Introduction: The 10 Cent Mini-Survival Knife...v.2.x.....

Picture of The 10 Cent Mini-Survival Knife...v.2.x.....

If any of you are not familiar with M4040, you should check out his site....he's a survival expert and a master bladesmith...

This instructible is based on his 10 cent survival knife design....with a little pinache thrown in for good looks and function...

Step 1: Materials and Tools...

Picture of Materials and Tools...

First, pick up some hacksaw blades at the local hardware store, and a chunk of hardwood from the scrap pile or at the lumber store....

You're gonna at least need a bench grinder or belt sander, and a rotary tool for fine work, if you want to make this job relatively easy....a few fine grit sandpapers will help hone your edges, too.....I like my blades to mow hair...

I used my trusty old grinder that I rigged up from an industrial vent motor when I was about knee-high (yeah, it's still my favorite, and I can't seem to break it), and my new Dremel Stylus, which kicks a**, a couple of cutting wheels, and various attachments.

I also recommend Loctite Super Glue and Loctite 5min 2-part epoxy for just about all multi-material adhesion, simply because it works, is sandable, toolable, and I happen to always have some on hand.

Step 2: Roughing It In...

Picture of Roughing It In...

I used a Stanley 24TPI hacksaw blade, which I snipped at 5 1/2" from the end to create my blank. I roughed the point w/the grinder and then chose a nice piece of golden oak from my scrap pile for the handle stock.

Step 3: Mocking Up....

Picture of Mocking Up....

Next, I cut my handle blank down to 3 1/2" and slotted it length-wise, from end-to-end with the table saw in order to accommodate the blade, which sits flush into the slot.

Step 4: Handle Layout...

Picture of Handle Layout...

Now I used one of my cutoff wheels to lay out the handle for finger contours....Like Grandpa always said..."Eyeballin's for rookies....the pros always have a map."

Step 5: Intermediate Shaping and Layout....

Picture of Intermediate Shaping and Layout....

So I took the blade and the handle to the grinder and roughed-in the basic pattern that I wanted for my pieces. You'll also notice that I marked the blade at the point where I want it to sit in the handle, then held the blade outside of the handle and, using the line as a reference, was able to mark where I wanted to drill my stud hole in the handle later.

After drilling my stud hole, I grabbed a .22 shell, removed the slug and powder, used a torch to fire the primer, and proceeded to re-drill the hole with incrementally larger bits until my empty .22 casing fit very snugly through the assembly. Once I had a nice, tight fit, I removed the casing, applied some epoxy to the interior and rim of the hole in the handle, and reinserted the shell. Notice the opposite side has a bunch of extra shell....

Step 6: Setting the Hinge....

Picture of Setting the Hinge....

I waited about ten minutes for my epoxy to cure well, then I ground off all but about 1/8" of the extra brass.

Now you need a flaring tool....I used an old quick-chuck that no longer holds bits, and ground the end of it to a slight taper. Then I laid the assembly down on a hard surface, making sure that the opposite side of my brass had good backing, so that I wouldn't pop it out, and tapped my flaring tool into the shell until it shouldered well and tight against the hole in the handle.

Next I filled the shell with epoxy, making sure to get it in the shell, not just on top and around it. Make sure you use a little too'll sand off later, and it's better than not enough. Put it aside and take a little break.

Step 7: Cleaning It Up...

Picture of Cleaning It Up...

Now I flat-sanded both sides of the handle w/the sanding wheel on my grinder - removing the excess epoxy from earlier....nice and smooth

After all was said-and-done, I polished the blade a bit, and gave the whole handle a good soak in some Minwax golden oak stain. Then I used some tool wax on the blade to preserve its surface from oxidation.

As you can see here, my knife measures out at exactly 6" long, the handle is 3/8" thick, and the profile is about 5/8" at its widest point. All-in-all, a fun build, and a useful blade......also pictured is another one I made, with a fixed blade, serrated back, and a lanyard...

