Knife With a Plungeless Swedge

Michigan made knife #10 is complete.  I learned a new technique while making this knife.  A spear point knife is a knife where the tip of the blade is aligned with center axis of the blade.  There are a lot of ways to accomplish that design.  For this knife I was going for a more angular look, and I decided to drop the point with a straight line.  I also wanted there to be a swedge or false edge on the top of the blade.  I’ve always liked the look of a swedge without a plunge line.  A lot of makers have made knives with that feature.  One that comes to mind readily is Randall, but other famous makers like Lile, Hibben and Loveless have made a knife with a plungeless swedge.

Knife With a Plungless Swedge

I suppose I should explain what a plungless swedge is.  If you look at knives I have previously made with a swedge, you will see a vertical line where the swedge stops.  That vertical line is a plunge line.

Michigan made knife number 8
Notice the vertical line where the swedge stops.  That is a plunge line.

A plunge line on a swedge works well on some designs but I wanted nice clean lines and angles sweeping back towards the handle.  A vertical line in the middle of the blade just wouldn’t cut it.

The problem was that I have never tried to make a plungeless swedge.  I had to figure out how to do it – which made this project much more fun.  At first I tried to figure out if there was a geometric formula relating blade height and grind angles to that you could automatically end up with a knife with a plungeless swedge.  Then I remembered that very few knife makers are mathematicians and I decided I was overthinking it.

The tricky part is you want the grind lines from the swedge to meet up perfectly with the grind line of the primary bevel.  Everything needs to be symmetrical from side to side.

Technique for grinding a plungeless swedge.
Pretend the swedge continues out past the spine of the knife.

I reasoned that if I tried to grind the swedge in after completing the primary bevel, it would either compromise the nice straight lines of the primary bevel or the nice straight lines of the swedge.  So I ground a 12 degree flat grind for the swedge and then a 5 degree flat grind for the primary bevel.  I pretended that the swedge ended somewhere in space off the top of the blade (red above).  I got things as close as possible before heat treatment, leaving the edge at about the thickness of a dime.  After heat treat and sharpening, I adjusted the lines as needed with a sanding block and some sand paper.

Details of Michigan Made Blade Number 10

Knife with a plungeless swedge
Michigan Made Knife Number 10 by Ver Steeg Blades

The blade is 6 inches in length with about a 5 inch handle.  I left a little exposed metal point at the back of the handle that I can grind off at your request.  The steel is 1/4″ thick O1 tool steel hardened to 60 on the RC scale.  In order to improve the balance of the knife I drilled some holes in the tang to lighten the handle.

Knife with a plungeless swedge.
This blade has forged elements.

I am happy I made the decisions I did about having no plunge line on the swedge.  Aesthetically I think it flows better.

Guard was forged for this blade.
Forged Guard

I forged the guard do that it is literally a part of the tang.  I cannot envision how you would be able to break a guard like that.  I’ve literally beat the thing when it was red hot with a hammer and it didn’t come off.  🙂

Feels like a dream in the hand.
Handle Ergonomics.

Of course I paid a lot of attention to the ergonomics of the handle.  It feels like a dream.


SOLD.  Act quick if you want to buy something.  Better luck next time.  🙂  This was a beautiful knife.