Art of Knife Making

Welcome to another addition of CRATEX metalsmith chapters. In this chapter, we’ll talk about knives, blades, knifemakers, knifemaking tools, CRATEX abrasives used for cleaning, polishing and finishing blades. As always, we prepared an interview with an expert in this field. This time we had an opportunity to speak with Kris Stevens from KS Bladeworks. At the end we’ll help you to make your first camper knife with few DIY tutorials.

Before we jump to files, hummers, abrasives, forging and grinding will introduce the most used steel for making blades. After all, steel is the essence of every knife and thus can’t be avoided in this chapter.  

If you would like us to explore and cover some other topics related to making knives feel free to contact our team at social(at)cratex(dot)com.

To quickly jump to the desired chapter, click on chapter icon.

Art of Knife Making




People & Knives



Knifemaking Tools



CRATEX Tools For Knife Making



Interview With Kris Stevens Custom Knife Maker



DIY - Make Your First Knife Step-by-step Tutorial - SOON

People & Knives


People and Knives

Knife – Oldest Tool Used by Man

We use knives every day, at least in the kitchen, but how many times have you asked yourself if it was possible for people of early civilizations to survive without a knife. Today we use all kinds of knives - paper knives, pocket knives, bread knives, camper and hunting knives, etc. However, a knife made of flint provided food and was a tool for making shelter in the Stone Age. Some say that the invention of the wheel was the most important invention in history, but how did they manage to build the wheel without a cutting tool? The knife was the first handmaking tool that we used to manipulate the world around us.

People used different materials for making knives. At the beginning, it was flint, copper, bronze, iron and, finally, steel. Techniques for making knives also evolved along with the new tools used for knifemaking.

We still have knives with fixed blades and folding knives as before. So, what has changed the most over the years? The material is what changed the most! These days we use sophisticated materials for knife making, like stainless steel, titanium, carbon or ceramics.

Centuries after, a knife is more than just a weapon for hunting animals and plant cultivation. Knife found its way to our tables, we use them daily. Knifemaking became a true art. Knife customization, engraving and adding gemstones is not so rare anymore.

Knifemakers & Making Process

Knifemakers are custom knife manufacturers. Some call them bladesmiths. They build knives out of blade material, usually from steel. This is done by forging. Blade material is heated over high temperature and then shaped with a hammer. After shaping comes grinding, polishing and other blade finishing processes. When the blade is done, it is time to make handles. They are usually made of wood, leather, ivory, micarta, stone etc. which is a harder way to make knives. Hobby knife makers and enthusiasts rarely do forging - instead, they do a stock removal. Below is just a baseline that will give you a clue on how to make a knife. 

Basic Knifemaking Process

  1. The most common process of making a knife starts with a knife design. You can draw a knife on a paper or design a full 3D model in CAD. It is up to you. 
  2. After designing, you must choose a blade material. It is also important to choose material thickness. You'll find more about choosing blade material in the chapter dedicated to tools.
  3. The next step is cutting the steel bar to achieve a knife shape per design. Here you will need vise, drill, grinder, file and saw with blades. Put the drawing onto the steel sheet to make a model. You can do this with a permanent pen. Now place steel into the vise and start cutting the steel according to the model with a hacksaw. If you are skilled enough, you can do this with a grinder or cutting wheel.
  4. Afterwards comes grinding to remove excess metal from the blade model. You can do this with a standard file or a belt grinder.
  5. Now it is time to finish the edge and make bevel. This is the most important step and a very delicate one, so be patient. Simply draw a line down the middle of the steel where the edge of the blade is going to be, so you can create symmetrical bevels. You can make bevels using a file or a belt grinder. Watch this tutorial if you want to learn how to do it with a belt grinder. YouTube is full of video tutorials like this one. If you are using files, like most hobby knifemakers, try to grind at the same angle between the steel and the file. Be careful not to remove more metal then you should. Once you finish one side, turn the blade and do the same on the other. Most people ruin their previous work in this stage, so take your time. 
  6. Drill holes for handle pins. Use a hand or bench drill.
  7. Heat treatment – hardening & tempering. Steel needs to be heat treated. You need to harden the blade by heating it on a high temperature and then quench it in the oil to cause a molecular change in the structure. Heat treatment depends on the material and it is technically very demanding. That is the reason many knife makers use services from professional heat treaters.
  8. Blade finishing - remove tarnish from heating treatment and other impurities. You can use sandpaper or rubber abrasives to achieve a mirror finish. CRATEX abrasives are the perfect choice for finishing and final touches.
  9. Make and attach the handles -  Handles should not just look nice, they must be durable regardless of the temperature, and water resistant. Most used material for handles is wood. First, you'll need to do is to drill pin holes (if you didn’t in step 6). Protect blade with a tape so you don’t cut on it. Clean surface. Attach and glue handles to a knife using epoxy and pins. Cut pins to the right size and put two clamps and let it sit for 12 hours. After that, shape handles using drum sender. In the end, finish and protect wooden handles with gunstock oil.
  10. Sharpening the blade –use whetstone or diamond stone. Put the stone on the table and lubricate it with mineral oil. Hold a knife at 17°-20° angle to the stone and start dragging the knife down to the stone with a light pressure.  

