This is a 12 cm inch blade utility knife.

As you can see the bolster (fat part near handle) extends out on the edge side. On a flat surface like a cutting boards it takes the handle 1/3 of the edge out of play for any task you need to slice all the way through such as mincing.

I cannot think of a single task I would prefer that design. Is there any purpose to extending the bolster like that on a utility or cooks knife? I could understand on a boning knife or small paring knife.

In the current version (Grand Prix II) of the knife the bolster does not extend like that. I have a Spyderco 6 inch kitchen utility knife from the same time and same thing - bolster extends but does not in the current version.

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The background is wet cement. I went outside for the light.

In response to comments:

I don't think this is due to sharpening but cannot be sure. The chef's knife in the set does not have protruding bolster and I use/sharpen it almost as much as the others. The chef's knife is also thicker and could be different steel. I sharpen with a Spyderco Sharpmaker Sharpener like twice a year and hone with pretty much every use. The Wüsthof hone came with the set. I don't even use the Spydeco kitchen knife that also has the protruding bolster and I only sharpened it once with the Spyderco Sharpmaker Sharpener. I accept the comments it could be worn from sharpening.

For my replacements I will avoid a bolster that extends all the way down. I am looking at the Wüsthof Classic Ikon series. Or I may not replace and get a Santuko for mincing. As is the knives still slice and dice fine.

My neighbor has a belt sander and is going to grind down the bolster.

  • 3
    Are you sure this hasn't been repeatedly incorrectly sharpened until the bolster protruded? Jan 22, 2018 at 6:40
  • @rackandboneman Yes I am sure
    – paparazzo
    Jan 22, 2018 at 8:20
  • Wüsthof product numbers are right confusing - 4067 will google to a completely different knife "4067/10cm" while the "12cm" version seems to have been born on ebay :) Jan 22, 2018 at 9:34
  • 1
    @rackandboneman I've been looking for the perfect boning knife recently and realised that knife numbering s a (k)nightmare. often the first part of the number indicates the blade while other bits will indicate what style of handle it comes with. In this instance I think the 4066/12 number only applied to the plastic Handles Grand Prix range and this particular one has been discontinued. I have found enough illustrations to be confident that the blade was indeed made that shape and not changed by sharpening. Which gets the OP no closer to the reason for the design.
    – Spagirl
    Jan 22, 2018 at 13:47
  • 1
    @Paparazzi I see I've typed 4066/12 when I meant 4067/12, sorry for any confusion, too late to edit. On the shape of the blade, I was agreeing with you that the blade was made with the projecting bolster, not casting doubt. I think the design may have just arisen from the fact that a utility knife really is neither one thing nor another. Wikipedia has an (unsupported) claim that they are widely regarded as 'set fillers', but I can imagine it making a reasonable general purpose knife if you do a bit of paring, a bit of boning etc.
    – Spagirl
    Jan 22, 2018 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


One possible use would be as finger protection in case you lose control of the knife and slip forward.

Quote from zknives.com, considered a reputable source on knife technology: "Thus, the only time when the bolster acts like a finger guard, is when the blade is very narrow, such as one found on the boning knife."

Given the blade IS narrow and recessed, the same intent is likely - make it less likely to slice your fingers open if you eg forcefully stab forward and hit an unexpected obstacle in the cutting medium, with momentum making your hand go further forward than is safe.

  • (Is that what people that bone are likely to do? I don't butcher, or cook or eat meat, and even if I did I'd use a hankotsu or garasuki out of pure hipsterism ;) ) Jan 22, 2018 at 15:13
  • 2
    The set came with a boning knife and that bolster extends further than the width of my finger. Finger protection is a possible use (but I still don't like the design). If you look at CLASSIC IKON the front bolster does not extend and the knife has the same description. I learned I should avoid that design.
    – paparazzo
    Jan 22, 2018 at 15:37

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