How to Restore an Old 2 Handed Saw and Make a Knife

  • By: Monica Shulz

Who says you have to ditch your aged two-handed saw? If the proverbial “old is gold” saying is anything to go by, then an old saw can easily be restored into something goldish.

How, you might ask? Check out the following step-by-step tutorial where the author lays out all the simple tricks you need to turn an old saw into a brand new knife!

Surface Mark the Saw for Cutting

Grab your retired 2-handed saw with all its rust, scratches, and bends, and lay it on its side on your worktop. Head for your marker pen, preferably one with a conspicuous streak against the rustic metallic surface (white will suffice).

Start drawing the shape or model of the knife you intend to cut out of the blade sheet. Remember, the knife head is part of the model and should be appropriately marked too. While at it, ensure you draw sizeable markings to maximize the blade sheet.

Cut Out the Model Knife

With a visible marking, reach for your hand grinder and begin making the necessary cuts. Start by eliminating both saw handles to remain with a plain blade sheet. Then, secure the blade sheet firmly on your worktop and begin cutting out the model knife along the lines drawn. Make sure to be precise about it.

Smoothen The Cut-Out Blade

The cut-out blade is marred with all sorts of crookedness that must be eliminated using the same hand grinder. Ensure your welding gloves are on to mitigate burning or scratching risks.

How to make a PRO Charcoal Grill fr...
How to make a PRO Charcoal Grill from a Fire Extinguisher

Once the grinder has done its part in removing the oversized imperfections, switch to an electric rotary tool to smoothen the blade edges further.

Trim The Wooden Knife Handle

With your fine-tuned blade ready, start engaging other knife accessories to create a complete piece. One crucial accessory is the knife handle. In this case, the handle is crafted from a 2*4 wood piece.

Lay the blade on the broad face of the wood leaving adequate space to hold and replicate the knife’s shape on the wood using a marker pen. A dark marker will do. Remember, your focus is on the blade head, not the entire blade. That should only occupy a small section of the wood.

Once marked, chop off the excess wood using a band saw and start trimming along the edges of the drawn shape. Apply utmost precision by moving with the wood piece through all the twists and turns. When successful in producing the knife head, slice it into two equal pieces along the design length (to be used in sandwiching the metallic knife head).

Attach The Wooden Handles

Grab your sliced wood handles and tune them up a bit by smoothening using a sanding block. Once you are certain they are in good shape and flawlessly identical, apply a fast-setting adhesive or glue on the blade head and spread it wholesomely using an old toothbrush before affixing the wood pieces.

For the best outcome, apply the glue on one surface first, affix the appropriate wood handle, and then flip it over for the corresponding application. Ensure the attachment is gentle enough not to distort the alignment. With both pieces intact, lay the blade upright and use small plastic clamps to keep it steady as the glue sets in.

Finish The Handles

With the glue all dried up, move your knife to an outside clamp for the final refinement of the wooden handles. Start by gently grinding the wooden head on the surface and along the edges to eliminate any unsightly ridges.

Next, unclamp the blade and mark two lines on the lower arches of the wooden head. Clamp it back in an inverted posture and grind the wood to the full extent of the arched marks. That should slim the wood further to the point of subtly exposing the blade head and yield an overall smooth head.

Screw The Wood in Place

Head back inside and descend on more blade head modifications.  Clamp the wooden head on its side and using a manual hand geared drilling machine, start making screw holes appropriately. Drill four holes in total piercing through the metal. One hole at the topmost edge, another one in the middle section, and lastly, a side-by-side pair at the lowest end where the wood terminates.

Then, proceed to enlarge the drill holes using a hand drilling machine with a wider bit head. This should create a somewhat layered hole to leave ample room for the screw heads and accompanying washers to rest. Proceed to insert the screw fasteners on each hole before closing with accompanying washers and nuts on the opposite side.

Tighten the fasteners using a star head screwdriver and grind off the protruding tips of the screw tails. Conclude by reinforcing the screwed attachment using screw glue on all the holes.

Apply More Wood Refinement

Once the glue sets in and you have a firm blade head, clamp the knife and aggressively sand the wood to polish it up more. After working on the head, embark on the blade as well. Thoroughly hand grind it on every inch to eliminate the rusty patches and fully restore the metallic luster.  

With all the dirt out of the way, gently stain the blade head with black varnish using a rag or paintbrush (if you have one). As soon as the varnish dries up, switch your attention back to the blade.

Craft A Saw Blade Within the Knife

Lay the blade on its side and mark a cutting framework a few inches from the head. This should be on the opposite side of the cutting edge of the knife. Let the marking be a straight line with short angled sides. The tools needed here are a black marker and a steel ruler.

Then, start drawing a zigzag pattern within the set framework to mimic the design of a real saw blade. Ensure the framework doesn’t exceed too much into the blade. With the complete markings of the saw teeth, clamp the knife and start grinding along with the zigzag pattern gently.

After grinding is complete, proceed to smoothen the saw teeth further using a small cut-off tool. In that clamped position, start setting the saw blade straight using small pliers.

Apply Extra Grip to The Head

With most of the knife work complete, you must also think about the convenience of using the tool in your hands. An effective way to do that is by adding a leather strip layering to the finished wood handle.

For enduring leather bonding, use super glue. Lay the knife on its head and apply a small quantity of superglue as you go. With each drip of glue, wrap the leather strip over it all around the knife head. Repeat the process until the entire leather strip is applied. To eliminate any loopholes, you might also want to apply glue on the leather itself before running an overlay of a subsequent cycle.

Sharpen The Knife

With the framework of your knife all done, you need to fine-tune its functionality as well. Project the knife against your worktop and delicately grind along the cutting edge to sharpen the blade. Afterward, move your knife indoors and work out its perfection on an electrical knife sharpening machine. Ensure you run the knife through the rotary discs at all angles both for sharpening and polishing.

End Product

When you are certain you have afforded your knife the best treatment, start working it out to test its skills. This right here is what you can expect from a knife that has uncompromisingly undergone all the aforementioned steps.

Time to tear through a piece of paper with ease or slice an apple effortlessly with your newly found blade. Is that cabbage too bulky for an ordinary kitchen knife? This hardy DIY knife crafted from an old 2-handed saw will do the trick.

Able to seamlessly slice through a plastic bottle full of water or two bottles lined in a sequence, expect the sturdy knife to go a lot further including sawing through wood. Thanks to the little saw section woven into the DIY design, your multipurpose knife goes beyond the kitchen to include woodworking as well. What’s more, the knife blade is sharp and strong enough to even withstand backyard punishment.


Looking for a double-edged knife that cuts and saws at the same time? Look no further than this simple DIY knife merely made out of an aged 2-handed saw that was about to see the dumpsite. Extracting the knife from the saw blade is a breeze if you adhere to the above instructions word for word. Enjoy knifing like a DIY pro!

The author of the video has applied unimaginably inexpensive tools. Find out more about the tools in his DIY projects YouTube channel whose current subscription stands at 261,000 subscribers.

Photo by DIY projects / CC BY 3.0