IMPORTANT: Protect your eyes, hands and lungs. Always use protective gear. 

Knifemaking Tools


Knifemaking Tools

Knifemaking Steel

Before we proceed to knifemaking tools, we need to explain a few things about the material you are going to use. There are a lot of things you should pay attention to while choosing a knifemaking steel, especially if you are just about to start and make your first knife.

There are several types of steel used by knifemakers. You need to know at least some basic information about those that are mainly used. You will choose different steel types depending on how you make knives: by stock removal or forging.

Every steel needs to be heat-treated. You probably don’t have a heating oven yet, so for starters, choose something simple, easy to heat-treat and work with. Common steel used for knife making is tools steel, stainless steel, and carbon steel. To gain a better insight about knifemaking steel types, visit this page. You can find a lot of steel comparison online that can help you decide. Below are most common steels found in knife blades.

  • O1 Steel – great for beginners, easy to work with, very tough, oil quenched, wear-resistant and holds an edge very well; care needed to prevent rust;
  • 1084 – also great for beginners, suitable for imprecise heat-treating; it can be bought everywhere; doesn’t need to be soaked for too long;
  • 1075 – same as above; very affordable, great choice for beginner knife makers, since it can be heat treated with a blow torch (temperature for heat treatment is not very high, around 830 degrees);
  • 1095 - a high percentage of carbon (95%); mostly used for knife making through forging; 
  • Stainless steel – more expensive, the blade won’t rust, so no maintenance is needed; you'll probably need someone to heat-treat it for you; easy sharpen.

Top 12 Tools for Knifemakers

If you are just about to start and you're looking at knife making as just a hobby, don’t invest too much in tools. Buy essential and cheap tools just to get you started. Simple projects need simple tools. Let's assume you want to make a knife by stock removal. This means you don’t need all that gear for working with fire, anvils, big hammers and oil. Check this list to learn more about top knifemaking tools. 

Order Points

SKU Shape Length Diameter Arbor Hole
Q8 Bullet Point 1" 9/32" 1/16"
Q10 Bullet Point 5/8" 3/8" 1/16"
Q11 Bullet Point 1" 3/8" 1/8"
Q15 Bullet Point 7/8" 1/2" 1/8"
Q4 Cylinder 1/2" 1/4" 1/16"
Q6 Cylinder 7/8" 1/4" 1/16"
Q12 Tapered 7/8" 3/8" to 5/16" 1/8"
Q14 Tapered 7/8" 5/8" to 1/8" 1/8"
SKU Price Quantity
sku $price
Quantity Price per piece

Tool #1: File

Good old-fashion file. The best friend of many metalsmiths. You can do amazing things with this simple tool (except drilling a hole, of course). Files are cheap and one of the first tools you'll need to get. Grinding, finishing, smoothing – it all can be done with files that come in different grit sizes and different shapes. A lot of guys made their first blades out of an old file. Files cost less than $10 and you can buy them at every metal store. Although they require manual, work and there are a lot of power tools that can replace them and get the job done faster, you'll definitely need to have a set of files in your garage.

