Picture of How to Make a Balisong
In this instructable, I will show you how to make a balisong, or butterfly knife.

I am not responsible for any injuries inflicted on you or anyone else by the use of this weapon. By continuing you agree to the following:
1. You will hold me harmless
2. You will follow any state or federal laws regarding this weapon
3. If injured, you will not follow suit

Make at your own risk.
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Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials
First, gather the materials.
All materials can be bought at your local hardware store.

You will need:

<12"x1"x1/8" piece of Aluminium (1x)

Bolts and nuts you want to use, plus four washers for the pivots, I use a total of six bolts for my balisong

A blade (either make one, or salvage one from another knife)

Then get your tools:

Drill Press

Cobalt drill bits (if you plan on using a salvaged blade)

Drill bits



Hack saw

Permanent marker



Some taps for the bolts (optional, though they make your job much easier)

Tool oil (needed for drilling hardened steel without ruining the temper, in other words, use if you are salvaging the blade)

Sand paper (also optional, just helps in the finishing process)


Step 2: Measure

Picture of Measure
Next, you will need to measure out the handles. Place your blade on top of the aluminium so that the tip is on the edge and mark a spot approximately 1 inch (2.54cm) from the tip of the tang.

Then, using the square, draw a line from that mark to the other side of the aluminium.

After that, mark the metal at the halfway point and draw a line down the middle, again, utilizing the square for a perfectly perpendicular line.

Step 3: Cut

Picture of Cut
Vise it. Now get out your hacksaw.

Cut along the line you made first.

Now re-vise it and cut along the other line.

You should now have two pieces that are .5" wide, ~4" tall, and 1/8" deep.

Repeat steps 2-3.

Step 4: Drill

Picture of Drill
Now you need to mark a spot roughly .25" from one end of the piece and .25" from the side, so that you have a perfectly centered mark. This will be the pivot point.

Drill on that mark, making sure your hole fits your bolt loosely, but not so loose that it rattles.

Repeat for all four pieces.
jamaljj2 years ago
WOW, what a great guide. You can also buy a cheap one of you like
carlsands2 years ago
I sapped a sentry after this
nice thanks a lot man good job make some Kriss bladed balisong
josefu06 years ago
rat im in california
Shadowfury (author)  josefu06 years ago
You can still make it if you want to. In fact, you can own a balisong in California, you just can't have it in a public place. You can also transport it from private property to private property if it is in a marked case.
hes right
thanks did you know it a filipino weapon
Shadowfury (author)  josefu06 years ago
Yes. Though the originals were a lot larger than modern ones.
yo guys, i'm from the philippines and i must say, we don't really care about the laws here. so you can bring a knife around, just not to school -.-".
C.D334 years ago
where do you get the metal??? I live in australia!
agray8 C.D333 years ago
In australia these types of knives are prohibited to own i think. look it up on wikipedia under balisong.
Haha, great minds think alike. I was messing arounf in my garage trying to think up a way to make a balisong and I used the exact same process lol.
butter closed.bmpbutter open.bmp
pbman1233 years ago
anyone know if thes are just illegal to carry in texas, i have heard that they are illegal to even own but most knives are permited, as long as not carried on your person. and i just want a straight answer i don't wto much info from the penal code, wich explains things do formally and i'm not sure what it means. thanks to anyone who answeres

i have the same blade where did you get yours
acoleman33 years ago
heres where to get the t latch.
pastrana1994 years ago
you mite be able to get some from a store if there are any if not then maybe a junk yard IDK iv never been there maybe you can order it off line
how do you make it so that the nuts don't fall off the bolts?
get a fishing line or a strong thick string, put it throught the bolt, screw it, cut the remaining and the bolt will stay on.
you could also use a nylock nut, I think that's what it's called, anyway it uses nylon to make sure that the nut doesn't loosen itself, you need a few spanners to put it on though
Shadowfury (author)  pindalanderz5 years ago
The simplest way to do that is to tighten the nuts so that the handle play is ideal, then apply a small amount of super glue to the bolt and nut. The superglue will stop the nut from spinning out of place. Also, I recommend using lubricant on the pivots to make sure that the handles swing freely, and to cut down on unnecessary wear on the handles and pivots. This helps keep the friction on the nuts down as well.
i was assuming it would be something like this but i didn't want to try anything stupid. thanks for the tip.
Shadowfury (author)  pindalanderz5 years ago
No problem.
Pie Ninja4 years ago
Good instructable, but you're better off going with steel or titanium for handles, aluminium isn't strong enough and can break and bend a lot easier than steel.
crayzclown16 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Also illegal in the state of Virginia as well.
GAH!!!! i live in virginia!!! that kinda sucks
lol technically its only illegal if you take it out of ur house and wave it around in peoples faces XD i should know my friends have butterfly knives and their mom is a police officer XD
Nexnaught5 years ago
I have a knife, but I have trouble separating the blade from the handle. How would I be able to MAKE a blade?
Shadowfury (author)  Nexnaught5 years ago
Click here for an instructable on how to make a knife.
Just design the blade after a balisong blade, then before hardening, drill holes for two tang pins and the pivots.
sharlston5 years ago
i made mine like yours but i use the handles from a multi tool and made it fold away
revo1015 years ago
Shadowfury (author)  revo1015 years ago
Excellent idea. Unfortunately, I lost my old multi-tool...
bowmaster6 years ago
Very good guide.
The best one on instructables.
kaiga6 years ago
I liked this because it was very good and i actually can make this as i have those materials. overall a nice job but if you don't mind i would have ground off the original hole where the blade pivoted on the regular pocketknife.
Shadowfury (author)  kaiga6 years ago
I thought about doing that, but then I thought, "I want to go play N." If you want to grind it off, go right ahead, as it will not affect the performance of the knife.
wolfmanthe6 years ago
sir, i believe we have the same knife. was yours a black handled folder from walmart for a dollar?
Shadowfury (author)  wolfmanthe6 years ago
Yep. I used one for this instructable. I made one a while back using a handmade blade, which was hard to make. I didn't have the time or patience to make another, so I went and bought one of those knives. The steel was soft enough, and the bit went easily through it, which saved me a lot of time and effort.