Crooked knife

The crooked knife sometimes referred to as a "curved knife", "carving knife" or in the Algonquian language the "mocotaugan" is a utilitarian knife used for carving. The "crooked knife" is a common knife found amongst the native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands as well as non-native woodsmen. The crooked in "crooked knife" refers to its unusual shape with the handle set at an oblique angle to the blade. The blade can be straight or curved, long or short and can be made of a steel forged specifically for the knife, or from reused hardened steel from another source. The shape of the blade, whether curved or straight is, a function of the carving purpose of the user, Straight for whittling wood, making splints for baskets and incising, curved for hollowing out bowls and masks and ladles, as well as myriad other usages. [edit]Usage The crooked knife is drawn toward the body, with the thumb ergonomically placed along the flattened bottom of the handle, the hand clenched with the palm up. Drawing the blade toward the user the knife allows great range of movement and precision. [edit]Description The handles of the knives are typically made of wood but can also be fashioned of antler, or another hardened material. The handles often became highly embellished and take the form of humans or animals, or are incised and inlaid and are fashioned into high works of art. The shape of crooked knife was apparently inspired by the incisors of a beaver, which in earlier times were mounted in a handle and used for the same purposes. The term hardened steel is often used for a medium or high carbon steel that has been given the heat treatments of quenching followed by tempering. The quenching results in the formation of metastable martensite, the fraction of which is reduced to the desired amount during tempering. This is the most common state for finished articles such as tools and machine parts. In contrast, the same steel composition in annealed state will be softer as required for forming and machining. Case hardened articles starting as low carbon steel can also be labeled hardened steel. Whittling is the art of carving shapes typically out of raw wood or bone with a knife. Whittling is typically performed with a light, small-bladed knife, usually a pocket knife. Specialized whittling knives are available as well. They have thick handles which are easier to grip for long periods allowing precise control and pressure. Occasionally the terms "whittling" and "carving" are used interchangeably, but they are different arts. Carving employs the use of chisels, gouges, and a mallet, while whittling involves only the use of a knife.[citation needed] These days whittling is mainly a hobby and not as living as it used to be before carving machines were invented.