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VIDEO: The Making of a Fiddleback Forge Knife

by Robert Gilbert August 23, 2018

VIDEO: The Making of a Fiddleback Forge Knife

We just launched our new YouTube Channel in a big way!

Our newest video showcase what we believe makes Fiddleback Forge knives unique.

Video Notes:

Get an inside look at how Fiddleback Forge Knives are made, what makes them unique, and what exactly makes a Fiddleback Forge knife stand out among others in the outdoor knife industry.

We go behind the scenes while the crew is making knives in the Fiddleback Forge shop while Andy Roy, owner and head knife-maker, reviews some key characteristics that make a great handmade knife worthy of the "Fiddleback by AR" maker's mark.

Fiddleback Forge is well known in the knife world as a top tier maker of bushcraft knives, as well as being a favorite among outdoorsmen and knife enthusiasts alike. What began as a part time hobby of making knives in 2007, became a career of full-time knife making by 2009 for owner Andy Roy. Since then, Fiddleback Forge has been making some of the best outdoor knives in the industry.

We pride ourselves on making knives that are not only beautiful, but extremely hard workers. Fiddleback Forge knives are easily recognized by several of our most common features. You can easily discern our knives by looking for our trademark "Bullseye Lanyard Tubes", 3D spalted steel flats, unique Micarta knife pin patterns, ergonomic knife handle shaping, "Fiddleback by AR" makers mark, and other distinct features. Our knives feature mostly convex grinds with the occasional scandi grind. All of our knives are full tang knives that have been skeletonized, as well as sometimes tapered to reduce weight. Our knives are made from superior steels using the stock removal method, leading to a more consistent and stronger knife over forged blades. Our most commonly used steel for our handmade knives is A2 steel, but we also use CPM154, AEB-L, O1, and other steels. Our Mid-tech Production Field Knives use S35VN and 3V respectively.


It took me 200 knives, to get to the perfect grind. I like to think of it as... I'm the most dedicated, because a lot of people would have given up. My name is Andy Roy, and I am the head knife-maker at Fiddleback Forge Knives. Our knives are generally, most of the models, are bushcrafting knives. I think the designs are clean and professional, and very functional. There's a lot of features that we put in to a knife that make it recognizable. One of those would be the bullseye lanyard tube, it does make it recognizable, especially if it's sticking out of a sheath. It's not a commercially available product, it's a trademarked product, that we make here. It adds a bit of individuality to Fiddleback Knives, and it dresses up that lanyard tube that is so boring in everyone else's knives. I like to think that the handle shaping is done in a way that you could recognize a Fiddleback. Our handle shape is pure function. Our handle should be comfortable in a wide variety of grips. You should be able to know where the edge is, at any point, without looking at the knife, by the shape of the handle. I carve every handle here. When I put my name on the knife, I decided that the parts I have to do is the handle shaping, the blade grinding, those are critical, to make it my knife. So I do every bit of that still. So the question is, why do we at Fiddleback Forge do our pinouts the way we do it. The reason is so that we get a more consistent product, and for the aesthetics of it. It evolved to make the knives easier to make and cheaper to the end user, and then it became part of our style. And, we don't have those ugly steel pins that every other knife maker likes to use. When I started making knives, I was into the convex grind, and nobody was making them. We use the convex grind for two reasons. One because for bushcraft and even for kitchen work, the convex grind splits the material away from the piece you're cutting it off of, and generally reduces the binding of it. It's also got the most meat behind the edge, so it's the strongest. Spalted steel is something that I came up with to name the texture that I put on the flats of the blades. It's the only part of knife-making that I actually came up with a process myself, and it's the only part I don't share and teach and give away. We can produce knives more efficiently with stock removal, efficient time-wise. And we can repeat the pattern quicker. Anything that would make the process more efficient would bring the price down for the buyer. My opinion, and it's just an opinion, is that a stock removal knife is better. A forged knife has gone in and out of the oven, in and out of the oven, in and out of the oven, and they've swollen the grain on the knife. Because we never overheat our steel, and we're not going through all that process, we never swell the grain size. If you break a Fiddleback Knife the grain pattern, the grain structure is tiny, compared to forged blades. And in addition, a stock removal knife can be made of steels you can't forge, that are superior to the steels you can forge. You know, they don't used forged knives for the cutting competition, they use super steels, and you can't forge those. I think that's basically what makes a Fiddleback a Fiddleback. It's a beautiful knife that also is a hard worker. We all know, life's too short to carry an ugly knife.

Robert Gilbert
Robert Gilbert


Robert Gilbert heads up the team at Fiddleback Outpost, which in turn handles website design & management, social media, customer service, fulfillment, sales, and marketing for Fiddleback Forge.

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