How to choose a custom knife

16 min


How to choose a custom knifeHow to choose a custom knife.

After some time you buy knives and the collection increases or because you have the opportunity to visit an exhibition of custom knives, or you see a friend’s knife and so you begin to understand and wish to really have one or more personalized knives for your trips in the woods, to make a unique gift, for your kitchen and also for self-defense.

The uniqueness of the custom knife and the ability to customize your blade allows you to no longer buy a commercial knife that everyone has and where you can not make changes but also wanting to start from a knife design that you like and make the changes you want compatibly with the technical construction of the knife.

There are a few things you need to ask yourself when you’re trying to figure out which knife is ideal for you and your needs.

If you want to avoid wasting money and buy a knife that you do not like and that you will never use after a few days it is better that you continue reading this post that explains how to choose a custom knife .

When you need a knife for a particular task and you go to a cutlery shop or on websites that sell knives I believe that if it is one of the first times you are disoriented by the amount of choices and options available.

Many people who have to buy a knife usually do this:

  • The people who buy all the knives we can get our hands on, are the people who buy every knife they come across and might like them (I know a lot of them).
  • Collectors who buy a few knives of the highest quality and famous makers or industrial brands in limited series.
  • There are those who buy very few knives because they are afraid to spend money on knives that they potentially will not like and rely on supermarket knives of low value and quality.
  • The one or the one who doesn’t buy any and uses what they inherited in drawers or from grandparents.

There are few people who think about what they want from a knife and wisely buy only what they really need and who are reliable for the task for which the knives are intended.

But there is a significant advantage to buying a custom knife, you only buy the knives that you really need and that you will really like.

Each person is unique and has their own needs and preferences with knives, that’s why you need to learn about the essentials of the knife that can help you narrow down the options and help you choose the knives that suit your needs and that you will like to take with you for your adventures or use in the kitchen to prepare your favorite dishes.

Unless you are a collector having dozens of knives that you do not use does not make much sense and in the end you will always use the same or a couple of them that you consider more beautiful and above all reliable.

Now I do not want to deceive you because the price of a personalized knife is not that of an industrial knife but you are buying your personalized knife and clearly also the choice of material, design, and let’s not forget the ability of the maker you pay and also willingly because it is creating a unique piece in the world.

Believe me, however, with time your bank account will thank you, you will only need that knife or with time a second for the sake of having it.


What will you use your knife for?

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself when looking for the perfect knife for your needs is “what are my needs?”.

How to choose a custom knife for the use to which you want to allocate the knife.

Really thinking about what you’ll primarily use your knife for is crucial to answer some of the next questions as well.

Even if you are not very specific, look at your daily needs and the things you like to do with the knife, or that you may like to do with your knife and remember or write them down, if it is a specific or general employment, where you will mainly use it, etc.

There is a big difference between the features you want in a knife used primarily for
and one that is simply carried in your pocket for daily activities or to extreme a knife to be used in the

Understanding what you want to do primarily with your knife is an important step in deciding which knife to buy.

Make sure you really think about this because you will often refer to your answer when answering some of the next questions.

Selvans Survival

Fixed blade or folding blade?

The next question to ask yourself is whether you want a fixed-blade knife or if you want a folding blade folder knife.

Fixed blade knives are really great for intensive tasks and tasks, but they can also be used for more moderate things if you really like to use a fixed blade knife.

Much of this decision comes down to what you personally prefer.

Folding knives are great for when you just want to put a knife in your pocket for daily carrying, but many folding knives can also be very durable and can handle some really difficult tasks.

But for example if you want a knife for self-defense you have to think about quick extractions and therefore the choice of location during transport and the opening system in case it is a folder is fundamental.

Or if you want a reliable bushcraft knife it will hardly be a folder.

There is really no right answer and a wrong one you have to understand what you need.

Just think about what you personally prefer and what makes sense for the type of activity you intend to do with your knife.

tacticle folding knife

What kind of shank? Lof Tang’s choice in the knife

This question is primarily aimed at people who need or want a fixed blade knife but it is still important that everyone considers it and it may make you want a fixed blade knife if you previously thought you wanted a folding knife.

