How to built KMG type belt grinder

Hallow there

This post is about how I built KMG type belt grinder, belt size: 72” x 2”.

KMG clone belt grinder
KMG clone belt grinder

After spending around fifteen years making knifes, I realised that belt grinder is the most important tool that you can get. For sure you can build high quality knife without any electric tools. What make the knife high quality are the blade materials, the handle materials, and the heat treatment you give the blade. For constructing and finishing my knifes, I use mainly files, sand papers and drill press.  I use mainly scrap metal. For it I use small gas forge, shaping the blade up to around eighty present of its final shape. As I use only steel and not stainless steel, I can do all my heat treatment. So I know exactly what the inner quality of the blades is.

Problem with that method of building a knife is the finishing. The knife is good as any ABS master smith knife (I know, because I did test my knife), but the finish is less the perfect. It is very difficult to keep the knife shape symmetrical and it takes forever to build it.

Most of the knife collectors go by the look of the knife and by the name of the maker. It is hard to make them buy my type of knifes, and I can’t blame them for that.

So the solution for all of the above is: a Belt Grinder. It will significantly reduce construction time and the finish can be perfect.

The image sketch is taken from one of the British knife making forums. Several years back a guy publishes series of posts about how to make that type of belt grinder. I can’t remember his name, but I will be more than happy to give him the duly deserved credit, if someone will email me his name.

Probably you can find his instruction posts on the web’ and use it, it is what I did.

However, like all the instructions out there, part of it was clear to me and some not. I thought that in my article I will add more details to the ‘how to’.

I will not get into the exact construction, but I will go to lengthy details about the materials, dimensions, brand name and supplier in England and will supply CAD drawings.

KMG Drawing

Hope it will help you in your belt grinder project.



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My latest knife


That knife is my last knife that I made for the 2015 British knife show. I put it into the competition.

The competition was for two categories: for professionals and for hobbyists, but not to any sub category such as Damascus, Pen knife, Artistic Knife or any other style, only for blade from scratch and from blank, i.e. readymade blade.

However, there was maybe eight knifes in the hobbyists category. I did get fife vote for me, I wasn’t the last and the first one got around twenty two votes.

After all of that what I wanted to say is that the knife is not that bad.


The blade forged from car suspension coil, so presumably the steel is 5160. The handle is from exotics hard wood with checkering pattern (not bad for my first attempt ever), plastic spacers, brass pins and guard made from copper.

I don’t have belt sander so the blade may not be 100% symmetrical and same go for the handle.

The blade selectively hardened to give the hedge very good hedge holding ability while keeping the middle hard but not brittle and the back springy, then I triple tempered at 375 degrees F and finally dipped in acid.

Overall length: 260mm Blade length: 130mm Blade width: 25mm Blade thickness (tapered): 4mm Weight: 175gr

Sheath made of leather, more about it in future post.




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