How to Make a Survival Knife From a Sawblade




Introduction: How to Make a Survival Knife From a Sawblade

This tutorial is how to make a survival/hunting knife using a few basic materials. It cost me nothing since I already had an old sawblade laying around.


Circular Saw Blade
Dremel Tool with attachments
Safety Glasses

Other Optional Supplies:
Fine Sandpaper
Steel Wool
Steel File/s
Wood (for handle)

Step 1: Drawing the Pattern

When drawing the pattern, keep in mind that you should save room for a handle. Besides that the possibilities are almost limitless. I used a black sharpie marker and drew directly on the blade. 

Step 2: Cutting the Blade

This is probably the hardest step. Keep following your pattern and be prepared to go through about 15-20 light cut-off disks (if you use better disks, you will save yourself a lot of time)  If your dremel has variable speed settings, turn it to the highest speed. This step takes a lot of time so take some breaks in between.

Step 3: Sanding

The blade at this point should look pretty crude. If you have a sanding bit attachment for your dremel, it works perfectly. Otherwise use another tool or use rough graded sandpaper and steel wool.

Step 4: Polishing

After the blade is sanded down, it is time to polish it. I prefer using soft grade sandpaper and steel wool instead of power tools. After polishing, apply a thin coat of oil. Motor oil and vegetable oil both work great. The oil will also help prevent rust.

Step 5: Handle

The handle material can be almost any material you want. Wood, plastic, rubber and even string can all make great handles. Mine is made out of a single strand of paracord. If you prefer a more "permanent" handle, take two thin slabs of wood and use two to three rivets to bolt them together.

Step 6: Finished Knife

The finished knife is very satisfactory. It took me two afternoons to make but it was worth it. Its solid and very lightweight. I am thinking about making a sheath to match. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please rate and comment! :)

If you made a knife like this, put a picture below for others to see. 

ShopBot Challenge

Participated in the
ShopBot Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Lighting Challenge

      Lighting Challenge
    • Make It Fly Speed Challenge

      Make It Fly Speed Challenge
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest

    6 Discussions


    6 years ago

    it's very good and simple thank you


    7 years ago on Introduction

    In retrospect, perhaps a circular saw blade is too thin for a survival knife. However, by following the same basic idea, one could make a great survival blade by using thicker metal. Someday I will redo this project with thicker steel.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    keep in mind, circular saw blades are almost 100% mild steel(unhardenable by normal methods)
    only the carbide teeth(on the authors bade) are hard.
    This is a very good material, if you're just learning about knives.
    It'll force you to sharpen a LOT more frequently.
    and practice makes better.
    that's why cubscout and boyscout knives are always going dull.
    It's on purpose ;-)

    IF one of your blade blank lines is straight, I'd suggest going for a score and snap method. Score the line a few MM deep with the dremel, then clamp in a vice just below the score, and bend. You SHOULD get a nice, satisfying 'snap'. If it bends instead, just bend back and forth a few times, like you would a pop tab, on a can of soda. It'll go :-)
    Also, being mild steel, a hacksaw with a nice sharp new blade, will cut nearly as quickly as a dremel, with a mini cutoff blade. more armwork, but less consumables.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the advice! For my next knife I am going to use a slab of 440C stainless steel. I'm glad you took the time to write this it will help me alot!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    You might want to try an old bed frame. They are not stainless but are made from hardened steel. They are cheap to free at garage sales and often in the trash just before trash pickup day. They are also good for a lot of items that call for a harder grade of steel. They also make for cheap angle iron and angle brackets if a dremel or hack saw are available.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea! I will definitely try it. (maybe make a new instructable with it) :-) Thanks!