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.

YouTube player

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.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

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

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.