If you are looking to start knife making, a forge is essential to have. A good forge will make your work much easier and help you achieve great results very quickly. But there are so many different types of forges on the market that finding the right one can be challenging.
What are the best forges for knife making? Although there are quite a few types of forges, propane gas forges are the most fuel-efficient while still reaching a temperature high enough (at least 2,300°F) to work with metals like iron and steel.
This article will introduce you to some of the most commonly available forges and give you a few tips on how to choose one that’s best suited to your needs. So stick with us!
Types Of Forges
There are quite a few types of forges for knife making, and they are often classified by the type of fuel that they use to heat up the forge, which is essential to shape the metal in knife making.
One of the most common types of fuel that’s used for blacksmithing is lump coal. This type of hardwood charcoal is a slow-burning fuel that doesn’t emit as much smoke as burning wood or other plants.
Compared to other fuels, lump coal has the advantage of being sensitive to certain oxygen reactions, which allows it to reach very high temperatures.
This is quite desirable when you need fuel for a blacksmithing forge. By controlling the oxygen input, you can also control the temperature of the forge when using lump coal.
For those who are looking for an affordable alternative to regular charcoal, lump coal is a great choice. This fuel is ideal for small and medium-scale forges.
Compared to lump coal, charcoal briquettes are smaller coal pieces. They also have more additives, which can prevent them from reaching the same high temperatures as lump coal.
Also, due to charcoal’s small size and compressed shapes, charcoal briquettes can take longer to start a fire and burn at lower temperatures. Despite these factors, they can maintain a steady temperature when burning, which still makes them ideal for forging.
Another disadvantage of charcoal is that it can produce a lot of pollutants and quite an unpleasant smell when it burns. This is why it’s only suitable for small-scale forges.
Another type of fuel that’s commonly used for blacksmithing is propane gas. This natural gas is considered the best choice for forges since it can burn at high temperatures. It’s also more affordable than other fuels, despite being classified as a clean fuel.
Thermal induction is the most modern introduction to forging since it uses electromagnetic induction rather than actual fuel.
Since it’s relatively new and requires quite a lot of electrical knowledge and equipment to work with a thermal induction forge, it’s still quite rare in knife making. This type of forge is often used by experienced blacksmiths to create complex and heavy-duty projects.
Important Features Of Forges
Although most forges perform the same functions, some of them are definitely better than others. If you are looking for a first forge for your workshop, below are some of the factors that you will need to consider.
Type Of Fuel
The type of fuel that’s used for blacksmithing varies depending on the project and its requirements. Aside from the temperature that the fuel can reach, other factors such as operational costs and the overall neatness of the forge can also be affected by the fuel choice.
As mentioned, propane forges tend to be the most popular choice for blacksmiths because of the fuel’s efficiency, affordable cost, and ability to burn at a high temperature.
The choice of fuel will also affect the maximum burning temperature, which is the highest temperature that the forge can produce.
Depending on the material you’re using for knife making, you’ll need to get a forge with a suitable burning temperature. For instance, steel and iron will require a burning temperature between 2,300-2,600°F.
Number Of Burners
For hobbyists, a forge with one or two burners is sufficient to work small to medium-scale jobs. Of course, having more burners will allow you to quickly heat up the materials that you’re working on. However, this usually comes at a higher cost.
The number of burners that a forge has will also affect the size of the forge. Of course, you’ll want something that can fit comfortably in your workshop, but make sure that it’s not too tiny to make the job inefficient.
For hobbyists, we recommend getting a portable forge, which can be stored safely away when you’re not using it and still big enough to get the job done.
Another thing that’s important to consider when it comes to buying a new forge is its durability. Cheaper tools are more prone to damage, especially since you’re working with extremely high temperatures on a regular basis.
If you want to get a durable forge, make sure to check out its insulation – the material that can help retain the heat produced by the forge, either brick, ceramic wool blanket, or castable refractory.
