Which Grind? Characteristics of 6 Knife Grinds

When crafting knives, it’s important to consider the type of grind you will put onto each knife. The type you choose will depend on what the knife will be used for as well as the type of steel from which the knife is made. You may also want to consider how well the knife will be cared for, as some grinds will be easier to maintain than others. Here, we will look at some of the characteristics of six grinds.

Hollow grinds are shaped with a concave scoop on each side of the blade. They are only recently being used for knives. This grind used to be found exclusively in razors. The edge of a hollow grind is very thin which can make it weaker and more prone to chipping. This thin edge, however, is great for making nice, neat, shallow cuts. The quality of deep cuts will not be as good.

Flat grinds taper from the spine down both edges. Many people like a full flat grind knife for everyday use, as it strikes a balance between usage and strength. It’s stronger than the hollow grind. Flat grinds are, however, harder to make, as more steel must be ground (removed) than in other styles. Flat grinds are great for both chopping and slicing; many kitchen knives are made in this fashion.

Sabre grinds are not unlike flat grinds in shape, but the bevel starts further down the blade (around the middle). This grind creates a thicker edge, so while strong and good for chopping (also good for splitting wood), it will not be as fine a blade for slicing and more delicate use. The sabre grind is used on many tactical knives and military issue knives.

Chisel grinds are only ground on one side and thus usually come in both right and left hand versions. This one-sidedness makes this knife easier to make as well as to sharpen. The edge angle is generally less on this grind than others, creating a thin and sharp cutting edge.

Convex grinds arc in a convex curve and are often the grind found on axes. (This grind is sometimes called an axe grind as well as a Moran grind.) This grind has a lot of steel behind it and is therefore very strong. The points are also very sharp. Compared to other grinds, it can be harder to sharpen without the proper equipment.

Double or compound bevel grinds have a secondary bevel whose angle is greater than the primary bevel. This grind sacrifices sharpness for strength and durability. It can, however, create a stronger blade in a softer steal than other grinds would.

For some visual input on grind types, have a look at the video below. It will also help you decide which grind to use for which task.


What Type of Handle is Best for Your Custom Knife

Long lasting knives require a good strong handle. It should fit your hand and not slip when you are sweaty. It should have a hilt and a flat pommel wider than the handle for firm grip when chopping and stabbing. Handles are made out off different materials so that you can have a variety of choices. They materials can be either natural or manmade.

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Bone handle

They are handles made from natural deceased animals. The handles come in with better grips and beauty. They have got different patterns and are dyed with different colors. The handles are durable, easy to shape and attractive. It is most common for pocket knives.

Micarta handle

It’s as a result of industrial laminated plastic which forms after heat and pressure is applied to linen cloth or paper are soaked in a phoenolic resin. It forms a lightweight and strong material at the end which is in return is used to make knives handles. The handle is extremely tough and stable, Smooth and good looking. It’s available in variety of colors.

Aluminum handle

Do not add extra weight, very durable and a solid feel. It has got secure comfortable grip. The finishing process provides color and protection for the handle (iodization).

Wood handle

They are made of both soft and hardwood. Those made from soft woods such as black walnut are not good for such tasks as hunting or activities that involve water or moisture. Handle from hardwoods such as rosewood are recommended for tough duties and can also be used for hunting. Quality wood should produce a durable handle and should be attractive.

Stag handle

Stag handle is very popular. Stag material is certainly denser and that is the reason why it is usually preferred than the others. It’s attractive rough texture and has got a nice grip firm for the users. It is very durable and excellent knife handle.

Leather handle

Mostly used for hunting and military knives. It’s attractive but not as durable as other handles from the other materials.

Alabone handle

It has an attractive appearance but not as durable. Popularly used for men pocket knives. There is also an Imation of the same made of type of plastic also used mainly for pocket knives.

The above mentioned are among the top rated handles used in custom knives. Each has benefits and drawbacks but mostlt choosing the right handle for your custom knife boils down to personal preference and what type of handle is best your use case. How often will you use the knife, and what for? those are the thingss you need to keep in mind when selecting a handle for your custom knife.

