Another newbie to forum talk!

Dec 9, 2009
Hi guys! I've been creeping in the shadows for a long time and can't quite seem to understand only just the basics. There is SOO much info here, it is hard to make sense of it all.

What I'm looking for is a good tutorial for a very basic beginner and possibly even a kit that will include some basic materials and tools for making a first knife as I begin to learn different techniques and processes for knife crafting. I've read through almost every build process I can find and still find myself lost a little bit because of all the different techniques used for every intricate detail. All im looking to do is make a very simple knife kit that I can work on in conjunction with reading information here and learn hands on, even if it means that my first knife isnt show quality. Basic function is all I'm looking for.

Hell, antlerless deer season opens the first week of January and if I could make a knife that would even give me a bit of a hackjob on a freshly killed deer, I would be absolutely ECSTATIC!

Thanks for any help you guys can give me and pointing me in the right direction would be IMMENSELY helpful!

Back to reading for now!

-Matt from Kansas

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
Welcome to the forums.

I would start out by thanking you for filling out your profile. That helps us establish where you are, and some more about you.

I see that you are a student, and assume that you are young, so equipment is probably an issue. The information you ask for is readily available on this forum ,in the stickies at the top, and by a simple google search on "Knife Making Tutorials". I would bet that the local library has some books,too.
I know that the youth of today wants someone to tell them the answer and get the job done tomorrow, but knife making isn't like that. You aren't likely to be going hunting with a new knife in January ( not one that will be worth much) but with some reading and taking your time on the project, you can make a very respectable first knife in one to three months.....after you have learned what to do and assembled the materials and tools. Finding a maker near you will be the biggest boost you can give yourself.

I recently posted a tutorial which is being used on a WIP. It is running on this forum here:
the tutorial is here;

Read some more, decide what to want to do, and try and hook up with a maker in your area.

God luck,

Tai Goo

Apr 7, 2006
You can make a respectable first knife in one to three days,... but "mastering" the basics may take a life time… and then some.
Sep 16, 2002
I found myself feeling much the same way when I started, even after reading $50 Knife Shop book which most people recommend as good beginner material. I don't know if you've seen this one yet, but it's what I followed to make my first knife and it seemed to break (most) everything down to where I could understand it and felt like I could actually do it.

Good luck!
Jan 28, 2008
I just started not 3 months ago, what I can tell you from my beginners experience is, like Mike Stewart has said a thousand times..... STOP over thinking it and just go for it. I read and read and read every piece of information here, it was honestly time wasted for about 70% of it. From what I have seen knife making is all common sense once you get past the fuzzy details like steel(heat treat info and such) and edge geometry... which is something that I have found is more learned by experience than anything else. Order yourself a blank from Texas Knife Supply(I started with admirals 1080 stock, but I also had the tools to be able to do so.) Once you get the feel for things you can get into some raw annealed steel, I would recommend 1080 as it is very forgiving stuff and easy to work with(I dont even anneal mine, it comes pretty soft from admiral as rolled, but I have a belt/disk grinder). You can get started with a few files and an angle grinder which can all be had for under $60 if you dont have those tools. Also I think Texas Knife does heat treating too, so you can get your primary grinds down, send it to them and for a few bucks they will HT it for you and send it back. I know it seems intimidating, with all the experts floating around but most here I have found are extremely well intentioned and will help you in any way they can.

Also please keep in mind that knife making isn't "instant gratification" like some have already stated. I am 24 years old and grew up around all these whiners that are used to getting everything they want and NOW, this is a skill that you can pass on for generations if you get to it and stick with it. I cant think of a better feeling than filleting a fish I just caught with a knife I made from an old sawzall blade... nothing like it. So order you a blank, pick up some scale material, pins and some epoxy and start there if you wish. I myself started by murdering about a dozen sawzall blades... so far I have made 2 knives that I can actually admit I made without blushing and one is being given to my father as a christmas present. After you get the hang of it get some flat bar and go at it with stock removal, you can do it if I can... or any of these other goobers for that matter :D...
Jul 28, 2006
I started making kit blades and then moved on from there. Jantz, K&G, Texas Knife Supply (TKS) and Sheffield Supply are companies that supply decent quality kit knives, all the needed supplies with great shipping and service from any of them. One caveat, Sheffield sells kit blades but is really aimed at full-on makers.

Basic price list:
Full tang kit blade $10-15
Handle scales $5-500
Corby Bolts $5
Epoxy $5

You'll need a way to drill holes, you can use a hand drill if you're very careful or just go to a friend that has a press. You'll need a rasp, I'd recommend a "4 in 1" rasp to shape the handles, sand paper from 80-400 grit to sand out the handle material.

Here's a link to a Nick Wheeler "How to" on installing scales on a full tang knife using hand tools and a cheapo drill press. Even if you don't have a knife vise like he shows you can get by with slotting a 2x2 piece of wood and clamping the TAPED up blade :)p you'll know why I say taped up when you start making knives) in the wood and clamping the 2x2 to a work bench. The set up I described will act as a el cheapo vise until you can get a nicer one. Heck I used one for years, probably going to make another one until I get up the gumption to make another vise :p

Well that's all I can think of, feel free to ask questions AFTER you read the stickies and the last 20 pages of the forum. :p