Thursday, 23 August 2012


Earlier this year I decided to try my hand at knife making and decided on a Kiridashi as my first project. "What's a Kiridashi" I hear you ask, well it's a Japanese style of knife, made from one piece of metal (so the handle and the blade are made from the same piece of steel), usually without any additional handle material (although you quite often see them with a simple cord wrap), and with a chisel ground edge. They're used as woodworking knives by Japanese carpenters and woodcarvers, sometimes designed as a utility knife, something like the British tradesman's "Stanley" knife, and sometimes designed with a very specific purpose in mind. Mine was designed purely around the material that I had in the workshop at the time. I made it from one half of an old pair of garden shears that had been rusting away in the shed for years and were in desperate need a new lease of life. This knife was made using only hand tools and hardened and tempered in a home made charcoal forge with an engine oil quench.

I'm pretty pleased with how it's turned out, although I've never done any knife making before this I do have quite a bit of experience of working with hand tools and working with metals and I think the skills and techniques that I've picked up over the years really shone through here. I made mistakes, and there's bits and bobs wrong with the finished items but it's all a learning experience and hopefully I can take forward what I've learned and do an even better job next time.

Kiridashi resting on a fox skull
Making this little knife was a really fun and satisfying project, and remarkably straight forward to do. I think I'll be trying my hand at some more knife making in the future, maybe something a little more involved next time.

p.s. sorry about the poor quality of the photo, I'll try and update it as soon as I get a better one

Bye for now,


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