How Dangerous is a Wood Knife?

How Dangerous is a Wood Knife?



in today's video we're testing out how sharp a knife can be made out of wood you actually make a functional cutting edge out of it or is it going to be more for decoration hey Nate Nate what did what did one flag say to the other flag I don't know nothing it just waved no wood Nate but Nate we have new shirts before the July you can get yours now it's late in the store guys we're trying something a little bit different today I am here in my friend's garage slash workshop and I'm the only one here I don't have a co-host and I don't have a cameraman this is one more of those videos that's filmed entirely on my cell phone fortunately I have two cell phones so we might be able to get a couple of different angles but for the most part it's all going to be done like this we are gonna do some fun experiments and I think it should be a pretty good time here's what we're doing in the reason we're here my friend in this garage has all of the tools needed to make some really cool knives normally we've made them out of metal and they look just like normal knives they're they're shiny they're metallic they've got nice handles on them but today we wanted to try something different or I wanted to try something different I had an experiment where I wanted to see what happens if you make a knife out of wood and so I have three different types of wood here this right here is a standard 2×4 this is probably fir or pine it's you know it's just normal building material you this is from Home Depot or Lowe's or something like that and it's not known for being a super high quality wood or super hardwood it's just known for being cheap and kind of straight next up we've got our two fancier woods this right here is lignum vitae which is the densest wood in the world I believe there's some others that maybe about tied with it but we've done experiments with this stuff before it's crazy how dense this stuff is it will actually sink in water and it's very very hard perhaps the hardest type of wood and it has a very tight grain that tight grain is one of the reasons I thought this would probably be a good wood to try however the green on lignum vitae wood is not straight or lined up it cross hatches in these interesting ways that make the wood very strong but I don't know if they'll be beneficial in making knife edge this right here is a block of ebony ebony is also extremely hard and extremely heavy for wood the ebony also has a very tight small grain and it's a lot more lined up than the grain in the Ligon mvto wood which is why I think it may be a contender it's not as hard or as heavy but because of the shape of the grain I think it has a good chance of also holding a decent edge so we're gonna try making knives out of all three of these and we're gonna see what kind of result we can get here's the basic idea using three different types of wood we're going to try and make a knife and sharpen it as much as we can we'll test out that knife blade to see what it can and cannot cut through here's our block of ebony on a bandsaw we've got a fairly wide blade here which I'm hoping will make it so it cuts nice and straight without curving and sneaking too much or without tilting angle as it goes through we're gonna see how well that works so we're just gonna try and cut off a piece maybe quarter of an inch thick something like that and we're gonna see what kind of result we can get from it I've got our evany our lignum vitae and our two-by-four pieces of wood they're very rough at this point and I really want them to be smoother than that so I'm gonna use a disk sander just trying to sand them all down all to be able to do just a little bit of shaping on that and it's nice because I have cut not intentionally but the bandsaw cut a little bit of a taper so it's wider on this side of the wood and narrower on that side of the wood I'm definitely gonna be wearing a dust mask for this because just sawdust in general you want a dust mask but then especially some of these types of exotic woods can be really irritating to your lungs I've now got all three of these sanded down pretty well they're not completely perfect there's definitely some saw marks especially on this one the lignum vitae there's saw marks where it didn't cut perfectly smooth and straight but because I am going to be shaping it and taking it down more we'll see if we have to worry about those I think we'll probably end up sanding them right out anyway and definitely along the cutting edge making knives out of wood can be pretty fun and pretty cool maybe the real goal of course though is to see how sharp of an edge they can hold next step is we're going to be adding some design to these so we're gonna take some knife patterns and we're gonna choose ones we like and we're gonna trace them out on to these pieces of wood and then we'll cut those designs out with a bandsaw and look more like knives at that point all right so our knives have you know the the basic beveled edge to them they aren't sharpened by any means and you know that they're at an edge I don't think it's much of a cutting edge at this point but I do want to actually try sharpening them with a sharpening system but I have just added a bevel on just for the fun of it I do think I'm gonna go ahead and add some handles to these all right now you can see I've got handles attached to all the knives I do think it makes them look nice so now what we need to do is take our knife edges to just as fine and home of an edge as we can possibly get I do have just a nice little knife sharpening system and that's what I'm gonna use to give them that final edge we'll just see how sharp we can get these pieces of wood so this is a sharpening tool and of course it is usually used on metal knives this right here is a sharpening stone I've got several different grits of that and the rest of this is just designed to hold the sharpening stone right in the right spot it holds it at a consistent angle I can swivel it along the length of the blade and it lets me just sharpen it stays at the same angle all the time so I don't accidentally it'll go too shallow or too obtuse of an angle all the knives are sharpened about as much as I think I'm gonna be able to get them I've already had one slight mishap where a little piece of the wood got taken out by the sharpener so this is really thin right here and while it does have something of a good edge it does make it a little bit fragile before I start testing out just how sharp these are I am going to apply some food safe cream oil that's just designed to really bring out the look of the wood and seal it a little bit all right now it is time to do some tests how sharp have we made these knives we've got a few different things we're gonna test out cutting here here is a tomato here's an apple I've got a block of cheese and I've got some steak I'm just gonna see if I can slice through this and this isn't even cooked steak it's just you know see if you could use it for prep before you actually you know cook it up so first we're going to start with our 2 by 4 knife this is made from a 2 by 4 the blade is from a 2 by 4 the handle is from scrap of unlabeled wood but there is one other thing I