look the same.

Even experts have a hard time sharpening this blade, and they recommend doing it freehand. Keeping a slow but steady pace is also a must.

While sharpening a spear point, make single stroke passes. Upon reaching areas with a noticeable burr, slow down to an extremely light pace. Continue doing it to get the edge as sharp as possible. After finishing it, hone the blade gently to work the burr off the sharpened edge.

Spear Point or Clip Point Blade – Which One Should You Choose?

The spear point is popular due to its capacity to pierce through materials smoothly. People often use it for self-defense or hand-to-hand combat, as well as other tactical applications. If you want maximum piercing power, spear point is the way to go.

If you value precision and accuracy over strength, the clip point is a better option. This is an everyday tool suitable for many tasks, whether it’s at home or outdoors. Use it in the kitchen for deboning the meat or outdoors for field dressing. And that’s it about this debate over which one to buy between spear point knife vs clip point. 

About Brian M. Casey

As a food lover, Brian M. Casey developed a fascination for cooking at an early age. He soon realized that not only the ingredients matter but also the knives and the accessories used to turn those ingredients into a delicious dish. This way, Brian began his journey on the magnificent world of kitchen knives, outdoor knives, knife accessories, and much more. After years of experience with many ups and downs, Brian now wants to share everything he’s learned during his journey as an avid knife collector, a well-seasoned knife maker, and an all-around knives enthusiast.

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