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Rick Hinderer XM18 Blade Shapes


Rick Hinderer is an iconic name that all knife enthusiasts are probably aware of. Choosing the perfect blade grind can be difficult unless you have the right tools to learn from. In this article, we will give you highly detailed information about Rick Hinderer blade grinds on the XM-18 and XM-24 so you are able to make a decision based on the details that are important.

Shapes to Choose

Spanto - a combination of a spearpoint and a tanto grind.

Spanto. The Spanto shaped blade is a hybrid of the tanto and the spearpoint, which means that it not only has the ability to slice but also an excellent ability to pierce and a thicker edge for heavier tasks. This blade shape is easily ground into sharp edge but has a thicker tip for durability. Spanto was developed in 2004 by Rick Hinderer and at the time said, "Makes for a VERY strong spearpoint style of blade....the profile is of a spear point but the grind is a tanto."

Slicer Grind. Specially designed for slicing tasks. The slicer has the deepest hollow grind of the blade shapes. The blade grinds come up higher on the shoulder of the blade and provide excellent cutting ability all the way from the base of the blade into the curvature.

Skinner blade shape- a versitle blade shape with a stout tip and lots of belly in the blade.

Skinner. An excellent hunting tool, the Skinner blade provides a narrow profile with a flat grind. Typically, a short, wide blade - it cuts through both thick and thin materials and is a comfortable shape while being sturdy with excellent control. The Skinner blade would also perform in heavy duty tasks because of it's comparatively shallow grinds.

Wharncliffe. A blade ideal for downward cutting, the Wharncliff is somewhat like a Sheepfoot's blade but has a more gradual curve that begins closer to the handle. Used in the past by sailors, it provides a great utility knife and cuts through various materials like cordage, rope, and cloth with ease. The tip of the blade can be fragile if used inappropriately but will provide an excellent fine cutting or carving tool.

Bowie Blade - provides for a sharp piercing tip with forward curvature.

Bowie. This familiar blade shape has characteristics that are very recognizable. These make great hunting knives and are in demand with collectors. The Bowie shape on the Hinderer has the the classic curved clip point that is designed for piercing and allows for a lot of blade curvature for other cutting tasks.

Spearpoint. Known for its ability for easy thrusting and piercing, the Spearpoint shape is one that is an extremely popular general purpose knife blade shape. This blade has a symmetrically pointed shaped and in line with center line of its axis is a point. It is singled edged and it has a strong tip.

Spearpoint Blade - blade with a centered tip, also commonly called a drop point.

Edge Bevel

Final edge bevel on a Hinderer blade is 20-22 degrees - good angle to know for resharpening. The edge bevel angle on Hinderer knives provide a durable edge for heavy tasks.

Blade Finishes


The stonewashed finish is ideal for hiding scratches on the knife blade, is less reflective and attractive. This is a finish that has a very low-key maintenance yet a finish that is durable and long-lasting.

Working Finish

This finish hides wear and usage very easily. stonewashed finish such as an black stonewash or an acid stonewash. This finish is made by using an abrasive material to tumble the blade. If acid oxidation is used, there is less rusting of the blade whereas the black stonewash creates a darkening of the blade for a different look.

Bead Blast

This finish has a uniform, matte surface finish with micro-pits. It is done by blasting the blade with high-pressured media. Bead blast finish scratches easily and can leave the blade open to increased likelihood of oxidation.

DLC (Tetrabond technology done at Ionbond)

DLC stands for a Tungsten "diamond like coating" and is resistant to wear because of it's hardness. It comes in either flat or polished coating choices and is one of the best coatings available, with it making the object scratch-resistant. DLC coatings are comparatively expensive coatings but provide a barrier to the elements with scratch resistance.

Blade Specs on the XM-18 and XM-24

The Rick Hinderer XM18 Sizes

The first size is the 3" model, which has a three inch blade and an overall length of seven inches.

The next size available is the 3.5" model, which has a 3.5" blade and an overall length of 8.25 inches.

Known as the XM-24, the third choice has a blade length of 4" and an overall length of 9.125 inches.

The XM-18 is a knife designed as a tactical tool that not only allows you to perform simple cutting activities but also allows for low drag, high speed cutting as well. It's a knife that is made to be a straightforward tool with plenty of uses - from precision to cuts that are needed fast.

This Rick Hinderer design comes in two main models of the XM knives, the flipper and the non flipper. The flipper has Teflon washers inside and performs well with reliable deployment and good, smooth action.

The thumb studs work well to double as blade stops.

Blade Spine - notice the dual thumb studs lock-up on the blade spine and stop pin.

Types of Blade Steels Used and Rockwell Hardness

Duratech 20CV (59-60 HRC)-(similar to the m390 by Bohler.) Carpenter CTS-XHP (60-61 HRC) CPM-S35VN (60-61 HRC)

Basic Specifications

Blade is 0.140" thick, with no distal taper Edge is 0.026" thick, 19.5 (5) dps Weight is 100 grams The primary grind sweeps from 0.5" high to 0.75" high (6.5 to 4.5 dps)

'Fatty' blade has a .185" Blade

"Fatty" Spanto Blade - notice the special marking on the flipper extension indicates the thicker stock.

The over-sized choil allows choking up on the blade for more precision cutting. The blade locks up on a solid in diameter, press fitted, thumb stud which creates a durable lockup as there is no loosening of the thumb stud which can happen with two-piece designs.

The fact that the thumb stud locks up against the frame adds strength and durability to the sideways torque of the blade as the sideways stresses are being stopped by the whole handle side, alleviating the stress that would typically be put on the pivot.

The XM-18 is one of the most highly sought after folding knives due to its construction, blade varieties, design, and functionality as a tactical knife.