Journeyman Smith Testing

In order for an Apprentice Smith to earn the rating of Journeyman Smith in the American Bladesmith Society, he or she must first pass a pre-determined set of tests that measure his or her ability to make a knife that will not only perform to a remarkable level, but will exhibit a level of fit, finish and design that is among the best in the world.

Click on the following links to open a PDF document that can be downloaded

ABS Testing Rules and Guidelines for the Journeyman Smith Rating

Judging Guidelines for JS and MS Candidates Certification Form

JS Performance Test Certification Form

Thirty-Day Notice of Intent Requirements for Journeyman Smith Candidates

A List of Rated ABS Smiths by Location

Click to view:

ABS YouTube video of JS Performance Test

Click below to view photos of knives previously submitted to the ABS Judging Panel by successful Journeyman Smith Candidates.

Journeyman Smith Candidate Knives

History of Changes to JS Testing Rules

The following information was added to the Journeyman Smith eligibility document; see page 5. “The Journeyman Smith applicant may present knives to the ABS Judging in an effort to achieve the  rating of Journeyman a total of three times before being ruled ineligible for further testing.  Only three attempts may be made; however, the ABS Chairman may, at his discretion permit the applicant to make one additional attempt under one of two conditions:  (1) if the applicant presents proof of graduation from an ABS Introduction to Bladesmithing course after the date of the third failure or (2) if the applicant presents sufficient proof that he/she has sought out and received substantial additional training under the tutelage of a current ABS Master Smith since his/her third failure.  This permission, if granted, will only guarantee the applicant an opportunity to undergo judging of his or her knives, provided that all other requirements are met.  It is in no way a guarantee that this opportunity will result in the applicant achieving a passing grade from the judges.  Available above to download, named: Journeyman Smith Testing.pdf . Steve Dunn, Chairman, November 4, 2019
Per the ABS Chairman we have updated the Performance Test Certification forms for both MS and JS, February 27, 2017. They are now a two page form.  Performance Test Certificates must be on file with the ABS office before you can be proven eligible to present knives for judging. Harvey Dean, Chairman, February 2017
Per the ABS Chairman and the Board of Directors, December 8, 2015, blades or any component of a knife made in any instructional class will not be eligible to be used for performance tests or presented to the ABS Judging Panel for fit and finish examination for the rating of Journeyman Smith or Master Smith. Harvey Dean, Chairman, December 2015
“Effective immediately, applicants for the JS stamp must have a minimum of two knives among the five submitted with at least 6 inch blades, and all of the knives submitted must have guards/bolsters.” ABS Board of Directors, August 28, 2012