Question Of The Day: Have You Ever Made A Knife?

My Knife

The more knives I handle and knifemakers I learn about, the more I think about making one myself with some help from an expert. And I know I’m not the only guy around here thinking this way, because reader Jeff O’s homemade knife (and his article “It’s Not Pretty, But It’s Mine”) won him a new FNS-9 pistol and a Benchmade Mini-Griptilian pocketknife.

Another of our readers recently took a knifemaking class and came away from the experience with a wealth of knowledge, a sore hammer-arm, and a knife all his own.

Many of us have thought about making our own knife, but how many of you have done it? Send your stories (and pictures!) to



  1. Aharon says:

    No, I’ve never made a knife. However, in high school I made a blackjack from a spring, BBs, and black electrician’s tape.

  2. Don says:

    I’ve made some knives from worn out files long ago. It’s not particularly hard to make “a” knife with stuff you have laying around. No promises it will be a great knife though. I just took the file in it’s hardened state and grind the shape I want with a wheel grinder. Then I use a belt sander to profile the edge, after that I sharpen it like normal and wrap something on the handle.

    Instead of grinding on the hardened steel you could soften it first through annealing. The way I’ve been told was to heat the steel until it is bright red hot, then let it cool in air until the red glow goes away, then quench it in an oil. The quench after it loses its glow is to maintain the carbon content of the steel. Then you can use a file and/or sander to shape the blade. After you are done shaping it you re-harden it by heating it up bright red hot and then immediately quench (while red hot) in your oil. Right after this hardening step you temper it, heat it in an oven for about an hour at 450F and then let it cool in air, repeat, repeat again, (and again if you want). Sharpen it/make a handle.


  3. knightofbob says:

    I’ve never done it, but I have thought about it. I’ve recently come into contact with a blacksmith who has some interesting input into my collecting hobby, to say the least.

  4. David says:

    Kinda Sorta. The Cold Steel Monstrosity that is part of my blade collection (won me a contest here BTW) was a partial home build. The blade is an Assegai Spear head. I supplied the wooden dowel, bolt, & athletic tape for the handle. Sharpening was done by Willey Knives. More of a sword than a knife.

  5. jlottmc says:

    Yes, I have made several, including a couple that I have knapped. I also have an uncle that is big into the Mountain Man recreations and such. He makes most of all his gear and I got to tag along and learn. I also grew up in a machine shop. I don’t currently have any I’ve made, but I’ll see what I can dig up. I think my uncle has a patch knife I made, and my aunt may have another. It’s not overly hard to make a knife with some knowledge, a steady hand, a bunch of time and patience. Those last two are the hard ones to find.

  6. ChuckN says:

    Yep, many actually. Blacksmithing is a bit of a hobby. I
    picked it up as a way to make period tools for historical
    reenactments and props teachers. Pics forthcoming.

  7. Duncan Idaho says:

    Does the knife have to be forged to enter? Or does a knife put together from a blade blank count?

  8. Mark says:

    I don’t make knives but I have a friend who does. He’s offered to help teach me.
    I was waiting to see how (now if) Project: Kephart turned out, but unfortunately its gone from insperation to warning.

  9. Mark N. says:

    Not the blade, just the handle, although the blade was rough and had to be finish honed. Don’t have the tools to make a blade, or even to grind one from a blank, but I have a fascination for the blacksmithing knives and swords.

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Question Of The Day: Have You Ever Made A Knife?

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