DIY Knife Handle


EDC Apprentice
Ive typed something up for a couple people now on how I make my knife handles. So I might as well post it here to share with all of you.

Items you need:

Handle material (knife scales)


Drill and drill bits

1/8” brass rod (or whatever thickness and metal you like) (I refer to these as pins)



This is how I make my knife handles with very limited equipment.

Make sure your holes in your tang are larger than the pins you will be using. This gives you room to wiggle the knife scales, and get a nice fit. When everything is exactly the same you run into a lot of fitting issues, trust me.

Take your knife scales, and tape them together. Put your tang on the scales, and tape it on top. You should now have wood, wood, blade. Since we aren’t using a drill press, your holes won’t be perfectly straight, so you need to drill through both scales at the same time. Drill one hole, and put a pin through it, this helps keep the scales lined up. Once you have drilled the holes, put your pins in and see how your handle fits to the blade. Now it should be wood, blade, wood (DO NOT EPOXY), mark how you want the top of the handle to be. Take off the scales (that’s why we didn’t epoxy), now shape the top of your handle. The easiest way to do this is to once again, tape them together, put the pins in to line it up, put the scales in a vise, and then shape it to your desired shape. SAND IT TOO! It’s a pain in the ass to sand the top part of the handle once it’s on the blade. When you are happy with the top of the handle, epoxy the handle to the tang, put some epoxy in the holes, and push your pins through, let it set for 24hours. (Seriously, wait 24hours. I’ve had scales pop off on me before because I rushed it)

Once the epoxy has cured, shape the handle to the profile of the blade. (I used saws and files, now I have a belt sander) Then start to round the handle to your desired shape and thickness. When you’re happy with the shape, it’s time for sanding. I use 60,150,220,320. Usually I do this by hand, but a dremel works great too. I use tongue oil for my finishes. But I hear gun stock finishes work great too. I just haven’t bought any to try yet.

This is the easiest and simples way to make a knife handle. This is how I made the majority of mine.(now I have a belt sander which speeds up the process. You can get into the brass guards and bolsters, (which are a pain in the ass), but these simple handles can turn out beautifully. You can always add a 1/4” pipe to add a nice looking lanyard loop, but that’s optional.

For an EDC knife, I would suggest a very thin handle. But, shape it so it’s comfortable to grip.

Alternate way to shape the handle

Here is another way to shape the handle, you might like this better. You do the same steps to drill the holes, but instead of using pins, you use nuts and bolts. NOW, shape the profile of the handle. When that’s done, take off the scales, bolt the together without the blade, and shape the top of the handle. Then epoxy and pin the handles like before. This is the method you would use to expose some of the tank in the back of the handle like on my leg knife.

There are so many ways to make handles, these are the 2 ways that I have, and have worked great for me.

Here is a link with periodic pictures of a machete handle I did. I didn't shape the top of the handle like I explain, because it wasn't that important on this handle. But every other handle I have done is done the way I have explained. The last picture is my leg knife with the exposed tang.

Hope you enjoyed.