The simplest knife making with your own hands: a brief overview of the stages

These days everyone can forge a knife. In order to try yourself in the business of making knives to begin with, you do not need any special tools or great knowledge in blacksmithing. Although this occupation and requires a certain amount of skill.

So let’s say right off the bat – you can greatly simplify your task of making your first knife by buying a ready-made kit. They are sold in large quantities on Amazon.

Why you need to choose Knife Making Kit

A Knife Making Kit can indeed be a good and straightforward choice for those delving into the hobby for the first time. Here’s why:

  1. Simplicity: For beginners, starting from scratch can be overwhelming. A kit provides all the essential components in one package, eliminating the need to source individual parts.
  2. Guidance: Many kits come with instructions tailored to the specific components in the box. This can be invaluable for newcomers who might not yet be familiar with the intricacies of knife making.
  3. Cost-Effective: Buying a kit can often be more economical than purchasing each component separately, especially when you’re unsure about committing to the hobby long-term.
  4. Skill Development: While kits simplify the process, they still offer ample opportunity to learn and hone skills like shaping, sharpening, and handle attachment.
  5. Safety: Kits are typically designed with safety in mind, providing components that fit well together, reducing the risk of mistakes that could lead to injury.
  6. Achievement: Completing a knife from a kit can provide a sense of accomplishment, which can be motivating for further exploration into the craft.

Knife Making from Scratch: a Guide for Beginners

It is best to carry out this work in the open air, preferably in the yard of the house. If this is not possible, then a balcony or a garage will do. To heat the billet, from which the knife blade will subsequently be forged, is quite suitable for an ordinary gas stove, which is in the kitchen of almost every home, but it can be replaced by a burner, muffle furnace.

Of the tools will need two hammers unequal in weight, abrasive wheel, drill and pliers.

It is also necessary to select the metal from which the knife will be forged. Practice shows that for this purpose perfectly suits the steel intended for the manufacture of springs, as well as a file with a flat cross-section.

The temperature of the heated workpiece will be about 900 degrees, because of this, it is desirable to know the basics of fire safety. For proper forging of a knife, it is highly desirable to have an anvil, if there is no anvil, it can well be replaced by a heavy metal bar.


Knife Making with your own hands: the main stages

Modern knives, in general, are not weapons, but a tool that can be useful in the home, hunting, fishing and camping. Household model for the kitchen in most cases it is easier to buy ready-made. But hunting and tourist knives are sometimes more profitable to make on your own.

Preparatory work

Before starting work, it is necessary to determine the characteristics and requirements that the tool will meet. The design of a good knife is characterized by the following parameters:

  1. The stiffness of the blade, which should retain its sharpness for a long time.
  2. Comfortable shape of the handle, which should not slip out of your hands, nor provoke the appearance of blisters.
  3. The length of the blade, equal to or slightly exceeding the cutting zone.

To make knives at home, most often use the method of cold forging. However, before this, the material from which the tool will be made must be hardened. To harden the furnace or oven is heated to 500-650 degrees Celsius, and placed inside the metal for 5-6 hours. The cooled metal is required to give a vacation, heating to 200 degrees and leaving for 1-1,5 hours.

Important! Hardening in the conditions of the house, should be carried out with special care. Hardening can be subjected and ready-made blade. The blade is red-hot on the fire, until it does not become orange, then put in a container with oil and wait for it to cool down completely.

Steel for a knife, a simple choice

Blades for knives are made of steel. There are many grades of Knife Making Steel suitable for this craft, and none of them is perfect. You should choose the steel for your blade based on what qualities you want. Maximum resistance to corrosion? Razor sharpness? Easy sharpening? Resistance to fracture? Cost-effectiveness? No single steel combines all positive characteristics, so there can be no universal choice.

You can buy an almost ready-made blade if you do not want or do not have the opportunity to overhaul the metal. It will still have to be sharpened, as blanks, as a rule, have a rough sharpening, but a significant part of the process will already be done for you. If you want to work with steel, you can buy a metal strip – this will allow you to shape the blade yourself.

Knife making process: step-by-step instructions

You can make a knife from hardened metal by performing the following steps:

  1. Cutting out the workpiece in accordance with the pre-prepared drawing.
  2. Bringing the shape of the blade to the required parameters (using a sharpener).
  3. rough sharpening – razor, if the knife will be home or garden, bladed for tourism, hunting or fishing.
  4. making a handle, corresponding to the user’s hand and proportional to the size of the blade.
  5. Fixing the elements of the handle on the knife by riveting.
  6. Grinding and polishing the product with sandpaper.

Features of forging at home

First of all, the billet for the manufacture of a knife, it is necessary to subject to heating. The temperature of the heated billet should be at least 900 degrees. By eye, this color is comparable to the color of the setting sun when it is near the horizon.

Then a heavy hammer is taken, or better, a small sledgehammer, and the workpiece begins to betray the outline of the future knife.

This stage is considered complete if the length of the billet is equal to the future knife, its thickness should be a few millimeters more than the thickness of the future blade.

