Knifemaking 101: Part 1


There are two basic ways of making a knife. They are forging and stock removal. In forging you heat the metal up until red hot and then you beat it into shape over several cycles. With stock removal you start with a steel blank and you cut/grind it into the shape of a blade. This is the method I’m gonna use since I don’t have a forge or anvil.

I’m starting with a ground stock piece of 5160 steel that measures 1-3/4″x1/4″x12″.

I drew out the basic profile of the knife and cut off the excess with a cutoff wheel using my angle grinder.

I attached a sanding flap wheel and removed the outside layers and began grinding the blade bevels into it.

I rounded the front and then took a 1/4″ drill bit, to scribe down the blade, marking the center. This way I can keep both sides even when grinding the bevel.

I cut out a notch in the front of the blade, to make sharpening easier in the future, and also a long shallow notch in the back for a place to put your thumb when applying lots of pressure. I was hoping it would add some character and keep it from looking too ‘plain’, as well.

I then went to work with the files to square everything up and add lot of angular touches to the guards.

Thats it for now. Be sure to check out Part 2 in the near future.