How to Make a Wooden Kunai Knife


The kunai, popularized by recent cartoons and movies, is a stout, dagger-like tool with a thick diamond cross-section blade, a small round handle and a ring pommel. Traditionally used as a multi-purpose gardening and masonry tool, it has become one of the symbolic tools of the modern fictional ninja. Although they are typically made of soft iron, a serviceable replica can be made of wood.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-by-4 hardwood stock
  • Jigsaw
  • Belt sander
  • Drill with 1/2-inch bit
  • Rotary tool with drum sander
  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Card stock and pen or pencil
  • Make a template using card stock and a ruler. The forward part of the blade should be 3 to 5 inches long, 2 inches wide and tapering to a fine point. The rear part of the blade should be a 1 to 2 inch taper down to 1 inch, and the handle should be a straight bar 3 to 4 inches long. The pommel ring should be 2 inches in diameter on the outside, 1 on the inside. Use a compass to draw the rings if you want them to be perfectly round and concentric.

  • Cut out the template using a pair of scissors, then trace it onto the wooden stock using a pencil or marker.

  • Cut out the blank using a jigsaw. Leave a little bit of room for error around the edges, and don't try to cut out the interior of the pommel ring; use a drill to ream that part out. Draw a line down the center of the blade, from tip to handle.

  • Use the belt sander to shape the blade into a diamond profile. When looking at the blade from the tip toward the handle, you should see a wide diamond shape, with clean lines running from the tip back to the widest, thickest part of the blade.

  • Use the rotary tool's drum sander to put the same diamond profile on the rear part of the blade, then round off the handle and pommel ring. These should be as close to perfectly round as possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • While it can be used as a weapon or tool, a wooden knife like this is meant primarily as a practice implement. Real kunai are much heavier and sturdier.
  • Round the edges and point if you intend to use this weapon in practice against another person. Leaving the tip and edges sharp can result in injury or death.

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