We are frequently asked to provide a list of knife making book references. There are some great text out there on making knives, so we’ll try to keep this post updated with some links to help. Some of the books are out of print, but many are still available. As Sean noted in an early episode of MotM, you may also be able to find some great references by visiting your local library or requesting books via inter-library loan.
One of the key go-to references for people wanting to learn the craft of tactical folding knives is “The Tactical Folding Knife: A Study of the Anatomy and Construction of the Liner-Locked Folder” by Bob Terzuola. This book is usually tough to find, and has become a bit of a collectable in its own right. Probably one of the most expensive books here, but one that any aspiring folder maker should own: LINK
The folks that publish Knife Magazine and the Knife World books have an excellent collection of books available for knife makers. Included are the “$50 Knife Shop” by Goddard and “How to Make Knives” by Barney/Loveless as referenced on the podcast: LINK
Sean recommended “Step-by-Step Knifemaking” by David Boye. David is an influential force in the knifemaking world and the father of Boye Dendritic Cobalt (also known as “BDC”), a cobalt alloy with high corrosion resistance and aggressive cutting performance: LINK
Also recommended is “Custom Knifemaking: 10 Projects from a Master Craftsman” by McCreight. This book covers a series of projects that help new makers learn new skills through each project: LINK
Tom managed to trigger a worldwide sellout and market escalation on “Knives and Knifemakers” by Sid Latham, but there are copies out there to be had with a little looking. A great source of inspiration and reference in this one, find a copy if you can. They seem to come up fairly regularly on eBay and in Amazon’s used book section: LINK
The “Knives” annual books are another great source of inspiration, information and contact details for various custom makers. These are great finds at your local used book store, garage sales, eBay, etc. The Knife World folks have a fairly extensive collection available and work to keep copies of these older books in stock: LINK
As always, check out Blade magazine and Knives Illustrated in a addition to Knife magazine (formerly Knife World) mentioned above. There are often articles included to give both makers and collectors a few tips and help keep you apprised of knife trends and the marketplace.
A membership at USN or BladeForums is a solid investment, as both forums have dedicated areas for knifemakers to ask questions and share information. A quick search of the forums can turn up super helpful information and guidance directly from some of the world’s top makers. There are new questions, but honestly many basic questions have already been asked and answered, so a little legwork on your part will likely turn up info to help you with whatever it is you’re working on.
Hope the references are of help, we’ll try to update the list as appropriate.