Download -> Texas Ranger Knifemaker Inspection Sheet <-


The Texas Ranger Knifemaker level is the highest level of testing offered by the Texas Knifemakers’ Guild. The purpose of the Texas Ranger Knifemaker membership level is to encourage our membership to push themselves towards excellence in the field of knifemaking.

Testing Procedure

  • The applicant must be a member in good standing of the Texas Knifemakers’ Guild.
  • The applicant must have held the LoneStar membership for at least six months.
  • The applicant must submit his/her intent to be judged by email to the TKG TX Ranger Knifemaker Committee Director and proper prior arrangements must be made.
  • The applicant must print three of the included Judging Sheets as well as one Score Sheet and  four knives to the judging location. The location will be determined based on the availability of the judges.
  • The panel of judges will be made of an odd number of at least three Texas Ranger Knifemakers. A majority opinion will determine pass or fail. The decision of the judges is final.
  • If the applicant fails, he/she must wait a minimum of six months to retest. There is no limit on how many times an applicant may retest.
  • If the applicant fails inspection and wishes to retest in six month, he/she may resubmit any knives that did pass inspection. He/she may also reuse a knife that failed inspection, provided that they address the areas of concern. All four knives will be retested.
  • Once the inspection has been completed, the applicant must email the Score Sheet to the Committee Director at

Testing Criteria

  • Four knives must be submitted for judging.
  • Each knife must contain at least one discipline (see list below).
  • The maker may utilize as many disciplines per knife as he/she deems necessary.
  • All four knives combined must utilize a minimum of eight different disciplines.
  • You are encouraged to utilize advanced construction techniques and materials to demonstrate your proficiency. For that reason, please note the following two restrictions:
  • Of the four knives you are allowed only one simple three piece slab-handle construction, provided that the knife utilizes at least two disciplines.
  • Of the four knives you are allowed only one knife that utilizes segmented scales and you must be the maker of the segmented scales.
  • Your knives will fail inspection if you submit more than one knife with a solid slab handle OR more than one knife with segmented scales.
  • Each knife will be judged based on the Testing Fundamentals (listed below) as well as the proper execution of chosen disciplines.

Testing Fundamentals

  • Plunge Lines:  Plunges should be:  (1) centered at the ricasso, (2) parallel with each other, and (3) mirror each other in shape and size.
  • Bevels:  Bevels should:  (1) not dig into the spine, (2) be visually the same height, and (3) mirror each other in shape and size.
  • Blade Finish:  The blade must be taken at least to 400 grit with no underlying grit marks, including the spine.  If higher grits are used, the blade will be judged according to the higher grit.
  • Handle Finish:  Handle should be evenly finished with no visible grit marks unless otherwise intended (must explain).
  • Symmetry:  Blade and handle should be visually symmetrical from side to side, unless otherwise intended (must explain). A blade that is bent or warped will fail inspection.
  • Gaps:  There should be no visible or felt gaps between the handle and tang of knife, including bolsters or guard.
  • Form & Function: Does the knife look and function in a way that fulfills its intended purpose?
  • Sharpness:  The whole length of the blade should be shaving sharp.

Example of disciplines that may be used

Knife Construction

  • Integral
  • Tapered Tang
  • Frame Handle
  • Dagger
  • 4” min. Blade length (from handle to tip)
  • 6” min. Blade Length (from handle to tip)
  • 8” min. Blade Length (from handle to tip)
  • 10”min. Blade Length (from handle to tip)
  • Distal Taper
  • Slipjoint
  • Single Blade Folder
  • Multi-Blade Folder
  • Lockback Folder
  • Auto Folder
  • Framelock Folder
  • Linerlock Folder
  • Friction Folder
  • 8” min. Fillet Knife (Culinary only must flex 45 degrees min.)

Blade Finishes

  • Hand Satin (800 grit minimum)
  • Brute de Forge (finish must be purposeful and consistent)
  • Mirror Polish (no visible scratches)
  • Acid Etch or Patina Finish (finish must be purposeful and consistent and show no underlying scratches)


  • Slotted Guard (any material)
  • Slotted Bolsters (hidden tang, any material)
  • Metallic Bolsters (full tang – must have mechanical fasteners)
  • Dovetail Bolsters (must have mechanical fasteners)
  • D-Guard (must be through-tang)
  • Metallic Caps
  • Swedge or False Edge
  • File work
  • Damascus
  • Hamon (.187″ from edge minimum)
  • Segmented Scales (made by applicant – at least 3 pieces per side)
  • Keyhole Handle
  • Fuller
  • Inlay
  • Artistic Hand Engraving by Applicant
  • Artistic Laser Engraving by Applicant
  • Mill Relief Liners
  • Butt Cap / Pommel
  • Ferrule
  • Domed Pins
  • Serrations
  • S-Grind (culinary only)
  • Exotic handle material (Ivory, Mother of Pearl, Stag, Bone, Horn, Coral, Molar, excluding wood and synthetic materials)
  • Stacked leather washers
  • Heirloom fit
  • Other, as as accepted by the panel of judges