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How to Forge a Rebar Knife

Rebar is a readily available building material. There is lots of it around and it is pretty cheap. It is also pretty easy to work with. So, in terms of blacksmithing it is a nice material for beginners to work with. In this tutorial I show you how to make a simple knife with it. And along the way I show you a few different techniques like bending steel and hardening/tempering it.

I also have a video tutorial at the bottom of the page

Will has a youtube channel with over 700 videos on projects you can make including dozens of blacksmithing videos. Check it out right here


The completed rebar knife

The Knife

Here is an overview of some of the things we do in this tutorial.


  1. We leave the ribbing on part of the knife creating a nice looking spine.
  2. We flatten out the blade
  3. We make the first curve on the handle using a hammer
  4. We make the second curve on the handle using a turning tool in the Hardy Hole


Parts of the knife



The Rebar

Here is our piece of Rebar. It is fifteen inches long.









Flatten out the blade

We start by heating one end and flattening out the blade. We don't flatten it completely to the blade shape. We are just getting it to the rough shape of the blade we want in terms of size, thickness and length.

Notice how you can see the ribs on this side of the blade. Let's leave those alone. They will look good on the spine of the knife. This is something to think about when working with materials. Sometimes they have a nice attribute that we want to take advantage of or use.




Form the handle

With the basic shape of the blade done we are going to turn it around and work on the handle. Let's start by hammering in the point at the very end.








Curve the handleOnce the point is done we want to make the curves in the handle. There are two curves, a small one and a large one. We want to make the small curve first. This is an important thing to note when making curves. Sometimes you have to be conscious of which curves to do first.

This is because once you put a curve in you might have difficulty getting at the metal to make subsequent curves. So, before curving you should think about the best way to do it.

For this knife it is definitely easier to make the outer curve (the smaller curve) first.

This is an easy curve, not very sharp so we can do this with the hammer directly on the anvil like you see in this picture.


Curve on the hardy tool

Ok! The first curve is done. It looks good.









The hardy curving toolNow, to get the larger curve in the knife we are going to use something called a hardy tool. It goes in the square hole in the anvil. This particular tool is made for turning steel and making curves.








Comoplete the curve

We put the knife in the tool and then pull on it with a pair of pliers. See how it bends around one of the posts? Easy enough to do. You can make all kinds of curves and curls with this tool.







Use pliers

So, I tinker with that curve a bit to get it just the way I want it.









Heat the steel

Ok, now we return to the blade and finish rough shaping it into an actual blade.





Round the end

I also round out the end of the blade. It is difficult to see here but I am holding the knife on the anvil on its edge not on its flat and I am rounding off the edge.









The spine looks good

And notice how the spine is still pretty intact with the initial rebar pattern. We like that a lot!







Taper the blade

And finally we finish it off by tapering the blade. The spine or back part of the blade remains thick, while we hammer the cutting edge so it is thinner. We want this to be a nice sloping bevel from thick to thin.


Ok! The forging is done and it looks pretty good. We can take it into the shop and work on it some more.




NextLet's continue with the tutorial


The video tutorial is here:


Forge a Railroad Spike Throwing hatchet Forge a Railroad Spike Throwing hatchet

Fun and easy little project and I show you a technique that all blacksmiths use but very few talk about. How to forge a railroad spike hatchet/throwing axe.



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