There are many different types and styles of knife shank.

Read the post on the types of shank to learn more but to simplify you can divide them into two main categories:

  • complete shank
  • and partial shank.

Full tang knives are great for survival, bushcraft and any intense activity or when you just need a really solid and durable knife.

The disadvantage of a complete shank is the increased weight because there is more metal in the knife.

Partial shank is a little weaker and less durable than complete shank, but it depends on the type of partial shank.

The partial shank is slightly lighter because there is less metal in the knife, but again it is a little less strong.

Types of cod 2 Knifemaker

How expensive is a custom knife?

The answer to this question is very varied because there are many factors that influence the cost of the knife and this is also affected by the name of the maker who can also make a custom knife not for everyone.

The same identical knife made by two makers can have different prices because one is quoted as a painting by a famous painter even if it is identical and made very well by both.

More money you spend on a knife is not always directly related to an increase in quality.

Although in many cases this is the case, you can get some knives of the highest quality and well made at a remarkably low price already if you consider the name of the maker who builds it for you.

Generally, however, a custom knife can have an affordable price but it is very important to consider because it will greatly influence the knife options available in your price range the materials you decide to use and the shape and design of the knife.

Surely if you want double grinding, tapered shank,special blade finishes, valuable materials for the handle, mosaic pin,etc. all this already affects the final cost of the knife.

If this knife will be an everyday carrying knife or you plan to use it and keep it for a long time, you might consider spending a little more so you can get a really high-quality blade that will last for years.

How to choose a custom knife

What is the total weight of the custom knife?

Often it is not a question that is answered because for many the total weight of a knife is still something to think about when choosing a knife.

But there are jobs in which the weight of the knife also becomes a choice.

There are many people who really have to look at and consider the overall weight of a knife, think of a climber, one who always has a knife on him, a diver, or simply who has to use it for many hours.

If you are carrying your knife for a long hike, using it as a blade for everyday transportation or using it for any other activity where the weight of the knife is important, I urge you to carefully consider this question.

If you add a knife to your backpack that is super heavy and you are doing a long hike it is a choice that may be necessary to have a very sturdy and heavy knife but you have to be aware.


What is the total length of your custom knife?

The choice of the total length of the knife also depends on your preferences and why you will mainly use the knife.

This type of choice clearly also affects the total weight of the knife, even the price but in a slightly different way.

Obviously the longer a knife is, the heavier it becomes while being able to take precautions to lighten it but always considering the balance it must have for proper use and safely.

Consider though that there is a minimum knife size you would need to perform the tasks you want to be able to complete with a knife.

You need to understand if you prefer or need a longer and heavier knife or a shorter and lighter one.

The length of the knife depends on your preferences and why you will mainly use the knife.

How to choose a custom knife

What brand or style of knife?

This question is mainly about personal preferences and personal taste.

Although there are obviously some really good and quality knife brands and manufacturers, there are so many out there and so many choices that it really boils down to what you like.

If you can’t think of a brand you really like, maybe consider a certain design that you’re attracted to or that would work well for what you intend to do with your knife.

One of the main and most important things that will actually make you use your knife is whether you really like the design and its appearance.

The design of the knife considers that it can also be that it affects the cost.

Everyone likes a nice knife! And if there is one that you particularly like you can show it to the maker as a starting point for your custom knife.

How to choose a custom knife

Which material to choose for the custom knife blade?

The choice of a material for the blade of a knife is often one of the most technical choices and that spent must be guided because the choice is varied and ache of a technical nature.

Many people do not have the knowledge about the different options available on steels apart from reading the material perhaps of a knife that they particularly like.

Surely the choice must also be oriented to the intended use of the blade if you use it for:

  • In the water
  • Alimony
  • Intensive use of wire
  • General use
  • Etc.

To simplify it a lot you can follow when choosing a material for the blade of a knife:

  • the first option is to focus on functionality and durability, and
  • the second is to focus on the beauty and appearance of the material.

It depends on what you want to use your knife for such as in the woods or in the kitchen and whether it needs a strong and sharp blade or you are looking for a less resistant blade but with a particularly attractive aesthetic.


