Perhaps one of the most potent and powerful symbols, the knife is globally recognized across continents and cultures. While the image of the knife itself can be compelling all by itself, the power of the knife tattoos lies in the accompanying meanings given by the wearer. The knife could be representative of battle, a love of fine dining, or perhaps a personal sacrifice.
If you are looking for a tattoo design that will hold up well over the years, you really can’t go wrong with the knife tattoos.
The Knife Tattoo Symbolism
Now on the surface, the knife that you use in your tattoo design could just be appealing visually and nothing more. These weapons are works of art in some cultures, and perhaps you just want to connect with the fear that these weapons put in others.
For others, however, they like to look a little deeper and connect more with what the knife symbolizes instead. There are some who connect with the fact the sharpest knife in the drawer refers to a quit wit.
Others who have fought in wars connect with the fact this weapon is used for self-defense, combat, and to protect others. For these folks, the knife symbolizes family, friends, value, power, strength, and determination.
Knife References and Meanings
Depending where you place the knife tattoo and how it is drawn, the design can take on varied meanings. On the one hand, the knife can be a symbol for love of cooking, a career as a chef, or the basic tool used in hunting.
Others take the knife and use it to remind themselves of a painful love, having been stabbed in the heart, or one who possess deadly beauty.
The more we look, the deeper the meanings can be associated with a knife because others will use the image to symbolize cutting ties, sacrifice, a steady resolve, fearlessness, or sharp intellect.
Combining the meanings with multiple knives further complicates the associations.
Variations of Knife Tattoos
With so many ways that you can make use of the knife in a tattoo, we should briefly touch upon some of the most common design concepts that you see in tattoos on both men and women today.
The Chef Knife
To the chef, the knife is the most important tool in their arsenal. Most chefs take great pride in the knives they use, and when a chef chooses the knife as a tattoo design it is in reference to their cook or dies philosophy.
The Fork and Knife
The fork and knife combined in a tattoo are more for those who appreciate the finer things in life, such as eating.
This is a great design concept for the home chef, the food enthusiast, or someone who is living a more health conscious lifestyle. The two eating utensils are symbolic of the most basic of all human tools, need for order, and could replicate the patterns used in the wedding china.
The Knife and Heart
Pretty self-explanatory when you see the knife piercing the heart in a tattoo, but is it that clear? On the surface, you may think it refers to having been stabbed in the heart, but it could also refer to someone who has a broken heart, lost their soul mate, or is suffering the loss of a loved one.
Being stabbed in the heart and being a heart breaker are two different concepts, so choose your embellishments carefully.
Be careful how you place the knife in a tattoo design because the meanings change when you cross the knives, add a serpent, have it in a garter, or near a skull. This is a powerful image that really allows you to express your uniqueness easily in ink.