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Jonathan McCully

Marking Knife Suggestions

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I’m putting together a wish list for Christmas and feel like I could potentially benefit from having a marking knife in my shop.  Based on the research I’ve done, it seems that most of the selection is based on personal preference, but I thought I’d see what you all have and if you have any tips on selecting one.  Thanks.

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Probably a good idea to have multiples. I have the skinny MK025 from Ron Hock, for which I fashioned a handle that leaves the blade exposed about 2". Good for tight places. I also have my eye on a heavier, single-bevel knife, just have one with a bit of heft.

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I have a few but my Blue Spruce Toolworks is my favorite just feels good in the hand and it came in cocobolo :) 

its the third one from the left in this pic

IMG_2863.jpg.830710b6973ef90b90903d038b469c9c.jpg

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I've got a couple, one from that Swiss company that starts wit a P.  But the one I like the best so far is the new one from Narex. It's comfortable, and is sharp, and gets in very tight places. .

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One key is to understand the value of double bevel vs. single. With single, the knife face can be held flat against a vertical face and the blade will be right against the reference surface. Of course for ease and access reasons, you might need a pair of single bevels to mark both sides of a dovetail, for example. This presents obvious challenges of its own.

 A double bevel can be more easily used in either direction, but you hold it at an angle. I actually have a Narex double bevel which I honed to a single bevel, which works for me.

Single bevel is probably easier to sharpen. 

Just my thoughts. I'm pretty new to marking knives myself.

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I use a Pfeil marking knife (the smaller of the two available at Woodcraft). It has a single bevel, but is double sided so you can easily use on both sides of joinery.

It is a relatively inexpensive knife, and the finish of the wood handle shows it. I think it was on sale for $15 or $20 when I bought it.

pfeil.jpg.02337bb8fa82edddac747b7e6d851e0b.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Bankstick said:

I use an old penknife I found in a park. I cleaned it up, sharpened the point and use it as a marking knife.

Sounds like I don’t need to spend exorbant amounts of money here, although I really like that Blue Spruce cocobollo one and the fact that you can buy additional blades of varying sizes to switch in and out of that one

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You can use any knife or other piece of sharpened metal. The only thing special about any marking knife is how easily it fits in tight spaces, and how well or easily it registers against the edge of a rule or work piece. The more expensive ones also tend to have handles that look and feel better than the cheap ones.

Paul Sellers uses a cheap Stanley folding knife, below. I have one of the same, but find it difficult to register the small bevel sometimes. I mostly use it for opening packaging and miscellaneous tasks now. You can also buy single bevel or double bevel blades for it.

knife.jpg.2591d918b91f9ca13606f605a1f19c98.jpg

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2 hours ago, Jonathan McCully said:

Sounds like I don’t need to spend exorbant amounts of money here, although I really like that Blue Spruce cocobollo one and the fact that you can buy additional blades of varying sizes to switch in and out of that one

You definitely do not need to spend very much. The Narex knives cost less than $20. 

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In fact, I am saving an old planer blade to make a marking knife from. Simply grinding a edge is all that is really required.

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While it’s true you can make your own or go cheap, but you will feel good every time you pick up the Blue Spruce marking knife. 

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I use an exacto knife for dovetails - just a regular ole exacto knife.  For longer lines or not so tight spaces I use a single bevel knife.

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14 hours ago, JohnG said:

I use a Pfeil marking knife (the smaller of the two available at Woodcraft). It has a single bevel, but is double sided so you can easily use on both sides of joinery.

It is a relatively inexpensive knife, and the finish of the wood handle shows it. I think it was on sale for $15 or $20 when I bought it.

pfeil.jpg.02337bb8fa82edddac747b7e6d851e0b.jpg

+1

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I'm quite happy with my Veritas Striking knife. The blade is long enough to reach difficult places and slightly flexible too. Functional and affordable. 

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15 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

I'm quite happy with my Veritas Striking knife. The blade is long enough to reach difficult places and slightly flexible too. Functional and affordable. 

+1

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