How To Cut Deer Antler For Knife Handle? Easy 7 Steps Guide


Deer are beautiful animals, and most of their beauty comes from their antlers which most people even call horns or crowns. These antlers look spectacular on their own because of their shape and structure. However, most people do not know that deer shed their antlers in the winter season.

So, if you are lucky enough to find one, you can use it for several things one of which, of course, is a knife handle. But how do you cut the deer antler and prepare it for a knife handle?

First of all, before you cut a deer antler for knife handle, choose the blade for which you will make the handle. Then, prepare the antler for your handle. Moving forward, file any excess parts on your blade for a better fitting. Before you glue the antler handle, it will have to go through a process of softening and straightening if required. Finally, clench it to your blade and hammer a rod to your blade.

Things you will need to cut deer antler for knife handle

If you are all in for knowing, how do you cut deer antlers? Then you must know the things that you may need to get things done. Below are some of the necessary things that you may need to cut deer antlers in the right way:

  • Protective gloves
  • Eye protection goggles
  • A deer antler that is right by all means
  • Knife
  • Hacksaw
  • Band saw
  • Stuff used for sanding.

Can you shape deer antlers? Yes, you can, and using these things, it will become very simple and easy for you to cut and shape deer antlers to make a handle for your knife.

Cut Deer Antler For a Knife Handle: A Step by step guide

Deer antler for knife handle

You might have made wooden or metallic knife handles in the past. Even if you didn’t, it is worth knowing that when we talk about cutting deer antler for Knife handle, things are not as simple.

1.     Hold your knife firmly

The first step in the process is to grab your knife correctly which is a critical point that will set a good base for making a good knife handle. If you are out in the woods, stabbing the knife’s blade in a log would be the solution for a firm grip. Otherwise, you can use a vice or a clamp to get the best results.

2.     Prepare the antler

Moving on to the next step, you need to pay attention to things like “how do you cut deer antlers? You cannot use deer antlers as they are, and there will be some clicking, snipping, cutting, and shaping the antlers for sure. Make sure to use the right tools to get the desired shape that will match your blade.

3.     Get your blade ready.

Once you have your blade ready, you need to move on to the next step. It is about getting the knife ready. In this step, you will ensure that the backside of the knife is good for the deer antler handle. Making any trims or sanding things down may be needed in this step.

4.     Softening antlers is crucial.

You cannot get the desired results for the knife handle without softening the antlers as they might not be as straight as you want them to be. Softening them will allow you to straighten them for the best results. Well, softening it is not as difficult at all as you may think. All you need to do is to soak them in cold water for 24 to 48 hours before boiling them for a few minutes. It usually takes no more than 30 minutes to an hour.

5.     Adjust and shape antler correctly for your knife

Once the antler is soft enough, you can adjust it on the backside of your knife and push it ahead. In this way, the handle will get on the knife, and then you will need to dry it. Using some sanding equipment, you can shape the deer antler knife handle and file some excess parts around.

6.     Start gluing using super glue.

Although you have got the handle to get on the knife at this point, things do not stick well. So, it is a good option for you to use super glue. Make sure to use enough of it but at the same time refrain from overdoing things as it may get messy and take a lot more time to dry.

7.     Clench tightly

The final step you need to do and the one that matters a lot in the whole process is to clench tightly. Clenching needs you to get a steel nail or a metal rod. You can even get things done with a brass rod. What you need to do is to get the nail/rod through the holes and make it short so that it fits perfectly.

The last thing you need to do is to hammer the nail/rod tightly so that it holds the handle in place as well as makes everything fit perfectly. Doing this, and you are done with making the deer antler knife handle.

How to find the right antler for the handle of your knife?

Are you thinking about what antler is best for a knife handle? If you find any, you need to select the one that seems to have the strongest feeling and the best shape for knife handles. Otherwise, they are not that easy and simple to be found. So, to help you find out the right antler for making your knife handle here, we will get you through some tips that will help you out.

Search for antlers in areas with low hunting

If you have been searching for antlers in the areas where there is a lot of deer hunting, then you have been wasting your time. The reason is that when someone hunts for a deer, they most probably take everything they find with them. So, look for an area with less hunting.

