Second hidden tang attempt


Well-Known Member
My second attempt at a hidden tang. To my eye something is not matching up with the proportions somewhere. The pin is low in the handle, to my eye, but I think I can fix that on the next one. How does everyone go about designing hidden tang blades so things “match up”? With full tang knives the tang IS the handle shape, or is that just what I’m used to?

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
It looks like you made a hidden tang knife, but still restricted to barstock dimensions. The knife looks too straight across the spine and into the handle. To my eye, there's too much drop to the tip of the blade and not enough from the middle of the handle to the butt end.

On the bottom line, there is not much continuity or flow from the ricasso area through the guard and into the start of the handle.

On a hidden tang especially, it is wise to consider starting with a crisp, clean defined ricasso area and design/build the knife from there in all directions.

The ricasso is one of the most important areas of a knife yet all too often, its the most overlooked and least considered part. So many important details are dictated by the ricasso.

I agree with you about the pin.

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
I will add that the blade looks to small for the size of handle.
John has done way more knives then me so his advice is sound. When I draw up a design for a hidden tang, folder or full tang I try and forget all the different junctions like where the guard starts and stops or where the frame is on a framelock. I just try to get the outline and general profile to look right then when I have that down start integrating the other components into it. But that is just how my brain works. YMMV

Here are a few pics of what I mean(rough sketch I just did in a few minutes)
Top pic is the general profile I want then the bottom is the same pic I drew over to add the guard and tang.



Well-Known Member
First off, thank you for the advice and suggestions. My personal style leans toward smaller knives, 4" and smaller blades. That style falls into my areas of interest, so that's what I ran with.
You are correct in saying that I made a hidden tang with bar stock in mind. I actually modified one of my full tang designs to work with a smaller piece of material I had. Lesson learned. I centered the tang on the knife and kind of ran with that. From the drawings and suggestions I can see that doesn't necessarily have to be the case.
Thank you for the compliment on the materials. I try to match up what I'm working on, but sometimes I just grab what I have in the hope that I can learn something along the way.
Thanks again.

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
I think that too many makers elect to go with form over function. Especially with short bladed knives they end up with a handle that is too short to give control just to keep it looking "right". Like John I would go with a handle longer than the blade with a short bladed knife to give control. Just remember that some of the medieval seax for daily use could have 4" blades with 6" handle to give control and keep the fingers off the edge of the blade.