Image credit Flick’r Tom Harrington

How to Sharpen Your Custom Hunting Knife

There are a thousand ways of sharpening custom knives and everyone has a method that they prefer and deem best. (I have several sharpeners, like the Wusthof Electric…) There are also tools that are necessary for this task for example a sharpening stone, lubricant etc. I have used a number of sharpeners on my hunting knife, and most will put a very good edge on a blade. Check out this guide to choosing the best hunting knife sharpener.

Rough grit first

If your knife is dull start with the rough side of the sharpening stone. You can do a thumbnail test to know the grit side, scratch your sharpening stone on both side to feel which side is rougher. When your knife is ready for the next finer grit you can turn it and give it some fewer strokes from that side. Pour your lubricant on your sharpening stone either oil or oil. It should not be stingy or drench. Place your knife on the sharpening stone and maintain a constant angle. This gives sharp enough edges for your daily needs. Having set your knife at the right angle you can start sharpening it. You can bring the knife into the stone or take it away from the stone either way depending on what you prefer. For longer blades you need to sweep it sideways as you sharpen. Make the first stroke and repeat the procedure for a couple of times till your knife is sharp enough. Do the same to the other side of your knife.

Fine Grit Last

Most of people don’t know when to turn to the alternative side of the stone (from rough grit to finer grit). When you see a burr forming from one the opposite side which is hard to see but easy to feel, use your finger to feel it and without running your finger on the edge tips unless you want to hurt yourself. As you alternate the sides of your knife the burr will move from one side to another of your knife. Make sure that the burr moves from both sides before changing to the alternative side (finer side) where the burr will be very small and some time one does not even notice it. You can test your knife to know if your knife is ready.

Note that the lower the angle the sharper the knife. The sharpness of the knife depends on the use of the knife. For the best edge, go through all the finest stones you have.

Here is a guide to many different kinds of sharpeners.

Top 3 Custom knife Makers

There a lot of knives makers in the world. There is no doubt about that. But the fact is that there are some that have made a name and have, beyond any reasonable doubt stood out. Below are the top 3 custom knife makers from around the world.

Jay Fisher – http://www.jayfisher.com/
According to true west magazine, Jay Fisher has since been listed among top and best living knife makers. He does both weapons and arts. Jay fisher was he was featured in an article titled, an old craft a new era where he answered questions like how he stated and operate his business and what he makes. He does most custom knives but he also does his inventory knives which are available for sale. He maintains 1:1 ratio of custom knives to inventory knives which boost his creativity.

Idaho Knife Works – http://www.idahoknifeworks.com/

Padre and coyote produce quality custom knives at their home in north Idaho. He stated making knives as hobby which gradually graduated to a full time business. He made his first knife in 1965 in high school. He has won obest primitive knife severally at shows in Denver. Mike has also been featured in tactical knives, backwoodsman and magazines and other several publications. He is known for using carbon steel to hold the edges and easy to sharpen. His blades have are flat ground and hardened edge. The knives come with sturdy leather shear. Mike is an outdoorsman where he derives his inspiration.

Nelson Mountain’s hollow – http://www.mountainhollow.net/

This manufacturer has managed to cut niche in this industry. He has made knives that have left many people around the world fully satisfied as far as the materials and designed are concerned. He works from his homestead in northeastern Pennsylvania. He uses stock removal methods and forging. He personally make knifes. He mostly offers blade knives such as bowie, daggers, swords and hunter skinner style. All knives have a fitted sheath. He does most of custom orders than inventory. Most of his blades are flat although he also does some curved blades. His handle materials are variety although he prefers natural materials like ivory, bone stag, iron wood etc. he uses carbon steel and his own Damascus steel depending on the use of the knife.

These are our favorite custom knife makers, mainly because they make beautiful, but functional knives for many different purposes at different price points. If you go with one of these three for your next knife, you will not be disappointed.