Roughly It can cost anywhere from $380 – $3000 to start forging knives. But it will be dependent on how serious you are about forging knives and the equipment you already have to hand. Some people can get started with knife forging for just a few hundred dollars, while others can easily spend thousands of dollars to get what they need.
Ideally, if you do start knife forging, you will probably want to start with some basic equipment and upgrade as you go.
Do You Need a Dedicated Space To Forge Knives?
You do. In fact, this is probably the main cost when you are getting started with forging knives. Thankfully, the vast majority of people will already have an area that they can forge knives already. This may save you a few thousand dollars.
When you are forging knives, you are going to have a lot of hot items. Forging knives is going to be a major fire risk. Therefore, you need to be working in an area that can cope with the intense heat of knife forging. This means no wooden sheds, for instance.
Having a dedicated space in your garage should be more than enough when you are getting started with knife forging. The walls will be brick or concrete, which means no fire risk. You will have to ensure that there is nothing that could easily catch alight close to any of your hot knife forging equipment.
What Equipment Do You Need For Knife Forging?
There are a few bits and pieces that you will need while forging knives. If you are planning on carrying out other types of metalworking in the future, you may need to scale up some of this equipment e.g. a larger forge, anvil, hammer, etc.
The forge is where the metal will be heated up. Due to how common knife forging has become, there are many forges on the market designed specifically for knife making i.e. they are smaller, portable times.
You can expect to be paying between $200 and $400 for a decent forge (Check out my Best 5 gas Forge for knife Making ). Since most of these forges are powered with propane, you will also need to consider the extra costs of the fuel too. This can vary from location to location, but it shouldn’t be that expensive. Propane is a very affordable fuel.
If you are buying one of these beginner forges, you will not need to purchase any bellows. This is because the forge will have heat control on it anyway.
The anvil is where you will be shaping the knife. Anvils will be designed in such a way that will allow you to do all sorts of metal shaping. Most of this isn’t going to be that useful for knife forging, but it may be beneficial if you start diving into other types of metalwork.
Anvils are solid blocks of metal. They shouldn’t really cost you a lot of cash. Expect to be paying somewhere between $50 and $100 for something suitable for knife forging.
You will need a hammer that will allow you to strive your metal once it has been heated up. You can’t just use any hammer for this job. You will need to use a proper blacksmith’s hammer. This will set you back between $50 and $100 depending on the quality that you are buying.
You need some way to transfer your hot metal from the forge to the anvil. For this, you will need a set of tongs. Thankfully, these will probably be the cheapest piece of equipment that you require. A pair of tongs can start at $20 and go up from there.
You will need gloves, aprons, eye protection, etc.
You can expect this to cost around $100.
The metal bucket will be for your quenching liquid. You can expect this to cost between $10 and $20. It is important that it is a metal bucket as a plastic one will just melt.
On top of this, you will need some items that you probably have around your home already. This includes:
- Drill press (starting at $100)
- Angle grinder (starting at $50)
- Files (starting at $50-75 for a good set)
- Bench vice (around $100 for a good one)
- Bandsaw for cutting wood. (starts at $150)
What Materials Do You Need For Knife Forging?
In terms of materials, you won’t need that much, and the price of these can vary wildly.
You will also need a material for the handle. This will normally be wood. On top of this will be screws or some other way to secure the handle onto the knife. You can use other materials for the handle, but do bear in mind that it will cost you a lot more.
While there are a lot of different oils for quenching liquids out there, most beginners will use water. This is free. Just make sure that you have the metal bucket!
Other accessories include:
- Sandpaper (fine grit)
- Angle grinder discs
- Drill bits for metal
- Bandsaw blades
All in all, expect to be spending about $50-$100 on materials. The better the quality of the steel, the more you will likely be spending.
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It is likely that some equipment for knife forging can be rented. However, the cost of renting equipment is probably going to be comparable to buying the equipment outright. Therefore, if you plan on forging more than one or two knives, then it is probably best just to buy your equipment. If you do not like knife forging, then you can sell everything on pretty easily.
Forging Knives isn’t as expensive as you may think. Expect to spend a few hundred dollars to get started. Once you have all the equipment, the price of this hobby will go all the way down since the only items that you will be buying from project to project will be the materials that you end up using!