Kerf Kadet Marking Knife - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A slender marking knife, ideal for scribing dovetails


Kerf Kadet Marking Knife

Making knives are essential shop tools, particularly if you intend to do fine woodwork. There certainly are a number of very good marking knives on the market - over the years I've tested several. But I do think that Bob Zajicek has made what is probably the ultimate marking knife, particularly for scribing dovetails.
The Kerf Kadet is the epitome of elegance and functionality. The slender body of this knife is, dare I say it, sensual. It fits and feels wonderful in the hand. In practice you hold it like a pen, and draw it across the wood. The scored cut you get with a marking knife is considerably more precise than a pencil line, particularly in grainy wood.

40° bevel and 44° angle sword point blade
Perfectly flat polished back
The O1 tool steel blade, which has a 40° bevel and 44° angle, slices wood cleanly with or across grain. If you do a lot of hand cut dovetails, then you'll love the ultra thin (.029") blade. Its slender enough to mark out pins no wider than the kerf of a saw blade, yet stiff enough to resist flexing. You can use this knife for marking out mortises and tenons, though I prefer a thicker, more rigid blade.

Wonderfully contoured, fits the hand like a fine writing instrument
Blade penetrates wood fibers easily and scores beautifully
Fortunately, Czeck Tools makes two other versions of the Kerf Kadet: the Pattern Pilot, for medium duty work (.060" x 3/8" x 1-3/4" blade) and the Line Driver, for heavy duty work (1/8" x 1/2" x 1-7/8"). The Line Driver would be my choice for day-to-day marking duties.
You can choose from five different exotic woods for the handle; the turned collar is bronze. The transition from collar to the handle is perfect - no discernable ridge at all. And, Bob thoughtfully includes three reusable vinyl blade guards with the knife.
I've been using the Kerf Kadet for over a year now, and still love it. It's been loaned out to a number of woodworkers, and the consensus is overwhelming - out of 5, this is definitely a 6 star product.
You'll also want to check out the other tools on Bobs web site, including some great looking awls and a stellar looking burnisher. If, like me, you enjoy making your own tools, you can purchase parts kits (everything but the wood for the handle) for most of Bobs products. Prices start at a very reasonable $13.9S.
I can't see how anyone would be disappointed with a Czeck marking knife.


  • 7-1/4" overall length
  • 1/2" x 5-1/2" handle
  • .029" x 5/16" x 1-7/16" blade
  • O1 steel blade heat treated to RC 59 - 60
  • 40° bevel and 44° angle sword point blade
  • Bloodwood, Cocobolo, Kingwood or Olive handle
  • Solid bronze ferrule

Manufacturer:Czeck Edge Hand Tool
Available From:online
Retail Price:from $41.95
Model #:none
Made In:USA
Carl Duguay, March 2009
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