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How to make a Push Knife

A push knife is an interesting little knife. It is held in a way that no other knife is held -kind of like a corkscrew is held.

Being a bit of a peculiar shape it does pose some challenges to the blacksmith. I will show you these and how we handle them.

THE TEMPLATE for the project is right here to download and print

There is a video for this tutorial at the bottom of the page.

Will has a youtube channel with over 700 videos on projects you can make. Check it out right here



Let's look at the materials used for this project:

  • One piece of O1 steel ( this is a link to the piece I bought: O1 Tool Steel Sheet, Precision Ground, Annealed, 5/32" Thickness, 3 1/2" Width, 18" Length )
  • 1 piece of hardwood for the handle ( the piece I bought:Black Palm 2" x 2" x 12" )
  • 1/4 inch drill bit
  • Hacksaw
  • Wood Rasp for shaping the handle
  • Various Mill Files
  • Various saws and cutting tools
  • The template (mine is here)
  • Some kind of way to heat the steel to red hot (forge, home made forge, bernz-o-matic torch)
  • Some additional tools I used: 4 inch belt sander, 1 inch belt sander, rat tail file
  • 1/4 inch wooden dowels
  • 1/4 inch brass rod
  • Lots of emory paper, ranging from approximately 100 grit to at least 600 grit. I went 100, 220, 320, 400, 600. 1200. 1500

Draw the knife shape

As always with a knife you should start with a drawing, (or a template).

I did several drawings to get the shape that I was looking for, and if you don't want to do the drawing, I have a template for you right here. And with a template like this you can always adjust things to your liking.

My template is here, print up a few copies. You are probably going to need them.

Cut out the shape

Cut out your template. It might be a little bit different than shown in this picture. I made quite a few different styles and sizes before finalizing mine.

Glue template to steel

Glue the template to your piece of steel.

One particular dimension for this steel is the width. This is not your normal knife. For this pattern you need steel at least 3 1/2 inches wide.

Here is the exact one that I bought on O1 Tool Steel Sheet, Precision Ground, Annealed, 5/32" Thickness, 3 1/2" Width, 18" Length

Cut profile with a hacksaw

Next use a variety of tools to cut that knife shape out. Leave a littel bit of room around the whole edge of it.

You can do most of this with a hacksaw.

This is a difficult inner curve

In this picture you can see most of it has been cut with a hacksaw. But there are those tight sections (red dotted) that are impossible to get at with just a hacksaw. You could use a jewelers saw in that are, or improvise with other cutting tools.

Drill out the inner curve

What I did is drill a series of holes in that area. Now you can get in there. It makes things so much easier.

cut the inside away

Cut away those sides with a hacksaw.

snap off the excess

If your holes are close enough you can break this part right off. If not, you could add some more, smaller, drill holes or do a little filing. The point is to get the piece out.

Apply a new template if needed

At this point my paper template was a mess. And we want it nice and fresh so we can finish the shape of this knife. Clean off the fragments of old template with mineral spirits and glue down a fresh new template. This is why we printed up several templates :)

NextLet's continue with this tutorial or watch the video tutorial below

Basic Knife Making: From Raw Steel to a Finished Stub Tang Knife

Ernst G. Siebeneicher-Hellwig has written several books about knifemaking.Jürgen Rosinski is a blacksmith and former vocational schoolteacher. He teaches knifemaking to both beginning and advanced students.

The Wonder of Knifemaking

Master smith Wayne Goddard is an icon in the field of knife making. As a full-time maker, teacher and writer, Goddard works as hard to teach knife making skills as he does to acquire them. His affiliation with BLADE Magazine has brought new and interesting information, tips and tricks to thousands of would-be knife makers. Other popular titles from Goddard include The Wonder of Knifemaking (2000) and $50 Knife Shop (2001 and 2006).

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