How to Make a Hunting Knife

How to Make a Hunting Knife

Handmade hunting knives are as good as the best. They provide a reliable tool that can be used when you need it and fit your hand perfectly. A handmade knife allows you to get to know the knife better. It can be made from an old file, the leg bone from your buck, or a Damascus knife blank that you purchased to make your perfect knife.

You can make your hunting knife from a variety of materials, including the blade and handle. There are many ways to make a hunting knives.

This article will discuss some of the options available¬†in terms both of materials and methods. We’ll then take a look at how you can make a hunting knife with a partially tang blade blank.

This is the easiest method as you don’t need to do any forging or tempering. You’ll end up with a solid knife that has a comfortable grip and needs some sharpening before you can take it out into the wild.


Below, we will be describing how to make a hunting knife from a premade blank blade. However, there are many other ways you can make a reliable and sharp knife. They will differ in the materials they are made from and the complexity of the process.

Simpler methods require less tools and are more common, but that shouldn’t be taken as a sign of their quality or performance. You will need to use more tools and techniques for more complex techniques. However, these knives can easily be compared to any hunting knife in your local store.


There are many options when it comes to choosing the right material for your handmade hunting knife’s handle.

  • Wood
  • Bone
  • Antler
  • Hoof (will be needed from the ankle bone down).
  • Stone
  • Gemstones (we have seen beautiful handmade knives made from tiger’s eyes, amethyst and jade handles, just to name a few.
  • Leather
  • Micarta
  • You can wrap the entire tang in rawhide or paracord.

The only thing that limits your creativity is how you choose to make a handle. The type of knife you are making will determine the best materials for your project. If you plan to use a deer hoof, a partial tang blade is required. It will not work with a full tang or throughtang. If you are looking to use gemstones or stone for your handle, it is good to make scales and attach them to a fulltang.

You will need strong epoxy, clamps and pins (typically made from brass) to attach your handle to the knife blade. While pins can be used with both full and partial tangs they are not required. These pins can attach the scales to tang for the handle. You can use pins but you will still need to use epoxy to attach the scales to their tang.

A through tang blade is not recommended unless you are skilled in knife making. The handle’s entire length is covered by a through tang that protrudes from the end. The end of the handle is then screwed into the pommel. The handle is secured to the blade by the epoxy used and the attachment of the pommel.

You will need to make scales for your handle for a full-tang blade. One for each side. You can create more creative designs by stacking different types of wood and stone along the handle. You can also use one piece of material and cut and shape it. Then sand it smooth until it fits perfectly in your hand.

A tight-grained hardwood is better for making scales from wood. You should cut the handle scales slightly larger than what your design requires. Then let them dry for six months to one year. This is done to allow any moisture to escape from the wood’s center. Wood with moisture will shrink and crack around the rivets if it is still moist. Stabilized wood can prevent swelling caused by the knife being wet or exposed to high humidity. Stabilized wood will allow you to start immediately after you have collected all your materials.


Stone tools are some of the most ancient tools known, with the oldest stone knife dated at 1.4 million years. This technique can be used to create a knife from obsidian, flant, chert or other types that also break in the same way. Strategically “hammering” small pieces of stone to make a blade is how the stone is formed. A sharp edge is created when pieces are removed.

You can buy complete stone knapping kits from outdoor and hunting supplies that allow you to make your very own stone knife at-home. A selection of flint stones can also be purchased that can be used in knife-making, arrow heads and gun-flints.

Stone blades can either be used as-is or made into a handle using wood, bone, or antler. Attaching the handle would require an epoxy or natural bonding agent. Rawhide can provide a better grip on a handle made of wood. It can also be used as a guard to conceal the point where the handle and blade meet.


Primitive methods of making a blade out of bone included breaking the bone and then sharpening it. You can also make a beautiful blade from a leg bone taken from a larger animal. You want a bone with a flat side. A leg bone is usually flat on one side and round on the opposite. Use a tablesaw to cut the bone in half along its length so that the flat and round sides are separate.

A belt sander will shape the bone’s flat length. To flatten the bone, you will need to hold it to the sander. Next, you can shape the blade slowly with the sander. Then, you can start to shape the edge of your blade using the sander. Finish the edge with sandpaper.

You can leave the bone unmodified for the handle. However, the sander will make it easier to grip. You can wrap the handle in rawhide or make a wooden or antler handle for a more comfortable grip. Making an antler handle is the same as the one we will show you below.