Tool #2: Clamps

You'll need something to hold the knife while you are working. Buy several pairs of clamps since you’ll need them in many situations. They are not expensive, so try to buy different types if possible. Start with welders and c-clamps, and then move on to pipe clams, bar clamps, one-handed clamps, etc. You can buy them online at Home Depot starting at $10 depending on type. 

Tool #3: The Hacksaw

The hacksaw with a high-quality blade is also an important tool, especially in the process of cutting and shaping steel. Knifemaking process always starts with the hacksaw. Power tools can get the job done faster, but you can't use them in tight corners. Order a hacksaw at Amazon starting at $20 and make sure to order spare blades kit as well.

Tool #4: The Bench Vise

Everyone dealing with metal needs at least one bench vise. There are a lot of options when choosing a bench vise, but you can easily start with the one with a 360-degree swivel base adjustment, which enables you to change the orientation of your work. A quality bench vise can be found for $100, but if you think that is too much, you can buy a used one. Generally, all-around bench vise size is 5 inches, but you can go even with a bigger one.

Speaking of a bench vise, we need to mention soft jaw caps or inserts that are designed to protect your knife. They are usually made of leather, rubber, copper, plastic, aluminum and can be found on eBay for around $20.

Tool #5: Grinding Abrasives

Sandpaper, rubber abrasive wheels, cones, points and sticks all come handy when it comes to finishing work - blade fine grinding and polishing. A line of CRATEX rubber abrasives is a MUST for knifemakers that want to give a unique final touch to their work. You'll find more about CRATEX abrasives for knifemakers in the next chapter.


Loving me some @cratexsandiego today a tool maker can't live without this stuff.

Tool #6: Drill

A drill press is a much more convenient and better option, while hand drill with some bits for drilling steel is quite good for a beginner knife maker. Maybe you can consider buying a used drill press with a drill vise. It will improve your precision and save you some time. A hand drill can cost you around $30. A 10-inch drill press at Sears costs around $121. A set of Cobalt drill bits will cost you around $30 on eBay.  A 4-inch drill press vise costs $17 and will get the job done just fine.           

Tool #7: Sharpening Stone

Sharpening is the last step in knifemaking process. There are countless options to choose from when buying a sharpening stone. The price range starts at $20 and goes all the way to $200, sometimes even more. A lot of brands, stone shapes, grit textures, stone sizes can be found on the market, and the price depends on the stone material. Knife makers mostly use diamond sharpening stones, but you can try ceramic stones, water stones, Arkansas stone, or whatever you find suitable.

Tool #8: Safety Gear

Always use safety gear when cutting metal, grinding and heat-treating steel: safety glasses, dust masks or respirators, and gloves. Safety equipment can prevent serious injuries and protect your eyes, lungs and hands from heated metal hazard dust particles. Glasses and gloves are quite cheap, and a respirator is always a better solution than a dust mask. You can get high-quality 3M Respirator at Home Depot for $100.

For knifemakers who make knives by forging steel, a fire extinguisher is required. A 5lb rechargeable fire extinguisher will cost you under $50. It is a small investment that could save your working space from catching fire.

Tool #9: Dremel or Another Rotary Tool

Dremel is not an essential tool but can be useful for cutting material, detail grinding, rust cleaning, jeweling or customizing with mounted abrasive cones, small rubber or cut-off wheels, points and bits. Dremel 400, is the first choice for many knifemakers, and it can be found online for $77. Search eBay to find the best deal. Along with a Dremel tool, you can buy a handpiece or flex shaft attachment, which is a very convenient accessory, since you won’t have to hold the motor unit in your hand. 

