Straight Drawknife Lie-Nielsen Toolworks

Straight Drawknife




Based on an antique Witherby design, available in two different styles: one with a slightly forward and downward curvature to the blade (like the original), and the other with a straight blade. Relief milled in the back for ease of sharpening.

Handles are positioned so the Drawknife can be used in both bevel up and bevel down positions. If your preference is to use the Drawknife exclusively in the bevel up or bevel down positions, the handles may be bent to achieve the optimum angle in relationship to the blade. Flat ground 25° bevel.

  • 7" x 1-1/4" O1 Tool Steel blade, hardened to Rockwell 60-62.
  • Overall length 16-1/2"; overall width 7" from blade back to tips of handles.
  • Maple handles secured with Stainless Steel nuts and ferrules.
  • Leather case included.
  • Weight is 1.9 lb.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the instructions for this tool.

Some years ago Jennie Alexander loaned me an antique Witherby to study. Around this time we were developing a Shavehorse with Brian Boggs. This Drawknife is the result of collaboration with both of these master chairmakers.

I have discovered that people who use drawknives a lot have differing opinions on how to use or sharpen them. Bevel up or down, flat bevel or rounded knife edge, and angle of blade relative to handle are all controversial.

Adjusting the Handle Angle:

The angle of the handles relative to the blade can be modified by the user. This takes some effort and a very, very safe clamping arrangement to hold the Drawknife blade in a bench vise. To adjust the angle, use slow, even pressure. It is not recommended that you change the angle more than once. Sharpening: Sharpening a Drawknife is dangerous. Be careful to keep fingers from getting close to the cutting edge. One easy way to sharpening is to mount a stone in a shave horse or other clamping device, and using the Drawknife in a normal fashion, sharpen on the stone. For a good demonstration of this method, visit our YouTube site,, and watch Brian Boggs’ Drawknife Sharpening demonstration.

Some people recommend rounding the back and/or cutting edge, which helps the tool make concave cuts in the wood. This also makes the blade more difficult to sharpen, so is a matter of personal preference. Our Drawknife comes with a flat bevel. The user can round that bevel if desired, but it is hard to then flatten a rounded bevel.


O-1 tool steel. Stainless Steel nuts and ferrules. Maple handles. Blade: The blade is hardened to Rc 60-62 and beveled at 25º. The back of the blade is hollow ground for ease of sharpening.


Protect the blade of your Drawknife by oiling or waxing it. Be very careful when applying coating near the cutting edge. We recommend Camellia or Jojoba Oil, vegetable oil based products. They are non-toxic, odor-free and easy to use. Also, in our shop, we use a fine abrasive handblock to remove any light surface oxide. Oils and abrasive handblocks are available from us.


Materials and workmanship are guaranteed for the life of your tool. Call for repairs or replacement parts. We are available for advice if you ever have a problem using your tool.

Proposition 65 Notice:

Bronze and brass alloys contain lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling.