Knife making is a great craft to learn. It’s always satisfying to build something with your own two hands, and you can make a great living forging knives as well. However, it’s difficult to make a knife with your bare handles. Having the proper tools is important to make sure that you can work efficiently and precisely. A good knife making forge can be the difference between a great knife and a mediocre one.
One of the quintessential tools for knife making is the forge. A reliable, well built forge is an essential tool for any knife maker. I have made a lot of knives in my time, and used a lot of forges. In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for when buying a knife making forge, then will go over a number of reviews of a variety of forges, and will provide a number of recommendations to help you find the product that is the best for you.
Table of Contents
- What to Look For in a Knife Making Forge
- Knife Making Forge Reviews
- Our Final Thoughts
What to Look For in a Knife Making Forge
Knife making forges are a sizable investment. To make sure that you get a product that works for you, there are a number of things to consider. A few factors that I keep in mind are the number of burners needed, the compatibility of the forge with my parts (such as my propane tanks, if using a propane forge), and the size of the forge.
Number of Burners
Some forge burners come with multiple burners, whereas other models come with a single burner.
Single burner forges tend to be less expensive than double burner forges. In many cases, you’ll only be working with one forge burner regardless, so a single burner can be more than enough for a ton of use cases.
Double burner forges tend to be cheaper than purchasing two entirely separate single burner forges. This can save you a good amount of money if you want to have multiple burners.
In general, it is uncommon for premade knife making forges to have more than two burners, although you can also build custom knife forges for such cases, if desired.
Forges come in a wide variety of sizes. Some forge designs are small and basic; others are larger. If you’re working on a basic knife making product, such as a railroad spike knife, you’ll have a good time with a smaller forge. If you are working on a larger project, a larger forge may be required. Forges of all sizes can be great, just keep in mind what kind of projects you’re going to be working on.
There are a number of different types of burners that are compatible with different setups. If you’re looking for a propane burner, for example, you want to consider whether you are using a 20 pound propane tank or a 100 pound propane tank. Different burners may be designed to connect to different tank sizes. While you can make modifications to your burner, you want to be aware in advance as to whether or not you will need to make those changes.
Knife Making Forge Reviews
After testing a number of different forges for knife making, I’ve put together a number of reviews of a number of different products. These reviews go over the pros and cons of different models, and make a number of recommendations. Whether you’re looking for the very best, top-of-the-line forge, or if you’re looking for a basic, small forge, there are great knife forges out there for you.
This was the first forge that I tested for this article, and I was impressed at how easy it was to set this one up. The large size is great, it gives you a lot of space to work with the optimal places for getting the temperatures you want for different times. Based on how much propane I used when forging a test-knife, you could likely forge at least three or four knives with a single bottle of propane (of course, this depends on what size propane container you’re using).
Overall, this was the best knife making forge that I tested, and is one of the best I’ve used in my life. This is quite a high quality product, and if you want the best-of-the-best, then look no further. This is probably my favorite forge right now, and based on the quality, I expect that I’ll continue to be using this forge for years to come.
This is a nice forge for the price that it’s listed at. I found that I needed to purchase some refractory cement to coat the insulation on the burner. But, that was fairly straightforward. The set up was easy, and after a few minutes I had it ready to go. You may also want to adjust the gas-to-air ratio when setting up your forge. After using this fairly extensively, I haven’t run into any leaks or build-quality issues, and it’s still working well.
The Hell’s Forge is higher quality than this, but this is still an excellent product. It comes at a great price for the quality, and you’ll be happy with this purchase. This is a good extra set of burners for a professional, or a good higher-end product for a hobbyist or similar.
It took a little getting used to to use this after using the other forges, which have a more modern design. But, once I got the hang of it, this does the job well.
Overall, this forge is a good buy. The bowl could be bigger, but it’s a decent size. The parts all work correctly. For large projects, something bigger and a little more heavy duty would be ideal. But, this works great for smaller projects.
I’d recommend this forge if you’re looking for something basic that comes at a good price, particularly if you’re working on a smaller project. For what it’s designed to be, it does a good job. I would consider this option pretty strongly if I were more of a hobbyist, rather than doing professional-type work.
This forge is a bit small, but does the trick for plenty of simple projects. This is a solid choice for a beginner’s forge. Easy enough to set up as well. I preferred the forge in the review above this one a little more than this product, but this is a decent alternative that is comparable in terms of performance.
Like the Hell’s Forge burner at the top of this list of reviews (the first entry), this is a great product. Shipping was quick, and the product was easy to assemble out of the box. The forge heats up quickly and I was able to forge a railroad spike knife easily.
The only reason I would shy away from this product is because I preferred the first Hell’s Forge burner to this model, even though this one is a bit more expensive. Don’t get me wrong, there are some advantages to this model, but the first Hell’s Burner model we reviewed is perfect, at least for me.
This forge comes at an excellent price, while still providing a good amount of value. The product works well and is holding up, even though I’ve been using it on and off while testing it over the last few months. It takes a few minutes to heat up, but that’s about par for the course. This is pretty efficient in terms of propane use, and you could use it all day and maybe go through a half a tank of propane.
The fire brick that comes with this forge is decent, and it’s a nice add-in to provide a little extra value. However, you may want to pick up a a few extra fire bricks at your discretion, depending on how much you use the forge and so on.
All-in-all, this is a pretty solid forge. Check it out if you’re looking for something decent at a reasonable price.
Our Final Thoughts
While there are a ton of good forges out there, you might want to narrow it down to a single purchase. Out of all the forges reviewed in this article, I would lean toward one of these three products.
In terms of the best product overall, the Hell’s Forge Portable Propane Double Burner is excellent. This knife gives you a huge amount of space to work with, which is excellent. This is a huge plus both in terms of making it easier to do smaller projects, but also making it possible to work with larger blades.
In terms of the best bang for your buck, the Double Burner Propane Forge is my top pick. I needed to pick up some more refractory cement to get this product running how I wanted it to, but that was pretty straightforward. I’d recommend this product as a good mid-quality pick at a solid price.
In terms of a good, reliable knife at a great price, the Vintage Style Blacksmith’s Forge Furnace is unbeatable. The bowl is fairly small, which is part of why this is a fairly inexpensive furnace. If you’re working with smaller projects, though, this is a great option. I would recommend this as the best budget furnace, for what I tested in that price range.
If you have any questions on these products, feel free to let me know! I’ll reply to your comment as soon as possible. It can be tricky to figure out what forge is right for you, and I’m always happy to help.
Which of these knife making forges is the best for you? Some of you might want the absolute best machine out there; others may like something that gives great bang for your buck, or that comes at a great rate. Leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite forge is.