cetan knife kit review

Oct 2, 1998
ok, this isn't REALLY a review, sorta, kinda, anyway, here goes:

this is more of a "my first experience with a knife kit", for all you people who have never done one.

Well, it all started one night when I was bullied by DC into getting a knife kit from Rob Simonich (she had done one too).

I was completely attracted at the low price of the kit, which I thought was amazing, lower than any completed knife in the same size, fixed or folder! This is one reason you "newbies" should get one. hehe (although, if you don't already have tools, you may have to spend some money on tools). But I was a bit scared of whether I would be able to do it (properly). But I succumbed to DC's bullying.

So I when it came in the mail, I was all anxious and happy to start on my new project.
(warning: this gobbles up all your free time). The ATS34 blade/tang was freshly ground, the grind marks were still on it. But it was semi-sharp, it comes with an initial edge, so you don't have to suffer putting on one from scratch. It's also already heat treated (Rc 60). Also in the package were the 2 slabs of ivory micarta I had chosen, the pins, and a thong hole liner, and the illustrated instructions. An idiot could do it! (ok, no smart remarks from the peanut gallery).

My first reaction was "I have to make the handles from these?!", the rectangular slabs do take a lot of work.
I started with polishing the blade (by hand), this isn't as easy the first time, big tip: sand in STRAIGHT lines. The cetan comes standard with a hollow grind, so you have to do it with your fingers, or something curved. But you can ask for a flat grind, which would make it easy if you used a sanding block or something. Anyway, I got that done easy enough(easiest part).
The slabs are the hardest part, especially when you have to thin them down, they came a bit too thick. Micarta is hard to work with, takes a long time to sand down (you need a dremel if you want to do it in a reasonable amount of time). After that, I attached the slabs, and shaped the handles. Then I sharpened the blade, and voila! My very own hand made knife! The Cetan kit transforms into a 3" drop point blade, with a comfortable slightly curved handle, with a small finger cut out and thumb grooves on the spine for grip (although mine was a "special edition" with no thumb grooves). My only small gripe is that the handle feels kinda small in my hand. But it's a nice looking knife, great for utilitarian purposes.
All in all, it wasn't too hard, and I learned a lot (including the appreciation of hand made knives). Try one today!

Persuade, yes. Bully.....never. Granted I persuade in unorthodox fashion