Making A Simple Japanese Pocket Knife

Craft & Design Metalworking Workshop
Making A Simple Japanese Pocket Knife

As most knife makers and knife enthusiasts know, a Kiridashi is a small, general-use Japanese jack knife, or utility knife, characterized by a chisel grind (the shape of the blade) and a sharp point. For many knife makers, it’s a great starter project. As a result, there are dozens of Kiridashi projects on YouTube.

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In this video, Red of The Redsmith, makes an absolutely gorgeous Kiridashi and leather shealth (two, actually). For the build, he uses C130 high carbon steel, 4 oz. vegetable-tanned leather, and old motor oil for the quench.

I like the way he cut the two pieces of stock by drilling holes with his drill press along the cut-line and then using an angle-grinder to cut between the holes. From there, it was just a matter of shaping the blades on a belt sander.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn

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