Knife Making Equipment Guide

10 Best Utility Knives Video
10 Best Utility Knives Video

Making a knife requires a design, proper materials, and proper equipment. The right tools will contribute to creating a durable blade and handle. The blade is made from steel by a heating process, grinding and cooling. It can be made at home or small warehouse with heavy or homemade equipment. The machinery needed for more finely detailed knife blades are a disc grinder, surface grinder, magnetized table and power drill.

Safety Wear

Safety equipment is highly advisable – even necessary. The use of hand gloves is important to avoid cutting and burning during the sharpening and heating process. Eye goggles are recommended for those using grinders. Powdered steel and debris may inflict the eye or become inhaled. A common work apron may be useful to avoid irritation caused by steel dust and dirtiness.

Non-Electric/ Alternative Equipment

Knives can be made without the aid of such equipment. As an alternative heavy machinery knife making can be performed using tools more available at hardware stores. Tools for knife making at home are a hand drill, rivets, a hammer, an anvil, scribe, epoxy, tongs, workbench, a set of engineer files, coarse bench stone and different grades of wet and dry sandpapers.

Best dive knives that you haven’t heard of.

Tools for Shaping

Knifemaking begins in the laying out of the design. The shape of the blade and size is finalized and may be made into a plastic or a wooden template. The scribe is used to draw the design unto an annealed piece of steel. The metal cutting band saw easily cuts the steel into its proper shape.

The disc grinder is used to smoothen the edge of the annealed steel while the surface grinder flattens it. Magnetized tables firmly keep the blade in place as it is being carved, smoothed and sharpened. Knifemaking without machinery requires the hammer, anvil, and tongs for flattening the steel blade. Files are used to shape the edge if there is no band saw available. Surface grinders are important for removing any burr or scratches on the steel blade.

Equipment for Heating Treatment

If constantly heated properly, the blade’s shape and flatness are easier to manipulate by hand. Gas forgers or stone ovens are ideal for achieving the high temperature of 800 degrees Celsius. It will remove any magnetic material in the steel and become hard and durable as it is treated. The heat must gradually decrease as the blade is treated to avoid a brittle outcome.

The steel blade will be hardened by submerging it under cool water after the heating treatment and shaping. The blade is not submerged immediately after being heated, it must be allowed to cool in the air until it is no longer glowing, otherwise the blade will become brittle and break. The heating process is only done when the desired shape is accomplished, otherwise, the maker continues to hammer or put it under the surface grinder.

Finishing Tools

The proper use of whetstones or a combination of wet and dry sandstones can give the knife’s edge and surface a satin finish. Readymade handles are attached with epoxy or by drilling holes into the blade and applying small screws or rivets. An oilstone is the most ideal for creating a fine finish, it does not create burrs and is easier to manipulate.

Specific Recommendation for Beginners

A O1 tool steel with a dimension of 40mmx500mmx5mm is the most ideal for beginners in knife making. A 4mm thick tool steel may be substituted but a 5mm is more available and has wider size ranges. It is easiest to heat treat but requires constant care as it can rust easily when left wet.

The handle for the knife is made of two slabs of hardwood or another wood type. To match the size of the steel mentioned above it must have a dimension of at least 140mm x 60mm x 10mm. Walnut and birch wood are recommended for making handles as they are easier to carve. Epoxy will keep the wood attached firmly.

Once you are done making your knife, check out this article on how to clean and properly maintain your knife.

Have you made a knife from scratch?  If so, we want to hear from you!  Send us a comment below.

Save up to 50% on your new knife at BladeHQ

We have partnered with BladeHQ to offer the best deals on high-quality knives for our readers. The deals are always changing so click the button below to shop today.

Recent Posts

what is the best knife to cut meat

Best Knife to Cut Meat of 2022: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

Some of the sharpest kitchen knives in existence are meat cutting knives. That said, you can’t expect them to give their best cutting performance throughout the course of their service. If you’ve ever owned a kitchen knife for cutting meat before (and you likely have), you know they’re not built to last. Make sure to ... Read more
best ceramic knives for your kitchen

Best Ceramic Knives of 2022: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

While they aren’t a replacement for tough steel knives, ceramic knives are versatile and ideal for any kitchen. They are razor-sharp, rust-proof, and featherweight and are relatively inexpensive. If you’re shopping around for the best ceramic knives, then you have come to the right place. We reviewed 5 of the leading ceramic knife sets on ... Read more
what is a boning knife used for

What Is a Boning Knife Used For: Getting to Know This Handy Tool

Having a tool in your kitchen is essential, but the same tool becomes worthless if you don’t know how to use it effectively. Knives are the same; different types make your tasks easier only if you know what each type is best for. That’s why it’s vital to find out what is a boning knife ... Read more
best boning knife of 2022

Best Boning Knife of 2022: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

With a quality curved boning knife, you can break down fish and meat efficiently on your own and save money. In some knives, you even get the bonus of a filleting function where you can separate the meat fish from bone with relative ease. On that note, here are five of the best boning knife ... Read more
Here is the ultimate drop point vs clip point knife comparison.

Drop Point vs. Clip Point Knife: Ultimate Comparison [2022 Update]

There’s a wide array of blade shapes for you to choose from if you’re shopping for a versatile knife. That said, you must settle the drop point vs clip point debate first. These are two of the most common blade shapes today. They are also among the most used by reputable knife manufacturers. Each blade ... Read more
types of cheese knives

Cheese Knives: 13 Different Types and How To Use Them

Cheeses come in many forms, each offering a different experience for your taste buds. Naturally, you would need different types of cheese knives for different occasions. Some people might think slicing cheese is simple and that they can do it even with just a steak knife. Sadly, these basic kitchen tools won’t get the job ... Read more

Looking for something specific?

1 thought on “Knife Making Equipment Guide”

  1. I am looking for a tool used to spin rivet heads on the thru pins used in vintage and high quality pocket knives to hold the parts together.


Leave a Comment