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.

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.


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. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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