About Thomas R Lewis Knives

Mailing Address: 1613 Standpipe Rd, Carlsbad, NM 88220

My Background

I don’t remember when I was not interested in knives. Growing up my Dad had a well-equipped shop which he let me use. I have always enjoyed making things.

I sold my first knife in 1980 and since then have sold over 1500 knives. Here is a list of publications that the have featured my knives over the past 27 years.

I have spent the money I have made selling knives towards knife making equipment. I have six 2”x72” belt grinders, and an assortment of other machinery.  For a shop tour click here.

After teaching in the Public Schools for 36 years I am retired and I am now a full time knife maker. Knife making remains one of my strongest interests.

Knife Construction

I use both the stock removal method and also forge. I have a 100lb and 25 lb. Little Giant Trip hammer. I have a coal forge and several gas forges. I forge pattern welded Damascus out of 1084 and 15N20 steel and also 0-1 and 15N20 steel. The Damascus blades have 320 layers usually in a twist pattern. I also forge motorcycle chainsaw chain Damascus and wire or cable Damascus.

I have also forged San-Mai blades of 410 SS and 0-1 steel.

The stock removal knives I make are of CPM 154cm steel and W-2 steel. I send the CPM 154cm blades to Paul Bos heat treating for the heat treat. The W-2 blades I heat treat myself and they have a clay tempered hamon. Sometimes I will forge the W-2 steel, but forging takes more time and is therefore more expensive. Forging does not necessarily make a better knife. A forged blade and a stock removal blade of the same material given the same heat treatment and edge geometry will both cut the same.

Most of the knives I make are full tang knives with a tapered tang.

I use 416 Stainless Steel for knives that have guards.

I use a variety of materials for handles. Micarta, bone, antler, etc. One of my favorite handle materials is stabilized wood. I have K&G stabilize all my stabilized wood.

One unique handle I make is a “Mosaic” handle. As far as I know I am the only knifemaker to make and use this type of handle.

Another unique handle I use is turquoise inlay in the shape of a star, longhorn steer, roadrunner, and buffalo skull. These types of handles can be seen in the picture gallery.

On my full tang knives I use a very thin piece of fiber between the steel tang and the handle material.


All knives come with a top grade tooled 9-10 oz. sheath that I make by hand, fitted individually to each knife.

Horizontal sheath:


Vertical sheath:


Knife Maker’s Guild and ABS

In 2003 I became a voting member in the Knife Maker’s guild. Since then I have dropped out of that origination. I also became a JS in the ABS but have also dropped out of that organization as well. I have no problem with the Guild or the ABS, but living in New Mexico it is a long drive to the Blade Show in Atlanta and the Guild show. I got tired of the trip and that is why I am no longer a member of either organization. I also got tired of shows and no longer attend any of them.

Custom Orders

Sorry, I no longer take custom orders.

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