More Advanced Pieces of Equipment

At one point or another, you will need all previously mentioned tools. Hobby knifemakers can invest less than $1000 and have a solid foundation. However, if you are somewhere in between, in a transition from a hobby to a full-time knifemaker, you'll need to invest a lot more. Tools described below are the ones you'll need to have in your shop or a garage in case you are striving to become a master knife maker.    

Tool #10: Belt Grinder

We are not talking about small bench belt grinders here, but 2" x 72" industrial knife belt sender made for professionals. Buying a smaller 1" x 42"(belt dimensions) belt grinder shouldn’t be an option here. If this tool is too much of an expense for you at the moment, then hold off on buying it. Don’t waste money on a grinder that’s not capable of getting the job done.    

Belt grinder prices can vary a lot depending on many factors: motor power (don’t go below 1HP if you tend to grind tick and long steel bars), motor speed (variable speed control is a fantastic option to have), wheel speed, wheel size (usually 8", but you can get any dimension you need), body material, accessories, ability to quickly change belt (quick-release mechanism), tracking adjustments, etc. All powerful and professional belt grinders have very similar specifications.

An affordable belt grinder for knifemaking can be found for around $600 plus shipping. High-end models can cost even up to $3,000. Search online to find a used one that's in a good shape. We recommend the following brands: Grizzly, Bader, Kalamazoo, Coote, KMG, Wilmont and NRT.

Tool #11: Heat-treating Oven

As mentioned before, steel needs to be heat-treated. Heat treating is the most demanding and most important process when making a knife. You can outsource heat treating, as shops that sell steel usually offer heat-treating services as well. However, if you want to be serious in knifemaking, you'll need to have a heat-treating oven (some call them heat-treating furnaces or kilns).

You can definitely heat a 2-inch stainless steel blade with a torch, but heating a 5-inch or a longer blade at the constant temperature of 1000 degrees can be quite tricky. You can have the right temperature in the center of a blade, while the other blade parts stay cool. Inconsistency in hardness can lead to failure, as blade simply won’t hold the edge. This is just one of the reasons why you need to invest in a heat treat oven.

What is the most important thing to know when buying heat-treating furnaces? The main function of the oven is to heat the blade to a precise high temperature and to keep the temperature constant. Thus, it must have digital or manual temperature controls and a reliable temperature controller. The size and the capacity of an oven will depend on the blade you'll need to heat. The highest temperature it can achieve is also very important, and temperature standards are 2350°F and 2000°F.

The oven is not a cheap piece of equipment and the price depends on the size. An oven with chamber size of 6.5” W x 4.25” H x 18” D will cost you around $1,200. A trusted brand of many knifemakers in the US is Paragon.

Don’t forget to buy ceramic racks and industrial stainless-steel foil as well. You will need a rack to position blades in the oven, and the heat treat foil will protect blades and prevent from scaling and discoloration.

Note: Heat-treating ovens are electric and will draw lots of electricity.

Pro Tip: TOOL #12

Beer? No. Pizza? No. AC/DC soundtrack to listen while grinding? No.

Tool #12 is INSTAGRAM or some other social media channel! Promote your work, your new project and have fun. Ask for opinions and advice. Follow or Like other knife makers. Try to learn something new, something different. Steal some ideas and improve them. Share your knowledge. Ask about new tools. Learn some new knife-making techniques. Give valuable info to those who are searching for new handle materials, looking for heat-treating services, or just need help choosing the best steel for their project.

Record videos while working and upload them to YouTube. Help others learn new things from you. Be a part of a large knifemakers community. Learn from others and help others to become better knifemakers.

CRATEX Tools For Knife Making


CRATEX Tools for Knifemaking

CRATEX is the leading US manufacturer of rubber abrasives. Many products from CRATEX assortment found use in knifemaking. Rubber abrasive wheels, cones and points are an inevitable part of knifemaking supplies. Rubber abrasives are especially convenient in the finishing process: for fine grinding and blade polishing, although many knife makers use them for handle finishing as well.


