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How To Start A Knife Making Business

What is a knife making business?

The sole definition of a knife making business is a business which relies solely on a person or persons crafting and selling knives as their only source of income. Many people choose to make knives as a hobby, but actually starting a knife making business and selling them on a scale which can sustain an income is a bigger challenge.

Starting and sustaining any business is not easy but there are a few things to bear in mind which may help your knife making business become a success and help you to make money selling knives.

knife making business


If you are going to make knives as a business, then treat it as a business

Although many people start the process of knife making as a hobby and they may be very skilled at it, the stage of taking it to a viable business does not just happen. It may be prudent for you to take college courses on business management, accounting and marketing, so that you not only understand the fundamentals of knife making but also the fundamentals of business. 

If you are serious about knife making as a business then it is worth putting as much effort into learning to run a small business as you do into making knives. You may also choose to employ an accountant or business adviser who can assist you with what form your business may take and also to help you with cashflow projections and keeping your accounts. 

Unfortunately, it is not just a case of making and selling knives, you need buyers, money for materials, an outlet for your work and also to keep all relevant records for tax purposes.


Invest in the best equipment possible

Up to now, you may have been ‘making do’ with equipment as you have been simply pursuing knife making as a hobby. If you are serious about producing on a business scale then you will seriously need to consider investing some time into understanding what equipment you may need and buying the best that you can afford.

Without good equipment, you are likely to make a sub-standard product that is unlikely to sell. Investing now will pay dividends in the future and ensure that your knife making business starts on the right track.

knife in a holster


What equipment will you need?

You need to decide exactly what you will need to start knife making as a business. Each individual business needs are likely to vary, and the size and output of your business is likely to influence your needs. In general, you are likely to need some or all of the following:

  • A workbench
  • Angle Grinder
  • Angle grinder discs
  • A set of files
  • Hacksaw
  • Sandpaper (of varying grits)
  • A small drill press
  • A vice or bench vice
  • A forge or heat treating oven
  • Tongs
  • Wood if adding a wooden handle

Creating knives on a commercial scale may require you to think of higher grade tools or larger tools to accommodate your needs.

Further Reading: An Overview Of Knife Making Supplies And Tools


Find your business niche

This is where your marketing and business plan comes into play. You need to think of ways in which you can attract buyers to your products over your competitors and also how to get your name and brand out there.

This is the point at which you should consider whether you attend trade shows, use advertising, use social media or speak to larger wholesalers or retailers to see whether they might stock your knives.

knives on a table


Communicate with your customers

It is so important to build time for interaction with your clients into your schedule. Knives are very special to people and because it is quite a niche industry, people like to ask questions. If you are not there to give advice or do not communicate with your customers, they are likely to go elsewhere.

Even if things go wrong, it is important to be upfront and honest with your customers to ensure that they are fully informed.


Create a competitive advantage

What makes you different from your competitors? Do you offer a particular style of knife that is quite niche? Do you offer engraving or bespoke handles?

A competitive advantage usually comes from you doing something differently in the industry, so always keep an eye out for the latest trends, techniques and equipment that may offer you an advantage.


Delegate when you need to

No matter how skilled you are, there are some things that you are likely to not have the requisite skills available to do well. Successful businessmen understand that utilizing the expertise of others ensures that they can concentrate on what they do best.


Use professional photography

Taking photos on your phone in your workshop is unlikely to show your knives off in the best light. It’s best to get some professional shots of your knives that will make them shine, particularly if going on a website or in a brochure.


Enjoy what you do

You need to enjoy what you do. If knife making is a hobby anyway then this is a good start. But business comes with other pressures, so you need to be aware that it will not simply be about making knives - you will need to factor in other aspects.


Starting your own knife making business - finding the equipment that you need

One of the key aspects of starting a knife making business is to purchase quality equipment. Soul Ceramics sell a range of heat treat ovens for knife making, perfect for small and growing businesses.

Heat treating is a vital aspect of the knife making process and investing in this machinery is a crucial part of your business strategy. If you are unsure of which heat treat oven you would need for your project or business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Let us help you to start your knife making business and ensure that you get the best possible start. Please see our range of heat treat ovens here.


Additional resources on knife making