Whether you are wanting to sell your handcrafted knives or just document the progress on your knife making journey, quality photographs are an essential element. The process of correctly photographing your knives can also help you as part of your final review process, examining the knife from multiple angles and reviewing each of its unique features. Many knifemakers are masters of their craft, but their ability to capture the knife in a high quality image that reflects the skill that has gone into it can be lacking.

While a good DSLR will provide you with excellent control over the settings of your images, modern phone cameras are more than capable of taking a good quality image. The biggest failing of many photographers is their lighting setup. Knives can be complex to effectively photograph. Matt or low sheen handles, combined with highly reflective blades can often mean that fine details are lost.


Our solution does not involve expensive gear or complex methods, but aimed to make something with readily available materials that would be simple to use by all our staff. By developing and building a lightbox we have full control over the lighting and reduce the range of variables that can make knife photography more difficult. The box was built from MDF at 62cm (h) x 90cm (w) x 60cm (d), with an internal floor made from distressed full grain leather. In the top of the box a series of LED strip lighting provides a wide light coverage, with a sheet of thin diffuser polycarbonate to further spread the light and to reduce harsh shadows and reflections. A key element we found during testing the design is to ensure you allow sufficient height above the photography surface, this reduces harsh shadows and reflected glare.


Our lightbox was deliberately oversized to allow the photographing of multiple knives, or larger items like bread swords or camp axes. Depending on what you intend to photograph this design can be easily scaled up or down. This lightbox was built for around $200 and was completed in a couple of hours.

Build list

  • MDF
  • LED light strip
  • 2mm diffuser polycarbonate
  • Backdrop material (we used distressed leather)
  • Cable tidy clips
  • Bulldog clips (for attaching the backdrop)
  • Assorted screws and washerslbclipslb3

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