Standard grade knives are not sharp enough for most outdoor activities.
Sometimes you need a knife blank, which are decisively sharper than any standard knife, given the fact that they are not modified at all.
This means you can usually use knife blanks to create your own custom knife.
However, doing this is very difficult if you do not have the right knife blank in your hands.
The following knife blanks are very easy to craft into your own custom knife, but are still just as sharp as any other knife blank you have come across.
Nine Featured Knife Blanks Made in The USA
1. Russell green river knife blanks by Texas Knifemakers Supply
Knife blanks tend to be more blunt than they should be. This often requires you to sharpen them yourself, which can prove to be a very time consuming task that really shouldn’t be necessary. This is often done as a safety measure to prevent those who are new to crafting blades from knife blanks from injuring themselves. As thoughtful as this is, it is frustrating for anybody experienced with knife blanks to deal with.
Texas Knifemakers Supply’s blanks are perfect for those who know exactly what they are doing when crafting blades from knife blanks. The edges of these blanks are decisively sharper than the blades on other knife blanks. You will be able to cut through almost anything with Texas Knifemakers Supply’s blanks, especially if you sharpen them.
You can also make practically any kind of blade with Texas Knifemakers Supply’s knife blanks, as well. They come in nearly a dozen different shapes and it is very easy to use the pins and rivets to put any kind of handle you want on them.
The sharper the knife blank, the more it is prone to rust, and this is unfortunately true with Texas Knifemakers Supply’s knife blanks. They are practically guaranteed to rust if you keep them around humid temperatures for a significant period of time. Look for something different if you are not experienced enough to treat this kind of rust because it is practically inevitable.
2. Bowie blade by Knifemaking
There are two issues that surround any given knife, but are even more pronounced in a knife blank. The first of these has to do with the blade itself. Some knife blanks contain blades that require you to waste your time sharpening before you use it. This is done as a safety measure for some knife blanks and it is incredibly frustrating to deal with.
Knifemaking’s bowie blade is easily among one of the sharpest knife blanks that you will be able to get your hands on. It comes ready right out of the box, requiring no sharpening before using it for the first time. Knifemaking’s bowie blade also requires a lot less sharpening to maintain, which is one more thing that saves you a lot of time when using it.
Another nice thing about Knifemaking’s bowie blade is that it is a little longer than other knife blanks that follow the bowie blade design. With the blade itself being 7 inches long, you’ll be able to rely on it in almost any situation.
However, Knifemaking’s bowie blade leaves a lot to be desired in terms of its handle construction. It contains the same kinds of pins and rivets as any other knife blank, but the grooves are placed in a position that is not nearly as comfortable as the grooves of other knife blanks. Dealing with this is very frustrating.
3. 8 inch chef’s knife by Dexter-Russell
There are a lot of claims that surround any given chef’s knife. No matter which chef knife you come across, all of them will claim that they are the sharpest, most durable, and safest one that you will ever use. However, most chef’s knives tend to struggle in one of these three categories, as subtle as these kinds of deficiencies are.
Dexter-Russell’s chef’s knife is the closest thing you’ll ever get to a perfect chef’s knife. The blade is made of high-carbon and high-alloy advanced steel which resists corrosion and makes re-sharpening much easier than other chef’s knives. It will not break down easily and this is a wonderful thing about Dexter-Russell’s chef’s knife.
You’ll also be able to cut much more effortlessly with Dexter-Russell’s chef’s knife. It’s wide and curved blade facilitates the rocking motion that is at a premium when using most chef’s knives. This makes Dexter-Russell’s chef’s knife perfect for anybody who needs a new chef’s knife for something that needs to be chopped quickly, such as fruits or vegetables.
However, you will need a different chef’s knife than Dexter-Russell’s if you need one to chop tougher food items, such as proteins. The blade is sharp enough, but if you do intend to use Dexter-Russell’s chef’s knife to chop tougher food items, you will need to get used to sharpening it regularly.
4. No. 2 drop point blade blank by Morakniv
A sad fact about most knife blanks is that you are often extremely limited in what you can use for a handle. Most knife blanks contain pre-cut pins, rivets, and grooves that you need to alter by yourself if you want to construct a handle for one of your own making. Dealing with this is not only frustrating, but it will turn you off from a knife blank even if everything else about the knife blank is perfect.
