Picture of Knife Making Without Tools
Here's how to make a hunting knife from a butter knife by rubbing it on wet pavement and wrapping the handle with cord. It looks and feels good in the hand.

This project was inspired by a family I stayed with in Kenya. The only utensil they had was a sharpened butterknife shared by about twenty people.

Select your "blank":
Test your butterknives by bending the blade with your fingers. The farther you can bend it without it staying bent, the better it is.
Instead of a butter knife, you could use a saw blade or any piece of metal.

WARNING: I will be showing a bunch of OPTIONAL steps using tools.
For purist "no-tool" knifemaking, just skip all the steps using tools.
Or just substitute "with a rock" for the name of the tool.
Your knife will be fine.

Step 1: Optional: Drill Holes in Each End of the Handle

Picture of Optional: Drill Holes in Each End of the Handle
These are to tuck the ends of wrapping cord through.
Skip this and the wrapping is the same and 95% as good.
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madbull4 months ago
How long does it takes to sharpen? Cause mine doesn't get heat up

i make small knives so be shure to look at these pics.

this is great! if you heat it in a forge first then temper it again(becuase it will loose its temper in the forge) then Quench it sevral times, you can get a super strong knife it just takes tme. if you wrap the handel in wax string, you get a sweet grip and its hold a edge werry well.

ninja4611 months ago


jokerp6911 months ago
nice i use it like a throwing knife

I made it and I enjoy it.

clewis411 year ago
use nylon #550 cord. put it in boiling water for about 25-30 seconds. it will shrink and tighten if you wrapped to tight to start.

just use a wetstone!

awesome instructible! works great, made a couple variations too. thank you
CHaD4HiM1 year ago
Your my hero!
Mince_1 year ago
hunting knife, prison shank, potato, pottoe
the ringer2 years ago
ok I like the idea but there is no freakin way a sharpened butter knife would serve as a reliable knife
SKATERPRO2 years ago
This looks easy and fun
Lol can't wait to try it!
I made one and it is awesome I also made a duck tape sheath with belt loop it was easy. Thanks
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Nice instructable another step you can add is heat treating it in an oven, it will make the steel much harder
djokimaki2 years ago
OOps, Guess i shoulda looked ahead!
djokimaki2 years ago
OOps, Guess i shoulda looked ahead!
salomon19962 years ago
Very nice! looks like a good project.
viacin3 years ago

STEP 1. Get a Drill Press.

WTF........I feel lied to.
Lol, right
ValScott viacin3 years ago
Umm... optional, I think, was the key word in the intro that you possibly ought to have read. Yeah.
If you are going to advertise the knife making process as being without tools, then you should actually go through the process of making the knife without tools. Saying to skip all of your steps and to use a rock instead of the tools that you are using is lying. Anyone can rub a knife on a rock.
tincanz Gcamper2 years ago
A rock would be a tool in that case.
aeszok2 years ago
"Cement is a good abrasive. It goes pretty quick"

Ha ha, good one, you're funny.
I love this just made one I wrapped my handle with tape.
ynordia3 years ago
my version of this cool knife:
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Ammoking33 years ago
if u dont want to drill hole and raeally make it without tools just get electrical tape it really gives it a leather bound look
Knife, shank.... potayto, potahto...
acoleman34 years ago
honestly...the curve of the butter knife blade "edge" is already ideal for a hunting knife. try skinning anything out with the style of blade you have at the top and you'll end up with a bunch of slices in the hide. all id do is remove material on the back until you have a drop point style blade and thts it for shaping it.
sheet metal makes a disposable, yet sharp knife. all ya need to do is but a 40ish degree bent on the back bone to make it flex less
cbarry-14 years ago
Tanto Blade
To sharpen it you could use the bottom, unglazed, ring on a mug
zaqtaq2584 years ago
I made the blade on a butter knife and I didnt have to cut away anything. It just took a little longer to where away the metal into a point. I just have a few questions about the handle. Where could you get parchute cord? Would there be any at a walmart or sporting goods store? Does any one have any other ways to make a handle?
krdog zaqtaq2584 years ago
For this particular purpose, 1/8th" nylon boot laces work wonderfully. You can by a pair of 72" laces for a coupla bucks at wallyworld giving you 12' of working material. If you deconstuct one you'll find a braided cover around a central core, same as paracord. The difference is essential contruction. True paracord has several cohesive strands forming the core; the bootlace core is more like a clusterf**k, but after deconstruction the separate pices of both can be used for string, thread, etc. enabling you to repair jeans or create fish line for instance.
He meant wal-mart
Well the knife's not sharp yet, so theres no real risk.
A dull knife is often more dangerous than a sharp knife because it is likely to slip when cutting something, thereby giving you a lovely slice and a serious need for stiches.
ya lets play the super glue game
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