Step 8: Helloo, Surprise....

Picture of Helloo, Surprise....

But wait....there's more.....this blade ain't no ordinary, no, no.......
I thought it'd be a shame to waste all that good cutting length of a hacksaw blade, so I added a little something extra to this that you might not have caught..

Yep...that's right...a full 4 1/2" of hacksaw teeth when opened 180 degrees, and it's still pretty.

Step 9: An Addicting Hobby....

Picture of An Addicting Hobby....

Since discovering M4040's 10 cent knife design, I've tinkered with it on and off for a few months, and seem to come up with a new variant every now and then...

I hope this, my third "instructible" inspires some more great ideas for this project....

As always, I must plug my website, , and ask anyone who's interested to come check it's free and friendly, so don't be shy....

Thanks again, 'Saw.


Qwertyfish (author)2014-11-02

Isn't it quite flexible?

hanelyp (author)2011-10-16

Hack saws are intended to cut metal, not wood.

Brantley Tinnin (author)hanelyp2014-05-16

actually as someone who has used a hacksaw extensively I can tell you they are actually used for wood, metal, or masonry. there are separate blades made for each application mentioned

doo da do (author)hanelyp2012-01-25

If you are camping and in a fix,would work better than nothing, they do cut most anything. Happy camping!!

crwydryny (author)2013-06-22

I used to make these when I was in school all the time I actually think I still have one in my survival kit.

I actually ground each one out using an old wetstone rather than a grinder and my handles were simply made of cardboard and tape (or some times just tape) but they did the job eventhough I used to make them mostly for fun they were quite handy at times when I didn't have my pocket knife or camping/hunting knife

Jarheadicus (author)2013-03-11

I would grind off the serrated edge where the handle is...

spylock (author)2013-02-25

Ive made a couple out of old miter saws,theyre more rigid,and hold an edge pretty darn good.The only problem is being able to keep it after youve made it,as your friends will love em.

Lotsa Bad Luck (author)2012-08-01

I tried to make a hacksaw blade knife but it wouldn't hold an edge. My Dad told me it's because of what metal is used and how it's made.

It's more of a grind but if you sharpen the saw edge that is induction hardened where the rest is just soft steel it will hold an edge better. Alternately heat red hot and quench. Clean a spot off the blade to bare bright steel. Then heat to about 325 in an oven and watch until that spot turns straw coloured. Turn oven off and allow to cool slowly. The steel is now hardened and tempered so it isn't brittle.

n0ukf (author)2012-01-29

Why are you removing the slug and powder from a live shell? It would be much safer to get a spent shell from someone. I'm sure they'd give you a few (or as many as you want for free since they can't be reloaded.

Even with the bullet and powder removed, the primer is still live. Be careful!

HTWTUSA (author)n0ukf2012-01-30 might wanna sit down for this...

...I'm a firearms expert. As such, I can assuredly say this: Removing a .22 slug, powder, and firing the primer with applied heat is so easy and safe, a 6 year old caveman can do fact, it's a helluva lot safer than running out the door at 10PM to fire off a shot, just to recover a spent brass....xD

P.S. You should read the entire article before commenting...I'm just sayin' :-)

northcalgreens (author)2012-01-25

That knife looks awesome, i imagine people could use any blades to make these sawzall blades come in all sorts of shapes an sizes if someone needs a different blade edge or a thickier blade. I have hacksaw blades wrapped with tape,all over. They really come in handy for little jobs and dont take up much room in the tool box. A person might magnetize one of those blades to use as a compas or to make a compass. Good ible!

infob (author)2012-01-14

It is a good blade to do a peasant knife ""

Mr.1911 (author)2011-12-13

This is instructables at it's finest!!!! Five stars by the way.

happybanana (author)2011-10-17

thank you very very much for your comment and your tip helped me to create this phsycic powers tell me that you are from canada?

