Hand crafted knives vs machine made knives. Big debate, right? Well in this post, we will talk about the complete process of manufacturing of handcrafted knives.
Just like machine made knives, there are several types of handcrafted knives:
Hunting knives are necessary for butchering animals and skinning them while outdoors. Such knives are required to have a high durability and toughness because this factor affects how much the blade can endure. Wear and tear is a common part of hunting knives, which should be considered when ordering one for handcrafting.
Tourist knives are typically used in outdoor gatherings where a minimal amount of knife related work is required, they’re usually required in case of emergencies or performing easy knife related tasks such as cutting cloth.
Survival knives are usually used when there is an imminent threat of predator animals, when you have to perform knife dependent tasks such as cutting small chunks of wood, skinning animals, or cutting rope.
Usually with survival knives, gadgets such as flint and steel are also included.
Kitchen knives are usually used to do kitchen related tasks, such as cutting meat or vegetables; they usually consist of chef knives, or santoku knives. These knives are the least susceptible to damage.
Using the same kind of knife for each task will prove to be quite troublesome, that’s because Knives differ in their properties, and improper use of knives can lead to blade breakage or accidents.
At the same time, manufacturing a single knife that could be used for hunting, kitchen use, or tourist use is impossible, since you cannot make a custom knife that meets all requirements at the same time.
Of course, you can choose a product that meets your goals, but you cannot be sure that it will be of high quality.
The first step is to draw the knife on paper, let your imagination run wild and draw the knife that you desire, when drawing the knife you should consider the blade as it’s the most important part of the knife. After that we will match the closest mold that we have to your taste.
When the design has been finalized, we choose the best materials and steel composition, so your knife retains it’s sharpness and durability over a long period of time.
The compositions for manufacturing of crafted blades are selected very carefully. The choice is greatly influenced by where the knives are planned to be used. The most common compositions for the manufacturing of knives – pieces of steel and iron.
When choosing the composition, it’s essential to consider the following things:
The strength is what makes or breaks a knife so it’s important to choose a composition which results in a durable and tough knife which is able to bear any kind of condition.
Once the knife is delivered to the owner, they will generally clean it with water so it’s important to choose a material which is water/corrosion resistant so it doesn’t develop rust.
The knife should be manufactured using the proper kind of materials and methods so it doesn’t wear out. Damascus steel and high carbon steel are excellent wear resistance materials.
When it comes to choosing materials for the handle, the most commons ones are plastic, wood , or leather and those materials also have different grade qualities. The handle is usually made according to the tastes of the customer
The method of hardening the metal parts for creation of the crafted blade is also chosen. This allows you to adjust the parameters of the elasticity of the craft knife, its plasticity and hardness.
There are different methods of custom knife crafting, we will choose the best one because different knives require different methods of crafting. Furthermore, when it comes to making them in batches ,experienced artisans will avoid the mistakes that often occur when the crafted knife is made in large quantities.
The next most important step for making knives is the selection of tools. If the craft knife is done independently, then some of the equipment will have to be bought. For the manufacturing of knives, hammers, anvil, sandpaper, and several other tools are useful.
It is also possible to use a simple kit, which is available to almost any amateur, but the craftsman must be prepared that the product will turn out to be more fragile and prone to wear and tear.
Remember! A file blade can be a base for future handmade knives. In addition to the listed tools, you will also need to take a hammer. Forging gives the knife additional strength and resistance to various damages.
The easiest handling takes place with knives with simple shapes. Therefore, many beginners give up making crafted knives with fancy elements.
Once the entire set of tools for manufacturing the crafted blade is ready, you can start working.
The knife crafting process requires a lot of delicate steps, and a slight mistake in any one of them could result in an imperfect knife, which is why it’s always worth it to hire a professional artisan who’s been doing this for years.
The first step involves execution of your drawings or photographs of any one of your favorite blades because when it comes to manufacturing them, the basis are always the drawings and images so nothing has been left out
The second step is preparing all the raw materials needed for crafting your knife and then transferring the template to a piece of steel.
When your drawing is transferred to a metal sheet, the pruning takes place, we carefully trim the knife with a grinder so the knife shape is achieved accurately.
The workpiece is then ground along the contours. With the help of a grinder, everything unnecessary is removed, and the contour is processed by using a special apparatus. After that, bends and shape are given to the knife with the help of a drill.
The final step in crafting is beveling. This is a necessary element of the job, as beveling is essential to get the correct sharpening angle of the blade. The workpiece is marked with a caliper and the knife is divided into two halves. The line is drawn with a drill, which is equal in size to the thickness of the blade.
The end of the bevel of the blade is then marked with a file and the excess layer is removed with a grinder, on which a sanding pad is installed.
When the shape of the knife has been achieved, we proceed to sharpening the bevel, the bevel is first cleaned with a file and the knife is sanded with emery which is a stone that’s used in polishing and honing knives.
For further beveling, a special drill is used to not damage the knife and accurately achieving the result.
For making the handle, holes are first made to the part where you usually grab the knife, after that two blanks are made which are pulled together with clamps and then hammered down with pins to attach to the knife.
The handles are then polished and grinded to match the shape of the knife.
At the end of the work on, final processing takes place. It includes polishing using a drill. A special polishing pad must be installed on the machine. It is necessary to grind until the knife starts to shine. The same process is then repeated for the outline. And hard-to-reach places are polished with a special fine-grained sandpaper. In addition, grinding difficult areas can also be done with a drill.
The finished product is sharpened using special procedures. This stage is very important, since further comfort in using knives depends on the correctness of its implementation. The roughing stage is completed, and the final work is done with a sharpening device or sandpaper. The blade is coated with a protective anti-corrosion agent.
The part of the cutting knives is sharpened using special stones of equal grain size. It is very important to pay attention in the process to the correct angle, it decides how much the knife will be functional in the end. For difficult conditions, an angle of at least 30 degrees is needed, for medium – from 16 to 20. For fine work, an angle of 15-20 degrees is suitable. Initially, stones with large grains are taken, gradually a transition to smaller ones is made.
The process of manufacturing custom knives is quite tedious and troublesome but completely worth it because the final product is a remarkable piece of craft knife that’s sharp and luxurious.