kniveSource Logo
The Online Source of Knives

Custom Knives Pricing Guide

September 28, 2023231 ViewskniveSource


If you’ve bought custom knives before, you’ve probably paid more attention to the knife than the price. Is it attractive? Well-made? Does it appear to offer good value for the money? If the answer to all these questions is yes, sold!

When you make custom knives, especially if you’re new to the practice, you’re going to have different questions. Probably the biggest one is “What do I charge?” 

There’s no straightforward answer – it all depends on factors like your skill level, the material used, and even your reputation. In this guide, the team at kniveSource answers your questions about how to price custom knives by listing the main considerations and how they should be taken into account.

What Should You Consider When Pricing Custom Knives?

Pricing a custom knife can be a delicate balance between valuing the skill and time invested in its creation and ensuring that the price remains affordable for potential buyers. As such, determining the right price requires careful consideration of various factors. Below is an overview of the facts and features that can impact pricing.

Blade and Handle Materials

The materials used in making the knife can significantly affect its price. To begin with, high-end steels like Damascus, VG-10, or CPM-S30V are more expensive to work with and result in a higher quality blade, thus commanding a higher price. The same goes for handle materials: premium materials like exotic woods, carbon fiber, or G10 cost more to source, which will make the knife more expensive.

General Costs

Blade and handle materials aren’t the only costs that can influence how much you decide to charge. 

Time and Effort

The time and effort required to create a custom knife can have a significant impact on its cost. These knives are typically handmade, and the artisan’s time and expertise should be reflected in the final price.

For example, the more time and effort required to forge and shape the blade, handle, and other components, the more expensive the knife is likely to be. Similarly, if the artisan incorporates intricate designs or engravings, the price will increase accordingly.

Your Skill and Reputation

The skill and reputation of a knife maker can also impact its price. A maker with a well-established reputation for producing high-quality knives is likely to charge -and receive- a higher price than a less established craftsperson.

Your reputation can be influenced by factors such as:

A knife maker with a strong reputation may also have a waiting list for their blades, which can further increase the perceived value of their work and justify a higher price.

Net Profit

It is important to factor desired net profit into your custom knife prices. To cover costs and (if applicable) earn a living from your work, you need to factor in your desired profit margin. There’s no right or wrong way to calculate your profit margin, but you’ll want to make sure that the final price is competitive with similar knives on the market while still reflecting the value and quality of your work. It’s common for makers to build a 30%-50% profit margin into their knife prices.

Many manufacturers use a variation of the following equation:

Material Costs + Labor + (labor hours x overhead allocation rate) + Net Profit = Final Price

You’ll notice that the formula above includes an overhead allocation rate. An overhead allocation rate is the overhead expenses incurred per labor hour. You can calculate your overhead allocation rate by dividing your total overhead costs by your total labor hours. This will give you the cost of your overhead per working hour. When you multiply your labor hours for a knife by your overhead allocation rate, you get the total overhead cost associated with one knife. 

In the end, how much you charge for your custom knives will have to strike a balance between profitability and market demand. Your designs may also require different pricing tiers depending on the level of customization or complexity. 

Where Can You Get Some Guidance on How to Price Custom Knives

While you can -and should- experiment, looking for guidance is one of the best ways to ensure that your prices are fair to yourself and your customers. Here are some ideas for finding some helpful direction:

How Can Your Choice of Abrasive Increase the Value of Your Custom Knives?

The abrasives you use can impact the finish, durability, and sharpness of your knives. For example:

For a quality, high-performance knife, selecting the right abrasive for each step is crucial. In this case, what’s ‘right’ can depend on the type of steel you’re using, how sharp you want the blade to be (think table knife vs. combat knife), and the desired surface finish.

Produce Exceptional Knives with Industrial – Grade Abrasives

Custom knives are a true work of art and precision, made by skilled craftspeople who pour their heart and soul into every detail. Whether you are a seasoned artisan or an enthusiastic novice, understanding the factors that impact custom knife pricing will help you price your knives appropriately. 

At kniveSource, we cooperate with the source factory and have strict control over the price and quality of raw materials. We have partnered with some of the most professional, high-end and trusted knife manufacturers in China to provide our customers with the optimum shopping experience and flawless customer service.

No matter what stage you’re at in your journey, our products & service can help you achieve the results that you – and your customers – are looking for. For more information, please fill out our contact form today.