View Full Version : Knife design

07-13-2010, 09:38 AM
how do you design a knife? Im not sure how I want it. just a general use knife.

07-13-2010, 10:03 AM
Sketch the design on paper. When you are happy with it, transfer the design to 1/4" plywood and cut it out. The plywood knife will allow you to get a feel for blade and easily make any changes needed with a sander or file. When it feels and looks right, use the plywood for a pattern. Keep it simple at first. New makers sometimes like putting too much cool factor into their knives and they end up with a knife that is not very functional. Try to keep straight line to a minimum. Good looking knives have a very fluid design and be sure to make the handle long enough. Most handles on a full size knife are going to need to be between 4 1/4" to 4 3/4". When in doubt, grab a rule like you were going to cut a tomato with it and look to see how much of the ruler you cover with your grip.

This post has given me an idea. I may make a tutorial on how I design a knife for the new knife makers. The wheels are turning now.

07-13-2010, 10:20 AM
ok thanks, what bout clip point or... whats the easiest point for a blade.

07-13-2010, 10:27 AM
A usefull tool for keeping good curves when sketching is a set of "French Curves". Next time you're near a Hobby Lobby or Michael's, check them out.

As for the easiest design to start with, I would probably recommend a simple drop point design.

07-13-2010, 11:38 AM
ok thanks

Carey Quinn
07-14-2010, 05:29 PM
That's kind of like asking how to design your own woman. Everyone know what a woman looks like but there would be a lot of variation in design elements. It kind of comes down to what you like, what works best for the job at hand, and your personal preferences.

Make what you like or what you can and as you advance, you will get a better feel for design and function.


07-15-2010, 07:02 PM
I just sketch the knife on a piece of steel and go from there.

James Terrio
07-15-2010, 07:45 PM
Take your favorite knife or knives out of the ones you already have. Use it/them a LOT and take notes on what you like and what you don't. Use up lots of paper or cardboard before you use any steel. Keep it simple.

Carey's message about designing your own woman has a lot of merit. Only you know what will "turn you on" so to speak.

EDIT: the easiest blade to grind is a Wharncliffe/sheepsfoot, in my opinion. Where the edge is straight all the way from ricasso to tip, and the spine curves down to meet the edge/tip. This gives you a pretty fine point for getting into things; in fact you can make it as pointy as you dang-well please by shaping the spine however you want. It's easy to grind because the edge is straight and you don't need to concern yourself with keeping a nice bevel along the "belly" of the blade.

Such a blade is really handy in everyday use like opening packages and whittling and peeling apples and cutting steaks, but not very good for skinning critters or stabbing things.

This type of design is also extremely effective at slashing through clothing and making people bleed, if you want to make a self-defense blade.