Knife Tattoo Meaning, Design & Ideas

Next to a gun, the knife is one of the scarier weapons out there. However, they don’t have to be. They were one of the first tools used by primitive man and have a multitude of different uses. The knife is the multi-tool that you would be in your top three if you were stranded on an island. It can be used for so many things and to be without one is to be in trouble. It is such an important tool with so much meaning that will see many people with the knife tattoo.

The knife is a potent and powerful symbol that is recognized all over the world. The image, on its own, is a symbol that makes you wonder what it means. The power behind the knife tattoo usually lies with what is in the image with it. Does it have floral patterns, snakes, skulls or dragons? These are the kind of images you might couple with a knife to send a specific message. You will also see different kinds of knives that might symbolize something too. However, the knife alone is strong enough and we will get into the meaning of the knife tattoo.

In this post, we will talk about the history of the knife and how it has been used throughout the years. We will discuss the meaning of the knife tattoo and what it might mean to those who wear it. Most people are trying to tell a story with their tattoos and the knife tattoo is no different. By the end of this post, we hope you have a better understanding of some of the different knife tattoos out there and what they mean so you feel a bit more comfortable getting your own.

History of the Knife

The knife is a tool that has been used for many years. It has a blade or a cutting edge and most of them have handles. There is a knife for every occasion. Some knives are used in the kitchen to cut meat, some are used to spread butter, some are used to chop wood, and some are used for combat. In fact, many of these knives are used as tools.

The combat knife might be carried by soldiers, the hunting knife by people hunting, and the pocket knife by hikers. Knives are used in religious ceremonies for numerous reasons and some, like the switchblade, are used for fighting. There are even some knives used for farming and harvesting food.

Knives have been used for at least two and a half million years and this is proven to be true by the Oldowan tools. Knives were originally made from obsidian, bone, bronze and flint back then and now the knives we use today are made from much more durable metals like steel, copper, titanium and iron. The cool thing about knives is that most cultures have their own version of the knife. Many of these knives are found in specific countries and have a story behind them.

Knife Tattoo Meaning

The meaning of the knife tattoo is going to depend on what it looks like and what message is being conveyed. The symbolism behind the basic knife tattoo is liberation, sacrifice, death, division and severance. In the Buddhist religion, using a knife to cut symbolizes deliverance like you the bonds of ignorance have been cut. In Christianity, the knife can symbolize martyrdom. It can also be a warning sign to not mess with the person with the knife tattoo.

Knife Tattoo Variations

Here is where we get into a lot of the variations of the knife tattoo. Depending on the kind of knife it is and the origins of the blade, we might find different meanings and representations. Here are a few that we like and hopefully it helps.

Butterfly Knife Tattoo

Also known as the fan knife or balisong, the butterfly knife was a favorite of the people of the Philippines. This was especially true for those in the Tagalog region. It was used as a pocket utility knife as well as a self-defense tool.

In addition, before straight razors were available, people used the butterfly knife to shave. The knife blade is hidden but can be opened with just a flick of the wrist. People use this knife for entertainment as well and they do what is called “flipping”. This knife is a symbol that something that beautiful (flipping) can also be dangerous and the person wearing the butterfly knife tattoo might be the same way. They might also be representing their Filipino background

Bowie Knife Tattoo

The Bowie knife was named after a man called Jim Bowie. This is a fighting knife that Jim used at the Sandbar Fight duel.

The Bowie knife has come to describe most knives that are sheathed and have a clip point and crossguard. Although still used for outdoor activities, the Bowie knife seems to be more of a collectible these days. It symbolizes the fight in someone as it was used in a duel back in the 19th century.

Chef’s Knife Tattoo

The Chef’s knife is one used in the kitchen by chefs to help them create their dinners. This knife is the subject of many horror movies but is mostly used in the kitchen for food preparation. This knife was originally created to disjoint and slice large pieces of beef. However, it is more of a utility knife in the kitchen. Those with the chef’s knife tattoo are usually letting everyone know their love for cooking and the kitchen.

Kukri Tattoo

The kukri is a knife with a blade that curves inwards. It is similar to a machete in that it is used as both a weapon and a tool in Nepal. In most cases, it is the Nepalese basic utility knife that most people keep around the house and having a tattoo of the kukri is paying homage to an ancestry or appreciation for the people of Nepal.

Swiss Army Knife Tattoo

The Swiss Army knife or multi-tool utility knife was made by Victorinox AG. It was coined the Swiss Army knife in Second World War by American soldiers because they weren’t able to call it by it’s German name, “Offiziersmesser”. The person with this tattoo might be a jack of all trades or a handyman. They are good at many things just like the Swiss Army Knife.

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