How to Make a Knife Out of a File: 5 Simple Methods

Now use your old lawn mower blades, saw blades, or car springs, and make a perfect knife for yourself. Nowadays, finding an ideal knife with sharp edges, and an original look with handle size is very difficult. Moreover, to find which fits your preferences.

Here, I will cover all the instructions about how to make a knife out of a file for yourself. This article will help guide you about those mistakes that most people make when making knives. I use a file that is already hard because I don’t have the tools. Here are some of the necessary steps of creating a knife out of a file.

How to Make a Knife Out of a File

Here are a couple of methods you must have followed to make a knife out of a file-

Simple Methods:

Find an old steel file and Heat it

Find an old steel file and Heat it
Find an old steel file and Heat it

To get a sharp edge and be too sharp, you have to harden it. As I said above, I don’t have the perfect tools to do my work efficiently, so I use a file for that, which is already hard. About 400F, place your file for two hours or place it until it has not changed its color to yellow-orange.

But remember that many people make the mistake of not cleaning their knives which can fill your home with smoke.

Make a design for your knife

How to Make a Knife Out of a File
Make a design for your knife

The design of a knife is essential, which makes the work easier. Draw 5 or 6 designs on paper and then choose one design that you like the most, and print it. When you print, and then cut out the paper, prepare a small blade for the knife, which is strong compared to large size blades.

After cooling, clean it, which you will see, and then apply it through a marker to create an outline on the file. But don’t forget the area to cut out for handles, which average size 4 inches.

For cutting out of file shape, cut small pieces off and clamp the knife. Most people use an angle grinder. But doing work doesn’t overheat the metal because it will destroy the metal later.

Through lines profile the blade

How to Make a Knife Out of a File
Through lines profile the blade

Color the edges through markers and drill the lines. While using an angle grinder and belt sander, put it in your slopes to see the lines and make a blade profile. But be careful when working on a blade, do not burn it to a small dark spot because you have to cut it off when it burns.

The cooling of blades is significant; for cooling, you have to put the edges continually dipping into a cup of water. When the blade of the knife is ready, make a stylish and attractive handle of your choice.

Making of handle

Making of handle
Making of handle

The handle is the central part of a knife that people mainly use for attraction, in which you can show your creativity but make sure the handle is secure for use and perfect to keep somewhere.

For the handling, you can use a different type of wood that you have land around. The blade is hard, and it isn’t easy to drill. To solve this, we keep the edge in a fire-resistant water container, using torch heat to the blade. So it will make an eraser for the drill press to make holes in a blade for handling.

After doing all these:

  • Dip the blade into the water and clean it.
  • Create an outline through a marker on wood for the handle and then cut it.
  • Through a drill press, make holes in the handle for the blade and then push pins through holes and handle. You can find the pins in hardware stores or go online to some online stores and order them.

Finishing work

For shape, you are sanding your handle profile in which the hands increase grits. And then use colonial maple stain on the knife handle or whatever you can. For sharpening the blade, use a kitchen knife sharpener or whatever you want. Now your knife is ready in just five easy steps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do files make good knives?

You can make a knife from anything hard enough to make a knife sharp. But the quality of the blade will differ from each other. If you want a knife that is strong enough, then use some good-quality materials. And here our article, how to Make a knife out of a file is all about making good knives from files.

The file will also make a decent knife, and this is the easiest way of making a knife at home; you can also make it from things like lawnmower blades saw blades, and car springs because these are mostly present in the garage.

What is the difference between tempering and quenching?

Tempering and quenching are the processes that strengthen materials like iron, which is based on alloy and steel. These materials process maintained while cooling in oil, water, gasses, or through air force through heating.

The main difference: is quenching is when you quickly cool a solution that does not precipitate out of the solution stably. Tempering is when you take that quenched steel and then heat it to begin precipitating carbides, but the answer is not enough to put everything back in it.

What is the best oil for quenching knife steel?

You need to quench a knife at some point when you are making it at home, and many types of oils are for quenching. But the most common which is for this process is peanut and canola oil. Both oils have a high point which is perfect for the quenching process. You will need both oils to preheat a slightly high temperature when compared to commercial quenching oil.


Making a knife out of a file is very easy, as you see in the article. I hope that after reading the article, you will be able to make a perfect knife for yourself having no mistakes.

You can now make a knife and sell it through the market, which is also profitable. Through the knife business, custom knife makers sell their knives around the whole world. Making a knife is quite simple and easy and requires some tools.

We only recommend you go through all the instructions on making a knife out of a file and taking your creativity to another level.