How to Make a Knife Handle Out of Deer Hooves


Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts often choose to personalize a knife by making a new handle from a trophy animal part such as a deer hoof. While not to everyone's personal taste, deer hooves make a soft, comfortable knife handle that stays warm in cold weather. It is more ethical to use every part of the animal you kill.

Step 1

Measure your current knife handle between the butt cap and blade guard. Use a hacksaw to cut your chosen deer leg to the length you need.

Step 2

Use acetone and long pipe cleaners to remove all marrow from inside the bone. Repeat two to three times to ensure complete cleaning.

Step 3

Use an electric drill and a bit whose diameter is the same as the width of your knife tang to auger out the bone as wide as possible without piercing it. Clean the inside of the bone again, using acetone and long pipe cleaners.

Step 4

Use a right-angle grinder and a 24-grit wheel to grind your knife tang so that it will fit into the hollowed bone of the deer hoof.

Step 5

Fill the inside of the bone with gray metal epoxy. Coat your knife tang with the same epoxy as well. Push your knife tang into the hollowed bone inside the hoof section. Allow the epoxy to cure for 24 hours before using your knife. According to custom knife maker Earl Blackmore of, "...using epoxy to mount the handle...will strengthen it and seal the porous material inside the bone. Otherwise the interior of the bone can slowly break down with use, and your handle will loosen up."

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not leave any marrow or other material inside the bone of the hoof because they can rot or grow mold.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Your favorite knife
  • Hacksaw
  • Deer leg with hoof attached
  • Acetone
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Electric drill
  • Drill bit with same diameter as the knife tang width
  • Right-angle grinder
  • 24-grit wheel
  • Gray metal epoxy


  • Earl Blackmore; custom knife and sword maker; Tempe, Arizona
  • Jay Fisher: Custom Knife Handle Materials
Keywords: make knife handle out of deer hooves, hoof custom knives, trophy mounts on weapons

About this Author

Jane Smith provided educational supports for 11 years, served people with multiple challenges for 26 years, rescued animals for five years, designed and repaired household items for 31 years and is currently an apprentice metalworker. Her e-book, "Giving Him the Blues," was published in March 2008. She received her Bachelor of Science in education from Kent State University in 1995.

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