Follow deer trails

The trails that deer leave give you a higher chance of finding a good antler for your knife handle. Make sure to look around the bushy areas to increase the chances of you finding a good antler.

Deer have specific areas where they come to play and jump. These are the places where a jerk from jumping can get the antler to shed. So, it would help if you make sure to search this area thoroughly. Searching carefully in this area will increase your chances of finding the right deer antlers.

Take your time and have patience.

The last thing that you need to keep in your mind is that you need to be patient. It is not a race that you want to win, so make sure that you walk slowly while looking for deer antlers. Similarly, always keep your eyes on the ground for any deer trails.

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Why it is better to use a deer antler for a knife handle?

While you can use plastic, metal, or wood for making knife handles, why must you go for deer antlers? Selecting deer antlers brings several benefits as well.

So, here is why it is the better choice to go with them.

·       Your knife will get a special value.

When you make a handle with deer antlers, the knife will not remain like any other ordinary knife. It will become social as you have invested your time and craftsmanship in that which will add an unrevealing sentimental value.

·       These knives are expensive.

Buying a knife with deer antlers handles from the market is costly. So, making one by yourself means that you are giving yourself a premium gift. If you decided to sell it, you would be able to do so with a higher price compared to a wooden handle knife.

·       These knives are not easy to make

If you need to have something that tells people about your craftsmanship and skills, then going with a knife handle can be your best choice. It will be the perfect example that you have the patience as well as craftsmanship to make such a beautiful thing.

·       Having a deer antler handle knife will always keep you ready.

Having a knife made especially for the outdoors will mean that you are always ready to deal with any situation. So, whether it is some hunting or any other activity, your knife will be your perfect sentimental partner.

Tips to precisely cut deer antlers without damaging it

In the process above, you may have noticed that the cutting process was the one that got a lot of attention. Well, the deer antlers are not as strong, and they need to be handled with care so that you can make the best out of them. Follow these tips for the best results:

Look for the right part to cut

Cutting is important but cutting at the right spot is more important. When you are cutting deer antlers, you need to keep check the following things:

  • Their shape
  • Length and straightness
  • Thickness and strength
  • Any damage that may make them useless for you

By keeping track of all of these things, you can precisely cut deer antlers.

Always cut using the right tools and have patience

The next thing is to cut them using the right tools. Deer antlers are delicate, and if you use power tools on them, you may damage them. So, it is important to use something more on the softer and slower side, like a hacksaw. Having patience throughout the process is the key to success here.

Cutting will not do everything. Make sure to use other tools as well

To get the precision that you are looking for, you need to be sure that you are using some additional tools. For example, sanding the excessive mass up will give you a cleaner finish.

Make sure that you are not removing too much.

The last thing here is that you need to be sure that you are not removing too much to get the shape that you want. Let some mass stay there as it will add structural strength to the deer antlers knife handle.

What sort of tools do you need to make a deer antler knife handle?

If you are looking to make a deer antler knife handle, then you do not need a lot of power tools or other complex tools. The simplest hand-working tools will be good to go with.

Is it good to use deer antlers to make knives?

Yes, the deer antler knife handle can make your knife look a lot better in different ways, depending on how you finish it.

What type of saw do you need to cut the deer antler for knife handle?

As you cannot use the power saw because of the delicacy of deer antlers, it is better to use the hacksaw or band saw for making the deer antlers’ knife handle.

What to do if your deer antler needs some straightening?

If you cannot find deer antlers straight enough for making a knife handle, then you can make one straight yourself. You only need to keep it dipped in cold water for 24 to 48 hours before boiling it for some time which will soften it so that you can straighten it.

Do the deer antlers grow back?

Yes, deer shed their antlers in the winter season, and later in the year, these antlers grow back.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to cutting deer antler for knife handles, people often show interest, but there are several confusing questions like can you soften deer antlers? Well, if you are determined enough to make a deer knife handle, you will easily find the solution to any problem you face.

Making this handle is not a simple process for sure, and here we elaborated on everything you needed to know about making one yourself.

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