What shape of the blade of your custom knife?

The shape and style of the blade is an important aspect of your knife blade to consider.

There are a lot of different forms of blade and all have their preferential uses and some are just to look more beautiful but others have characteristics of strength and durability and penetration capacity.

Think mainly about what you will do with your knife and choose a blade shape that suits the task.

If you have trouble deciding consider that the clip blade and the famous drop point profile is a reliable standard shape blade that can work well for almost any task.

How to choose a custom knife

Serrated blade or not on the knife?

When considering whether your knife should have a serrated blade or not, think about when you would actually use a serrated edge.

There is always the always popular option of having a partially serrated blade but it affects the cost of the knife and it is important that it is a function that you will use because for example you cut many ropes.

Many people want to have it to have both cutting options on the knife.

The serrated edge is available when you need it, but let’s say that for most tasks you can perform them with a smooth edge.

How to choose a custom knife

What kind of grinding of the custom knife blade?

The type of grinding or the different grinding of the blades to choose from is a choice linked to the cutting capacity and strength of the blade.

The correct term is bevelling and there are at least 20 of them.

Unless you are going to use your knife for something really specific and that requires a certain grinding of the blade as in the case of razors that have a concave and convex double grinding, or the axe that has a convex double grinding, I would choose basic convex grinding is already a great choice and works well for most jobs.

If you want to embellish the knife concave grinding is very beautiful.

How to choose a custom knife


How long is the blade?

The length of a blade is an important thing to consider because it helps or hinders you with whatever you’re trying to do with your knife.

What you will mainly use it for.

Too long of a blade and it will intrude and only cause you problems, and too short and will not allow you to complete the tasks you want to be able to do.

The length of the blade also affects the weight and balance of the knife and in any case must comply with the rules of proportion unless you want to have a knife that does not make much sense.

For everyday carrying knives and other knives that you will carry with you for a long time a standard blade I would not say shorter probably suits you better.

For someone who is doing a more intense job but where you do not have to carry the blade much especially in a scabbard worn in this case a longer blade will make the work easier in many cases.

It really depends on what best suits your needs and whether you prefer to work with a short blade or a longer one.

I know people who love huge knives regardless but it is a personal taste, I prefer to prefer usability and reliability in my choices so the size depends on what I really have to do.


How thick is the blade of your knife?

There is a thin line between a blade that is too thin and one that is too thick.

You want the blade of your knife to be thick enough so that it is durable and able to perform any task for which you are using it, but not too thick so as not to hinder your ability to use it effectively.

Remember that the thickness affects the weight, the maneuverability of the blade and in some way the cutting penetration capacity of the blade, it is no coincidence that kitchen knives are not thick more than 3 mm.

For a knife that you will use for survival or bushcraft purposes the choice of a thicker blade is usually the correct choice to take because your knife will suffer a blow quite often and you do not want it to break due to a thin blade.

On the other hand, if you’re using your knife only for daily transportation or for a purpose that is less intense and stressful for the knife, a blade that sits at the thinnest end of the spectrum will work well and be lighter and easier to carry.


What kind of “spine”?

For most people, the backbone of the knife is a minor detail but instead it is an important element for the robustness of the knife and also for some uses such as the famous batoning used in bushcraft and survival.

Most people neglect in choosing this technical element of the knife

However, the backbone of a knife can be something to consider and think about so that you get one that works for you and not against you.

Again it depends on what you plan to use your knife, but some of the things to look at on a knife back are even if you expect it to be knurled with a filework for the thumb or smooth and whether or not it can be used to hit the back of your knife with a stick.

Some backs of the knife are also aesthetically embellished by making the famous filework.

You can see this in point 5 of the diagram below.

How to choose a custom knife

What material for the handle?

The handle material is another great decision and what to really think about what would be best for your needs.

When it comes to materials for the handle of knives, there are several main options:

Each material for the handle has its strengths and weaknesses, it really depends on what you are using your knife and what you prefer as a grip and aesthetics.

The metal handles on the knives are really strong and durable, but they increase their weight and require ergonomics and textures to increase their grip, they also cool down when the air around them becomes cold.

