Custom Knives | Other Knives | General Items
New Posts | New PhotosAll Photos

Go Back   The Knife Network Forums : Knife Making Discussions > Custom Knife Discussion Boards > Knife Making Discussions > The Newbies Arena

The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-22-2018, 03:05 PM
etai etai is offline
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 1
Completely new to knife making, have a basic question

Hi all,

I'm becoming interesting in knife making as a hobby. I know absolutely nothing about it and this post is more or less the complete beginning of my journey. The only thing I have done so far is watch videos of others making knives.

My question is about two methods I have noticed that are used to create the blade.

The first and apparently most common that I have seen is that people will begin with a thin rectangular bar of metal, literally draw the shape of a blade on it with a marker, and then cut around it and grind it down with power tools.

The second is people will use a fire to heat some metal and beat on it with a hammer and anvil until it is the shape that they want.

Now I don't mean any disrespect to anyone but the first method is not at all what I was expecting when I started researching this. I suppose with mass fabrication of materials it is an accessible option, but to me it seems cheesy almost. I'm sure it still requires skill but there's something about the idea of cutting the shape of a knife out of a pre-made bar like it's playdough that seems off to me.

Are these the two main ways of forming a blade? Is it true that the first is much more common? Do each of these processes have a name?
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2018, 06:07 PM
epicfail48 epicfail48 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Springfield Mo
Posts: 95
Stock removal is the name for the second method youre badmouthing, and theres nothing 'cheesy' about it. Id invite you to go out and try making a knife by grinding it out, after about 17 you might end up with something usable. It takes just as much skill to make a stock removal blade, just a different sort of it. Forming the blade is a small part of the overall process to begin with, equally important are heat treatment and fit and finish.

Ignoring the skill requirement that people seem to so much enjoy ignoring, theres the simple fact that theres a lot of steels you cant forge. CPM steels, for example, lose all the benefits they have when you bang on them, being the big thing for them is uniform distribution of the component elements and hammers tend to upset the distribution. Most stainless steels are meant to be ground rather than forged as well. Smaller blades for pocket knives and the like, cant say i know of any maker who forges those, and thats not just me. The ABS actually disallows pocket knives from the journeyman and mastersmith testing because they arent forged

If you dont want to disrespect someone, maybe dont compare their craft to "cutting the shape of a knife out of a pre-made bar like it's playdough". Its rather disrespectful.

Signed, an offended stock-removal maker. Ill put this one against a forged blade any day of the week:

Or this one:

But hey, just punched holes in play-dough, right?
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2018, 06:49 PM
Ray Rogers's Avatar
Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
Founding Member / Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
Posts: 9,828

Don't let Epic bug you, you stated very plainly you did not mean to disrespect anyone.

Cutting the blade from a bar is called stock removal. Using the fire and hammer is called forging. Both methods result in creating the basic shape of a blade. With practice, both methods result in shaping a blade very quickly (under 30 minutes). That's the easy part. After that comes the heat treating followed by the fit and finish work. For most makers those steps usually require at least a couple of days and those steps are exactly the same no matter how you decided to create the shape of a blade ....


Your question may already have been answered - try the Search button first!

Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2018, 08:40 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
Posts: 1,345
No Sunday night chat Ray?
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2018, 09:27 PM
damon damon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 409
When setting out to learn something new, you will only hinder your ability to learn it if you start off assuming you know how it SHOULD be done.

Even with forging you will still need some stock removal to clean up. The more techniques you learn the more tools youll have to work with. i dont mean literal tools, but those will come too in time.

Ive done both forging, and stock removal. As has been mentioned there are benefits to both methods, and materials you cant forge with. The hammer has less to do with how good the knife will be as the heat treat.

Welcome to the addiction.

Last edited by damon; 04-22-2018 at 09:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2018, 07:05 AM
Ed Caffrey's Avatar
Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Posts: 4,391
Send a message via AIM to Ed Caffrey Send a message via Yahoo to Ed Caffrey
OK people, let's not get all defensive..... the OP asks valid questions, and rather than trying to slap him down, why not take the opportunity to educate?

To the questions, the two methods are the ones commonly use to produce custom knives....and there are many various levels of each method. Stock removal is by far the most common method....because it can be accomplished in nearly any location, requires fewer tools, and has a shorter learning curve then forging.

With the era of FIF (Forged in Fire) knifemakers, there is a LOT of forged junk floating around out there..... made by people who take neither the time nor input the effort to learn/understand what it takes to produce a quality forged blade. But, on the other side of the coin, it has introduced Knifemaking/Bladesmithing to many who never thought of, or considered knifemaking/bladesmithing..... this in itself could explain the OP's view on methodology.


"Every CHOICE has a CONSEQUENCE, and all your CONSEQUENCES are a result of your CHOICES."
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2018, 09:18 AM
cnccutter's Avatar
cnccutter cnccutter is offline
Steel Addict
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Dorena, Oregon
Posts: 191
First of all, welcome to the forum.

Since you are just starting out, my recommendation is to seek out a knife maker or group in your area and go over and spend an hour or two and see and talk about whatís involved. What you are about to start is a very complex craft. Some people take years to get to a point they can turn out great blades on a consistent basis. Implying they might be cheesy isnít starting out on the right foot.

Donít think there is only one good way to make a blade. I happen to do stock removal. I have a compleat forging set up but hate that part of the process so focus on what I do like. And as stated above, you canít exactly set up a forge on a confined space like an apartment!

Iíd recommend you fill out your profile better and let us know where your located. Youíll be amazed by how many blade smiths are hidden around you. Also people like a name. If you tell us a little about yourself and what kind of shop, tools you have we can better let you know about your options.

Erik Land
Dorena, Oregon
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2018, 02:26 PM
M&J's Avatar
M&J M&J is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 784
The stock removal method is a simple approach into knife making due in part to the space requirements. A wide variety of tools that can be used to perform the task from files to disc grinders and so on. If forging, you'll have to have some room as well as a place that doesn't provoke the irritation of your neighbors that may hear the hammering of steel. Both generate their own noises so one for the other in that respect.

If the challenge of making your own steel draws you, then forging is worth the pursuit. With stock removal, the steel is already ready to go in varying types of offerings (Carbon, stainless) for shaping and when done sent out for heat treating. Then doing the final clean-up and handle work.

Your user name had me thinking; 痛い (itai) - ouch

Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2018, 08:24 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ny
Posts: 1,438

I have to say i was in your point a few years ago i didn't even know what stock removal was i only saw forging videos and that's what i tried first however i realized that even if you forge out a knife you eventually end up in front of the grinder anyway so it seems like in needed work again MY OPINION. a good friend of mine forges all of his knives and we could argue forever as to wich is better and the truth is neither are better they have there positives and negitives most of the guys forging are uising carbon steel i do stock removal so i use all stainless SOME stainless can be forged and some cant but forging carbon is always easier than forging stainless. there are endless positives and negitives that i have learned over the years esspicially that well i know the +and -'s of stock removal as that is what i do but having a friend that forges everything i learn the + and - of forging from him....either way you came to the right place i found a few forums when i first started and hands down this was the best we may not have as many members here but the members here are always willing to take some time to help another i would sugest that you try many things now while your new make a couple knives by stock removal and a few by forging see what YOU like best that's all you can do....check your private messages for a welcome note
Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2018, 08:25 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ny
Posts: 1,438
cant send a private message i guess your too new in a day or 2 that should be unlocked check it ion a couple days
Reply With Quote

anvil, art, beginning, blade, common, cutting, fire, forge, forging, grind, hammer, heat, hobby, interesting, knife, knife making, knives, made, making, materials, metal, post, question, tools, videos

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
im completely new to knife making theo king The Newbies Arena 10 03-15-2012 01:18 PM
Basic sheath making question David Stifle The Sheath/Holster Makers Forum 1 10-10-2009 12:21 PM
Knife making buisness question #1 Les George The Business of Knife Making 28 05-22-2008 01:13 PM
Question: making and keeping a knife point? jonwelder Ed Caffrey's Workshop 2 12-20-2004 12:58 AM
something completely different and a question SVanderkolff The Display Case 5 05-02-2003 11:14 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:06 AM.

Copyright © 2000
? CKK Industries, Inc. ? All Rights Reserved
Powered by ...

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
The Knife Network : All Rights Reserved