The AXe 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 survival ax knife. I intended to make this knife to enter into the metalworking contest. Please vote for me if you enjoy this instructable, thanks! To check out my gut hook hunting knife click HERE

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Step 1: ​The Materials and Tools


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 and the hole was used as an anchor point for a crane to hook up.

Handle - Wood of your choice

Handle pins - nail - brass or soft metal is preferred for the pins but I didn't have any

Metal polish - Brasso


Sharpie and pencil

Metal saw such as a hack saw or metal band saw. To check out my metal band saw table click HERE

Metal file

Sand paper: 60-6000 grit

Belt sander, grinder, dremel



CA glue

Drill press with bits

Step 2: Designing and Cutting

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

- Once you have your final design drawn in with sharpie,you may change your design later by sanding off the sharpie.

- Cut the steel using a metal saw such as a band saw. If your design requires holes in the blade, drill them now.

- I made the small teeth by drawing small triangles with a pencil. I then used my bandsaw to cut the triangles and sanded them down on both sides. This makes them pointy and appear like shark teeth.

Step 3: Shaping and Sharpening

- Place the knife in a vice and grind/Sand the blade to desired shape. I used various tools to shape the blade such as the belt sander, grinder and file. Don't make the blade to thin or the metal will start to fold on itself.

- Sand the blade from 60-6000 grit

Step 4: 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 pin into the metal. When drilling the pin holes into the wood, use a the next drill size up to allow for flaring of the pin.

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

- Glue the wood onto the metal using CA glue.

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

Step 5: Finishing

- Let the glue dry.

- Shape the wood around the metal handle using belt sander and files.

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

- If you made any scratches in the blade while attaching/sanding the handle, fix it now.

- Polish metal with Brasso or similar metal polish

- Enjoy!

Step 6: The Video

Metal Contest

Runner Up in the
Metal Contest

Green Design Contest

Participated in the
Green Design Contest

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    59 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I love this! it's such a simple inexpensive way to build your knives!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    That is exactly what I thought when I saw this knife.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    It reminds me of a Tops Tom Brown Tracker knife (which I love!) Excellent job done here!! :)


    5 years ago

    Very impressive. On my future to do list. Great post


    5 years ago

    I like the way you're using what you have on hand. Incorporating the existing hole was interesting.


    5 years ago

    I will be making this soon :D it's really cool


    3 months ago

    luv it
    yeet, mate


    3 years ago

    You need to heat treat and temper it


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    just saxe, actually. saxe is the scandian word for knife. so saying saxe knife is just saying 'knife knife'


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Hey guys, firstly, does anybody have a schematic/outline of the blade available for printing? I would like to make one of these but I worry about how I would shape it Thanks for reading and great Instuctable

    I love the Sheen of it, Nice job with the sharpining and getting the Polished finish.

    Robotron Cx3

    5 years ago

    You forgot about punching the metal so the bit doesn't skip around


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have some notes that will make this a better knife. I have worked with a professional blacksmith for a while now and learned some things. Firstly higher carbon steel will hold an edge better since it is harder (however it is a little more easily snapped when used for prying), when grinding look for sparkler type sparks (they indicate more carbon). Secondly you should repeatedly dip the knife into a bucket of water while grinding it to shape, the discoloration seen around the blade edge in step 3 and on is because the blade got too hot and lost its temper (hardness). The more metal you take away the easier it is to burn the blade since there is less metal. The smith told me to dunk it first and "admire (see where you need to grind next) it later". Lastly try adding glue to the nails you drive through the handle to increase their hold. Even if glue squeezes out it is easily sanded off when you shape the handle!