"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

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21 May 2012

Oetzi's knife

I might have mentioned before my interest in Oetzi the Ice Man. One of the many artifacts that were found with him was his knife. I have wondered what it would be like to use such a small tool. Recently I broke a knife and decided to use the broken tip to make a Oetzi knife look-alike. It's not a reproduction: for a start the blade is steel rather than stone. But it's about the same shape and size, and should give me an approximation of what it's like to use.

 The knife is a little bigger than the original, about 140mm long with a 45mm steel blade. The handle is a piece of branch off the edge in the garden... The blade is epoxied in the handle, with a rawhide wrap. I have now used it on a small carving and I quite impressed with the little knife.

I used other tools on these but most of the bulk wood removal was done with this knife. The carving on the left was a piece of pine (horrid stuff to carve) and the one on the left is Lime (much nicer to carve)

I am planning to make a sheath like the original and use it for some bushcraft tasks, just to get the feel for it.  So far though, I think it's a success.


  1. The use points of most knives is the tip and next to the hilt. Except for certain tasks, a small knife is all that's needed.

  2. Love those carvings. I think you shoule make another knife using a similar carving for the handle. It would be unique.
    Like the knife too.

  3. just looked at your updated (to me at least) knife gallery on your website- fabulous work, keep it up... ~rico

  4. I am with Keith, and you have again inspired me! You MUST do that again and again, do you?;-)Kidding aside, this is a very nice and handy knife. I like the symmetric blade, something of a sgian dhú to it, and I like that...