The design of the knife

5 min

123 shares, 123 points

The design of the knife

The design of the knife is a fundamental and necessary phase to be able to fix the idea and see how the blade looks.

The drawing must be done as detailed as possible, as if it is a matter of delivering a finished project to a maker with all the information such as:

to be able to realize it or that it is done by you to build it in your garage or laboratory.

There must be no doubt about what the knife should look like!

This does not mean that you no longer have to make variations but it is essential to fix the basic idea.

Even in addition to the design many makers make wooden templates to get an idea of the proportions and ergonomics of the knife, personally in some cases I made templates in wood or with a 3D printer to be able to do more detailed ergonomic tests with variations and do tests with friends to get feedback from more people but always respecting my perception, but it is always curious to hear the opinions of people who are not in the cutlery sector, as well as that of enthusiasts and users.

The design and design of a knife can be done in two ways essentially:

  • On paper, which is the traditional method,
  • With two-dimensional CAD or
  • with three-dimensional CAD

Drawing on paper

On paper it is the traditional method, the most widespread and the most used, the ideal is to have a pencil, an eraser, a ruler, curvilinear, etc. to use proportionate measures, on white paper or on graph paper.

Write down everything that makes up the knife on paper, from the steel material, dimensions, the material of the handle, how to fix the handle of the knife, etc., also indicates the date of the drawing.

The more you go into detail in the design of the knife the better.

Then make some photocopies of your drawing that you will need to build a knife template or to cut it out and stick it on the steel bar you want to transform.

Personally when I draw on paper I do it freehand because the final drawing I do it to the CAD using professional CAD software of the latest generation.

The design of the knife

Ps. I like to use the traditional method when I’m out and about, at any time making sketches to remind me of ideas but I tend to do the final stages of details at cad. For this reason I always have with me an agenda with white sheets and pencils also colored to make sketches and leave the trace of the design of the knife and then shape it to the cad. I like to do this sitting in a bar, or on the beach, in a forest, it is important to be able to fix the idea that inspired you.

Modeling with CAD

The design of the knife

Modern CAD systems allow you to draw the knife and make a detailed modeling of all the elements and then make constructive reasoning easier to manage since if you are wrong you can “recover” and allows you to see it in 3D if not even with renderings that allow you to apply the materials and see the final result.

Personally over time I have created a library of components that I use most frequently to speed up the modeling and have immediately available in my laboratory the details necessary for the realization.

This is also important to create a list of materials necessary for the realization and also to have an idea of the costs of the materials necessary for the realization.

Parametric CAD modeling also has many advantages because it allows quickly and in real time to make important changes to verify its operation and geometry.The design of the knife

Very versatile is useful in fixed knives but it is even more so as more important in the modeling of closable knives where it is possible to verify the kinematics and movements of the mechanisms avoiding to discover after design errors with an unnecessary expenditure of time and materials.

Personally I also use a lot of CAD modeling to study knives of famous makers or famous industrial knives to make Case Studies that I will propose in some blog posts.

I find this approach very useful to improve one’s knowledge on the construction of knives, on the technical choice of proportions and geometries, on materials, etc.

Clearly I do not do it for all knives but only for those that I like or that I see that are of particular interest among users.

The design of the knife

If you add to this the possibility of making prototypes to see the proportion with the 3D printer then it is clear that you can go towards a further definition of the knife before the realization where already from the virtual and 3D printed model you can see if there are proportions and choices made that must be changed, modified or improved.

This approach is very useful for analyzing the choices of curves and proportions.

Truly a school!


Both forms of drawing enclose in themselves fundamental mental processes that you should not neglect.

Below for example you can find an example of the Drop Point that I do with its size, and if you want the template write me in the comments that I send it to you and I hope it can be useful if you want to use this version of the template of the famous Bob Loveless knife.

If you like to receive the template of this Drop Point write me in the comments then if you are comfortable with this template and if you send me the photo of your Drop Point I will make a special post with all the Drop Points performed with the template.

The design of the knife

Taking the templates already made is also good at the beginning because it is essential to deal with the drawings of important makers, a bit like making covers of your favorite group in music but with time it is important that you strive to create your own drawings or at least the design of your favorite knife.

Personally I like to make the drawings by hand and then do the 3D modeling and make the table of the knife to be able to indicate all the information necessary for the modeling and then keep copies of the knife to be able to make it as many times as I want and even in some cases improve it over time.

For this reason I like to always have with me a few sheets of paper and a pencil / eraser to be able to make drawings on any occasion also because if an idea comes the best thing to do is to fix it immediately and it can happen at any time.

Are you experience?


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123 shares, 123 points
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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