Top Performing Carving Knives.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 03-03-2014 05:11 AM 3217 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Top Performing Carving Knives.
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I have made quite a few carving knives, each an improvement on the last. These knives are my latest and amongst my best in terms of the quality of the steel, the ability to hold a fine edge and cutting performance. They are not as pretty as others make them but I go for performance first and hand comfort second.

The knives are based on medieval Russian designs from Novgorod that I have modified slightly to meet my needs. Basically drop down points and generally short, thin blades. I can do some very delicate carving, even with the bigger versions. The top four are made from recycled files and the bottom from a cold chisel made from Double Griffin steel. This is right up there with the best steel I have ever made a cutting edge with.

-- RusticJohn

12 comments so far

View Mauricio's profile


7163 posts in 3656 days

#1 posted 03-03-2014 05:26 AM

I love them, so cool how you can see remnants of the file teeth.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View GerardoArg1's profile


1002 posts in 2498 days

#2 posted 03-03-2014 12:53 PM

Great work. The practician in the top. Have to try the carving some day. Congratulations.

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View drbyte's profile


834 posts in 4567 days

#3 posted 03-03-2014 02:22 PM

Nice knives! What is the carving on the handles?

-- Dennis, WV

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3371 days

#4 posted 03-03-2014 02:51 PM

Any time anyone can make a nice tool for their shop they derive a great deal of pleasure and acquire another new friend. You have made some wonderful new friends with these new carving knives. May you enjoy them for many years to come and may you always be happy in your work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4096 days

#5 posted 03-03-2014 07:31 PM

Thank you all for the comments. I love making knives but I there is only so many I can use. I make a few for others but am not keen on mass production. Its a conundrum.

The writing on the handles is Russian for “John” according to my Google translator. I am trying to recognise the original inspiration for the knives.

-- RusticJohn

View foneman's profile


112 posts in 4599 days

#6 posted 03-03-2014 09:11 PM

Do you do anything special to the files other than shaping them? They look nice and I really like the ones with the file teeth still showing.


View NaFianna's profile


524 posts in 3531 days

#7 posted 03-03-2014 11:28 PM

Great knives – Well done.

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4096 days

#8 posted 03-04-2014 03:00 AM

I heat treat the blade by bringing them to red hot and quenching in oil or water. Water for files. Then I reheat to dirty yellow and allow them to cool in the air. This seems to be a pretty good combination for me. I use MapGas to get the heat. The yellow bottle.

-- RusticJohn

View Woodknack's profile


12903 posts in 2885 days

#9 posted 03-04-2014 03:25 AM

I love the rustic nature and wrapped handles.

-- Rick M,

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2680 days

#10 posted 03-10-2014 02:04 PM

Cool and sharp carving knives, very nice organic and old look. I’m sure they serve you well. Great work!

View jeffwedekind's profile


144 posts in 3197 days

#11 posted 03-12-2014 07:58 PM

Those look great, and sounds like they PERFORM even better. I definitely need to learn how to heat treat steel.

-- Jeff, eastern Wa

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23362 posts in 3610 days

#12 posted 03-15-2014 01:52 AM

Nice set of custom knives. You’ll appreciate them more because you made them yourself!!..........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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