Question of the Day: What would you do with a box of old knives?


If two is good, a box of knives is better.

I have mentioned that we are cleaning out my wife’s great-aunt’s place, and my in-laws gave me a box of assorted kitchen knives. Nothing fancy, in fact most of them are decades old imported garbage. However, there are a few interesting knives mixed in. What I am excited about, these knives represent a whole lot of potential TTAK posts. What do you all want to see me do with them.

There is an Old Hickory, to which I am going to give the David Andersen treatment. There are other imported knives that have modding potential as well. If nothing else because they are free tools on which to practice, and I don’t have to care about mistakes.


I recently received a box of knives when cleaning out a relative’s house.

Most of the knives are duller than a Shannon Watts lecture, but one of the things I am going to do is work on my sharpening. I have the two Lansky Sharp Sticks to test, and I have begun to play around with them a bit. One paring knife took 127 slices to cut through a pices of 1/2″ climbing rope. After 15 swipes on the diamond stick, I reduced that number to 17. It wasn’t paper-slicing sharp yet. I will try more with this knife and others.


Lots o’ knives. What should I do with them?

There are some knives, like this Geneva Forge, that I don’t know anything about. This one seems interesting, I like the thumb rest/guard.


This is an interesting take on a paring knife.

I definitely want to try my hand at some modding. Many of the knives have the potential to be re-purposed.


Some knives, like the Old Hickory in the middle, have significant modding potential.

Other knives look home-made. I never knew Uncle Tom, so he may or may not have been the creator, but they are definitely Smoky Mountain ingenuity rather than production quality. I will have to ask Aunt Helen next time we visit.


Some of the knives are more of a rudimentary, homemade variety.

What other ideas do you all have? What would you like to see me do with these new, old knives?



  1. Mike L says:

    Couple of thoughts:

    You could do some destructive tests. One I always was interested in is a 90 degree bend test.
    Second would be some re-tempering hardening work. Can you move it up on Rockwell scale? etc…

  2. Awesome idea, though I am going to need Will it someone to help me with the technical details. Way insisted my wheelhouse. But intriguing nonetheless.

    Cheap kitchen knives have notoriously soft steel. There is likely quite a bit of room to take one or two up a notch.

  3. VaqueroJustice says:

    Take the scales off of some of the junk steak knives,
    affix them to a long dowel or appropriate tool handle,
    and you have a spear. Fun and useful.

  4. Sam L. says:

    The main thing is, have fun doing it, and tell us how much fun it was.

    1. Doesn’t that go without saying?

  5. the knife above the old hickory looks like it could make a pretty nice camp knife. Drill a lanyard hole in it, maybe even replace the wood handles with another material, and make a sheath for it out of leather or kydex.

  6. David says:

    Combo of the ideas mentioned plus a few of my own as you got alot of knives there.

    1. Destructive Test.

    2. Clean one off and due a rust/corrossion test.

    3. D0 make a spear out of one of them.

    4. Do make a bush knife/camp knife out of one.

    5. Clean and sharpen a few and use them for their intended purpose – food prep.

    5. This one is involved: make an arrowhead out of one of the smaller ones. Your mini bio does say “archery instructor” AND it could test your skills with making a second edge/sweep on a one sided blade.

    7. Give away finished products to worthy or random readers of TTAK 🙂

  7. Sean says:

    it could be really cool to reshape some of the smaller ones for like neck knife carry!!

  8. Jay says:

    I would use some of the knives in my kitchen.Clean them well too. I’m very sure they will work better.

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Question of the Day: What would you do with a box of old knives?

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