How To Make A Knife (Part 3) – “First Prototype”

Now we’re really going to get things moving…

I was thinking about the various mechanisms use to open, lock and close knives.

Not too sure about the ones I’ve seen – some look a little fiddly.

So what I’ve done is ignore everything I was seeing out there and just do my own thing (like I usually do).


I came up with something I thought was pretty original (but, in saying that, when I googled it… it had been done before once or twice).

Basically, a serrated wheel that you “roll” with your finger – like this:


I’m aiming for one-handed opening that feels NATURAL!


I wanted to test and see if it would work – so got sketching right away:

A few hours on the CAD program to come up with a "quick and dirty" design...

A few hours on the CAD program to come up with a “quick and dirty” design…


The parts that need cut (using 2.5mm thick Grade 5 Titanium):

Prototype consists of 5 separate parts (excluding screws, etc)

Prototype consists of 5 separate parts (excluding screws, etc)


A little bit of grinding and here’s the mockup:



I’m not going for shape or design at this point – just testing the functionality.


The result so far:

Yes, I know, it looks like a "Pizza Cutter"... jeez.

Yes, I know, it looks like a “Pizza Cutter”… jeez.

Definitely not how the final design will look that's for sure. Looks too "dainty".

Definitely not how the final design will look that’s for sure. Looks too “dainty”.


<<< Part 2 <<< | >>> Part 4 (COMING SOON…) >>>
  • Martin Vachon says:

    I really like how it’s turning out! Keep it up!

  • Daniel says:

    Liking it so far

  • Sean says:

    Looking good

  • Jay Lee says:

    It is a great concept, to add some input on the concept is to maybe to create some notches on the bottom half of handle assembly to prevent your hand from slipping from the handle to the blade. Other than that great prototype

  • Sebastian O. says:

    Magnus, it looks awesome! I´ll take your Proto(i will grind and sharp the blade)! 🙂 And when you´re ready with your Custom Knife, i will send you back your Proto from the other end of the World(Germany) to get the finished Knife! 🙂

  • Phil says:

    Even if the opening mechanism worked correctly, would it be able to open with one action? Your finger would have to wrap completely around the wheel to get the 180 degrees needed to open. Also, most people have been opening knives with their thumbs forever. I’d probably still buy it, but relearning how to open a knife might be tricky

  • Srinivas Amrutur says:

    Hey Magnus, how about a telescoping / sliding blade mechanism instead of a flick-out mechanism? Easier for one-handed use. The wheel mechanism you’re using still seems to need much more movement than I’d like. Yeah, I’m that lazy!

  • John says:

    It’s pretty, but doesn’t seem to be very practical. It looks like it will take multiple flicks on the wheel to completely extend the blade. Also it seems like having a symmetrical blade could lead to accidents. Maybe picking it up the wrong way after setting it down extended. I like the sharp side and dull side to be visibly different.

  • Paolo says:

    Blade steel? That should also be top choise! I like the design.

  • Dale Carr says:

    The mechanism should work but it’ll be considerably heavier than a framelock. Although you can design a locking mechanism the unlocking and return to the safe closes position might be difficult. It will also need a strong detent to hold it in the closed position. Just seems like it’ll be a little heavy.

  • Paul says:

    It’s awesome! Admire your persistence and sense of style



  • Robert Ferguson says:


    Usually the finished product doesn’t look anything like the original concept. I think that you are way too attached to the wheel opening. There are a lot ways to make a knife open. Have you ever heard of The Christy Knife? ( They have been making this knife for a very long time. It’s extremely easy to open and locks in 3 positions. There are many different types of blades on the market. The dagger style you are experimenting with would not be my first choice for a blade. For the type of knife you are making, it should be practical, safe to use, durable, easy to open and lock in place when opened. I prefer function over form.

  • Richard Johnson says:

    Magnus, I give you a LOT of credit for coming up with a totally new pocket knife concept!

  • Guy Raz says:


    If you were able to incorporate spring-assist, I would be all over this thing. In its current state, does it have a detent to keep the blade in the open and closed position?

  • Jay Newburgh says:

    I really like your overall shape and concept. Let’s face it, a small keychain knife is going to be used to clean fingernails among other things, so the blade looks to be good for that. It also looks like your design so far allows for use of the entire blade which other keychain knives do not. Looking forward to part 4.

  • Hiram Wells says:

    I’m liking the wheel, it’s not new but it is uncommon. Easy one handed opening on a keychain knife I’ve found to be rare. Just to short for a flipper or stud to function easily, for me anyway. Only my Spydercos flip smoothly. With a properly slick action a wheel may be a bit smoother than a flipper or stud. Out the front slides are smooth but I find them somewhat clumsy. From a design standpoint I like the general teardrop shape. A potential drawback I see is that the hold will all towards the front, grasped with thumb and forefinger only. The tapered rear section might just swim around a bit making it harder to control. But then maybe not, it’s in your hands at the moment so you’ll know. A bit of jimping on the top forward of the frame would improve the hold and tell you what’s top from bottom. Looks like your tolerances are close, as I would expect. Be sure to have some sort of backstop to keep the edge from getting banged up. An alternative to a wheel is a Paul Lock. This has a button lock in the central pivot. The Paul may be considered a gravity knife in some areas therefore illegal. Combining a Paul with a wheel? Now that would be trixy.

  • William Schinella says:

    Great style, waiting to see the finished product!

  • Al Eisen says:

    Check CRKT. They have the best wheel knife. They are very impractical.

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