What Is a Kiridashi Knife? 8 Easy Steps DIY (With Template)

There’s no doubt that the Kiridashi knife holds the bar for the most efficient cutting function done by a utility knife when it comes to traditional knives. 

Plus, it goes beyond the usual household use as it has become a budget-friendly tool for survival. 

A Kiridashi knife is a Japanese multi-purpose knife characterized by a chisel-grind edge and sharp point. It is beveled on one side and is relatively smaller than other sharp utility knives. It was invented for woodcraft, Bamboo pealing, carving, leathercraft, and other purposes.

These primary features make the Kiridashi knife a perfect company in the wild or wherever you may need to do some cutting or snipping. 

Read on and find out more about the Kiridashi knife and why you should get one for yourself. 

What Is a Kiridashi Knife? The Characteristics

What is a Kiridashi Knife

A Kiridashi is a craft knife by its original design. The said purpose is quite clear, considering the very form of the knife. 

If you buy a Kiridashi knife, you’ll first observe its sharp point, which is usually used for carving and other craft-related tasks. 

The blade is usually beveled on one side and has a chisel-grind edge that is straight or curved. This blade pattern allows crisp cuts and precise carves. Not to mention, it makes the entire knife easier to maintain, considering you will only have to sharpen one edge of the blade. 

Origin/History of Kiridashi Knives:

Unsurprisingly, the Kiridashi knife comes from Japan – the very country that brought the world other knives and related weapons, like the samurai. It is considered a traditional small utility knife among the Japanese. 

Its invention is etched on the history of Japan as a country that usually marries tradition and technology. 

Centuries ago, Japanese people would carry Kiridashi knives in the sleeve pocket of their kimono or yukata. It was essentially a pocket knife carried around for crafting or woodwork.

Nowadays, the Kiridashi knife is used not just for carving but also for other tasks, like regular cuttings, garden snipping, and even self-defense. Hence, several variations of the Kiridashi knife can be found in the market.

Nevertheless, the process of forming this knife remains faithful to tradition. 

When you buy one of these in physical or online stores, it usually comes with a case and lanyard. Both items are for the protection and preservation of the knife. 

Other Kiridashi knives are also folded, although this usually takes away the traditional form of the knife. Nonetheless, it’s far more convenient and easy to carry around without the risk of getting wounded by the knife. 

What Does Kiridashi Means?

The word Kiridashi means “to carve” in Japanese. The name itself is a clear nod to its purpose, which is for carving bamboo and other woods.  

As its popularity moved to other parts of the world, the term Kiridashi became associated with “pointed knife,” referring to its angular tip.

What Is a Kiridashi Knife Used For? 

As a multi-purpose tool, the Kiridashi knife now fulfils different functions. They are mainly used as pocket knives, but they have been proven to be valuable in various settings such as the following.

Arts and Craft

Since the Kiridashi knife is a carving knife, its primary purpose is to produce items for utility and art purposes. 

For example, you can use a Kiridashi knife to chisel or etch woods. 

School-goers in Japan would put their Kiridashi knife in their pencil case as it is used to cut bamboo, paper, and other items for their art assignments. Moreover, they also use it to sharpen their pencils. 


You turn to your Kiridashi knife for regular cutting tasks. This covers cutting cords and ties, removing splinters, drilling holes, and many more. 

A sharp knife can cut different materials as any other knife does. Use it to cut paper, polyester, cardboard, and even leather. 


One of the most popular uses of the Kiridashi knife is for survival. Kiridashi knife is used as a pocket knife when you stay in the wild. It is used to cut ropes when setting up camp or making feather sticks. 

Likewise, it is also needed when foraging some food or carving woods into essential items. For example, you can use the Kiridashi knife to cut bamboo and turn it into your dinnerware.

You can even use the knife to protect yourself from any harm in unfamiliar territory.

But more than its purpose in survival drills and related outdoor activities, a Kiridashi knife is a lifesaver in real-life emergencies considering its multi-functionality. 

That’s why it is highly recommended that you keep one in your survival kit or bug-out bag. 


It may seem unorthodox, but there’s no reason why you can’t use them in the kitchen. 

Although it’s a challenge to use it to cut meat or larger ingredients, it can help peel fruits and vegetables. 

Likewise, if you are camping or going on an outdoor trip, you can use it to prepare your meal. Surely, there’s not going to be a set of kitchen knives in your bag for these activities. 


A Kiridashi knife can also be used in gardening techniques like grafting. Plus, you can also do your trimmings or plant cuttings using the same knife. 

It is even more helpful when dealing with smaller plants as the chisel-grind edge can be easily focused on tiny parts without damaging other plant tissue. This is why it is so popular among bonsai cultivators. 

Is Kiridashi Knife Used for Self-Defense? 

Yes, you can use a Kiridashi knife for self-defense. However, the very form of the knife, which includes its sharp pointed tip, makes it an effective weapon for combat. 

Imagine you are attacked, which puts your life at risk. You can disarm your enemy by slashing or cutting the skin in one blow. Depending on the size of the Kiridashi knife, the blade can get through the flesh up to 2 ¾ inches deep. 

Additionally, because of the sharp angular tip of the knife, it’s easier to do a counterattack that will keep your enemy off guard. 

But aside from the pointy tip and the sharp edge of the Kiridashi knife, its small stature is another reason why it’s an effective tool for self-defense. This means you can carry it around while hiding it from your enemy. 

Much like how Japanese people keep their Kiridashi knife in their sleeves, you can also hide your knife in your clothing. You can just put it in your pocket and take it out when you need to defend yourself from an attack. 

How To Make a Kiridashi Knife 

The Kiridashi knife is usually made of high-quality stainless-steel blades. They are manually forged and pressed by the device bearing the molds. 

Once the blade is formed, the steel gets adjusted and is further shaped using a hammer. 

In making a Kiridashi knife, the following steps are involved:

  1. Prepare a cut out of your Kiridashi knife design
  2. Choose the right steel for the blade
  3. Mark the steel using the cut-out of your design
  4. Cut the steel using an angle grinder and cutoff wheel
  5. Harden the steel through a pressing device
  6. Hammer the beveled edge
  7. Put it in an oven or kiln for tempering
  8. Sand the bevel for sharpening

Kiridashi Knife Template

Want to make your very own handmade Kiridashi knife? Just download this template to guide you on the complete process.

Click to Download this Kiridashi Knife Template

Top 5 Kiridashi Knives

If you want a Kiridashi knife fast, you can usually find Kiridashi knives in Arts and craft stores, survival tactic shops, and online stores like Amazon. But you might get overwhelmed with the myriad of choices. 

While you may want to assume that all Kiridashi knives for sale are equal, that’s not generally the case. Some products stand out above others, given their attributes and price range. 

So, if you want to know which Kiridashi knives are the best in the market, check out our top 5 Kiridashi knives 

Last update on 2024-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Whether you will forge your own Kiridashi knife or buy one online, it’s safe to say that owning one of these traditional pocket knives will make your life better. 

Given its multipurpose nature, portability, durability, and historical value, having a Kiridashi knife around are worth its cost. 

That being said, don’t hesitate to get one for yourself. Make it a part of your tools for daily and emergency use.  

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