The natural materials of the handle on the knives give a really great feeling and look, they are reliable and warm but may lack a certain durability and require a minimum of maintenance.

And finally, materials with a synthetic handle for knives are very durable and durable, but they can give a less elegant and valuable look to the knife.

Clearly also the material of the handle and the type of fixing (mosaic pin, Loveless pin, corby bolt / sex bolt / etc. ) affects the final price of the knife

Really as for steels is really an important choice the material of the handle of the knife

How to choose a custom knife

Manage the design or style?

If you do not choose the right design and style for the handle of your knife, your hand will hate you forever.

Trust me.

Especially if you are going to use the knife a lot, a good and sturdy handle design is a must.

For lesser-used knives, it’s a little less important, but the design and style of a knife handle is always something to think about.

You don’t want to use a knife that is just a pain to hold in your hand.

Not only will it hurt your hand to use the knife, but you will not like to use it and this will completely destroy the purpose of having a knife in the first place.

If you won’t use it, why have it?

How to choose a custom knife

How long is the handle of your custom knife?

The size of the handle handle of the knife has standard rules but they are also based on ergonomic studies that concern the size of the hands or in the specific case of your hand and what you prefer.

You definitely don’t want to have a knife with an uncomfortable handle, too big or too small for your hand.

If the handle of your knife is the wrong size for your hand you do not feel it solid and comfortable in your hand you will never want to use it because you feel it uncomfortable to hold.

Always make sure that the handle fits comfortably in your hand and is reliable and works well when using it.


Hole for the paracord in the handle of your knife?

This question might sound a bit silly to some people, but you have no idea how many times I wanted to put a lanyard on a knife and it simply doesn’t have a hole in the handle.

It’s a detail but for some the hole for the paracord can make a big difference.

Not everyone likes paracord through holes on their knives, but taking a knife with a simple hole in the handle will leave options open and may be useful to you later.

Surely it is more suitable for certain types of knife.

How to choose a custom knife

Is there a sheath for the custom knife or not?

The scabbard of the knife is something to consider important.

The scabbard is very important to transport your knife safely, to protect your knife and is an easy way to transport it, but not all knives need it.

A kitchen knife may not have a scabbard but it must always be positioned correctly to preserve the thread.

If it is a folding knife, you often do not need a scabbard but some still want to carry it in the scabbard and not in the pocket maybe with a clip.

The scabbard can be of different materials, from Leather to Kydex, Cordura and other textile materials, etc. here too the choice of scabbard is important.

Also consider the need for strengthened detention systems or the need to have rapid extraction, etc.

The scabbard of the knife remember that protects you too!

How to choose a custom knife

The sharpening angle

The sharpening angle is also very important for the durability of the wire and is related to the type of use for which the knife is intended.

The durability of the thread is linked not only to the chosen material but also to the sharpening angle that you have to decide based on how you will use the knife and clearly there are preferences related to the use that decrease the cutting capacity but guarantee its durability.

The pattern you see can already give you an indication to make a clear choice.

How to choose a custom knife


Who to entrust with the construction of your custom knife

At this point I do not want to tell you who you have to do it to, there are many good makers but if you want you can ask the team to

Several makers are at your disposal to be able to build the personalized knife for your kitchen, for your bushcraft outings or to make a unique gift.

If you like write us an email or use the whatsapp contact.

How to choose a custom knife


There are so many things to consider and think about when choosing the perfect knife for your needs but it is not complicated especially if you are recommended by experienced people and if you have read this post or follow the blog.

Most of the decisions and characteristics you want on your knife will reflect what you intend to do with it and this already leads you to clear and well-defined choices.

Really understanding the main purpose of your knife and what you mainly intend to use it for is already a big step in the right direction to find your perfect knife.

After understanding the purpose of your knife and answering all the questions I listed above, it will be simple to define all the knife options and build the perfect knife for you.

Eliminate even if you can right away the options that you are sure you do not want in a knife.

If you like write in the comments or by email if you want advice!

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Andrea F

Maker and Enthusiast of Knifemaking. Other: Engineer / Professional Blogger / Bass Player / Instructor of Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms. Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! State Of Love And Trust!


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