After that, the billet should again be subjected to heating to the same temperature. In most cases, the process of forging a knife is started from the side where the handle is planned. Later, this will make forging a knife much more convenient and comfortable, because the handle will be able to hold the workpiece during further processing.

A large hammer is needed to give the workpiece a general shape, a small hammer is used for finer work, where you do not need a lot of effort, for example, to remove internal stresses and leveling of the workpiece.

It is desirable to control the cooling process of the workpiece in time to heat it again, if this is not done, it may appear chipped or even delaminated.

The technology of such a knife making does not imply destruction of the molecular structure of the material of the blank, it follows that its shape should be as close as possible to the final product. And this implies that already in the process of forging, such elements of the blade as the escapement and spout should be formed. After the end of primary processing, make the final finishing of the blade with the help of an abrasive wheel, although for this purpose is suitable and file.

Final stages of knife making

The final stages of knife making are considered the final sharpening of the blade and polishing with barchotka and a special liquid – polish. At this point, the process, which will require not too much time and experience, can be considered complete. Although no one prevents the owner in the future to make the knife more original, additionally decorating the handle and blade.

The handle also requires careful selection. If you want to create an unpretentious knife, it is worth considering artificial materials – polymer bars based on resins. Usually such handles are not killable, withstand the dishwasher and careless handling. In addition, there are now widespread blanks with a very effective and diverse design.

Connoisseurs choose wood as a material for the handle, although it requires a lot of care. It is worth paying attention to the fact that for the knife will be more appropriate hard, durable species – and their choice is huge.

The blade is attached to the hilt with epoxy glue, which provides a reliable connection. If the blade is mounted in the workpiece, a recess for the shank is made in the workpiece – a file, drill or other suitable tool is used. If the handle is of the overhead type, the fastening is supplemented with pins, which can be metal bars and tubes. While the glue hardens, the knife is placed in a vise for perfect fixation.

From the blanks of the blade and handle material is removed – someone cuts off the excess, and then trimmed, some act step grinding. Without abrasive materials in any case can not do without. Finishing is carried out by consumables with fine grit.

When wood is used for the handle, it is usually impregnated with protective compositions to increase the service life. They also bring out the full grain of the wood.

Options from which you can make a knife handle are so many that there is no point in dwelling on them in detail. The simplest option is a coiled rope on the handle. And this, by the way, is a very decent and stylish option for the first knife. A simple and austere way to emphasize the beauty of steel, even if not very carefully processed.  If this is your first handmade knife, you don’t need to overdo it (read the detailed Beginner Knife Making Guide: How to make your first knife?).

We can say that the knife is ready. If desired, it can be supplemented with artistic molding, sew the scabbard from suitable materials. Scabbard in most cases is made of genuine leather, preferably coarse. Instead of threads, it is better to use rivets made of copper or aluminum. You can add a temlak, polish the product to a shine. Or do it all for the next knife, because the beginning of a new hobby is laid.

Tips for beginners

If you’re a budding knife maker, here are some tips to help you get started and improve your craft:

  1. Improving Your Craft:
    • Education: Read books, watch tutorials, and attend workshops or classes on knife making. There’s a wealth of knowledge available both online and offline.
    • Practice: Like any skill, practice is key. Start with simpler designs and gradually move to more complex projects as your skills improve.
    • Join a Community: Engage with other knife makers on forums, social media groups, or local clubs. Sharing experiences and getting feedback can be invaluable.
    • Invest in Quality Tools: While you can start with basic tools, investing in specialized knife-making tools can make the process more efficient and yield better results.
    • Experiment with Materials: Try different types of steel, handle materials, and finishes. This will not only improve your skills but also help you find your unique style.
  2. Selling Your Knives:
    • Online Platforms: Websites like Etsy, eBay, and even Instagram can be great platforms to showcase and sell your knives.
    • Craft Fairs & Local Markets: These events can be a good way to introduce your products to a local audience and get direct feedback.
    • Knife Shows: These are events dedicated to knives and related products. It’s a great place to meet other makers, suppliers, and potential customers.
    • Build a Website: Having a personal website can lend credibility to your craft. It’s a place where customers can view your portfolio, learn about your process, and contact you directly.
    • Word of Mouth: Encourage satisfied customers to refer friends or leave positive reviews. Personal recommendations can be powerful.
  3. Branding and Marketing:
    • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Determine what sets your knives apart. Is it the design, the materials, the craftsmanship, or a combination of factors?
    • Professional Photos: Invest in high-quality photos of your knives. Good visuals can make a significant difference in online sales.
    • Engage with Your Audience: Use social media to showcase your process, share stories, and engage with potential customers.
  4. Continuous Learning:
    • Feedback: Always be open to feedback. It can help you identify areas for improvement.
    • Stay Updated: The world of knife making is always evolving. New materials, techniques, and tools emerge. Stay updated to keep your skills sharp.
  5. Safety First:
    • Always prioritize safety. Ensure you have the right protective gear, and be aware of the risks associated with the tools and materials you’re using.

Starting a knife-making venture requires passion, dedication, and patience. As with any craft, there will be challenges along the way, but with perseverance and a commitment to continuous learning, you can build a successful and rewarding career or hobby.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x