zglynn (author)2011-09-02

nice knife really want to make it

happybanana (author)2011-08-01

could anyone tell me where to get cheap hacksaw blades in the uk because theyre £5 for a pack of two blades in B&Q and i don't have that kinda money

ninja of suburbia (author)2011-07-23

As a journeyman blacksmith and bladesmith I applaud you. This is very simple and easy to follow. Might I suggest you add some sort of wraparound plate on the back of the hilt so that the sawblade doesn't attack your hand?

tulekah (author)2010-12-31

i'm thinking skip the handle, just edge with half inch scotch tape and wrap with two layers of para-cord. stash them every where and you have a blade and saw you can hilt with cord or mount on a stick. a saw on an 8 foot pole has saved the day twice in my life.

HTWTUSA (author)tulekah2011-05-28

Common sense, at last! matter how 'flimsy' they may seem...a sharp edge on a long pole is a hunting implement, a weapon, a fishing gig, a name it...and you can pack scores of these little, disposable edges EVERYWHERE!

thelastonekills (author)HTWTUSA2011-06-24

great advice 2 have them every where,
just dont let people who have a grudge near ur house :P.
i have been doing some stuff with hardening steel and was wondering if you know any good way of checking a blades strength with out having to break it?

ps. 5/5

mikesnyd (author)thelastonekills2011-07-22

As far as i know there is no test for metal other then when the whole batch has been melted and poured. The test piece is broken to determine the strength for the rest of the batch.

HTWTUSA (author)thelastonekills2011-06-25

Honestly, I have no idea...I'd suggest just searching for the info among knife-maker boards or google searching for the info...I'm not really a metal-worker, just a bit of a tinkerer, really....good luck, though!

hossweightlifter (author)2011-07-09

Very nice 'ible but the only thing is when you are holding it cutting with the flat edge wouldn't it hurt it it slipped because of the saw part?

HTWTUSA (author)hossweightlifter2011-07-14

True, these hobby-style concepts are more form than function, but the real focus should be on the base concept itself. The original, no-frills, fixed design is the truly functional one, and it's functionality is limited only by the imagination...xD

Joenavy85 (author)2010-05-05

you use the paracord for the handle, use more than required. you can then take it off cut a short section and remove the center cords and use them to lash it to a stick to make a spear

LCsDad (author)Joenavy852010-06-30

+1 on the ParaCord. That blade needs a mean-looking handle. Almost a shame to cover the knife up though. Looks nice 'bare'.

eranox (author)LCsDad2011-07-14

Agreed, that's a pretty sweet idea. I had thought of wrapping the handle section with duct tape, which would make for a cheap but servicable handle. You could hide some needles, fishing hooks, and fishing line or snare wire under the duct tape (or paracord), and you'd have a great start at a survival kit. I think I may make an instructable for that, assuming there isn't one already.

gary.918 (author)2011-06-25

very nice. i like that you left the saw teeth the folding part is the best. keep up the good work. use okies have to stick together.

robbtoberfest, you can make a serviceable knife blade out of just about any saw blade or flat spring.

iac (author)2011-06-16

One hacksaw blade, 2-3 knives.

HTWTUSA (author)iac2011-06-21

Totally...I took M4040's advice and built about 4 dozen of his originals (title pic) and they're all throughout my bug-out disposable knife concept I've come across so far.

Remember: The "hobby knives" I've shown you here are just that: form before function, and fun to make. The original design as shown in the title pic is, IMHO, the ultimate disposable survival knife, and all the credit goes to M4040 for literally inventing the concept.

techno guy (author)2011-06-17

Im not really a metal you know where i can buy a knife?

HTWTUSA (author)techno guy2011-06-21

Umm...really? If you're just looking for a decent pocket knife, check out your local Home Depot...if you're looking for something a bit more high-end, check out ...this particular one is modeled after M4040's concept, and you might even check him out if you want a badass custom job...his blades are pure genius...period.

