Knives are one of the staple tools any decently prepared person will keep with them at all times. You don’t have to be a Prepper or a Survivalist to understand the value of a knife in everyday life, and clip one to your waistband before you leave the house everyday.
But what if you found yourself in a situation without your knife? Or you were somehow left with only one knife, and you didn’t want to use it for a particularly messy task?
Knowing how to make primitive stone tools will come in handy if you ever find yourself in a long-term SHTF situation. You won’t be able to pop over to the hardware store for a new blade, and over time it’s easy to misplace or break the ones you have.
Making your own sharp tools isn’t hard, although it takes practice to perfect your technique. If you ever find yourself in need of a razor-sharp edge, you may be surprised how accessible they are to you. You don’t have to feel bad about using and disposing of these blades because you can always make more when you need them!
Choose the Right Kind of Rock
Not all rocks will easily splinter into the sharp edges that you’ll need; you’re most likely to find the right types next to a stream or river. Flint, chert, jasper, chalcedony, quartz, and obsidian all make for effective cutting tools.
If you’re not well-versed in identifying types of rocks (oh, you didn’t major in Geology?), look for:
- fine grained stones with a consistent texture
- rocks that have the highest pitch when tapped
- stones that do not have existing cracks or fissures
Still not sure? Start testing different rocks and see what results you get. Over time, you will recognize the ones that have become effective tools for you.
Cutting Stone Creation Techniques
When you are breaking rocks apart, keep in mind that they are extremely hard and unpredictable. You will want to protect your eyes and your skin to avoid potentially debilitating injuries.
Rock Bashing is a very rudimentary way to create sharp flakes of rocks. Lay out your potential cutting tool rocks on the ground, and find a much larger, heavier rock (but you must be able to lift it above your head). Throw the large rock at the small rocks until they splinter, and check what kinds of pieces you have created.
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This is the most effective way to break a stone into two useable pieces.
Find a large stone to act as the anvil under your potential cutting tool stone. Stand your subject stone up tall on the anvil rock, and strike it hard with a large hammer stone.
The hammer stone should be at least 5x bigger than the subject stone.
It should only take a few good strikes to create sharp pieces that are immediately useable.
Flints, cherts, obsidians, and glass can all be flaked by striking their edges with your hammer stone.
This is a more controlled way to shape the edge into a flat spear. It is also more difficult, as most rocks are too brittle or too dense to flake.
There are few more universally necessary tools than a knife, and you should store several knives of varying lengths, as well as a sharpener to keep the blades razor-sharp. But if you find yourself in need of an effective cutting edge, you can fall back on these tried-and-true methods of creating your own.