Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Price Guide


These are minimum prices. Depending on design, features, and materials, your price may be higher. Prices do not include shipping.

At this point I have no interest in making mirror or satin finished blades. I prefer the practicality and aesthetics of a forge finish, and frankly no customer has wanted to order anything from me that wasn't forge finished in a while. Every knifemaker has his area of focus, and mine will be on forge finished blades. Axes are a bit different and tend to have smooth-ground finishes.

A forge finish is easy to maintain and is difficult to damage. Many people, including myself, enjoy the primal look. A good forge finish displays the smith's skill with a hammer. It is smooth, showing no random hammer blows, textured only by the scale that forms from heating the steel to be able to hammer it into shape. I soak my forge finished blades in vinegar overnight in order to eat the scale off, leaving the textured steel exposed.

Steel will be 80CrV2 for knives and 4140 for axes, unless otherwise discussed. Handles can be wood, Micarta, natural cord wrap, or hardened paracord wrap. I make my own Kydex sheaths and work with several different leatherworkers to make make leather sheaths if desired.

Kydex sheaths are typically $40, not including carry hardware, with sheaths for longer blades starting at $50. Leather prices vary depending on maker and design. I have no markup on leather sheaths; typically I pay the leatherworker and then charge the customer what it cost me, although I will put a customer in direct contact with the leatherworker if so desired and they can pay directly if they would rather.

A fully sharpened top edge adds $30 to the base price for shorter blades, and $50 for longer blades.

$165 - 4"-5.5" knives. These are hand forged works of functional art. Very capable tools, they are also beautiful. I will work with you on design and materials to make your own knife that will serve you well the rest of your life. The knife will be delivered shaving sharp.

Cord wrapped handles start at $165 and Micarta or wood handles start at $185.

$185 - 6"-10" These are predominantly camp knives and fighters. Camp knives, used for chopping primarily, are typically balanced so that the blade is heavier. Fighters are more balanced between the handle and the blade, keeping them quick and lively in the hand in spite of the length of their blades.

Cord wrapped handles start at $185 and Micarta or wood handles start at $205.

$300+ - 10"+ Big choppers, machetes, and swords. Serious brush tools. Zombie killers.

Some options to consider:

Bolster - I put these on hidden tang knives but not on full tangs. The bolster is the metal support that strengthens the end of the wooden handle where the tang enters the wood. An actual bolster is the same basic cross section as the handle behind it. A single guard drops down on the edge side of the knife, helping keep the user's hand from sliding onto the blade. A double guard rides above the spine of the blade as well, really locking the user's hand from forward movement. I use either copper or steel for my bolsters and guards. A bolster will cost less than a single guard, which will in turn cost less than a double guard.

Lanyard hole - This allows you to add a lanyard for either added retention, aid in pulling the blade from the sheath, or simply decoration.

Handle material - There are many kinds of materials out there. Some of the most beautiful exotic hardwoods are also the most rare, and will have a higher materials cost.


  1. Nice post--I'll be sure to refer anyone who asks about your pricing to it. You've received several comments about the golok pricing on ZS

  2. These prices are really low, are they still in this range?
    If so,please shoot me an email at as I like your work alot and am in need of a new bushcraft knife
    Ironwood Evan

  3. I was wondering, Have you thought about doing a WSK design, Id love to see it with a forged finish!! :)

  4. I find the WSK kind of a goofy design. I'm not a fan of multiple grinds on a blade in the first place, as I find that a full flat grind really covers all the bases on the cutting I do, being able to shave hair and chop through hardwood with the same edge. No plans for a WSK from me anytime soon. :)

  5. What website do we go to to make a purchase?

  6. Some excellent looking blades here!

  7. Any recommendations for keeping your blades sharp? I recently found some great looking knife sharpening kits from DMT but haven't yet pulled the trigger on any of them. Wondering what your thoughts are?



    1. Check the links on the right of the page and you'll see where I posted video on how I sharpen.

  8. Hi I am interested in a 16 inch outdoor sword. Full Tang with no handle scales put on it. Two handed. Just like everyone your bush sword design. Can I possibly get a price on something like that. is my email

  9. Hello, I see your in Texas and am interested in commissioning a bowie.

  10. I was a range officer at the Outback Precision match this past weekend and was lusting after a knife of yours that you donated. They did a random drawing and an RO did end up with a knife, but unfortunately it was not me! I must say that the knife was beautiful, and had a nice heft to it. That's not the first knife of yours I've seen donated to a prize table. Thank you for being so generous.


    1. Thanks, Dan, but I think you may be mixing me up with Matt Helm. I do occasionally donate a knife, but don't think I had done so for the Outback Precision match.

  11. How do I order a knife or 2? I notice some of this pricing is a bit out of date. Off topic, is there an actual person named Matt Helm or is it a reference to the literary spy character from the 1960's spy books and movies? The character was a knife expert and I am very curious.
    James Sipler

    1. The prices are a bit out of date, but they give a ballpark idea. I'm on hiatus from taking new forged orders except from military, law enforcement, and first responders. If you fall under one of those categories, there is a link on the right side of the page that says "Contact Information".

      There is a real knifemaker named Matt Helm, but I haven't met him yet. I'm James Helm. I occasionally get e-mails for Matt, and try to direct folks his way on Facebook.

  12. Morning, Just curious as to the Doubl-edged carcass splitter, how long is the handle? Almost looks like same size as the blade._._.Dangerously beautiful by the way. Thanks