When you're as fussy as I am about details, Cratex is a huge time saver. Spotted a flaw in one of the plunges. Instead of going back to the contact wheel and refinishing the whole blade, an XF knife edge wheel on the Foredom let's meet do a spot touchup #knifemaker #customknives #handmade#cratex

CRATEX abrasives are capable of: removing rust from old blades, initial blade deburring, removing scratches on blades, cleaning up and smoothing solder joints between guard and blade, cleaning plunge lines, blade polishing, knife engine turning – jeweling, all kinds of blade smoothing and rounding, blade mirror polishing, etc.

Grit Grades & Colors

When it comes to grit texture, all CRATEX rubber abrasives are divided into 4 groups:

  • COARSE (C) - Green - 46 grit,
  • MEDIUM (M) - Dark Brown - 90 grit,
  • FINE (F) - Reddish Brown - 120 grit,
  • EXTRA FINE (XF) - Gray Green -  240 grit.

1. Polishing Points

For polishing knife's hard-to-reach areas, you’ll need CRATEX points. Choose between three shapes depending on your work scope: bullet point, cylinder and tapered.

If you have a blade with grooves that need to be polished, or guard corners that must be smoothen, spirals on handles that need micro-deburring, look no further! CRATEX rubber points will get into places the sandpaper can’t. CRATEX Points are real time-savers for many knifemakers.

Depending on a blade size, choose a pin length and a diameter. Attach them to your favorite power tool, Dremel, CRATEX Rotary tool or a Foredom and get into every groove. Pins are flexible and can be re-shaped to suit the needs, so you can polish the file work on a knife blade in a few minutes. Depending on the shape, length, diameter and arbor hole, there are eight pin combinations. Along with the polishing point, you can order rotary tool mandrels in two dimensions. Get full info and order polishing points here.

CRATEX rubber polishers are imbedded with the silicon carbide, so they won’t heat up the steel, and you won't need to use anything to cool it down while working. Use them dry and forget about tripoli and rouge.

2. Small Polishing Wheels

Same as polishing points, small CRATEX wheels can be mounted on your rotary tool and used to cut and blend scratches, all in one operation. Small wheels are produced in 4 grit textures: coarse, medium, fine and extra fine. You can choose between two edge shapes: tapered and straight. Size from 3/8" to 1" and special cushioning can guarantee a smooth and soft metal removal without the loss of dimensional tolerances. Depending on the diameter, edge shape and thickness, you can order more than 10 wheels variations.

They offer a superior control over the knife blade and will ease your job when polishing knife edges and flat surfaces. Small rubber wheels are used by many knife makers since they are softer than other types of bonded abrasives. This means that even hobby knife makers can use them without the fear of grinding too much of the knife material.

Visit this page and see small wheels detailed specification.

3. Large Polishing Wheels


I am retired bridge builder, machinist/millwright. I restore fine old knives and tools. I use three inch wheels on my Sherline lathe, small wheels on Foredom and die grinders. Round and square sticks for cleaning corrosion on most everything I work on . CRATEX products are indispensable in my work.
#knifecraft #knifemaker #knives #oldknife #oldknives #restauration #cratextools #cratexwheels #rubberabrasives #craftsman #toollover #machining #craftholic #craftlover #knifelover #mycratex #abrasive #abrasivewheels #cratexsandiego

For removing and leaning corrosion from long and tick blades, removing heat-treating marks on blades, smoothing swords edges, blade restoration, fine grinding after stock removal or sharpening other knifemaking tools in your shop, there are CRATEX large wheels.

They can be used on all conventional electric motors and bench grinders. Large wheels come in 1"-1/2", 2", 3", 5" and 6" size depending on the thickness and arbor hole. All CRATEX grits are available.

To check the prices and detailed specifications, visit Large Wheel page.

4. Polishing Rods & Sticks

The easiest way to make your knife unique and is to add fine patterns to a knife steel. Knife engine turning has been one of the favorite decoration technique for centuries. CRATEX polishing rods are the perfect solution for knife engine turning if you have a small drill mill. To learn more about length and cross-section on this link.

