Refurbished Antique Drawknives

I prefer antique drawknives.  Many of them have thin blades allowing them to be used in tight concave curves, such as those found under Windsor chair seats. Handles were designed to fit the hand comfortably. The craftsmanship is often amazing, with beautiful curves and laminated steel blades.

Seth Elliott and I buy the best old drawknives we can find, then clean, tune and sharpen them.  We hollow-grind  the backs and bevels to make future sharpening easier.  Handles are bent for comfortable bevel-down use (see sidebar for more info).  They come sharp and ready to use.



A solid tool steel blade, straight in both planes. It has red painted handles that have worn and chipped in a manner I find quite attractive. We have shellaced them to prevent further chipping. Has some cosmetic tarnishing.  Montgomery Ward had a line of tools call ‘Lakeside’ so maybe this was sold by them. Click on photo to view more images.


Lakeside branded Drawknives in the 1920 Montgomery Ward Catalog. The top drawknife has a laminated blade, the bottom one is solid tool steel.

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Hollow-Ground Back

Drawknife Info

    • Drawknives are measured by the width of the blade and come in a variety of sizes. Choosing a size is a matter of personal preference. I own drawknives from 8-12″ and use them interchangeably.
    • Forged drawknives are bent in both planes, a result of the hardening process used by blacksmiths. Industrial drop-forging techniques made a perfectly straight blade. I use both types interchangeably without noticing any practical difference.
    • Unless otherwise noted, all my drawknives have been tuned to be used bevel-down. The backs are ground concave for ease of sharpening and the handles are parallel with the blade’s back to keep your wrists straight during use. Bevel-down is the most versatile way to use a drawknife.
    • Bevel-up drawknives are good for long straight cuts, but the back has to be slightly convex to keep the tool from diving uncontrollably deeper into the cut. Convex backs make it harder to predictably remove a sharpening burr. Bevel-up drawknives have handles that are bent down to keep your wrists straight during use.

  • Curtis Buchanan shows how he chooses and sharpens his drawknives in these two thorough videos: