There are 2 ways of looking at how long it takes to create a custom knife. One is how many days from the time it is started to the time it is completed, and the other is how many hours of actual time is spent grinding and sanding. There is a lot of time involved in hurry up and wait with things like letting epoxy dry and waiting to get the blade heat treated.
Some knife makers will do things in sections, like grinding blades on one day, sanding scales (handles) on another day etc, while others prefer to devote their entire energy into creating a custom knife from beginning to end before getting started on the next one.
The biggest cost of a custom knife is the labor of the skilled knife maker. Many knives can take anywhere from 10-15 hours of real actual, hands-on time with the knife, plus another 2-6 hours of time doing things like gluing and sharpening.
Many people buying knives also don't realize there can be fairly large expenditures in materials for the knife. There are many exotic hard woods that are fairly pricey, and things like mosaic pins add up in cost quickly.
In the end most knife makers do what they do because they enjoy it, and it is that time and energy that goes into making the custom knife that makes it truly unique and special.
The knife above was created by BillaBong Blades who has a store on the JustCustomKnives.com marketplace.