4" Hunter template thoughts


Well-Known Member
I know knife and handle shape is very subjective but I'd like some input. I have been struggling with handle size and shape mostly and really like Fiddleback Forge esk designs. I'm going to make some 4" hunters and seem to be settling in on handle around 4.5" long. With the shape in these pictures I can comfortably grip the knife in a standard grip, thumb on spine and reverse grip.






I'm thinking about using 3/16 stock and 80crv2 steel. Any input or ideas would be appreciated.
Personally, I think your handle is a tad bit short. When you put scales on it, I think you'll find that your pinky is right on the tip of the butt. Obviously size is subjective but I have found the sweet spot on handle length to be about 4-3/4 to 5 inches. This allows for your whole hand to nestle into the curves of the handle and the butt to stick out of your hand a tiny bit. It also gives larger hands a little room to breathe without feeling cramped. You've got a large mitt yourself. In the bottom photo, imagine that meaty palm with a little more handle to hold onto. Be nice, wouldn't it?

Your handle is nearly there. That last 1/4 inch feels like blowing out a wall in a tight house. Your template doesn't need to get any bigger, or even change. If it were me, I'd find that 1/4" at the ricasso. Just put that blank on the grinder and let that 2" wheel eat forward toward the ricasso ever so much. That little "guard" section before the edge starts doesn't need to be that thick. Your curvature in the handle is more than enough to keep your fingers from sliding forward and getting bit by the edge. All that extra meat before the edge starts isn't necessary, unless you just like it for the look. But there's plenty of room to get that last 1/4" and still have a guard section, It'll be just a slightly narrower one.

By opening up the handle you'll get all the room you need and won't even lose any length on your edge.
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The overall look aside from a smidgeon too short is great man. I have discovered if my hand feels a bit cramped in the handle its gonna still be small with a handle on it. If I feel its too narrow beteen palm and fingers, but long enough there is no cramped feeling it will be about a glove like fit when the scales are on.
In my opinion you have it spot on, and here is why i think that. To me the handle is one of the hard parts of making a functional knife, shape, size, material,all matter and depend on what the knife is being made to do. I think a hunting knife should have a handle that fits well in the hand of the person whom the knife is for. Such as the knife in the pic fits your hand well,you have a big hand so it may not fit me as well. When dressing a deer if you are in the chest cavity the smaller the better its hard to do with a large knife and unnecessary extra length to the knife makes the task more difficult.and also if it doesn't fill your hand well if you hold the knife for a long while your hand fatigues and cramps, and it is also nice if the handle thins out at the recoso end so it is comfortable in the pinch grip, wich i use alot. Every hand is different thus making a perfect handle to fit is difficult imo
I've taken everyone's advice and made some templates today. I am going to make a couple of each and see how it turns out. I also practiced grinding bevels today, getting better every time.




I was having a really difficult time getting my grind and plunge lines consistent with the little Craftsman 2x42 POS. I tried to make a few adjustments and ended up breaking the aluminum frame. .... I need an upgrade.
I'll talk about the steel you are planning to use. While any steel will work, I consider 80 CRV2 better for large knives like choppers. To me it's basically a tougher 5160 like steel. I prefer either 1084 or 1075 for carbon steel hunters.
Thanks for the reply, any particular reason you like 1084 and 1075 better for this application?
I opened up CAD today and made some refinements. Please post your thoughts.

3.25" Simple handle



3.5" Hunter



5" Camp / Bushcraft


Annnnnd here is the technical side of you coming out.
These are some good looking designs Andrew.
I like the first one best.
whats the over all length?
Im hung up on the Loveless hunter design but find the handle a little short, plan on doing a little moding but
too much to do before T day
“I've got a good mind to go out and join a club and beat you over the head with it.”
Groucho Marx
I did some more tinkering, cutting out templates and adjusting. These feel pretty darned good.... Now I'm just waiting for some steal.

I feel like such a Neanderthal with my pencil and rule.
Whats a ruler? I just eye ball mine.
We are the old schoolers while these kids now are using that nee fangled technology and such.
Andrew the fab side of me can see a finished blade and about how it would look with this handle or that one.
Is a great idea and has a lil jealousy going on here.
I'm using old binder cardboard for my templates an pencil or sharpie to mark things out. Low tech lots of work. Lol
Okay, I am going to make these three and fine tune them later. Thanks to everyone for the help.