Ergonomic X-Acto Knife




About: I've built houses, decks, custom cabinets, furniture of all types. Ive done furniture repair and restoration, residential and commercial remodels, restaurant seating and tables and hotel furniture. Ive been ...

Make a sleeve for your X-acto knife quickly and easily. These are super fast projects and use simple scraps. These make excellent gifts for the crafty person you know.

I made a few more of these. The stubby olive-wood X-acto is by far the most comfortable. The way it fits in my hand seems perfect. If you remove the red handle from the X-act you are left with a stubby little blade holder. you could also cut down one of the regular sized X-acto knives for this size blade holder.

Step 1: Grab Some Scraps

I used some curly maple scraps I had in the bin for mine. The X-acto knives I have are around 5-6" in length, so make sure your scraps are long enough. once you have them cut square, mark centers on each end.

Step 2: Rough It Round

Mount the blank between centers on your lathe. Then, using a gouge rough turn it round. Next, remove the drive spur and install the chuck. Now mount the blank in the chuck.
Remove the live center and install the Jacobs chuck in the tail-stock.

Step 3: Drill the Hole for the Knife

Using a 1/2" drill bit and the Tail-stock drill the hole deep enough to accept the knife up to the line on it nearest the blade. Use tape on the bit to mark the stopping point.
Once the hole is drilled, squirt some superglue inside the hole. and using the tail-stock as a press. Press the Xacto barrel into the hole as deep as it will go. If your hole is too deep stop at the line on the knife. DO NOT GO TOO DEEP, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR KNIFE IF YOUR NOT CAREFUL.

Step 4: Finish Turn It

Now remove the chuck and re-install the drive spur and re-mount the piece with the open end toward the tail-stock with the live center.
Finish shape the piece to your liking.

Step 5: Finish Sand

I sanded thru 800 grit and then applied Tung oil. I let the tung oil dry completely and sanded once more with 800 grit.
I then used friction polish to finish the piece.
Finally hand polished with some wax and re-assembled the knife to complete the project.
The wife stole this one, so now I need to make another for myself. Doesn't matter though. These are quick and easy!

Thanks for looking!



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    16 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Those are a beauty! I must find a Lathe somehow and make one. Thanks for sharing!


    4 years ago on Step 5

    Beautiful! I am looking forward to making one for myself for my studio!!! Cheers mate!


    5 years ago

    These would be excellent wand handles. I do encourage you to create some wands

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Step 5

    Super idea! Thank you for the idea. I'm heading for the lathe today!

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, great idea! But I was wondering if it is just as easy to work with? Do you find yourself removing the sleeve to work around tough places or is it more ergonomic?

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    The sleeve is glued in place. I stopped the sleeve at the point where your fingers grip and control the cuts so it does not get in the way at all. It actually fits and feels much better in my hand.

    X-acto....learn something :).
    You should make a set of those handles and sell them for the basic knife set, I bet people will love them. Great job as usual :)

    3 replies

    Thanks Tarun,
    I Think they are a nice little personalization for them. not to mention it makes them more comfortable to grasp. I'm kinda surprised this one didn't get featured. There are no instructables out here like it that i can find. Ah well, you can't win em all. :)

    Oh I bet they are very comfortable, my hands sweat while working on precision cutting and then these knives always slips. I wish I can feature this ible for you.
    And I wish we were not geographically so far, otherwise I would have been your first customer :)