Making a knife by hand is a truly satisfying experience, especially in an age dominated by technology. Like any art, however, knife making requires skill, knowledge, and, above all, proper training. Whether you're seeking to become a professional bladesmith or simply wish to create a unique kitchen knife for personal use, knowing the right techniques is crucial. The necessary skills and insights for knife making can be gained by taking a knife making class andour research shows that in-person classes are one of the most popular ways to learn knife making.
In this blog, the team atRed Label Abrasives present the various options available, from introductory workshops to advanced master classes. Whether you're on the east coast, west coast, or somewhere in between, there's likely a knife making class within reach. Let us help you find it.
Top Knife Making Classes in the Northeast
The Northeast region holds a distinguished place in the realm of knife making. Whether you are a novice seeking to learn the rudiments or an experienced craftsman aiming to refine your skills, the Northeast provides a multitude of options headed by seasoned artisans who possess an abundance of knowledge and a fervor for the craft.
The school emphasizes skill level matching, providing a guide for students to choose the appropriate class. Skill levels range from beginner to advanced, based on experience and proficiency. Additionally, the New England School of Metalwork has courses approved for VA benefits, allowing veterans to use their benefits for blacksmithing, bladesmithing, or welding.
Rochester Arc + Flame Center
Arc + Flame Bladesmithing Workshops offer an immersive learning experience for knife making. Through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on instruction at the forge, experienced instructors guide students in developing fundamental techniques for working with high-carbon steel.
These skill-building classes, which include an introductory workshop as well as a four-night and six-night workshop, cover forging a knife blank, grinding, heat treatment, and sharpening, enabling students to enhance their skills in knife making.
HotAnvil Forge in Starksboro, Vermont, is operated by veteran bladesmith Robert Bordeaux. He shares his 20 years of blacksmithing experience with students in these private workshops. Passionate about metalworking, Bordeaux offers classes tailored to each student's skill level, with a particular focus on knife making techniques. The classes are conveniently scheduled on weekends and can typically be completed within a single day.
Drunken Smithy, located in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, is owned and operated by Greg Ramsey and Burt Jones. For those interested in a hands-on learning experience, Drunken Smithy provides workshops throughout the year, such as Ax Forging and Throwing, Forge a Knife, and Pick a Project. The workshops accommodate all skill levels, and the instructors tailor their teaching style to match the specific needs and interests of students. Furthermore, the Pick a Project workshop offers the chance to create a personalized item under the guidance of skilled blacksmiths.
Faith & Fire Forge
Faith & Fire Forge, located in Wolcott, Connecticut, is owned and operated by Brian, aForged in Fire finalist known for his expertise in historical reproduction carry knives, Bowie knives, and etched blades. Students have the opportunity to create various types of knives, including kitchen, Damascus, hunting, railroad spike, and folding knives. Additionally, the forge provides sheath making classes. For those traveling from afar, Brian offers an overnight option that includes lodging, dinner, breakfast, and the scheduled class, ensuring a comprehensive experience.
Top Knife Making Classes in the Midwest
Experience knife making in the Midwest, where a rich tradition and passionate artisans converge. Whether you're a novice yearning to master the fundamentals or a seasoned craftsman eager to elevate your skills, the Midwest offers an array of top-notch classes led by skilled and accomplished artisans.
Fire Arts Center of Chicago
TheFire Arts Center of Chicago was established 23 years ago as a not-for-profit school dedicated to artists, students, and individuals seeking to refine their skills. The Blade Smithing: Knife and Sword Forging class imparts the art of crafting functional blades from steel. Participants in this class will gain proficiency in designing and forging knives and swords, as well as creating elaborate hilts and scabbards.
Hammerspace Community Workshop
Hammerspace Community Workshop in Kansas City, Missouri, led by proprietor Dave Dalton and his team of skilled craftspeople, operates as a membership-based organization. Specifically catering to blacksmiths and bladesmiths, Hammerspace provides ample work areas and a comprehensive selection of equipment. It also hosts a variety of classes and workshops tailored to different skill levels, focusing on projects in blacksmithing and knife making. Students have the opportunity to create items such as camp cutlery, Viking forks, hunting knives, spike knives, and Damascus knives.
