• Spring cleaning sale: I've reduced prices on the BladeForums.com Logo Tshirts and PVC patches to move these out of here! We're down to sizes Large & XL on the shirts, but have plenty of every colorway left on the patches. Get them before they are gone! https://www.bladeforums.com/help/bfcmerch/
  • The search engine is not working correctly. We are aware of the problem and are working on a solution. Thank you for your patience.
  • I've implemented new password tools to try and cut down on the number of people getting their profiles compromised by reusing the same passwords that they have used elsewhere. If you are using a password that has been exposed in a data breach and is listed on haveibeenpwned.com you will get a notification to change it the next time you log in. When you choose a new password it will show you the strength; you will need a "Medium" strength or higher password for here, 8 characters or more in length.

    Thanks for your support!

Ideal thickness for chopper blade

Apr 10, 2020
Hello, I would like to make a big chopper knife with a 13.77" long blade. Total length 18.5". Blade height around 2".
Not for batoning. What thickness do you recommend?

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
It really depends on what you will be chopping.
.1875 would be the thickest I would suggest. I would probably do it in .125 myself.


Gold Member
Jun 23, 2007
Another question is what are you chopping?

I've had choppers that ran from .32 at the spine to 3/16 , down to 3mm for machete.

Full thickness, or will it have distal taper?

Lot of varriables.


Gold Member
May 3, 2005
I made one from a piece of 2" x 18" x 3/16" 3V. It has a 13" blade, stall mat / micarta handle.
The grind was full flat for about 70%, then convexed. It is very sharp and can hack through 2x4s etc.



Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Nov 16, 2016
3/16" is the golden thickness for me, which puts it into the golok category. Much more than that and I think you're just adding weight, which can be good but then I would rather have an ax or hawk as I like chopper blades more than axes and hawks for portability so reducing the ease of carry makes me start looking at things designed differently. There is some exception to that as I've had a few knives that are 1/4" up to 0.3" with FFG or full-convex grinds that did a good job removing steel to get the weight down, but the only advantage they have over a thinner blade with some flat areas on the side is a bigger spot for a baton.

The exception to that is kuhkris, which I don't mind thick but I pretty much lump them into the hatchet category when they're thick since they can also be more annoying to carry but add a different type of utility as well.

For 3" branches and wood carving, I would be thinking 3/16" thick, 10-14" blade, if I was doing more of the chopping of limbs, maybe down to 8" if I wanted a little more control over the carving aspects and had an adequately long handle so there was a rear chopping position and a forward carving position.
Jan 1, 2006
With your stated use I wouldn’t go thicker than 3/16” or so. A regular ole machete will handle that quite easily.

some of the competition knives go all the way up to 1/2” thick.