This is not an issue at all with Morakniv’s blade blank. The end of it contains no pre-cut rivets, grooves, or pins that force you to choose a certain kind of handle material. Because of this, you’ll be able to cut your own rivets, pins, or grooves and use whatever material you want as a handle. This is perfect for anybody who is experienced in crafting blades from knife blanks.
Another nice thing about Morakniv’s blade blank is that you will not need to worry about sharpening it out of the box. It arrives pre-sharpened and ready to use. All you need to do is make a handle for it and it is ready.
There are two things that set Morakniv’s blade blank back, however. First, you will want to seek out a more user friendly knife blank if you are inexperienced with making custom knives. Working around the blade requires a good attention to detail. You will also need to prepare to sharpen it a lot more than you might want, given that the no.2 drop point blade design is generally a little smaller than other knife blank blades.
5. “Damascus” large skinner blade by Atlanta Cutlery
It isn’t often that you’ll be able to find a knife blank that is truly pre-sharpened and ready to have a handle created upon receiving. A lot of knife blanks will claim that they are pre-sharpened and in theory, all of them would be considered pre-sharpened. However, you will likely need to sharpen them right after a few uses, which is frustrating to deal with.
You will not deal with this when using the Damascus, by Atlanta Cutlery. It comes completely sharpened to the point where you will not need to worry about sharpening it even after using it a few times. You will eventually need to sharpen the Damascus like any other knife blank, but the difference is that you will not need to sharpen the Damascus for a very long time.
Most knife blanks look really plain and boring, even knife blanks for a skinner blade. Again, this category is where the Damascus shines. The blade and some of the shaft are adorned with etched patterns that make it look much more elegant and impressive than others of its kind.
Creating a proper handle for the Damascus is going to be a challenge, however. This is due in large part to the reverse curve on the end. With most skinner blade blanks containing a straight grip, this also affects the ease of use. Prepare to be frustrated with this if you were used to using skinner blades with a straight grip.
6. 4 and ½ inch upswept skinner blade blank by Smoky Mountain Knife Works (SMKW)
Skinner blades are some of the most useful tools that you can possess when it comes to hunting. They are instrumental in not just skinning, but cutting other things that also revolve around skinning. One of the biggest issues surrounding any given skinner blade is that their tangs often do not allow you to create a handle that doesn’t slip, which is essential for skinner blades.
All of this changes with Smoky Mountain Knife Works (SMKW)’s blade blank. It comes with a push tang which is about as straight as you can get when it comes to gripping. It will have a straight grip no matter what kind of handle you create for it. This prevents it from slipping which makes it much more safe than blade blanks with a curved tang.
Another thing that makes SMKW’s blade blank much more safer than most skinner blade blanks is its brass guard. This improves upon its already very impressive safety factor. The brass guard also makes SMKW’s blade blank look a little more impressive than other skinner blades which tend to look very plain and boring.
The only thing you might need to watch for with SMKW’s skinner blade blank is that you will probably need to sharpen it before using it, and especially after using it. It does arrive pre-sharpened, but because the blade itself is so large, chances are good that it will not be perfectly sharpened upon arrival.
7. “Bhojpuri” traditional kukri blade by Atlanta Cutlery
Knife blanks can not only be used to create knives and blades that can be used as tools, but also knives and blades that can be used either as weapons or even as decorations. The majority of knife blanks generally can be used as tools, whether it is for indoor activities such as cooking or outdoor activities such as hunting.
It is very rare to find a knife blank that can be made into a tactical weapon or a relic of the past, but you will find such a knife blank with Atlanta Cutlery’s Bhojpuri blade. Taking the form of a traditional kukri blade taken straight out of the Nepali and British armies dating all the way back to the late 19th century, it is a true piece of history.
Something about the Bhojpuri that is even more remarkable is that the blade has also been re-sharpened and if you are skilled enough with making a proper handle, you can actually use the Bhojpuri as a weapon. The blade itself may be 17 inches long, but that does not mean you cannot brandish it in your home if you are met with uninvited guests.
Using the Bhojpuri as a weapon is at most a pipe dream however, and there is no real use for it other than just to show it off to others. Unlike most other knife blanks, there is no real purpose for the Bhojpuri. It is meant to be a collectible and in many cases, a collectible only.