Watch the video below to see CRATEX polishing sticks in action. Video credit: @glennarehovinknives

Protect your nose and lungs from harmful dust when buffing. Always use a dust mask and a respirator. To avoid sparks and dust particles, wear eye protection – safety glasses or face shield. 

Interview With Custom Knifemaker


Our guest is the custom knife maker - Kris Stevens from KS Bladeworks. We asked him 19 questions and this is what he told us. Enjoy this wonderful interview. If you want to find out more about Kris visit KS Bladework Instagram or YouTube Channel

Interview With Knifemaker

Welcome, Kris! And thanks for accepting to do interview with us. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself? How long have you been working as knifemaker? Can you let us know about your beginnings and KSBladeworks?

- I was born in Denver Co. and was moved out to San Diego Ca. in 1976 when I was a bit over a year old. Graduated from Valhalla High School in 1993. I have always loved knives and up until 2014 just thought it was just brands like Kershaw and Buck and such.

Now, How I got into making is a fun story in itself. Back in about 2007 or so my fiancé and I used to watch a lot of shopping network shows and one that we always made a point to watch was watches and Jim Skelton. So, every Sunday we would watch him showcase watches and became somewhat of a collector. Then one-day Jim said that he was moving on to something different and he was gone. A few years later I stumbled across his YouTube channel and found he was now reviewing top end knives so of course I was interested. After watching his reviews, I would read some comments and start to follow some of the makers.

Gavko and Jesse Jarosz really got me to want to make a blade. So, one Saturday (March 2014) I bought a CHEEP Harbor Freight 4-36 grinder, went to Home Depot and grabbed a piece of oak and a bar of carbon steel and made my first fixed blade Even though I couldn’t heat treat it HA-HA. THEN I found Instagram after Jim, Mikel and Jesse were talking about it on YT and created an account and posted it. For the longest time I had less than 100 followers. That was until I figured out what hashtags were! I got into making knives wanting to make a folding knife (frame lock). That is where it started. I posted the builds and not just finished products. And people loved that. Not just a pretty piece but the process of what it takes to get to a pretty piece!
Then the orders started, and it scared me a bit. So, I started making customs from a sketch that I would send to a customer and update throughout the entire process. Had to close my books and now I only make when I like to and post for sale. I never went full time even though people asked ma all the time when I was. This is my hobby, I felt/feel that if I went full time it would feel like work and I would lose the enjoyment. I have a 6-5 job and this hobby is relaxing to me.

Can you describe your day on the job as a knife maker? Or your typical work week if more suitable?

-  Like I said above, this is a hobby for me, I build when I like. Sometimes I get so far in the Zone that I’d be up until 2-3 AM and then go back to the day job at 6 am. My shop is at home, so I could be watching TV and get an idea and BOOM! OUT TO THE SHOP! Weekends for me are for knife making mostly. I draw out my design and research to ensure that I’m not copying someone’s design and then lay out my materials. Choose my blade stock, handle materials, pivots and hardware and get to cutting. Then I got my mill. This just made thing SO much better and tolerances where I wanted them. Also got into making titanium tings and other goodies. I would have a piece of scrap left over from making a knife and make a ring and post it. Then I would get orders for those.

What's the last knife making project that you did that was especially challenging?

- My favorite knife I did (And totally jumped into that way early in making) was a Damascus/titanium liner lock, 34 individual hand-made pieces that had to fit together perfectly so it would work. I did a final assembly video on my YouTube channel. Everyone loved that knife. (Actually have another one in the works now).

Kris Stevens - KS Bladeworks

Do you make knifes by stock removal or forging? How do you choose steel for new project?

- I use the stock removal method. I get asked if I will ever forge a knife. I really don’t think I will at this point. Maybe when I retire. For steels I generally use AEB-L stainless steel or carbon Damascus. In choosing, I see what makers are using and how steels work and heat treat.

You make folding knives as well. Are they harder to make then knives with fixed blade? Why?