Vulcanator (author)2010-12-08

When grinding the initial shape, be careful not to "burn" the steel, as you have clearly done. when grinding, a substantial amount of heat is produced and can cause the steel to lose its tempering, and the metal becomes softer, not suitable to hold an edge. taking it slow, and keeping a cup of water next to the grinder (to dip the blade in) helps. i was taught this by a man who makes knive professionally, and i have been making knives from hardened steel for years.

HTWTUSA (author)Vulcanator2010-12-15

Ummm...didn't burn the steel, there, Slick...I burned the paint on the steel, and these cheap hacksaw blades aren't tempered anyway...

Blaaken (author)HTWTUSA2011-06-16

Actually, if you do burn it, and you stick dunk it in the water, it's the perfect opportunity to harden the steal to hold the edge. Just don't constantly dunk it, otherwise you ruin the blade.

Kman77 (author)2010-12-06

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this blade set up in such a way that when applying pressure to the knife blade it will be forcing the blade to open pushing the hacksaw side into your hand, and when you apply pressure to the hacksaw blade when it is open it will try and close itself? Other than this I love the idea, it looks great!

HTWTUSA (author)Kman772010-12-15

Actually, you've got it backwards...but good question, anyway...and something to pay attention to when designing any simple folder.

Kman77 (author)HTWTUSA2010-12-15

In your first picture here is it folded to be used as a hacksaw and in the third photo is it in knife mode? If so then disregard my previous comment.

HTWTUSA (author)Kman772010-12-18

Aah..I understand your observation now...yes, you had it right the first time, the thumb is placed on the back side of the blade in both positions to maintain position. It's actually quite comfortable, but I wouldn't want to use this particular model for any extended period of time...

It was a neat concept, though...and a cool trinket to send to a survivalist buddy.

Blaaken (author)HTWTUSA2011-06-16

Couldn't you just basically flip how you made it so that when you're sawing the blade doesn't try to close and so when your cutting it doesn't try to close either? Just an idea, but i think that would fix the whole issue lol

slavik1 (author)2011-01-08

really liked this and made my own knife using your idea. only thing different is that the handle doesnt rotate.

HTWTUSA (author)slavik12011-05-28

very cool...xD

Paracord Ninja (author)2011-02-09

The knife looks very cool but I dont think you should something stronger like 1/16 inch thick piece. I think the hacksaw blade is too flimsy

HTWTUSA (author)Paracord Ninja2011-05-28

Umm...."10 cent"....right?.....get it?........

rowantor (author)2011-02-09

I like when people get psyched about knife making, and this instructable is going to get allot of people thinking, which is awesome. But...
There's allot of incorrect terminology being thrown around about the states of hardness of the blade steel here. Wayne Goddards $50 knife shop, is a great book, and there are tons of free on line resources for all kinds of knife making info.
Fist off, hack saw blades are generally fairly "hard." Good ones are going to be brittle because they're hard. If you grind you're hack saw blade, and get it hot enough to burn the paint off, or change it's color, or get it red hot, than you've killed it's edge holding ability.
My suggestion is to keep it simple, and do as Vulcanator says, and just keep a bucket of water next to your grinding wheel or belt sander. Just grind a little, and than cool it off and repeat until you've got your profile, and edge. Using a fairly course, and new wheel/belt will help keep the heat down.
Good luck!

rashidmaroof (author)2011-01-26

great design, great concept, thanks a bunch for the idea

SNACKS (author)2010-12-29

What a fun little knife idea I think I've got to make a few for my self.....

Blacksmith Spader (author)2010-12-26

you may want to take a file to the back of the handle on that... otherwise I wouldn't want to be the poor sucker to try it without a heavy duty glove

used it bare-handed several times before gifting it away...sharpened area's not all the way along the length of the extended blade...gimme some credit, guys...xD

About This Instructable




Bio: Carpenter, handyman, husband, dad, buddy...
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