8. Durango bowie blade with rough forged finish by Atlanta Cutlery
Bowie blades are some of the most useful hunting accessories you’ll ever come across. Unfortunately, whenever you order one, you’ll often need to waste hours of your day sharpening it since most bowie blades either do not arrive sharp or they arrive just sharp enough to be used a few times before it needs to be sharpened.
You do not need to deal with any of this when you possess the Durango, by Atlanta Cutlery. It arrives sharp and will remain sharp for significant periods of time. Although you will eventually need to sharpen it like you would with any bowie blade, doing so will be quick and easy because of the fact that it arrives sharp.
Most bowie blades also do not come with a cross guard, forcing you to either create a cross guard yourself or deal without one. Fortunately, the Durango comes with a cross guard, eliminating the often tedious task of creating one from scratch to attach onto your blade.
The pins of the Durango have been pre-drilled, and this can be a boon for anyone who is not experienced in creating handles for knife blanks. However, if you are experienced and do not want to use these pins, you will need to work around them. You might need to look for a bowie blade that does not contain pins like these if they do not fit your preference.
9. 4 inch drop point blade blank by SMKW
Something that can get irritating about most knife blanks is that there do not seem to be too many that follow a drop point design. It seems that most of the knife blanks in existence go too far with their blades, with most of them being the length of an arm. You’re usually out of luck if all you want is a small drop point blade for hunting.
This all changes with Smoky Mountain Knife Works (SMKW)’s drop point blade blank. With the blade being only 4 inches, you will finally have a hunting knife that doesn’t get in the way of everything. It is perfect for situations where you need precision that you do not get with other knife blanks that turn into a short sword after you have made the handle.
Speaking of handles, have no fear if you do not have any experience in creating your own handle from drilling rivet holes. SMKW’s blade blank contains their own rivet holes that you can easily create a handle from. This makes it perfect for those who are just getting started with blade blanks.
Unfortunately, these pre-drilled rivet holes will get in the way of anybody who is experienced in making their own knife handles. Combine this with how rare it is to actually find a knife blank with a short blade and you’ll find yourself frustrated yet again.
Blade Blanks – A Buying Guide
No blade blank is the same, and if you do not know exactly what you need one for, you will wind up with a blade blank that serves no real purpose for you.
Because of this, it is a good idea to consider a number of things before making a decision on a blade blank.
How experienced are you with crafting blades?
This is the first consideration and it is by far the most relevant.
Remember that blade blanks are nothing more than a “canvas” of sorts for the blade or knife that you wish to make.
While most of their blades don’t necessarily require any real work to craft and sharpen, you will definitely need some experience when it comes to how the blade itself is sharpened.
Some blade blanks do not come pre-sharpened and this is something you need to be aware of.
Can you create a blade handle?
This consideration is related to the previous one but it is just as important.
Some blade blanks contain pre-drilled rivets. This is great for anybody who is not experienced but it is frustrating for those who are experienced enough to drill out their own rivets.
This is just one example of why you need to see if the blade blank you want favors your handle design choices.
You could come across a blank that has a nice blade but if it has pre-drilled rivets on the handle, it will be something that you might need to work around.
What will you be using the blade for?
This consideration seems obvious but it is overlooked all the same.
When selecting a blade blank, you should know exactly what the knife you are creating from the blank will be used for.
While it is possible to create a knife from a blank that does a little bit of everything, how effective is it going to be when you need it to accomplish a specific task?
This is a question that you will need to ask yourself if you have made the decision to create a “knife of all trades” from a blade blank.
Do you know how to sharpen and re-sharpen a knife?
Blade blanks are unique in that they are many degrees more sharp than other knives you come across.
If the one that you want does not come pre-sharpened, you will need to sharpen it.
You will also need to re-sharpen the knife that you have made from the blank periodically. This is because blades this sharp are prone to more wear and tear.
This is why you need to either know how to sharpen and re-sharpen a knife or know somebody who can do it for you before making a decision on a blade blank.
No knife is more sharp or easier to use than one that you make yourself from a blank.
Anybody who is serious about using a knife for hunting or cooking knows this.
They know that they can’t just order any pre-made knives and expect them to last forever.
If you do it correctly, creating a knife from a blank will result in a knife that is reliable and lasts forever.
The next time you need a knife for hunting or cooking, consider learning how to create one from a knife blank.