Pocketknife Making for Beginners
by Stefan Steigerwald & Peter Fronteddu

Make your own folding pocketknife with this easy-to-follow guide that unfolds the secrets of constructing a traditional "slip joint" folding knife. In addition to introducing different variations of this knife style, this guide presents the materials, tools, and technical design skills needed for the project. Diagrams clearly demonstrate the mechanics of your knife and the crucial elements needed to make a properly functioning pocketknife. Detailed step-by-step explanations move from template to finished knife–even beginners can master this project with minimal tool requirements. Once the knife project is complete, you can use the processes in this guide and your own creativity to construct a special knife of your own design.

Includes over 275 photos and detailed diagrams.

Reviewed by Knife World Staff

Pocketknife Making for Beginners is the third book in a series originally created for the German knife publication Messer Magazin, now translated into English and published in America by Schiffer Books. The two previous titles, Basic Knife Making and The Lockback Folding Knife, have both been well received by the knife community, and if there’s an aspect of knifemaking that really needs more material in print, it’s the making of traditional folding knives (“slipjoints,” as they are popularly called in some circles).

This book tackles the subject at hand by means of two project knives crafted step-by-step and start-to-finish, one a single blade “slipjoint,” and the other a friction folder. The making of friction folders has been covered in print several times before, not least in the other book reviewed here; but how-to information on traditional folders has proven harder to come by.

Like the other two titles in this series, the strengths of this book are its simple and well thought out approach to knifemaking and the superb full color photography, which illustrates each step of the process in detailed full color photographs and diagrams (over 275 of them). It’s well written, the translation is well done, and the ring binding allows the book to lie flat on your bench while you work. Interestingly, the spring-back knife in this book is constructed using a spring-pocket-and-stop-pin design, rather than the more familiar spring-and-kick design. The authors explain that it’s easier to make knives using this method, with the additional advantage that the blade can’t be pressed into the backspring when closed. This approach is certainly worth exploring, and even if you prefer the ‘kick’ style of construction the vast majority of that section will still be useful to you.

If you aspire to make slipjoint knives, this book will do an excellent job of getting you started. Where you take it from there is up to you.

Pocketknife Making for Beginners
by Stefan Steigerwald & Peter Fronteddu
Spiral Bound, full color, 128 pp.

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