Located in Milan, Michigan,Osborne Forge is owned and operated by Chad Osborne, a highly experienced farrier and lifelong enthusiast of forging swords and knives. Osborne Forge offers blacksmithing and bladesmithing courses tailored for beginners, intermediates, and advanced students.
It's important to note that most classes require prior experience or completion of the "Introduction to Blacksmithing and Bladesmithing" class, where Chad helps students develop workshop familiarity and learn to forge barn hooks and a railroad spike knife. Additional class options at Osborne Forge encompass the creation of Damascus knives, chef's knives, hunter's knives, camp knives, and tomahawks.
Dwarf Mountain Knives
Since 1996, John Thompson has been skillfully crafting handmade swords, daggers, knives, and axes atDwarf Mountain Knives in Omaha, Nebraska. Thompson and his wife represent Dwarf Mountain Knives at various events throughout the state. Teaching classes at the Omaha Blacksmith Shop, Thompson offers periodic sessions throughout the year. These classes span all day on Saturdays through late afternoon and continue all day on Sundays. To ensure individual attention, each class is limited to six students.
Isaiah Schroeder Knifeworks
Based in Madison, Wisconsin,Isaiah Schroeder Knifeworks is a small workshop specializing in hand-forged blades since 2010. Drawing from a diverse background in woodworking, sculpture, fine art, and cutlery, Isaiah Schroeder crafts personalized, top-notch knives for his clientele. Through his instruction, Schroeder aims to instill such a deep level of comfort with knife making techniques that students can confidently replicate the process in their own homes. If you seek in-depth knowledge of knife making to apply to your own work, Isaiah Schroeder's classes are undoubtedly advantageous.
Top Knife Making Classes in the South
Explore the rich knife making tradition of the southern states through the top-notch knife making classes available in the region. From expert instructors to a diverse array of workshops, this curated selection highlights the best destinations to immerse yourself in the art and craft of knife making in this region.
Located in Winnsboro, Texas,Shadowhawk Blades is owned and operated by a seasoned bladesmith who combines his martial arts expertise with craftsmanship to create practical swords and knives.
A diverse range of workshops is available, including general blacksmithing, traditional knife making, railroad spike knife making, and karambit (a Filipino hand scythe) making. Classes span the entire day and are tailored to accommodate your individual pace and skill level. With a wide price range, individuals with varying budgets can find a class that suits their interests in knife making.
Black Hog Knives
Located in Debary, Florida, Chad Bowlin is a skilled bladesmith who not only crafts and sells his own knives but also offers comprehensive classes. These classes atBlack Hog Knives prioritize a thorough understanding of the bladesmithing or blacksmithing process, ensuring proper technique through step-by-step instruction.
Ideal for hobbyists seeking additional guidance or individuals looking to refine their skills with a more flexible commitment, the classes are both affordable and foundational. Students can choose between 1 and 2-day courses based on their preferences. Each class covers essential aspects such as forge safety, tool usage, heat management, blade forging, and finishing. The 2-day class provides a hands-on experience, allowing students to learn each step of the bladesmithing process firsthand.
Goat N Hammer
Goat n Hammer in Atlanta, Georgia, has been a prominent provider of metalworking classes since 2013. With a wide array of offerings in blacksmithing, bladesmithing, and knife grinding, this location is an excellent choice for those seeking variety in their learning experience. Classes are structured around specific projects, ranging from crafting bottle openers and various types of knives to constructing campfire tripods and more.
Whether you prefer group sessions or individual instruction, Goat n Hammer caters to diverse budgets with a range of pricing options. Many classes are beginner-friendly, requiring no prior experience, and provide a solid foundation in basic techniques to ensure comfort in the workshop.
Located in Shreveport, Louisiana, Dan Graves, known as The Knifemaker, has been honing his forging skills since 1995. Graves warmly welcomes smiths of all backgrounds and skill levels to join his weekend classes, covering a wide range of topics such as forging, heat treating, tempering, grinding, handle making, tool use, Damascus steel, and various techniques.
