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The best way to learn knifemaking is personal instruction from an accomplished knifemaker.  Unfortunately, most of us don't have a master of this trade
living next door.  Fortunately, though, there are some excellent books available to help get you started on this knifemaking adventure.  Even if you do have
a seasoned mentor, you should read as much as possible to learn other viewpoints and build your overall knowledge base.  There is more than one way to
do almost everything in making knives and it is helpful to see other approaches.

I also maintain a blog which is regularly updated with information on knifemaking.  Please subscribe if you find it useful.


This is the first knifemaking book that I bought and read.  It is a long-standing classic and probably one of the first published on the topic.  This is the June 2000 revised edition, but the original book has been around at least twenty years longer than that.  Even though some of Boye's methods are outdated, his writing is inspirational and will make you want to make your own knife.  Just as the title states, he provides a step-by-step method of making a knife.  Due to the use of only minimal shop equipment, this is an excellent book for the beginner.  As your skills progress you will then want to move to other books and attempt more modern methods using specialized knifemaking tools.  You would do well to start here, though.  If you follow Boyes's step-by-step directions, you can indeed make your own knife!

Though not as well organized as Boye's book, this work is filled with interesting and useful insights from a well-respected knifemaker who has been in the business for several decades.  Goddard's emphasis is on getting started in knifemaking without spending a fortune in knifemaking equipment.  His discussions on scrounging and fabricating tools are as valuable as his insights on making knives.  While most other books concentrate only on making knives by the stock removal method, Goddard covers both stock removal and forging.

McCreight presents ten projects layed out by level of difficulty.  In the beginning his aim is to help the beginning knifemaker to successfully complete that first knife.  By the end, he presents more advanced projects.  This book does not cover basic metallurgy or the physics of knifemaking, but those topics are well covered in more advanced texts.  The aim of this book is to present the mechanics of actually making the knife.  Once you get hooked on this hobby, you will surely want to learn more of those topics, but this is a good place to start.

This book is a classic on the topic of knifemaking.  Robert Loveless is one of the most recognized names in knifemaking and is one of the people responsible for the resurgence of the craft in popularity.  The art of making knives almost completely died out in the 1960s and early 70s until Loveless and a handful of others came to national prominance and began to teach others and promote the craft.  Though the quality of photos is poor, this book is a timeless classic which should be included in every knifemaker's library.

This book by Wayne Goddard is more of a reference manual than a how-to guide.  I provides a weatlth of valuable information in a question-and-answer format.

In addition to being a legendary master bladesmith with over 30 years experience, Jim Hrisoulas is also a superb writer and teacher.  This book is an excellent guide to the full range of topics in forging the steel blade.  It does not cover making blades by the stock removal method.

In addition to knowledge to be gained from reading books, it can be very helpful to actually see someone else performing the steps required to make a knife.  This DVD shows you exactly that.

Ok, so this one is not a book.  But the knifemaking grinder is the biggest expense you will have in getting set up to make knives.  Building this grinder yourself is a great option for saving a lot of money.  This grinder can be built with no welding, machining, or specialized fabricating.  In fact, these grinders have been built by people all over the world and they perform on par with many professional knifemaking grinders.

This book is only at the bottom of the list due to the price.  It has been out of print for some time and limited copies are available.  However, without question, this is the best book on folding knives that I have ever seen.  Bob Terzoula is truly a master of his craft and one of the pioneers at modern custom folding knives.  He explains all aspects of building liner locking folders in a clear and understandable manner.  I would recommend that you have a few fixed blade knives under the belt before attempting to make a folder, but when you are ready this book is an indespensible guide.

If you haven't found what you are looking for above, try searching Amazon for other books.