- I do. Folding knives are much harder to make than fixed blades, not knocking fixed blades in any way but they weren’t challenging enough for me. And there are a ton of fixed makers that build an awesome fixed blade! Reasons why a folder is more difficult to make is… Everything has to be precise, square and centered for it to function correctly. This comes down to good tooling, materials and finishing. I started with cheap tools abrasives and fought builds all the time trying to get them to work. Once I stepped up the tool game it was like day and night (Talking about minimizing process times with quality belts and good drill bits and endmills. Everything just started to fall together and it became easy to make a folding knife for me.

What is single the most important step when making a knife?

- Do your homework! Watch and follow makers that post builds and videos to see how things are done. Be able to vision what you want the finished product to be.

Do you find anything annoying or do you hate something in knifemaking?

- Not at all. Well I shouldn’t say that. Don’t bite off more than you can chew… I took on a large run of micro frame lock folders too early in the game and it almost turned me away from making completely.

What tools are essential in your shop? Belt grinder, heat-treating oven, etc.?

- This is a deep question. But the most important for most is a good grinder. Be it a 2-72 or a 1-30, Everyone has their own niche and work with what is comfortable for them. A good sturdy drill-press and quality bits. And yes, a heat treat oven for me. Most send their blades out for heat treat and that is great but for one-off’s, I keep it all in-house. I LOVE my mill and lathe. I can make parts that I no longer need to search for and buy.

What are the most important factors to become a successful knifemaker? Do you have any advice for those who just started as knifemakers and want to achieve great career in this field?

- I would say stay humble and do what you love. There are a lot of great makers that would offer to call and talk to a new maker and give advice. I have done that several times and makes the knife community that much tighter and builds great friendships. Don’t go into a build thinking it’s crap! Everyone starts somewhere, and this is just the beginning. Take criticism with a grain of salt. Make what you like and build from there. You will always improve with practice.

What type of abrasives except sending belts for belt grinder you use in your shop: rubber wheels, points, cones, etc.? Please describe purpose of use: blade or handles polishing, blade grinding, finishing, cutting metal, blade mirror polishing, etc. Why do you need abrasives and in what phases do you use them?

- Not a whole lot actually. I use my belts for almost every process. CRATEX points, cones and sticks come in for the finishing processes. Cones for polishing reamed holes. Sticks for engine turning the inside of the frames. I do use a buffer with a loose wheel and compound for mirror polishing my Damascus for a better etch after heat treating as well as to polish handle scales.

Depending on application and abrasive shape, what size (diameter) and grit type are mostly used by knifemakers?

- The most common for me are 36, 60, 80, 120, 240, 400, 600 and 1000 grits. 36 to rip the steels down to profile quickly. And then step up from there to remove the previous grind lines.

How did you learn about CRATEX products? Official website, forum/blog, recommended by another knife maker?

- I found you on the explore page on Instagram.

When did you start using CRATEX abrasives in your shop?

- You were the ONLY one that offered individual pieces. I had never used them before due to the fact that everyone made you purchase an entire kit. I didn’t want to invest into something like that if I wasn’t going to like it. You provided the opportunity for me to try it!

Why did you choose our products instead of some other manufacturer?

- As stated above. You were the only manufacture that I could find that offered smaller (individual) purchases.

What do you like the most?

  1. Quality & Material
  2. Price
  3. Customer service
  4. Other

-   All the above! The quality is great. The material lasts. Pricing is awesome and the customer service is wonderful, Easy to talk to and turnaround times are great.

Is there anything we could do to make you a more satisfied customer? (product improvement/online store/website/other)

- I wouldn’t change a thing. For me it was a great experience.

Would you recommend CRATEX products to others, and if yes, how would the recommendation sound?

- Definitely!!! “Have you tried engine turning your parts? Check out the CRATEX website! You can order only the items you want to try for a great price and not be forced to buy full high dollar kits”

What would you Google to find a business like CRATEX online?

- I originally Googled looking for other sites but all wanted to sell me 50 pieces or more or full sets.

Do you have any questions for us?

- At the moment, I do not. So far you guys are great and love the products and support.