want to test before all these food products and that's a very common test in the knife making world when you have a knife it's to see if you can slice through a piece of paper first I'll show you what this looks like with a stainless steel knife that's been sharpened quite a bit this is sort of the goal right here see that just kind of glides through even with these really thin little curls that I'm pulling off there it goes really nice and easily can I get anywhere with our two-by-four knife oh there we go aha hey that actually got through it did not glide through the same way the stainless steel one did let's once again go back to our stainless steel knife and see how this should work just kind of glides right through can we do anything like that with our wooden knife well it's cutting it's cutting through the tomato kinda have to saw a little bit that's okay let's just shave a piece of our Apple off here that slices through very nicely very cleanly what a knife cutting an apple kind of a jagged edge here it's cutting through it it's not cutting through it with the same ease slicing cheese I'm not trying for as thin and just see if it will cut through it I don't know that's not bad that's thin enough you can put it on a sandwich kind of have to saw back and forth a little bit more with this one than I did with the metal one and what I was saying before about how this knife gets thicker at the top it's noticeable I kind of broke apart as I was cutting through it alright we've got a piece of steak here this knife was specifically designed for slicing through meat so let's see how this does and it easily glides right down through with virtually no resistance that worked great wooden knife cutting a piece of steak I've managed to leave some splinters in the steak oh yeah there's some more at this point I think it's completely gone some of the moisture combined with the pressure I was putting on this knife to try and cut through got to it there's no edge to speak up it's completely edgeless now alright this is our evany knife and I didn't show earlier that it's taken a little bit of damage in the sharpening process which is too bad it was looking really good but during the final sharpening that edge was so thin that it just sort of started breaking apart so we're still going to do our tests we're gonna see how well it can cut but I think we've lost some of the structural integrity of it this is really surprising to me but I think that our two-by-four was performing better than this let's try our tomato oh the tomato is actually working quite nicely paper has a lot of resistance but tomato not so much it's not as good as the metal knife obviously but that's a pretty good thin slice of tomato right there how about our apple cutting the Apple pretty well I'd say a little better than the two-by-four definitely worse than the steel it's not a refined enough edge to cut evenly through I don't know that's actually pretty good look at that as a thin piece of apple slice right there let's try cheese cheese is gonna be a little bit harder than a tomato or an apple I'm not sure if the soft knife edge is gonna be able to handle it I was wrong that handled it great I think we're definitely seeing the benefit of the very thin edge I was going for here even though it's lost some of its definition and it's not quite perfectly honed the whole knife is thinner and the edges Center and that's really letting me get some pretty good slices here that's I would absolutely take slices of cheese that thick on the sandwich our last knife could not get through the steak it splintered a lot and I depressed so hard that I completely lost the edge let's see if the ebony does any better feeling some tearing as I'm passing through as I pull back its that's where it catches and yet we're getting a lot more splintering losing our edge here like keep just cutting in one direction I am just barely able to get through this but I filled it with splinters those are little pieces of my knife that came off you would not want to eat that our lignum vitae knife how is this gonna hold up this knife edge to begin with is by far the best-looking in my opinion feels well not like a really sharp knife but like a knife there's one little divot right here let's give this a test your dough's tomato I get just found a splinter from our last knife that handled that quite nicely try this again unbroken skin just slices right down through it bad how's our apple can hold up and my cutting technique isn't great but it's cutting through the Apple quite quickly there we go oh we did have some breakage the thick wedge shape of the knife started breaking the Apple apart before it sliced all the way through see our cheese going for a fairly thin slice cuts right through it nicely that was good that that worked really well actually I would say very very similar to the ebony knife but just just a slight bit ahead I would say that works better than the ebony so this is our number one so far and the blade is looking pretty good so far let's see if this can handle steak ooh I am getting tearing when I pull this direction once again that's sort of against the grain and it's starting to pull up a little bit so I'm gonna try just like sliding an eye forward when I cut alright that once again I think that's one step ahead of the ebony it did work it sliced all the way through it took a few cuts back and forth I think we got one or two tiny little slivers much smaller than the rest and our knife has survived this way better than the other types so I'm gonna say this is the clear winner can you make a viable knife out of a 2×4 well sort of we got a knife that does cut it was able to cut through the tomato the Apple even the cheese fairly well it really started struggling when we tried to cut through the steak using some more exotic woods that evany the league in amita those woods gave us a much better edge they held their edge longer they were able to cut more slice more and retain their edge without getting so destroyed in comparison to our two-by-four pine or fir knife if there's anything else you would like to see us try let us know down in the comments we'd love to give it a whirl if there is anything you'd like to see us try let us know down in the comments we'd love to give it a whirl thanks for watching if you want to check out our most recent video click that box up there at the top and we'll see you the next one talk to you then

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23 thoughts on “How Dangerous is a Wood Knife?

  1. You should reinforce the wood with compression and/or heat treatment, that should give you more durability

  2. Try 3d printing a knife…..
    Also try making a knife by stacking paper….
    Try making a knife from cement

  3. 8:31 I love how you can see him chewing, then in the next jump cut both apple slices he cut were gone,
    Gonna pull a sneaky one, huh

  4. You should have fire hardened it. You also might be able to get a better edge by scraping it rather than sanding it.

  5. Ironic… On the topic of knives… My sister cut her thumb in half on accident with a knife today. Haha ironic. (yes she went to the hospital and she is okay)

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