With a focus on customization to meet the individual needs and skill levels of participants, students, regardless of their experience, will have the opportunity to create their own knife during the duration of the class. To secure a spot in one ofThe Knifemaker's bladesmithing classes, it is recommended to contact him directly for specific details on class dates and times.
Based in Trussville, Alabama,Deibert Knives is owned by Mike Deibert, a highly skilled blacksmith and bladesmith with years of experience. Renowned as a champion of the History Channel'sForged in Fire series, Deibert is a passionate instructor dedicated to promoting the art of bladesmithing in both the United States and Nicaragua.
Several times a year, Deibert offers intimate bladesmithing classes at his forge, ensuring individual attention for students. In these classes, participants learn the intricacies of crafting a hunting knife through techniques such as forging, heat-treating, and finishing. Key concepts covered in the class include hammer techniques, blade geometry, metallurgy, and handle construction.
Top Knife Making Classes in the West
Discover the top knife making classes in the West, where you can learn and excel in the art of crafting blades. This curated section highlights the best opportunities available in the Western region to develop your skills and create stunning knives.
Adam's Forge in Los Angeles, California, provides a safe and inclusive workspace for people of all backgrounds to learn and practice blacksmithing. As a non-profit organization established in 2002, Adam's Forge fosters a thriving community of artist blacksmiths through classes, events, and cooperative collaboration, inspiring aspiring artists, tradespeople, and the local community. Knife making classes include railroad spike knives, kiridashi knives, and paring knives.
Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado,Kilroy's Workshop offers a diverse range of classes suitable for youth, adults, beginners, and advanced students. With instructors who have competed on theForged with Fire television program, Kilroy's ensures top-notch expertise in their fields.
Convenient online registration makes it effortless to find and enroll in classes that align with your preferences and interests. For aspiring blacksmiths seeking a more comprehensive learning experience, Kilroy's hosts the American Blacksmith Association's master classes annually, equipping students with the essential skills and techniques for a career in blacksmithing.
Based in Portland, Oregon,Bridgetown Forge, owned by Arnon Kartmazov, is renowned for his expertise in Japanese knife making, emphasizing both functionality and aesthetics in his creations.
Course offerings at Bridgetown Forge include Forging a Cleaver, Forging a Chef Knife, and Forging a Sushi Knife, covering essential techniques to create exquisite and functional pieces. For advanced blacksmiths seeking a dedicated workspace and a community of fellow craftsmen, Bridgetown Forge offers open forge times through their monthly membership program.
Located in West Great Falls, Montana,Ed Caffrey is an esteemed American Bladesmith Society Mastersmith who discovered his passion for knives at the age of twelve. With a diverse range of classes available, including Basic Bladesmithing, Basic Damascus, Liner Lock Folders, and personalized lessons, Caffrey offers something for every skill level and interest in the realm of bladesmithing.
In Caffrey's beginner series, students gain foundational bladesmithing knowledge and leave his workshop with "forged to shape" knives that require grinding and finishing outside of class. It's important to consider the duration and cost of Caffrey's classes, as they typically span three to five days, providing ample time for in-depth instruction and hands-on practice.
Fire Horse Forge
Based in Ballard, Washington, just north of Seattle,Fire Horse Forge offers intensive two and three-day classes in bladesmithing and blacksmithing techniques. With decades of experience, owner Adam provides instruction for beginner to advanced students, covering forging, heating, handle making, heat treating, grinding, final assembly, and sharpening.
For students with prior bladesmithing knowledge, Adam also offers specialized classes in chef knife making and Damascus chef knife construction, focusing on the unique design and skills required for functional kitchen knives. With class sizes limited to four students or fewer, individualized attention is guaranteed.
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Knife making is a craft that combines tradition, artistry, and functionality, offering a truly gratifying experience in a technology-driven world. From the Northeast to the Midwest, the South to the West, and everywhere in between, there are outstanding classes available to suit every skill level and interest.
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David Kranker is a writer and creative maker who has been covering the abrasive and knife-making industries on the Red Label Abrasives Blog since 2020. David spends his time continually researching sanding and bladesmithing to provide readers with the latest and greatest information. In his free time, David utilizes abrasives for many different home and auto projects at his home in Delton, MI.