Knives are an incredibly useful tool in the outdoors. However in a survival situation you may not have a knife available with you.
In reality, in the event that you find yourself in a survival situation, all you really need is a sharp cutting edge; something that you can use to cut materials, to clean animals, and etc.
In this guide we are going to show you the steps to making a quick stone cutting tool.
STEP 1: FIND THE RIGHT MATERIAL
The first step to manufacturing a good stone cutting tool is going to be finding the right materials.
You can use chert, flint, quartzite, quartz, volcanic glass such as obsidian or dacite, but really, what we want to know is the characteristics of that rock.
We want to find a type of rock that is very glass-like.
One thing you can do is knock rocks together, and pay attention to the sound. If you hear high pitched sound, that is what we’re looking for. We want something that’s real glass-like.
The reason being is that when we hit it, we want it to knock a flake off instead of shattering or crumbling
STEP 2: FINDING EDGES
Find edges, also known as “platforms”. A platform is the area where are you going to hit the rock to knock a flake off.
You want your platform to be an angle that is less than 90 degrees.
Rotate the rock around in our hands and find a appropriate angle to knock a flake off it.
You want to kind of rotate this rock around and look at the different edges on it, and you can see, we have an angle that is less than 90 degrees, and that’s what we’re looking for.
AVOID 90 DEGREE ANGLES, If we were to hit a 90 degree edge the energy’s going to go straight into that rock, either break the rock in half, or not produce the flakes we want.
STEP 3: FIND A RIVER OR SAND STONE
Once we’ve found our angle, we need some type of hard rock. You can use a river rock, or you can use a round piece of sandstone. We just want something that is going to knock flakes off the tool we working on.
STEP 4: HAMMER FLAKES OFF
Once we found our edge what you really want is the weight of your river rock, to do the work.
Start hitting and striking with your hammer stone, knocking flakes off your cutting tool.
Once you knock a flake off like this, you’ve already made your first stone cutting tool. These edges are about the sharpest edge you’ll ever find.
This is great for cleaning animals. It’s great for harvesting and processing different plants.
This is one of the sharpest edge you’ll ever be able to get.
STEP 5: MAKING A BIFACE
The problem with this is being sharp, if we use it for processing wood, cutting trees, it’s going to crumble that edge and it’s going to dull and deteriorate very quickly.
So we want to make a larger, what we call a biface, and that’s just a larger piece that we can hold like so and work on trees and similar surfaces
The way we would do that is we continue knocking flakes off of this piece of rock, get a nice, convex shape to this rock and strengthen that edge.
Continue going around, finding those platforms, and try to work the edges down.
STEP 6: CLEAN OFF SHARP CENTERLINE EDGE
Continue to knock that flake off there, bringing our center line up in line with the rest of it.
You see our center line’s getting a little closer to being in line, which we’re going to keep coming around knocking flakes off, and all we’re going after is a nice edge on both sides that we can use to cut with.
You can see we have a sharp edge here. We have some good weight, something we can hold to, that we can chop with. So we’re going to go find a nice little sapling and use this thing to chop it down.
STEP 7: TEST YOUR CUTTING TOOL
We’re going to test out our cutting tool here and go ahead and chop this sapling down.
It’s not beautiful, it’s not a piece of art, but it is a quick, functional tool you can make off the landscape, and it can help save your life.
Now go find some rock, whether it be river rock, flint, whatever, and just start knocking some flakes off and see what you come up with.