Bad ass Sawzall Bowie Knife

I had vacation today and was sorting through some of my survival gear when I noticed a Sawzall blade I threw in my gear. These blades are sharp as hell and chew through pretty much anything in a hurry. I think the survival community as a whole is aware of how useful they are. The thing I had a problem with is how to grip the damn thing.  They sell plastic and wood handles to use the blades for drywall and shit but this is survival not home improvement. I could've just wrapped it in duct tape or paracord but that ain't my style.

After I looked at the blade a bit I figured it'd be perfect if there was a sturdy full tang handle and a knife edge on the other side. So I set out building my first sawzall bowie knife. If you've gotta buy the materials it should cost under $10 but I had all the shit laying around.

  • Grinder
  • Sander
  • Tape Measure
  • Sharpie
  • Welder
  • Safety glasses and face shield
  • Welding helmet
  • Hammer
  • Vice
  • Long Sawzall blade with carbide teeth
  • 1/8" x 3/4" x 12" piece of steel. 
  • Paracord
Get the damn thing built
1. Sand the paint off the bottom 3" of the sawzall blade where it will be welded.
2. Mark and cut the two pieces of steel at 4 1/4" long. These will form the handles

Step 3. Sandwich the blade in the middle of
 the pieces of steel and put it in a vice

Step 4. Make one nice continuous weld on both sides
of the tang

Step 5. Mark a knuckle groove

Step 5.  Grind out a knuckle groove toward the top
of the handle

6. Weld the top of the handle to the blade with a continuous bead.

7. Chip all the slag off of your weld and grind the handle smooth. If there is any pitting in the weld, fill it and smooth it now.
Step 8.Cut a 1 1/4" piece off of the steel. Center it
width wise on the bottom of the handle and weld
it in place.

Step 9. Cut another piece off at 2 1/2" then
cut a 1/16" groove that is around 1" deep in the
 center of the piece. This is going to form
the finger guard at the top of the blade.

Step 10. Put it in the vice and bend it till it looks right.
 Continually check the fit and look on the knife.
Only bend the finger guard a little at a time.

11. Once you are happy with the look and feel of the finger guard weld it in place. You will have to tack it then do several quick passes to build up the metal on the blade. Don't try to booger weld it you will burn through.

12. After you get the blade built up a little, knock down the weld and do a nice continuous bead around the entire top and bottom of the finger guard.

13.Grind a knife edge on the smooth side of the blade
Step 14. Now grind everything smooth and fill in
any spots where the weld pitted.

Step 15. The final step is sanding the whole knife
 smooth especially the handle. Do a rough $5
sharpening job on the blade. I like a rough edge
 because it cuts rope well and is easier
 to maintain than a smooth mirror polish edge

If the metal handle doesn't suit ya, wrap it in paracord, duct tape, grip tape, spray paint, or spray it with bedliner.

Electrical tape handle

Rope handle

Done, now use it
Now that ya built it, use it. This knife can be used for survival or around the yard. You can rip through tree branches pretty well. Remember sawzall blades bend so don't try to pry something with it. This is definitely a good project if you have a sawzall blade in your pack. Try to use that blade without a handle and tell me the result. Yea its a pain in the ass. Another thing to remember, don't try to sharpen the carbide it'll groove your stone.

Heres a video of the knife in use.

Conclusion after testing it.
This is my new go to outdoors knife. I was a little unsure about the blade at first because of how thin it is but that concern is gone. I can hack, stab, carve, saw, fillet, an anything else a normal bowie can do. This knife will stab through a tin can easily and bury into a 2x4. The steel that sawzall blades are made from is easy to get razor sharp and it holds an edge. I like it and will be carrying this as my new fixed blade. Pretty damn cool for something hand made.

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