When you buy a forge, it most likely will come with quite a few accessories that make working with the device easier. This can include the insulation material, as mentioned, as well as a hose, heat guard, etc.
Best Forges For Knife Making
|Rank||Product||Type & Size|
|1.||Hell's Forge Portable Propane Forge Double Burner||Propane gas, double burner|
|2.||Portable Propane Gas Forge Single Burner Forge||Propane gas, single burner|
|3.||Blacksmiths Single Burner Propane Forge||Propane gas, single burner|
|4.||Mr Volcano Hero 2 - Portable Propane Forge||Propane gas, double burner|
|5.||Double Burner Gas Propane Forge||Propane gas, double burner|
1. Hell’s Forge Portable Propane Forge Double Burner
Hell’s Forge Portable Propane Forge is great for beginners and experienced knife makers alike. This forge can reach temperatures of 2300°F, making it great for iron, steel, or a variety of other projects that require high temperatures.
The 19″ x 6.75 x 3.5″ oval design is portable and lightweight for easy maneuvering, giving you greater control over the conditions of your work area.
The durable cast iron construction and adjustable air vent ensure long life. In addition, this forge also comes with insulation accessories, including the Hellcoat 300 Refractory Coating, which is to be applied before you use the forge, as well as a ceramic fiber blanket and fire bricks for the forge.
Best of all, Hell’s Forge is fueled by propane gas, which is quite easy to find and extremely cost-effective and fuel-efficient!
2. Portable Propane Gas Forge
This Portable Propane Gas Forge is one of the most advanced portable gas forges on the market. It’s made specifically for knife making and is capable of reaching temperatures up to 2600° Fahrenheit.
With a better design than others, this forge has improved airflow and a better burner nozzle that is made from SS-304 material that allows the forge to safely and efficiently reach this extremely high temperature using propane gas.
In addition, you’ll also get a one-inch refractory fire brick to provide support for the forge, which adds durability to the whole system.
The complementary ceramic blanket piece insulates the burner pipe, which helps maintain heat inside the forge, and also makes the fuel more efficient.
3. Blacksmiths Single Burner Propane Forge
Blacksmith single burner propane forge is the must-have for knife making, glass lamp working, and metal art.
Blacksmith’s forge can help you achieve these difficult tasks with a single burner forge that delivers a maximum capacity of 2600°F in under 5 minutes and consistently maintains temperatures up to 2300° F.
This forge is manufactured with a ceramic fiber blanket lining the inside, which acts as a heat insulator and keeps the heat inside, meaning that you have more control over the burn and more efficiency from your fuel.
The quality nozzle (pressure at 0.21 PSI) maintains even temperatures and provides excellent flow toward your workpiece as well. Better still, this forge will last for years to come!
4. Mr. Volcano Hero 2 – Portable Propane Forge
The Mr. Volcano Portable Forge cooks like a real volcano, capable of handling intense heat of up to 2600°F. Since this forge is highly fuel-efficient, it can also reach a maximum temperature in just a few minutes without any fuss.
Made from durable, rust-resistant stainless steel, this double burner forge is a highly fuel-efficient, fully portable forge that any knife-making hobbyist can easily set up and enjoy.
The accessories you’ll get include a bio-persistent fiber blanket, refractory mortar, extreme heat magma firebricks, and a propane hose.
5. Double Burner Gas Propane Forge
This Double Burner Propane Forge forge is the key to a perfect blade. When you start heating the burners, the temperature rises quickly to a blazing 2600°F and then stays there, and the heat is easily retained thanks to this forge’s smart design.
That’s because this forge is designed with a large heating zone lined by a 1-inch thick high-density ceramic fiber blanket for better insulation.
Thanks to the 16 Gauge Steel sheets, which have better heat transfer and less thermal loss, this forge is built to be highly fuel-efficient and durable, and it will last for a long time without losing fuel efficiency.