In laymen's terms, it can be difficult to communicate how much force is needed to create a stab wound into a person's chest. Previous work has determined the force to puncture the skin, rib cartilage, or bone but without putting the results in terms that are easy to understand.
The purpose of this study was to determine the force needed to puncture 3 types of fruit using 3 different types of knives, namely, a steak knife, a butcher's knife, and a lock-blade knife, to help put these previous results in perspective.
There was wide variation in the force required to insert a knife into different fruits, but no force for any knife at any location for all fruits exceeded 93.1 N. Results show that force needed to penetrate the skin and allow for an 8-cm blade penetration into the chest is similar to the force required to insert a steak knife for a 6-cm distance into a cantaloupe. In addition, the force needed to penetrate the cartilage is most similar to stabbing a watermelon to 6 cm with a butcher knife. However, the forces required to penetrate the bone are greater than those required to penetrate any fruit with any type of blade.