Blade Tangs [Definition, Types and Comparison]

Before purchasing any machete, a user must know all its features. A machete or knife’s capability and durability depend on its blade. Not just the visible blade length but the hidden blade material and length matters too. The hidden part of the blade is known as tang. The blade tangs come in various types, ranging from full tang to rat-tailed tangs.

Blade Tangs

Full tangs
  • Full
  • Hidden
  • Skeletonized
  • Encapsulated
  • Extended
Partial tangs
  • Rat-tailed
  • Push
  • Partial
  • Tapered

Full Tang

Full tang is the most common and famous types of tang. A full tang is when the blade is elongated till the end of the handle. However, full tang doesn’t need to have full width. It ensures a better grip and durability, and you will find full tang in the majority of survival machetes. It is essential to know that full tang only means blade extended till the end lengthwise and not width-wise.  Most of the machetes which are best to use are full tangs.

Partial Tang

Partial tang, as its name suggests, it only extended till a part or fraction of the handle. It is usually narrow and available at low prices. However, it may not give you the secure grip of a full tang machete. You should only consider buying a partial tang machete if you won’t is needing it for heavy work. In other words, the blades which don’t extend till the end of the handle are known as partial machetes.

Full Tang Vs Partial Tang

Full tangs
  • Blade extended till the handle
  • Durable and strong
  • Better grip
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t have a width of the original blade
Partial tangs
  • Blade extended till a part of the handle
  • Flimsy than full tangs
  • You may find it uncomfortable to use
  • Cheap
  • Narrower tang than full tang.

Rat-tailed Tang

The rat-tailed tang extends till the end of the handle but is very thin, just like a rat’s tail. Of course, due to the thinness of the metal, rat-tailed are less durable than full tangs. However, to some extent, they do provide firmness and grip while handling rat-tailed machetes. The good side is, they are less expensive and light-weighted than any other full-tangs. Hence, they can be great for non-commercial and light work.

Hidden Tang

The hidden tang is probably the hardest one to recognize and understand. You can make a hidden tang by sliding it into the handle so that none of the steel parts is visible. The critical point, of this type of tang, is its looks. Since the tang is hidden, the handle is showcased from all sides; moreover, it provides the strength to the blade.

Amazing hidden capabilities! Woah!

Tapered Tang

A tapered tang is a tang whose width decreases with length. In other words, it gets narrower and narrower as it reaches the end of the handle. The great deal is, that is doesn’t consume much steel and doesn’t even compromise with its strength. You will find tapered tang in both, full and partial machetes. Hence, it’s a great tang to carry around in a low budget. What might be considered as a disadvantage is, that is a might be a bit complicated to manufacture it.


It is another type of full tang, which is an extended version. The difference between both of them is that extended machetes are extended outside the handle, whereas full tangs are tangs till the handle; none of the steel parts is visible.

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