There was never a good knife made of bad steel.” Benjamin Franklin, polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Knives are humankind’s first tool, having been made and used by humanoids for at least two-and-a-half million years ago, as evidenced by the Oldowan tools.
Originally made of rock, bone, flint, and obsidian, knives have evolved in construction as technology has, with blades being made from bronze, copper, iron, steel, ceramics, and titanium.
A knife is the most basic tool, and the average adult uses a knife almost every day. Yet there are very few individually-made knives in existence, and few people who know how to make knives.
There’s something truly special about using a knife you’ve made yourself, and interest is growing for this ancient craft.
Here are some of the best resources I’ve found for learning more about knife making and how to get started.
- Knife making – Wikipedia
- Knives – Wikipedia
- Knifemaking 101 – Read This Before You Make a Knife – BLADE Mag
- 13-Step Guide: Knife making with basic tools – Instructables
- 10 Knife Making Tutorials – Make
- How to Build a Knife – Instructables
- How to Make a Knife from an Old Saw Blade – Art of Manliness
- How To Turn an Old Wrench into a Beautiful Knife – Trollskyy
- How to Make a Hunting Knife – David Boye / Mother Earth News
- How to Make a Knife Bevel – Trollskyy
- How to Make a Knife – Bloomberg. Meet the science nerds in Georgia who re-forge abandoned scrap metal into blades with a multi-year waiting list.
- More knife making tutorials at Instructables
- The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way To Perfection by Jim Hrisoulas. Written by a master bladesmith, this book tells you how to set up your forge, select your materials, fashion grips and hilts, grind edges and much more.
- The Wonder of Knifemaking by Wayne Goddard. Tips and tricks for knifemakers of all skill levels, plus clear and precise answers on every aspect of knifemaking, from selecting steel to heat treating and finishing the blade.
- Wayne Goddard’s $50 Knife Shop by, you guessed it, Wayne Goddard. A fine companion volume to Goddard’s book The Wonder of Knifemaking and provides all the details you need to start making knives on a budget.
- BLADE Magazine -BLADE magazine is the world’s #1 knife publication, covering all aspects of the industry: knifemaking, how-to’s, collecting, legislation and knife rights, and much more.
- Knives Illustrated
- BladeForums – Ever since 1998 BladeForums.com has been in continuous operation, and it’s probably the biggest knife making forum there is. Definitely worth a visit. The forum has 1,201,849 threads, 14,961,380 posts and 305,072 members, so it should keep you busy for a while!
- British Blades – Not as big as BladeForums, but still touts 200,213 threads, 2,447,924 posts and 40,229 members. Not bad.
Knife Making Supplies
- KnifeKits.com – Founded in 2001, KnifeKits now offers 1000’s of products for DIY knife makers.
- USA Knife Maker – A family owned and operated small business located in south central Minnesota in North Mankato, MN. Carries a wide range of knife making supplies, tools, blades, machinery, and more.
- Texas Knifemaker’s Supply
- Canadian Knifemaker Supply – If you live in Canada, check these out.
5 Tips for Beginning Knife Makers
In this video knife maker Walter Sorrells gives some general tips for people who are thinking about making knives but don’t know where to start along with thought for how to speed up the learning curve.
Top Ten Knifemaking Tools for the Beginner
A followup video to the one above. In this video knifemaker Walter Sorrells gives his line-up of the first ten tools that you’ll need in order to make knives. As he says: “It might surprise you that most of these tools are not expensive or hard to find!”
YouTube Channels Worth A Look:
Featured photo: Stuart Mitchell Knives