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If you’re looking for an interesting and unique experience while in the Great Smoky Mountains at the Dollywood theme park, be sure to check out the blacksmith shop! There, you can forge your own knife with the help of a professional.

You’ll have a great time learning this traditional craft and will end up with a souvenir that you’ll never forget.

hot metal being forged into a knife on an anvil

Valley Forge Blacksmith in Craftsman’s Valley

The Valley Forge Blacksmith is a wonderful artisan shop to visit in Dollywood’s Craftman’s Valley. There you can watch as the blacksmiths forge iron into amazing creations you can buy in the shop.

Craftsmen create hand-forged steel items including collector knives, customized metal gifts, horseshoe gifts, and garden and home decor. They also produce hand-poured aluminum cast personalized signs right before your eyes!

And now you can craft your very own knife at the Valley Forge Blacksmith!


Can Kids Make a Knife at Dollywood?

Something important that I had trouble finding was the age you have to be to make a knife! I knew this was something I would love for my sons (especially my second-born) and I finally found out you must be at least 7 years old to make a knife, so YES, kids can make a knife!

I would recommend the cheapest option for smaller kids as the handle (well, the whole knife!) is smaller, usually smaller than adult hands, so it would be great for kids.

Just a note, if you’re like us with a kiddo who is a little too young to make a knife at Dollywood: there are other options in town that allow kids as young as 5 to forge a nail knife, so those may be a better option if you have younger kids (but they have to be at least 5 years old and have the ability to swing a 2 lb hammer).


Options for Knife Making at Dollywood

There are several size knives you can make at Dollywood:

  • Railroad spike knife, around $99 (I would recommend this size for adults)
  • Horseshoe knife, around $59 (This would be great for older kids and teens)
  • Bolt knife, around $29 (Best for kids 7 and up but small for adult hands)

The railroad spike knife is a nice longer length, while the horseshoe knife is about as big as a man’s hand from the tip of his middle finger to the end of his palm, and the bolt knife is quite small and slender, but still a great experience if you are just wanting to make the knife and have it for looks, not necessarily use it as an adult.


How to Make a Knife at the Blacksmith Shop

First of all, you will need to head straight to the shop when you enter the park to make your reservation, as you can’t make reservations online.

Plan for around 45 minutes to craft your knife, as experiences range from 20-35 minutes and you should plan on getting there around 10 minutes before your appointed time.

When you arrive, in those 10 minutes before your slot, you will be suited up in an apron and headgear to protect your face from the heat.

The experts will heat up the metal for you, whether you choose a railroad spike, horseshoe or bolt and then you will hammer the blade and make your handle.

The expert will sharpen it for you and it will be ready!


Tips for First-Time Knife Makers

The forge works with people of all skill levels, so don’t worry if you have zero experience in a forge.

Make sure you wear closed toed shoes, as you will be working with very hot metal.

Bring the family to watch – it’s a great experience.

Once you make your knife, arrange to have it picked up on your way out. Dollywood doesn’t allow you to carry knives around the park.

Knives also include a sheath, which is really cool.


Benefits of Knife Making at Dollywood

You get to take home a great souvenir that you made with your own two hands!

It’s a great family activity, as the rest of the family can watch.

You learn about the process of knife making and blacksmithing.

It’s unique – not something you can do just anywhere (although there are a few other places in Pigeon Forge you can make a knife mentioned below).

Seaon pass holders were getting a free stand with the railroad spike knife, but check to see if that is still going on.

If you are looking for an interesting and unique experience while at Dollywood, look no further than knife making at the Valley Forge Blacksmith shop in Craftsman’s Valley!


Other Places that Offer Knife Making in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville

Iron Mountain Metal Craft

Pigeon Forge gets part of its name from the face that there was a forge in town when it was settled, and this forge is near the one the town was named after.

They offer more options than Dollywood, even offering a special nail knife for ages 5-12 that costs around $20! This is great as younger kids can jump in on the fun.

Learn more about Iron Mountain Metal Craft here

Uncle Hank’s Knives

Uncle Hank’s also offers more types of knives than Dollywood and will help kids as young as 5 make their own knives. They offer two different levels of classes, regular and the advanced class.

The difference is that with the advanced you get to join Hank himself on the grinder and learn more tricks of the trade.

Learn more about Uncle Hank’s Knives here

Circle Bar T Forge & Blade Works

Circle Bar T offers many different options for making your own knife, even so far as a “Dream Knife” class where you can even design your own knife! This forge also allows those as young as 5 to forge a nail knife and I really like the rebar knife option they have.

Learn more about Circle Bar T Forge here


Final Thoughts on Knife Making in Dollywood and Pigeon Forge

Overall, if you are looking for an interesting activity to do with the family while in Pigeon Forge or Dollywood, knife making is a great option!

So, if you’re headed to Dollywood to enjoy some tasty treats, the Great Pumpkin Luminights, a food festival, funnel cake or just to ride the Lightning Rod, stop the by forge and check into knife making to cross off your bucket list.

If you want to make a knife but don’t really plan on heading to Dollywood, feel free to visit one of the other great options in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.

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