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sawzall blade knives

Discussion in 'Custom & Handmade Knives' started by tobiism, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. tobiism

    tobiism Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 28, 2013
    For fun Ive been making these little knives out of sawzall blades. They seem to hold an edge rather well without having to re-harden or temper them. I use a belt sander and angle grinder to shape them and put the edge on them.
    The first one had purple heart scales and the second one I used bits of a composite wood fence slat.
    They are an interesting, inexpensive way to have fun with knives. Ive given them both away as presents.
    Thanks for looking!
  2. suedeface


    Aug 31, 2004
    Nice. Not every handmade knife has to be made of the most cutting edge super steel, or the most expensive, rare handle material with gold and diamond insets. I enjoy making knives the most from items that would eventually end up in the trash bin. I have several feet of bandaw blades that a friend salvaged for me. Aside from being on the thinner side, the steel is pretty tough, holds an edge for a decent amount of time, takes a nice fine edge, and can be worked without heat treating it. I assume the sawzall blades perform in a similar way.
  3. FTR-14c

    FTR-14c Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Cool little project, I may have to try that for fun.
    Are the blades used before you make them into knives? The sawzall heats those blades up like crazy under use, especially when cutting metal.
    I wonder if there would be a difference in edge retention between a new and well used blade thats been heated by friction.
  4. Ogien


    Jan 30, 2012
    Wow, that is really pretty cool to be honest. Congrats on making these knives and for having the idea and desire to experiment. Given the profile of the steel on those saw blades I'd imagine you can put a razor quality edge on it. They are fairly thin metal blades when they start their lives as saw blades, right?
  5. tobiism

    tobiism Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 28, 2013

    Ive only used new blades as I know the sawzall blades I use are useless after 20 minutes of hard use! LOL
  6. tobiism

    tobiism Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 28, 2013
    Thank you! I got the idea from a thread I saw on Bushcraft USA forum. The sawzall blades are just a hair over 1/16 of an inch. They do take and hold a pretty nice edge. Im really interested in making knives in my garage and figured this would be a good way to learn the basics. Ive already rehandled a couple of Ontario machetes and done some knife modifications and had a lot of fun doing it.
  7. Lycosa


    Aug 24, 2007
    Great thinking and... knives!
    Please make me a Red Tanto.
  8. willc

    willc Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    That is a great idea and I applaud you for thinking out of the box here.

    I have a lot of new and barely used blades in my garage and think I will give this a try.
  9. tobiism

    tobiism Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 28, 2013
    A red tanto? Cool! You really want me to make you one?
  10. 300Six


    Aug 29, 2013
    Good for you! Lots of folks would enjoy an inexpensive tacklebox or toolbox knife that actually has decent steel in it. In your quest for freebie steels there are other sources of good metal and these would be hand files, old saw blades and leaf springs.
  11. Lycosa


    Aug 24, 2007
    tob- Yes!!
    Check your VM.
    contact me, please.
  12. tobiism

    tobiism Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 28, 2013
    I don't have PM capability, you can email me at [email protected] dot com.
  13. B . Buxton

    B . Buxton

    Jul 8, 2001
    When I was still doing construction work 20 yrs. ago, there was a guy that walked the constuction site every afternoon asking for worn out sawzall blades. He always carried a couple knives to show that he had made from them. If you grind them cool as to not remove the hardness they make a pretty fair knife, another that makes a fair knife if not over heated is the old circular sawmill blades. I know a guy that use to make a couple hundred of those every year with elk antler handles and sell them to buckskin wearing blackpowder reenactors. Pretty cool.

  14. Willie71

    Willie71 Hobbyist Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    Some of my first knives were made from sawzall blades, but I found them to be quite inconsistent in hardness, and since I didn't know the steel, re heat treating them was inconsistent as well. One of them is still used by my sister as a potato peeling knife. It's one of the best blades I have ever made. I just couldn't consistently get the results.
  15. Taterhill


    May 8, 2013
    I make these all the time. I don't worry about the inconsistency when heat treating them. I make sure they are hard after quenching and temper at 350 for 35-45 minutes and watch for the steel to reach a nice straw color and they turn out really good about 95 percent of the time. For knives this cheap ho cares if they aren't perfect they are what they are and they area blast to make. When I learn how I'll post some pics.
  16. richlando


    Mar 6, 2014
    I know this thread is pretty old, but felt compelled to add that many saw blades are bi-metal and would have a very narrow part of hard steel and the majority of the blade a softer more flexible steel. I have a whole set of different size\purpose Dewalt blades that are all bi-metal. I think once you ground off the teeth most of the hard steel will be gone on a bi-metal blade.

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