After spending several days walking through Blade Show, we have a renewed appreciation for those who make knives, especially when those knives are formed from unconventional materials. In the past, we've shown that it's possible to make a Karambit knife from a wrench, and Jack Stottlemire of Rustick Knives even made a Bowie blade from gun barrel steel. These techniques are especially relevant to survivalists, since we may be forced to work with found materials instead of buying whatever we need.
So, here's another interesting DIY knife, modeled after the Japanese traditional blade called a kiridashi. The word kiridashi roughly translates to “to carve out”, and this straight-edged blade is similar in profile to a utility knife or X-Acto knife. These small fixed-blades were often used for detailed woodworking, bamboo carving, or even sharpening pencils. Traditionally, a kiridashi is beveled on only one side, but this modified version features a double-sided bevel.
In the video below from Miller Knives on YouTube, the bladesmith demonstrates how to make a kiridashi knife from a file. Old metal files like the one in this video are often found in workshops and garages, and are typically made of carbon steel—similar to that used in many survival knives.
Watch the video to see how it's done:
It's not fancy, but it's simple and durable enough for frequent use. One downside is that bare carbon steel will need to be oiled occasionally to prevent surface rust, but that's true for many knives. We'd also consider rounding out the edges of the handle, or even wrapping it in leather or paracord, so it would be a bit easier to hold. Still, we really like the utilitarian aesthetic of this small blade.