Emerson-style Karambit (Updated)


Introduction: Emerson-style Karambit (Updated)

About: As you have perhaps noticed, I have a fascination with weaponry. I particularly enjoy making and using old martial arts weapons, especially the meteor hammer and manriki gusari. My favorite bands are C...


I love Emerson Knives. Sadly, I am too poor to buy any of their blades at the moment. So, until I can afford one, I decided to make a fixed blade version of the Emerson Combat Karambit. It's not pretty, but it is one of the best knives I've ever made. The blade is cut from a high carbon circular saw blade I got at Walmart for 3 bucks. The handle scales are cut from a piece 1/8" steel bar I had lying around. I used some JB Weld to secure the scales and added some nails for pins to reinforce everything. The knife is very heavy; I'm not sure what the exact weight is, but I'd say it's around 7-8 oz. Tools used were:
Angle Grinder
Bench Grinder
Drill Press
Various drill bits

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

The real knife, forward opening.
Reverse opening.
In combat.



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    24 Discussions

    good looking blade, i would like to make one of this design soon. quick question though, i thought modern saw blades were a poor choice for blade stock due to their high alloy content and being very hard to temper properly?

    2 replies

    I don't know, I've always found that sawblades make exellent knives. As I mentioned to techhobbit, feel free to ask questions.

    Good job on the execution. I'm going to try one very similar to this, just slightly smaller. If you don't mind: What is LOA of your design? How did you drill the finger hole? Are you planning on doing a custom Kydex sheath?

    8 replies

    LOA is about 7", same as the orignal. I drilled out the finger hole by using a 4mm bit and going around the inside of the circle scribed in the metal, drilling about 10-15 holes and then punching out the middle. A dremel with a grinding bit and round files cleaned it up. As for the sheath, I'd like to make one, but kydex is a bit on the pricey side. I'll most likely make do with something else.

    black hole, let me ask your opinion... I'm moving forward with my own first DIY knife. I have a Dremel with several small thin cut off wheels, an angle grinder with grinding and cut-off wheels, and will probably get an 8-inch bench grinder and specialized 8" polishing wheels from one of the online knife suppliers.
    I'm interested in a smaller karambit like the pics (hopefully, I can attach here...).
    I have a well used/retired 8" circular saw blade for my blade stock.
    Question: Given a design like these - with the finger hole between the handle and blade, will my stock material be strong enough?
    (I'm really looking at general use and hopefully would not have to cut my way out of an automobile or thru a heavy door. Just general use neck knife, and emergency self defense of course).

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    I would think so, yes. Your saw blade is, what, 1/16" thick? That might not seem like much, but the saw blade would have to be strong enough that it won't snap at several thousand rmp. I don't think the finger hole will weaken it too much. I made a Fred Perrin type La Griffe out of some 1/16" garden edging, and it's plenty strong. Just make sure that there's enough material around the hole. Feel free to comment if you have any questions.


    Ahhh yes, very nice! I saw that (La Griffe) offered on Emerson's site... about $108. Like you said, a little pricey.
    When you're drilling holes, do you use carbide drill bits or will standard jobber bits work?
    I work in electrical/electronics and find a small claw blade very versatile in cutting/stripping wire and cables. I think the hole near the blade would allow me to rotate the knife out of the way for briefly manipulating wires without having to set it down and pick it up again, or trying to hold it precariously, between two fingers.

    Very nice, I think we are around the same age, 14. I am also a knife maker but I use older methods. I think I think I should upload some photos of the knives I have made. Do you forge your steal? Good job.