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How to Make a Hunting Knife? (Complete Guide for Beginners)

Are you wondering how to make a hunting knife? Here is an in-depth guide for beginners.

The process of making a hunting knife starts with collecting the materials you need. Once you have all the material, you can start with making a pattern for your knife. 

Next, you have to cut and shape the blade profile. Now you can add the bevel and drill the finishing holes in the blade. Once you have holes, you can file the bevel and then heat treat it. 

After heat treatment, you have to remove scales and shape them. The next and last step is to finish the blade with a wooden handle. Once you have the knife you can sharp and it is ready to be used.

Here is the detailed step by step guide for making a hunting knife:

Step 1: Collect Tools

To start the process of making a hunting knife, you need to have the following tools.

Files: you’ll need an assortment of rough to fine types of files.

Sand Paper: Get a range of waterproof sandpapers in a range of grits from 120-1000.

Clamps: You will need a couple of clamps and a c-clamp to hold the knife as you work on it.

Drill: You can utilize a hand drill as you have to drill holes into the steel.

Dremel: Not fundamental, but they prove to be useful for a lot of the detailed grinding.

Grill: You will need a grill to heat-treat your knife.

Steel: You will need a piece of steel you want to convert into a hunting knife.

Wood: You will need wood for the handle.

Pin Stock: You can purchase this online from knife makers or simply go to the hardware store to get it from there.

Epoxy: You will need epoxy for attaching handles.

Linseed Oil: You can utilize this to complete the wood handle or you can put some polyurethane on it.

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Step 2: Make a Design / Pattern

First, define two equal boundaries on a piece of paper that addresses the width of your blade steel. Design your knife in the middle of these lines. Whenever you are happy with your design stick it onto a piece of 1/4″ ply and cut it out with a saw.

Now you can see how your knife is going to look and feel.

Step 3: Cutting and Shaping the Knife’s Blade Profile

Take the drawing of the side profile of the design and cut it out. Now you can stick it on the steel and draw around the external lines of the design profile on the steel. 

You can either utilize a sharp apparatus to mark into the steel or a marker. Utilizing the hacksaw generally cut out the knife diagram leaving about 5mm of waste around the profile. 

The closer you get to the profile the less material you have to remove with the file. You can use the grind to bit by bit work down the profile until you arrive at the line you marked around. 

This takes a little bit of time yet you need to take care when drawing closer to the profile line.

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Step 4: Drill Holes

With your hand drill or drill press, you need to drill the holes for your pins. Put some additional holes in it on the off chance that you need to skeletonize it. 

Drill some smaller holes first and afterward extend with bigger ones. Utilize some oil to keep down the heating and take as much time as necessary.

Step 5: Adding the Bevel

The bevel is the part of the blade where the profile thins down towards the edge. You can use a marker to mark down the boundary of the bevel and mark the downwards lines for the slope of the bevel. 

To add a bevel, you need to clasp the blade evenly to a table and utilize the file to gradually granulate the edge to add the bevel profile. You need to make the edge of the blade as thin as possible. You mustn’t file beyond the line of bevel.

Step 6: File Bevel

Utilizing a rough file keep on forming your bevel and move to a fine file gradually. Still, leave the edge around 1/32″ thick. 

When your bevel is shaped then utilize waterproof/car sandpaper and start to streamline the file marks on the blade. 

Start with 80 roughness and move up to 120 then 180 then 220. This will help prevent pressure breaks in the blade during the heat treatment.

Step 7: Heat Treat 

You can utilize a little grill and some hardwood charcoal to heat treat your blade. You don’t require a forge to do this. You can fan the fire and get the coals very hot. 

Once the fire is hot you can put the blade directly in the hottest part of the coals. Allow it to get radiant orange. At that point pull it out again and quickly dunk it in some oil to cool it (olive, vegetable, engine, transmission, and so forth). It’s better if the oil is a little bit warm to keep the blade from breaking.

Try not to drop it now as it will break like glass. To remove the brittleness from the blade you need to temper the blade. Simply stick it in the broiler on the middle rack at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. After an hour you can turn off the heat and let it cool in the broiler. You need to repeat the process.

Step 8: Remove Scale 

Your blade will be dark and gross now. Get out your files and sandpaper again and file and clean the blade. It will be harder to file the edge since it has been solidified however this assists you with realizing that the heat treatment worked.

At the point when your blade is all beautiful again fold some cardboard and tape over the blade. This will secure the blade and you.

Step 9: Shape Scales 

Assuming you purchased your scales on the internet, they should as of now be a reasonable thickness. Clip the blade to one of the scales and drill the pinholes. 

If you have a drill press do it on that. That way your holes will be the opposite. You would then be able to get some pin stock through the holes so it gets accurate and fits around your scales. 

Cut them out leaving the line with a saw. Finish any of the edges that will be tight against the blade and will not have the option to be sanded later.

Step 10: Epoxy Scales 

Cut your pins marginally bigger than your handle measurements. Dry fit your scales and ensure it will all go in easily once you have the epoxy mixed. Put the pins in one of the scales and epoxy it. 

Slide the knife onto the pins and afterward epoxy the opposite side and put the other scale on. Put a lot of clips on and let it sit for the time being.

Step 11: Finish Handle 

When your epoxy is set remove the clamps and shape your handle. You’ll initially need to file your pins till they disappear. You can utilize a grate, sandpaper, and a Dremel to do this.

Step 12: Oil the Handle

When it is completely sanded rub some linseed oil on it and let it dry in the sun. Repeat a couple of times. Or on the other hand, you can just polyurethane it.

Step 13: Sharpening the Blade

You need to pull out the sharpening stone and place it on the table. If you have a double-sided sharpening stone, one side will be rougher than the other. 

Place the rougher side facing up and grease up with oil. Hold the knife at a 20-degree point to the stone and scratch along with the stone in a cutting movement. 

Continue to substitute on each side of the blade until the blade starts to build up an edge. This sharpening movement will deliver a pleasant ‘Angular’ shape that will create a decent sharp edge on the knife.

What Size Of Hunting Knife Is Best? 

With regards to deciding the correct size of the blade and handle, there is no specific rule. For the blade, it has to be adequately long to be useful yet not so long that you never utilize most of the blade length. 

A decent practical blade length is around four inches. It’s truly up to your very own inclination and how precisely you expect to utilize the knife. Assuming you’ll utilize it fundamentally for cleaning, you could pull off a blade as short as 3 ½ inches.

Therefore, realizing how you’ll utilize the knife has to be the main thought, as you would then be able to focus your quest for the ideal blade size.

Concerning the handle size, this will be subject to your hand size. As you’ll be working with the handle in your hand you need to have a strong and easy grip. 

A thick handle might not be easy to grip and a thin handle will also not be easy to hold on to. Once you decide the size of your grip you can easily decide the size of handle you need for your hunting knife. The hunting knife is also considered one of the best gifts for deer hunters.

Final Thoughts

The hunting knife is something everybody needs. If you are going to make one for yourself, you have to make sure you follow safety precautions. Tools used in the process of making hunting knives are not easy to handle for everybody. You have to make sure you are wearing safety clothes and you follow the guide of making a hunting knife in a step-by-step process.

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