DIY knife mods (Pics inside)

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by dcmartin, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. dcmartin

    dcmartin Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    Ok so this post is for average knife guys who do mods to their own knives...
    Please post pics of your mods, everything from sharpening to stone washing from anodizing to polishing to blade reshaping...Custom scales you did yourself and so on

    I felt compelled to make this thread because i recently came into a "FREE" ZT 0350. It was a bit of a beater but it was a perfect candidate to do some light mods to.

    1: I polished the liners, scale and pivot screws
    2: I de-assisted it
    3: I straightened the liners to center the damn thing
    4: I polished the clip then later heat blued it
    5: I put a 17 deg mirror edge Via Wicked Edge

    The bottom line is, I can't stop carrying this thing! It sits along pretty heady company but for some reason I am really digging it the most... Then It dawned on me...I think the mods made me like it that much more, kinda made it my own by creating somewhat of an individual statement.

    I've seen some pretty talented (non knife maker) individuals out there.... KNIFE MAKERS you are more than welcome to post your personal EDCs too!




    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  2. BladeCommander


    Nov 13, 2012
    I get significantly more enjoyment out of these two knives after I made scales for them. The Southard was just mediocre to me with the brown scales. Now it's my favorite spyderco knife. And the ZT 550 is just much more beefy and cool with the camo G10 on it. I have only done scales so far because I can remove them and put the stock scale back on incase any of them need warranty work. I am aware the warrantee might be void upon disassembly, but there is a better chance with having the stock scale replaced if anything should go wrong.

  3. davek14


    May 30, 2009
    "If you didn't make it yourself, it's not really yours."

    Tim the Tool Man

  4. kooter55


    Nov 20, 2010
    Out of all the knives I own and carry the only one I haven't modded is a PM2 and I'm contemplating stonewashing the dlc coating much like the KAI blackwash. I've done the scales out of homemade Micarta for a Becker BK15 and Condor bushlore. I've added finger choils to any knife that didn't already have them. Re-ground the hollow grinds off of my native and manix and acid stonewashing the manix now. I don't think I could nor do I want to stop modding knives it gives them a personal touch and makes them yours.

    I would add pics but the server isn't letting me at the moment.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  5. killgar


    Sep 24, 2002
    Love more- no, value more- yes. I mod all of my knives. There is something in my nature that compels me to alter the things I own so that they will best suit my needs and provide optimum functionality, ease of use, and comfort during use.

    My two daily-carry knives are a Bradley Alias 1, and a Wilson Tactical Model 25.

    With the Alias I have replaced the little pointy thumbstud with a larger, aftermarket stud. And I replaced the small, shiny pocket clip with a longer , black clip.

    With the Wilson, I ground off the lanyard loop to reduce weight and overall knife length, wrapped the handle with a strip of bicycle innertube for better grip, ground a choil at the back end of the edge for better sharpening, and I re-ground the edge to make it a lot finer and better for slicing.

    Other knives have received more modding, but the two knives I carry now were chosen because they came the closest to suiting my needs, so they didn't require as much work.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  6. dcmartin

    dcmartin Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    Nice Work BC! What kind of scale material is that on the Southard?
  7. dcmartin

    dcmartin Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    Kooter55, man i hope you get that server to cooperate.... sounds like you have some awesome knives there, would love to see what they look like!
  8. dcmartin

    dcmartin Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    Ain't that the truth...I'm pretty sure a lot of knife makers started the very same way...
  9. Keyman

    Keyman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 26, 2001
    Do you love a knife more if you mod it yourself?

    Yes! ;)
  10. 1Hiker2

    1Hiker2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2012
    If I mod a knife there's usually something I don't like about it. My Satu had some very agressive jimping on the handles. After I filed the jimping abit I found I was carring the knife alot more, so in this case after the modification I would say I like the knife alot more.
  11. gooeytek


    Jul 12, 2011
    Makes me want to use them more, so YES.
  12. rpttrsn

    rpttrsn Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    ZT 0550 Made Scale and added my USMC pin
    Southard. Dyed scale and made tip down carry.
    Para Military with low rider clip I made. Sits perfect. IMO
  13. I love to mod knives. I like all of my knives, but I have a special place for the modded ones.

    Here are some that I have done:

    Friction folder BK13 with Russian Olive scales.!-No-really!

    Full-tang Mora with maple scales.

    Kershaw Thermite w/Jade Ghost G10 and detent drilled/de-assisted.

    Becker BK17 with maple scales and patina.

    Becker BK14 with cord wrap handle and patina.

    Zero Tolerance 0350TS with Blue/Black G10 and de-assisted.

    Knock-off Strider with anodized Titanium frame lock.

    Of course, I have also done other small mods on random knives.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  14. bpeezer


    Jan 27, 2013
    I'm not a huge fan of all the different textures on handle scales, they can certainly be cool but sometimes I think simpler is better. This is probably my favorite example, now I really do love my Ripple more.

  15. Artifice


    Aug 18, 2013
    That appears to be some very nice Blue Kirinite, which, to my knowledge, is a form of layered polycarbonate.

    I've been wanting to make scales for the Hogue Ex-04 out of purpleheart wood, but that's going to incredibly difficult...
  16. dogstar


    Jan 23, 2011
    Yes, modding your knife gives you an intimate knowledge of it. It also makes it one-of-a-kind.
  17. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    I modify, in some fashion, nearly everything I own. I really enjoy modding my knives.
  18. ToddM


    Oct 2, 1998
    I modify many of my knives, and I certainly enjoy them more. I generally don't do a lot of blade/pivot polishing unless it's pretty rough, but I make ergonomic adjustments to handles, rounding sharp edges, adding scallop type relief to get at thumb studs better. It's amazing how much you can improve the feel of a knife just with a few minutes and some sand paper or needle file (and of course safety glasses and respirator). Many times the changes would be tough to see in a picture unless you knew what to look for. It used to make me nervous, but I've yet to rework one that I didn't like better when I was done, though admittedly a couple have been pulled from the brink of disaster. There are very few knives I keep that I have done nothing to.

    A hogue EX01, I hated the deep sharp index finger relief, so I smoothed it out, I also put a radius on the top of the handle edges that were pretty much 90 degrees.


    A strider SMF CC, got a hard user super cheap and remembered why I got rid of my first SMF, that square hump on the back of the handle digs into my palm during extended cutting, so it went away, had to take a lot off the edge to restore it. It went from one of my least favorite to most after the mods.


    A Wilson Combat ELC elmax that just arrived, this one went from a "well maybe I should dump it" to one I really like now. Did a lot of edge radiusing and added more relief to get at the thumb studs better, it now feels like it melts into my hand.


    Manix 2, what started as a simple carbon scale/jade ghost liner upgrade almost went horribly wrong. I decided to just use the carbon scales not the ghost liners. That required grinding down all the screws and changing the pivot screws to pan head screws because the taper heads would bottom on the pivot with the thinner scales. I also had to put a couple clip screws in the non-clip side and grind the lanyard tube down a bit, in addition to one long clip screw that went through both liners because with the thickness reduced the lanyard tube was no longer holding things tight. I really like it, but I would never mess with the scales on a Spyderco with that press fit lanyard tube again.

  19. dcmartin

    dcmartin Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    Love all of your mods especially this one..... this one had me do a serious double take, What a great idea!
    Nice job...
  20. CJZ


    Dec 18, 2012
    Did you make those 0350 scales yourself?

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