Are Knife Building Kits Worth It?

When you want to get into a new hobby, a kit is usually the way to go. Professional kits typically come with all the raw materials you need to complete a task, like beer making. However, when it comes to knife-making, there doesn’t seem to be a kit that genuinely teaches you the ropes of bladesmithing. 

Making a knife requires working with raw metals, cutting them, shaping them, and polishing and finishing them. It is followed by customizing a handle to hold the blade. Therefore, a legitimate knife-making kit should touch on topics like heat treatments: hardening and tempering.

The Problem With Commercial Knife Kits

The primary issue with commercial knife kits is that they are not knife-making kits; instead, they are handle-making or connecting kits. Most production kits come with a blade that is already finished and only requires a handle. While that might be enough for some hobbyists, it is not knife-making. 

When you factor in the cost of some of these so-called kits, you are forced to wonder if the experience is worth the price.  For instance, Man Crates Knife Making Kit is $149.99 and only requires the consumer to put the handle on the blade. Obviously, you are paying for the materials, but shouldn’t the experience count for something? 

Knife-making is a true craft and trade. It is challenging to create a kit that can adequately put together the entire process for consumer purchase, but at the same rate, isn’t it false to call a handle attachment kit a knife-making kit? These two tasks are not the same. 

It is important to note that most manufacturers creating and distributing knife kits create universally loved knives. The companies make quality products, but to compare the kits to a challenging trade is somewhat unbelievable.

How To Learn Real Knife Making

Instead of spending your hard-earned money on a kit that does not show you the ropes of a new skill, consider taking a class or purchasing instructional materials that actually walk you through the process of making a knife.  

If you want to learn how to make a knife, you need to learn how to select the steel. You need to know how to cut, shape, grind, and sharpen the blade. Then, learn how to heat treat the blade for durability before moving on to creating the handle and shaping it to a profile you prefer. 

Take a course in bladesmithing or blacksmithing. Many states and communities have workshops or classes. You can also look to local businesses or colleges to see if there are any programs, lectures, or mentorships. 

While you might not want to become a knife manufacturer, you deserve more than a knife-making kit. People interested in bladesmithing wish to learn how to make the blade, not attach a handle.  

There might be some kits worthwhile, and if you are only interested in mounting a blade to a handle, then a kit might be all you’re after. Still, if you want more, then look for professional instruction from a skilled craftsman. 

Have you ever used a knife-making kit? What was your experience, and was it worth it? Leave a comment.