Knife Modifications: 5 Ideas to Make That Knife Your Own

The mod scene has reached critical mass in the last few years and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it has become so popular that in some cases the wait-lists for popular mods are almost as long as those for a custom knife – and the prices aren’t far behind either.

The good news is that there are plenty of cool knife modifications that you can either perform yourself or have done for you quickly and easily. They may not be quite as dramatic or flashy as famous standbys like the Mini Southard or the Dietz Kwaiken mod, but they still will give your knife character, and you won’t grow gray waiting for them either.

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1. Custom replaceable parts
Custom scales, clips, backspacers, and hardware for popular knives are all over the place right now. Don’t like the plain black G-10 scales on the Skyline? Grab some anodized titanium scales from Flytanium. Want a glow-in-the-dark backspacer for your Paramilitary 2? JDT can take care of you. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: replacement parts are available many knives, in all sorts of exotic materials (Kirinite, anybody?), and can be swapped in easily with basic tools.

2. Anodization Jobs
Anodization is a chemical process that can be used to change the color of certain materials. Titanium and aluminum are two common handle scale materials that are popular with modders because they can be easily anodized. You can even do it yourself if you have some basic equipment and feel ambitious, although turnaround time can be as low as 2-3 days with a professional, and they’ll give you more options: different colors and even patterns are possible.

3. Polish the blade
Mirror-polished blades are a rare sight on anything other than expensive knives. Not only is a mirror polish attractive, it closes up the rust prone pores on your knife, increasing its corrosion resistance. You can polish any knife you want, but this is a particularly nice modification for traditional knives. They’re usually pinned together and the blade is often the only thing you can mess with. There are different ways to mirror polish a knife, but a popular method is to use a polishing wheel on a Dremel tool and a little bit of Flitz polishing compound.

4. Jimping and Filework
We have the importance of jimping drilled into our heads from years of watching Nutnfancy videos. If you want to add some jimping to a knife, the process requires nothing more than a Dremel tool and half an hour. Just be sure to practice on a beater before you go to work on a favorite blade. It can take a while to get the hang of it. Once you’ve practice with simple jimping, you can even do some filework on the blade for added flair.

5. Make your own Micarta
Micarta is a laminate material made of layers of fabric (linen, canvas, cotton, or denim) soaked in fiberglass resin which you can buy at any hardware store. It is durable, lightweight, and attractive. If you have a fixed blade laying around with drab, industrial plastic or G-10 scales, consider replacing them with homemade Micarta: it has a lot of rustic character, and over time will change color and patina, really making the knife your own. You’re going to want to do this outside or in a well-ventilated work area, but making Micarta is simple and inexpensive, and the results are very striking.