Curly Ash Handle

Have you ever been through the struggle of using a marking knife that is too cumbersome or perhaps too wide to get into a thin gap? Maybe you spend ages sharpening the thing before dropping it on the concrete floor a minute later. These are struggles that we have all been through.


For years I have been using the Swann-Morton SM01 scalpel blades in a handle I bodged together when I was 17. It was and still is the best marking knife I have ever used, and I've tried many throughout my training at Rycotewood and during my employment at Axminster. But nothing comes close to the precision and ease of use this thing can provide.


Sold as Handle Only

The product is sold without a blade fitted to prevent issues from arising due to shipping restrictions and verifying ages online. Despite this being somewhat of an inconvenience, it does mean that you can choose exactly how many blades you want to buy. They are usually sold in packs of 5, 10, 50 and 100. Buying more will obviously save you money.


Thin Blade

The blade this handle is made to fit is roughly 0.7mm thick meaning it can get into the thinnest of gaps with ease. The situation I find this is useful is when transferring the tails to the pins when dovetailing. It's thin enough to get into the smallest of gaps, even on London Pattern Dovetails



Despite its thinness, the blade is still suprisingly rigid compared to a standard scalpel blade. Obviously there is a small amount of deflection if you're comparing it to a thick Japanese marking knife, however you soon get used to it. In addition, the chisel shaped cross section of the blade means the cutting edge is fully supported and gives good transfer of power.


Double Bevel

I've often heard of people questioning how easy it is to use a double bevel knife as opposed to a single bevel. How do you run it up against an edge and how do you stop it from digging in? Realistically, this comes down to practice and gaining muscle memory when holding the knife at a particular angle. It doesn't take long to master.


I do however find that the double bevel ever so slightly undercuts the edge you are knifing around by nothing more than a quarter of a millimeter. This means that when the joint is assembled it makes it a really snug fit!



Sharpening knives usually has to be done freehand meaning it's very easy for a beginner to quickly make a dogs dinner of a marking knifes bevel. These blades however are easily sharpened. Simply dispose of the blunt blade in a safe manner, and replace it with a new one! They cost pennies when you buy them in larger packs and will last you for years. It also means you no longer have to feel guilty about opening packaging, removing glue, or cutting up sausages with your shiny marking knife.


Custom Handle

The material of the handle and ferrule is entirely up to you. This entire component is made by myself in my little workshop to your specification. Do you need it? Absolutely not. You can just as easily buy a cheap handle from Amazon to suit your blade and it will work fine. But purchasing one of my handles will help support me in what I do, and provide you with the luxury you deserve.



Your knife will be finished in a long lasting, durable finish that should last a long time. After sanding to 400 grit on the lathe, I apply a couple of layers of sanding sealer to help provide a consistent finish. I then apply a few layers of friction polish to bring up the glossiness of the tool. Followed by a layer of microcrystalline wax to create a dirt, grime and dust resistant finish.


I really don't want to sell this as a product you need to own. It really isn't. However what I can promise you is upon opening the box for the first time, you will be blown away by the look, feel and control this tool will provide you. It really will be a tool you can treasure for life and help me get this product off the ground

  • Returns

    Should you find any issues with your knife, it can be returned for a full refund including shipping. This covers cosmetic and manufacturing errors only. It does not cover misuse or accidental damage.

    If the knife is damaged as a result of misuse, it can be sent back to me for repair where I will send you a quote on how much it will cost to fix. Return shipping will also need to be paid for in addition to this.

  • Caring

    The knife can be cared for by periodically applying a layer of microcrystalline wax. This will help resist dirt, grime and fingerprints from staining the wood. It can also be used on the ferrule to prevent excessive tarnishing.

  • Handle Only

    Due to shipping restrictions and difficulties when it comes to verifying ages online, this is supplied as a handle only. There will be no blade included in the package upon delivery. There will however be a QR code supplied with the knife that links you to the relevant product page for the blades.


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© 2019 by Matt Estlea.