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Knifemaking Technology

Knife making technology today has come a long way from its beginnings ­ but that happens over several hundred thousand years. Knife making technology has its roots in the beginnings of humanity; knives and similar blades were the first tools humans and pre-humans made. In fact, knife making technology as well as other metallurgic advancements are one of the ways we determine how technologically advanced a society was. Today, knives hold the same fascination they have always held; many people appreciate their beauty and utility. And modern knife making technology has provided us with some remarkable advances in both the appearance and function of knives.

If you're interested in knife making technology, you should probably learn the basics of knife making. Modern knives are generally composed of a blade with a tang, a guard, a handle, and sometimes a pommel. Today's knife making technology can provide blades in a variety of high-tech substances, including advanced steel alloys like titanium or steels produced with special methods, like Damascus steel. Because the materials in knife making technology have grown harder and more advanced over the years, the tools used to produce them have grown commensurately advanced as well.

Knife making technology is all about making the hardest, least breakable, easiest to sharpen (or most rarely needing sharpening) blades possible. With today's knife making technology, you can make blades that would be considered almost magical years ago. A method of folding carbon and alloys into steel is used in today's knife making technology to make Damascus blades, the original version of which were made famous during the Crusades for their strength, beauty, and finesse. Our Damascus blades today, though not quite the same, use modern knife making technology to improve on the original.

Knife making technologies for blades include three basic methods: casting or moulding, blacksmithing, and stock removal. Each knife making technology has its advantages. Casting produces blank blades that are inexpensive, but metals used in it must be able to form their own crystalline structure without human intervention. Blacksmithed blades, the knife making technology used to make Damascus or folded-metal blades, are strong and hold an excellent edge, but are time consuming and labor intensive, thus more expensive than other blades. Stock removal knife making technology, a method for cutting knife shapes from prepared metal, produces blades with the strength of a blacksmithed blade, but because the metal can be produced in bulk, it's much cheaper.

Another part of knife making technology involves preparation of the handle. Today's handles aren't at all like those of early knives. With epoxy and modern glues, soldering, and other fixatives, you can make very stable handles for your knives, and precision riveting can make your knife almost impossible to break. Other knife making technologies involve the use of synthetic materials to form beautiful and functional knife handles.

With today's knife making technology, you can find handles decorated like mother of pearl or abalone, laminated wood, and many other specialized substances. The handles are stronger than the natural material would have been, and wear better. Good knife handles are non-slip, and will be easy to grip. They will also balance well with the blade, as well as looking nice. Today's knife making technology provides us with a variety of rubber and textured knife handles that will be ideal for you.

Beyond the materials used to make knives, knife making technology today includes the best in high tech tools. On the most complicated end, machine-tool shops can quickly and accurately prepare stock removal blanks with laser cutting and extreme precision; but in your home workshop, knife making technology will include the use of devices as simple as a soldering iron, an electric grinder, and an electric drill with sanding attachment. Think how far that's come from knapping out flint knives!

Another item that's come a long way in knife making technology is the blade. Today, in addition to plain flat blades, we have many knives with serrated edges, ideal for any task that requires sawing such as skinning animals. If you're planning on making your own knives, serrated edges are an advanced knife making technology and may be too difficult when you're starting out. It is, however, a technique you can work toward.

If you're interested in technology and metallurgy at all, knife making technology is sure to fascinate you. With its long and venerable history, the beauty and art of the craft, and the remarkable advances in knife making technology, knife making makes an excellent hobby.

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