I see that Ray Jardine's knife kit is available again. I made one quite a while back, and really enjoyed it. I don't take it backpacking, but it's light enough that you could. Mine weighs 1.9oz, and 3.7oz. with the sheath. Blade is a 4" stainless Mora blade.
Nothing really, Google knifemaking and you can find at least 30 suppliers of blades and handle making supplies. The blade material available ranges from Damascus steel to high tech stainless and handle material ranges from ivory to exotic hardwoods (and pine I suppose). RayWay only offers the one blade design and IIRC, only one material combination for the handle. I have made many knives in the past 30 years; starting with blades I hand forged and tempered to the factory-made blades I now use. There are many better options open to a potential knifemaker than the RayWay kit. Shop around a bit and I think you will agree.
Loc: California (southern)
It must be the name. Mora's are generally considered very good values in knives. I have a couple which I use in my wood shop and I wouldn't mind taking them into the woods. It is easy to put a very good edge on them.
If I carry a fixed blade knife, I prefer a CKRT "Stiff Kiss" - 4 inch blade, drop point, and about 2 oz weight, nearly half the weight of the Ray-Way product. Also about 1/2 the price.
This doesn't seem to be all that light, and it certainly isn't a bargain. I am sure it is fun to put a handle on your own knife, but this isn't the only knife kit out there. Someday I want to make a handle for my Stiff Kiss that is removable and will hold fire starting material.
Knives are such fun - millions of models and even more opinions. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
The blade, with a durable plastic handle, and practical, if ugly, plastic sheath, sells for around $8. Look up Frosts of Sweden. In green it is described as a 'Swedish army knife'. I have the blue handle version.
For that size of blade, it is a relatively light, and good cutting knife. It is not a thick knife that can be used as an ax or trenching tool. But if you want something more than a folder, say for potential emergency use, it is a good inexpensive choice.
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
I looked up Frosts and found the cost a bit higher. I have a number of knifes I have picked up over the years. The truth be known, my little Swiss army knife (now called cadet, 2.2 ounces) has never failed to do what I needed it to do. However, the idea of having something slightly larger if you ever had to build a fire is attractive so lately I have been carrying something that looks a lot like a Gerber Swager, but I purchased a knock-off because I am a cheap so and so. http://www.gerbergear.com/Knives/Folding/Swagger-Knife_31-000594
So that brings up the question: What kind of knife do you carry?