Gut Hook Hunting Knife




About: I live in New England and currently have two degrees, one in Electronic Engineering and the other in Electrical Technology. I love building and tinkering whether its with wood, metal or electronics its all g...

This is a short instructable showing you the steps to make a gut hook knife.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

The Materials

Blade - Steel 3/16" - I've seen people use lawn mower blades or you can purchase the steel off eBay and temper it yourself. The steel came off an 5000lb piece of switchgear that I acquired from a jobsite.

Finish Nail


Metal Bandsaw
wood Glue
Sand paper 80-6000 grit
Drill and bits

Step 2: Design

Choose a design and start by drawing onto the steel with a sharpie.

Step 3: Cutting and Shaping

- Once you have your final design drawn, cut the steel using a metal saw such as a bandsaw.

- Grind a slit for the gut hook. If your design requires holes in the blade, drill them now.

Step 4: Grinding and Sanding the Blade

- Place the knife in a vice and grind the blade to desired shape. Don't make the blade to thin or the metal will start to fold on itself.

- Sand the blade from 80-6000 grit

Step 5: The Handle

- Trace the handle using a pencil on the desired wood.

- Cut the wood a little bigger than the metal handle so you can sand it flush later.

- Once cut, drill holes the size of the finish nail into the wood and metal.

- Cut the finish nail 1/8" bigger than the wood and metal put together.

- Glue the wood onto the metal.

- Hammer the Nail on an anvil or hard surface. Be careful not to crack handle! This makes the nail flare on both sides to fasten the handles to the metal.

Step 6: Sharpening and Finshing

- Let the glue dry

- Shape the wood around the metal handle.

- Once sanded, clean the wood and finish it with stain or preferred finish.

- Enjoy!

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17 Discussions

Ryan DepaceStoveman

Reply 3 years ago

The hole was already in the piece of steel. The hole was used to hook a crane onto for hoisting. The metal came off a piece of switch gear


4 years ago on Introduction

if you made a saw on one end and still have the blade and hook that would be more convenient.


5 years ago

What about hardening metal?


5 years ago

What kind of steel did you use? And where did you get it?

1 reply
Ryan DepaceFuddmaster

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Blade - Steel 3/16" - I've seen people use lawn mower blades or you can purchase the steel off eBay and temper it yourself. The steel came off an 5000lb piece of switchgear that I acquired from a jobsite.


5 years ago

Very nice. Did you drill the round holes or cut them out with the bandsaw?

1 reply

Hey, for the handle holes I used my drill press with a normal spiral bit that was same size as the finish nail used. The bigger hole in the blade was drilled using an 1-1/8" carbide cutter than can be purchased at Home Depot or your local electrical supply house.



I've never cut metal with a band saw before, only wood. I'd love to give this a go. Any tips?

Nicely done, I like the ergonomics you worked in, as well as the choice of wood for the handle.

1 reply

Hey kakashibatosi,

The saw that I used to cut the steel is a Milwaukee Portable bandsaw. I made a jig for it using strut to hold it upright, just like a bandsaw. You can see the picture under the "The materials" step. I wouldn't recommend using a wood bandsaw with a metal blade unless it is listed for that use. The saw speed may be too fast. I would say the hardest part was the handle. Hammering in the finish nails "the pins" was a bit of a task. I like to use whatever I have around the garage, but would have preferred using a softer metal such as brass. I ended up cracking one side of the handle because I didn't drill the pin hole straight. I had to redo the handle again. Make sure you drill using a jig or drill press to get a straight hole. When you are making the handle use a fairly thick piece of wood. Cut out the shape that you traced from the metal and then cut the wood in half. This is so you have two pieces that are symmetrical. Make sure to cut the wood wider than the handle so you can shape it flush to the metal. Good luck and have fun! Let me know if you have anymore questions. I'd like to see the finished product if you end up making one.

Best regards,

- Ryan