How to Make Your Own Chef’s Knife

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How to Make Your Own Chef’s Knife

I have recently discovered and been binge-watching Alex Gabriel’s French Guy Cooking channel on YouTube. If you enjoy cooking and baking, you should definitely check out his show. Alex is very playful and entertaining and the recipes are very approachable. I have a number of them that I am now dying to try.

Alex is also a maker and has done videos on setting up his kitchen-studio, making a pizza peel, and a few other kitchen projects. He also did this 4-part series on making your own custom chef’s knife and even how to metal-etch your own branding on it.

Knife-makers might blanch at the fact that, to make his knife, he buys an existing knife, takes it apart, and then shapes his own blade and adds new “scales” (the sides of the handle), and then custom-etches it. Some may count that as cheating. If you want to go all of the way, and have the proper tools, there are plenty of knife-making videos on making a knife from scratch. As with Alex’s cooking, which is very approachable, this project is doable by just about anyone with basic household tools, and the result is a chef’s knife that you made yourself, customized to your hand, your working style, and your sense of style.

I was not aware that metal etching was so easy. Basically all you need is a big jar of salt water, a 9v battery, and a piece of sacrificial cutlery. Regardless of whether you make your own knife or not, this video might inspire you to trick out the blades on your existing knives, or to otherwise etch your name onto tools.

Have you ever made or customized a kitchen tool? If so, please tell us about it in the comments.


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.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn
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