DIY Heavy Duty Craft Knives/Scalpels/Exactos/Woodworking Knifes/Carving Tools/ETC




Introduction: DIY Heavy Duty Craft Knives/Scalpels/Exactos/Woodworking Knifes/Carving Tools/ETC

I love knives. That's it. 1 simple tool, 2 parts but so many fonctions. I had this idea while I was trying to find a scalpel for leatherworking and didnt succeed. So, as my first instructable, I will show you how to make yourself DIY heavy duty craft knives (or other cuting tool) of any shape you want and for less then a dollar. This way of making knives is called the the "stock removal method". Since we will be using knives to make knives, it's very simple and fast.

As you wll see in the pictures, yes, this is an instructable I made in the futur ;) Micheal J Fox helped a little but Doc Brown was 2 busy picking in the trash!

Step 1: Liste of Tools and Materials


-Marker or pencil
-Sandpaper (last pic I used 400grit)
-Hacksaw or handheld grinder
-Gloves and protective eye gear
-Sharpening system of your choice


-Old butter knives : I found mine at a thrift store for 0.25$ each.  I would advise to take some of the same model and that aren't to thick. Thiker blades will be stronger but can make detailed work on some type of materials like foam or leather difficult.

-Masking Tape

-Plasti Dip/Paracord/Wood (FOR THE HANDLE) : Nice finishing touch, adds grip and prevents that anoying clinking sound.  Can be found in most hardware stores or military surplus.

-Degreaser/WD-40 : To clean the metal if you plan on using Plasti Dip to cover your handle

Step 2: Preparation and Planning

Determine what utility your DIY knives will have and decide what shape to give them.  Once you are decided, use fine grain sandpaper to clean the part of the blade that will not be cut off.  Trace the desired shape using your marker.  To prevent marking the clean blade or scratching it while cutting the excess off,  protect it with masking tape.  You can easily trace the desired shape on it using a pen and can be more precise easily this way.  It also allows you to try a couple of designs if you don't like it at first.  Using a grinder is ALOT faster.  If you are using a hacksaw, consider your cutting position to draw your design on the "better" side of the blade.  I didnt and it was akward.

Step 3: Shaping the Blade

Secure the knife's handle using the c-clamps and cut the blade with your hacksaw or grinder.  If you are using a grinder, be carefull not to let the blade become blue from overheating.  Have a glass of water or a bucket close to cool it down.  File the edges so they are nice and smooth. 

Once the blade has no kinks you can start filing the cutting edge at a 30'angle.  It is recommended that you flip the knife as often as you can so the sharp edge is centered and well balanced along the blade.  Once you are satisfied with the blade, you can use a knife sharpener, a sharpening stone, sandpaper or strops to finish the job.  I use strops, they do a great job IMO and are easy to use.  An instructable has already been made on the subject but I will soon upload my own.

Step 4: Finishing

You can polish the blade if you want.  I diped my handles in yellow Plasti Dip so they dont slip and are easy to find on my work table. You could also drill a hole at the bottom of the handle and wrap it with paracord or make a wooden handle.  Your knives are ready to be used for any cool Instructables project you are working on!

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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Great knives! I wonder about wrapping with paracord then plasti-dipping the handle...

    Nice simple tute, thanks!


    4 years ago

    Your date stamp made me laugh, thought i was the only one who did stuff like that.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Just made one of these far, very impressed. Intended to be a carving/marking knife, so I made it in the kiridashi style, but with a double-bevel blade (in other words, like a big, heave x-acto :D)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Good job. I also resorted to making my own knives using this method. I used a very dull paring knife for the first one (already had a wood handle), so far it's my favourite of the ones I've made.


    7 years ago on Step 3

    That's a really nice idea. I really like how simple you made this project, as most of the knife-making instructables I see require big chunks of metal or are pretty complex and time consuming.
    I do have a question about how long the blades stay sharp. Do they need frequent re-sharpening? Have you tried heating and then quenching to harden the blade after the initial shaping and sharpening?