nail nicks with a fly cutter


Active Member
I am thinking about changing the method I have been using for making nail nicks. The most professional ones that I see are made with a fly cutter. I have a small milling machine from Harbor freight but I do not know anything about fly cutters or how to use them to cut the nail nicks. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Ernie Swanson

I know some people set the blade up in the mill in a vertical position (as you would be cutting the table) and turn the mill by hand using a flycutter.

rick c

I have seen the nicks made with a drill press using a stone chucked and blade in a drill press vise.The stone is shaped with a angle and you hand feed the blade into the stone.It can be done with out a mill.
Good luck Rick


Active Member
I appreciate the info. Can anyone tell me which fly cutters to use and where on the web to get them.
Thanks a lot,


Well-Known Member
I just bought whatever was cheapest on ebay. I had to grind the cutter bit to shape anyway.


Johnny Roberts

Well-Known Member
I cut mine with a 60 degree 1 3/8 Dovetail cutter but I like the way the fly cutter looks as well.

Lots of ways to skin this cat. I know some that grind with a stone after heat treating. I set up my swedges and nicks before HT. Couple of pics of my folders at the link below if you want to see what the dovetail looks like.


Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
I had trouble with the fly cutter method with the tool chipping and and chattering so went to the stone method. I like the stone method best and do the nick after heat treating and regrinding is finished. It does build heat so go slow and touch up the stone with a diamond on the last few minutes for a nice finish. I use the surface grinder but the mill would do the same thing fine, maybe easier to see where the nick is placed too. I had to buy a 6" stone and grind it down to about a 5" and establish about a 60 degree knife edge on it. Be sure to get a very coarse one to avoid heat.