The full tang is a knife completely made from one piece of steel that extends from the point of the blade to the butt of the handle. The blade of a full tang knife is always fixed, which makes these knives very sturdy and durable.
The term "full tang" refers to one major feature of this knife design: The blade is extended across the entire length and width of the knife. This blade extension is known among experts as the tang. In a full tang knife, the tang extends through the handle. The handle is either placed over the tang as a whole or the tang is encased with two handle scales.
The handle or handle scales are secured on the tang with rivets, screws or a special adhesive. If handle scales are used, the tang remains visible from above, below and from the back. Another signature feature of a full tang knife is that the tang does not just extend towards the butt of the handle or even past it, but also retains the full width of the blade all the way to the end. A full tang differs from other tang types in its length as well as its width: In a hidden full-time knife, the tang does extend across the entire length of the knife but does not retain the width of the blade (it narrows into a thin rod behind the bolster completely covered or "hidden" by the handle); the tang of a tapered tang knife tapers along the entire handle length; in a partial tang, a knife design with several variations, the tang is as wide as the blade but does not extend to the entire length of the handle.
Compared to other tangs, full tang knives are very sturdy and durable. However, their center of mass is shifted towards the back, which makes them a little more cumbersome than knives without a fully extended tang.