How to Make a High-Tech Folder

How to Make a High-Tech Folder

The best and most accurate way to scribe the cutting edge prior to grinding is with a height gage and granite plate. You want to measure your blade and subtract how thick you want your cutting edge to be. Then divide that number by two. That is how high you want to raise your gage.


A height gage has a carbide tip that is designed for scribing metal. Scribe along your cutting edge with the gage on both sides of the blade. The result will be two parallel lines, equally spaced down the center of the blade.

With a permanent marker, mark where your stop pin will come in contact with the blade. Then mark the face of your blade and scribe an arc where your ball detent will travel. By doing this you are giving yourself reference points not to grind into. If you do not do this and you over grind, your ball detent might fall into your bevel or you might sharpen your blade and it will cut your stop pin.

Now it is time to grind the blade. I will be using is a 60-grit belt on an 8-inch serrated wheel. The contact wheel is 90 durometers. This wheel will keep the blade cool, and since it is so hard, the grind lines will be crisp. A 60-grit belt is mainly a “hogger,” designed to rip away metal.

The type of grind I will be using on this blade is called a “compound grind.” This is a more advanced and complex blade due to the multiple grinds needed to achieve the desired look. A compound grind is two different heights of grinds that are connected together, resulting in a blade with two distinct cutting edges. One is thinner and much sharper for cutting and slashing, and the second edge is shorter and stouter for cutting harder objects or for armor piercing.


One of the first cultures to ever use this type of grind comes out of the Middle East. They would grind their daggers in this manner, leaving the tips stout to pierce through armor. Bud Nealy is a modern knifemaker who employs this style on a knife he calls the “Pesh-Kabz.” I have done this grind on some of my big fighters in the past but it wasn’t until a knife I collaborated on with Joel Pirela, named the “Helix,” that I used it again.

You want to hold the blade firmly in your hand with your wrist, forearm and elbow tight against your side, and plunge it straight into the contact wheel.

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