How to make brass knuckles

Written by victor fonseca | 13/05/2017
How to make brass knuckles
Typical Brass Knuckle Design (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Brass knuckles are fierce weapons and should always be treated as such. They are easy to conceal, easy to carry, and effective when used to stop an assailant or ward off a hand-to-hand attack. Though they are illegal in most countries, France being one of the notable exceptions, they still enjoy a brisk flea market and online trade. To avoid legal complications, they are typically sold as "decorative" pieces or belt buckles. Though it takes some doing, a pair of brass knuckles can be made by any enthusiastic collector.

Draw the template for your brass knuckles on your metal plate using either a permanent marker or a wax pencil. There are a wealth of styles and shapes for brass knuckles, but the most common is the "smiling mouth" template (see photo).

Clamp the metal plate in a bench vice. Make sure your hand-drawn template is not obscured in any way by the vice.

Attach the high-speed steel cutter bit to the Dremel and put on your eye protection.

Activate the Dremel and pierce the metal plate at the centre of any of the finger holes you drew for the template.

Starting from the centre of the finger hole, cut up to the edge of the template and then around the entire inner ring. That's one finger hole drilled out. Pull out the steel cutter bit and proceed to the next finger hole.

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for each finger hole and the signature "smiling face" of the grip.

With all the inner cuts made, now pierce the metal plate approximately 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge of the template.

Cut around the outer edge of your drawn template until the brass knuckles are cut free from the metal plate.

Remove the steel cutter bit and replace with the 100-grit sanding bit.

Remove the remnants of the metal plate from the bench vice and clamp the brass knuckles in place.

Activate the Dremel and smooth out the finger holes, the "smiling face," and the outer edges of the brass knuckles. How smooth or rough you want your final knuckles is a matter of personal preference.

Use a wad of grade 2 steel wool to smooth out your brass knuckles and give them a high-gloss shine.


Possession and use of brass knuckles are illegal in most countries. Always wear eye protection when using a Dremel.

Tips and warnings

  • Possession and use of brass knuckles are illegal in most countries.
  • Always wear eye protection when using a Dremel.

Things you need

  • Metal plate (1/4-inch thick, 5 by 5 inches)
  • Permanent marker or wax pencil
  • Dremel
  • High-speed steel cutter bit
  • Sanding bit (100 grit)
  • Eye protection
  • Bench vice
  • Flat file
  • Round file
  • Triangular file
  • Steel wool (grade 2 quality)

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