If you’re interested in DIY knife-making, you may have already heard of Walter Sorrells. He’s a prolific bladesmith who specializes in traditional Japanese-style blades, from beautifully-crafted katanas to simple utility knives. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others via his YouTube channel. However, even if you’re not planning on making your own knives any time soon, there’s a lot to be learned from Walter’s videos.

Knife blade grind edge tool steel 3

A knife is one of the most important tools for any survivalist, and it’s therefore crucial to understand how to choose the right blade for your needs. If you’re in the Amazon rainforest, you’ll likely want a tough and flexible machete for hacking through brush; if you’re in an urban setting, a smaller and more concealable blade is probably preferable. Beyond this, it’s important to consider the best steel composition for your situation — a 1095 high-carbon knife will rust quickly if exposed to saltwater, while H1 steel is essentially immune to rust.

Blade grinds are yet another element to consider when choosing a knife. There are three main categories of blade geometry:

  • Hollow or concave grinds
  • Convex grinds
  • Flat grinds (including saber, scandi, and chisel grinds)

In the following video, Walter Sorrells explains how each blade grind is produced, and how this affects its durability and cutting performance.

Of course, there are many sub-categories and variations within these three blade grinds, including the ubiquitous compound grind (combines two grinds at different angles) and the less-common asymmetrical grind (different grind types on each side of the knife). For more information on grind types and blade shapes, refer to our previous article: Do You Know Your Blade Grinds and Profiles?

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