You can use an old file, saw blade or leaf spring to shape the metal. You can also purchase blade blank billets to shape, such as this Damascus steel billet with ladder pattern by Poshland Knives. It is 10.4 inches in length and 2 inches in width, so you have plenty of material to make a full-tang hunting knife. The knife is also 5.07mm thick (about 1/5″). This will make it a very sturdy and durable knife. Damascus is well-known for its strength, durability, and unique pattern. You will need a few tools for this project, including a hacksaw and jeweler saw (and multiple blades), or even a jigsaw. Also, you will need a circular sander, angle grinder, or at the very least, a selection of good files. To temper and harden the metal you will need to use tongs, a gas or coal forge, and a blow torch. This is only for small blades; you need heat to keep it hot.

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There are many options for blade material. Carbon steel is the best choice because it is more versatile and stronger than stainless steel. However, tempering stainless steel can be difficult. Good standards are between 1/4 and 1/8 inches.

This article does not cover the exact process of shaping metal into a knife blade. However, many resources can help you if this is something you are interested in. You should be prepared to endure a lengthy process, which may test your patience, but will yield a beautiful knife that will last many years.


It doesn’t have to be difficult to make a hunting knives. Pre-made hunting knife blades can be helpful in simplifying the process. These blade blanks are also known as blade blanks. They come in many different sizes and styles and different types of steel. We have previously reviewed a variety of hunting knife blanks in various styles and steel types. When searching for a blank blade for your handmade hunting knife, this is a good place to start.


There is no right or wrong way to determine the size of your handle and blade. The blade should be long enough to be functional, but not too long that you don’t use half of it. Although not very impressive, a good length for a functional blade is around four inches. To comply with your local carry laws, you may need to be a bit shorter to have your knife at all times. You may want to make a longer stroke to comply with local carry laws. You can choose what you prefer and how you plan to use your knife. You can use the knife for skinning if it is shorter than 3 1/2 inches. However, a longer blade will allow you to make more natural movements and have a deeper belly.

Knowing how you will use the knife is a must. This will allow you to narrow your search based on the sizes available in a particular style.

The size of the handle will depend on your hand size. The crown end of the antler will be used for the handle. It is thicker and offers a solid grip. A thicker inner curve will fit your hand better. You will need to consider the shape and size of your antler and its exact dimensions.


You will need some basic tools and supplies to make this knife. If you don’t have these tools in your workshop or garage, they can be purchased at any hardware store.

  • Blank hunting knife blade with partial tang
  • Antler
  • Epoxy
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Depending on your specific project scope, you can choose from coarse, medium or fine sandpaper.
  • Drill
  • Hacksaw
  • Rawhide (optional).

The bulk of the project will be done with a blank blade. To make your blade as sharp and precise as possible, you may need to sharpen the blade. However, most blade blanks come at least semi-sharp.

Handmade knife handles made from antler are possible. You can either work with the crown end to create a unique look or use a thicker inner curve by lightly sanding, oiling, and oiling the antler. This is a great way for you to put your trophy-worthy set of antlers to good use.

The thickest part of the antler that can be used for the handle is the one below the first fork, the crown (where it connects with the deer’s head) and the thickest. The next section to consider is between the first and second forks, as it will generally be thicker.

Mark the area where you will be cutting the antler with a pencil. Then, use your hacksaw to cut along this line. Next, use your drill to hollow out the middle of the antler. It should be hollowed enough to fit the length of your tang, and large enough to allow for epoxy and the width.

When cutting or drilling antler, make sure you have safety goggles and a dust mask. This dust can be very harmful and should not be inhaled.

The epoxy or natural glue should be placed in the hollow of the antler. Next, insert the tang. Allow the knife to dry. This step may take several days to allow the epoxy to dry completely. Your handmade hunting knife will be complete once it is dry. You may need to lightly sand the inner antler piece if you are using it. Next, apply oil or wax to protect it.

Rawhide can be used to finish the knife. It is wrapped around the antler and blade. This will add some securing to the handle and blade but it’s mostly cosmetic. After the rawhide has dried, you can use your custom hunting knife immediately.

When making a hunting knife, there are many things to take into consideration. There are many materials you can choose from, including premade blade blanks and scales as well as reclaimed metal you forge yourself. Each type of material requires different methods and techniques. Even the most basic method of making a hunting knives can be satisfying. You will have a unique knife that you are proud to show off. If they follow our instructions for making a knife using an antler handle, beginning knife makers will have a great start. They will also be able to see what lies ahead if they decide to go with a more difficult method.

You may find it easier to make a full-tang hunting knife with hardwood scales than the one outlined above. Start with a blank knife blade and then focus your creativity and energy on creating the perfect handle for you. Although this project will require you to use a jigsaw to make the blade, it is also more time-consuming. However, once you have mastered the basics, you can start to make the blade by yourself.


No matter what method you choose, a handcrafted hunting knife can be proudly displayed and used for many years. Making a hunting knife can be a valuable skill that will help you increase your self-sufficiency and make it possible to earn some extra money to live in the wilderness.