Knifemaking is a highly sophisticated process that requires thorough knowledge to get started.
It’s important to get the information from a reliable source that is experienced in knife-making and bladesmithing while also choosing a book that is best suited for your level of experience.
With so many models out there, it’s hard to make a definitive choice.
That’s why we made a list of the top 4 best knifemaking books that you can buy. Along with a list, we’ve included a section where you can find out more about other ways of learning how to make knives.
Last update on 2021-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Here is our list of the best knife-making books. We’ve started with over 50 books and ended up with 4 books that are the best. All of the books are available on Amazon for purchase, and we’ve included a link to them for your convenience.
Best Knife Making Books – Reviews
Knife Engineering: Steel, Heat Treating, and Geometry
This book by Dr. Larrin Thomas is referred to as an essential knife-making book and as a knife-making bible! It’s the best-selling knife-making book online, and that is for a reason.
The author Larrin Thomas has a PhD in Metallurgy and is a son of a famous Damascus steelmaker, Devin Thomas. He has a wealth of experience in knife making that dates back to his childhood days when he used to spent time with his father learning about the processing of knife steel.
What makes so many people love this book is the fact that it’s suited for enthusiasts, beginners, and experienced knife makers alike. Everyone can learn about knives from this amazing book.
The book has 450 pages that include:
- ratings for toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance for all of the popular knife steels.
- Micrographs of over 50 steels.
- Specific recommended heat treatments for each steel.
- And much more!
This book is essential for anyone who has an interest in knives and knife-making. It’s truly a must-have book!
Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop, Revised
There is no better book to get into knife-making than the $50 Knife shop. It came out back in 2001 and has been revisited and improved in 2017.
This is the first book many now experienced and established knife makers read. It is aimed at beginner knife makers that don’t have much experience and equipment to start making knives.
The $50 Knife shop has 250 color photos that demonstrate basic knife-making techniques. This is something that most of the knife-making books lack and is always nice to have, especially if you’re more of a visual learner.
This a book for those that are on a budget. The author Wayne Goddard explains how he got many parts really cheap and made some himself.
He will teach you how to build your own equipment that is of the similar or the same quality as factory-made equipment, but at a much lower expense.
While you might not be able to start a knife shop for $50, this book is a great place to start. It will give you essential knowledge and a lot of useful tricks and tips to get you started.
The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way to Perfection
This is a great book for experienced beginner to intermediate-level knife makers. It has a lot of essential information about knife making and teaches you how to make a knife from A to Z.
The Complete Bladesmith was published in 1987, but most of the information is still relevant today. The book is written by Jim Hrisoulas, a full-time bladesmith with over 50 years of experience in hand forging blades.
Along with this thorough book he has written several more books such as The Master Bladesmith: Advanced Studies in Steel and The Pattern-Welded Blade: Artistry in Iron. These books show his expertise in knife making.
This is the book that can get you into knife-making really fast. If you had a little prior experience, you can start making usable, good-looking knives in just a few months given that you have the proper equipment.
It’s not a book for an established Blacksmith but is an excellent read for those who decided to start making knives.
Simple Knifemaking: A Beginner’s Guide To Building Knives With Basic Tools
Like the $50 Knife Shop, this is a great book to get into knife making. It has a ton of images, is easy to understand, and doesn’t require any expensive tools to follow.
The author Nicholas Tomihama always liked to build things with his own hands with the help of minimal tools. That’s why this book is an excellent choice for beginners as it’s written from a different point of view than most of the knife-making books.
The author is speaking to you in a simple language, easy-to-understand, and follow. The book has 170 pages and over 400 illustrations to further help you understand all the information.
This is a great book for complete beginners and amateur knife-makers. It is also an interesting read for more experienced knife-makers for the unique knife-building methods that this author describes.
How To Learn More About Knife Making
The best way to learn knife-making would be to practice and building knives with an experienced blacksmith. These are not always possible, so that’s why we will explore some other ways of learning to make knives on the internet.
Youtube is the number 1 source for knife-making guides and is the best way to get information on how to make knives after books. The advantage of youtube is the visualization.
In books, you have pictures that illustrate a point, instruction, or fact. On a video format, on the other hand, everything is visual, so if you are more of a visual learner, youtube actually might be a great alternative to books.
Youtube videos are a great way to get into knife forging because they are entertaining and can hold your attention for hours. If the books don’t hold your attention or you cannot grasp the content in them, a video format on YouTube can be a great alternative.
Some of the great youtube channels that can get you started on knife making are:
There are many forums dedicated to knives and knife making online. An advantage of an online forum is that you can start threads and ask questions that are going to be answered by people with a lot of experience in knives.
Forums are a great way to get started on knifemaking, and there are many topics and answers to frequently asked questions that can help clear up any beginner questions you might have.
One of the most active and a forum we participate in is bladeforums.com. It’s a rich source of information about knife making but also knives in general and is a great way to connect with other knifemakers and enthusiasts.
Taking knifemaking classes is an option to consider as well. Even experienced knifemakers take classes in subjects that are not available elsewhere and that they have no experience or knowledge in.
Taking classes is a way to make sure you get all the necessary knowledge before you start making knives. You can ask your instructor any questions and get them answered immediately as opposed to online.
Classes, of course, cost money but are well worth it if you think you can benefit from them.
Knife-making not only requires a ton of practice but also extensive knowledge in the field.
One book is never enough, and we always recommend reading at least a few books before you get started.
Picking up a few of the books we recommended is a good start. They are all excellent books full of up-to-date useful information.