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Making A KARAMBIT With Common Power Tools

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This video from Make or Break shows how common power tools can be used to make a karambit – a curved, razor-sharp knife.

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The narrator starts by showing a drawing of his initial design and a narrow piece of steel, which he remarks obviously means that the design won’t fit on the material he has. He says it’s not possible to order a piece of steel that’s shorter than 36 inches, so he went for the narrower piece. He’s going to try to forge the steel into a curve instead.

He’s using a railroad iron as an anvil. The steel is heated and he hammers it, repeating the process often until he gets the curved shape he wants. He runs it through the grinder, and while it doesn’t look professional, he says, it will work for what he wants to accomplish.

He lays the design template on the steel and sprays paint on to transfer the outline. He drills the hole for the handle first before cutting the knife out, as he says it will be difficult to correct any mistakes on the handle later on. He uses a drill bit to make the hole in the outline. He then proceeds to cut out the rest of the knife with a grinder, breaking off bits and pieces off the steel as he goes. He uses the same grinder to smooth out the intricate portions of the knife, and shape the blade properly.

When he’s finished, the karambit has a nice hole in the handle for a finger, and grooves alongside so that a hand can easily grasp the knife without it slipping. He draws some lines on the blade and uses the grinder and a belt to form a sharp edge, following the design.

He then heats the whole knife on a bed of coals then tempers it in the oven for one hour, twice. He gives the tempered knife a final polishing and sanding. Then he cuts out a smaller piece of steel, traces the handle of the knife onto it and cuts the piece. He puts some glue on the karambit’s handle, attaches the smaller pieces of steel and uses a file, sandpaper and the grinder to smooth it all out until the karambit’s tang is perfectly flush with the handles and the overall design is seamless and polished. He wipes oil all over to clean it, and sharpens the blade.

The end result is a beautiful, functional karambit with a wicked blade and an excellent finish.

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