Painting Knives are blunt with a slightly flexible steel blade and no sharpened cutting edge. They are used in place of a brush for applying paint colors, paste, pigments, and so forth directly onto the canvas or painting surface. Between the handle and the blade there is usually a large crank, to keep the artist's hand off the paint surface. Painting knives come in a multitude of styles, shapes, and sizes.
Palette Knives are blunt with a very flexible steel blade and no sharpened cutting edge. They are primarily used for mixing paint colors, mediums, additives, paste, pigments, and so forth directly on the palette before applying them to a surface. Palette knives are symmetric, like a kitchen spatula, but often with a slight crank between the handle and the blade.