Ben Abbott | Biography (2024)

Former Cast & Judge of TV competition series 'Forged in Fire'

Self-taught blacksmith, bladesmith, and jeweler

Blacksmith, Bladesmith, and Jeweler, Ben Abbott competed in the ninth episode of the second season of the 'Forger in Fire' in 2016 for the 'The Khadha Sword Challenge.' He won the championship and participated in the third season for the 'Forged in Fire: Champions Edition.' He again won, competing against the previous champions. Abbott appeared on the show as a guest judge and replacement judge in the next seasons before becoming the full-time judge of the show.

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Ben Abbott is the winner of the second and third season of the American competition series Forged in Fire.He is also the founder of Ashgrove Forger.

Who is Ben Abbott?

Abbott is a self-taught blacksmith, bladesmith, and jeweler. He wanted to have his own sword at the age of 13 and decided to make one by himself. After many failed attempts, he began to try making easy and simple things before going to forging blades.

By the age of 17, Abbott mastered forging quality knives and ornaments. But, still, he was practicing forging as a hobby and did it in his spare time. He studied electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and worked in the field for many years.

On a suggestion from his friends, Abbott applied to compete in the second season ofForged in Fire. The show was a reality TV championship, where blacksmiths competed against each other in forging historical weapons for the prize money of $10,000.

Abbott got selected to compete in the ninth episode, 'The Khanda Sword Challenge.' He forged his first sword and won the challenge in 2016. He also won the third season,Forged in Fire: Champions Edition, in which the previous champions contested.

Later, Abbott appeared as a guest judge and replacement judge for a couple of episodes of seasons four, five, and six. Eventually, he was hired as a full-time judge of the show, after which he moved to Virginia. He established a custom manufacturing company in Virginia called Ashgrove Forger.

Age & Early Bio

Abbott wasborn on 18 January 1972 in the United Kingdom. He got fascinated with weaponry and armor after visiting museums and castles around England. At the age of 13, when he did not have money to buy a sword, he decided to make one himself. But, he failed to make one, and instead, he wasted the materials. Then, he chose to start small and began creating blades.

Eventually, by the age of 17, Abbott was skilled in making knives, tools, beautiful ironwork, jewelry, furniture, and everything else he could think of, but still not a sword for himself.

The majorityof his knowledge on forging was self-taught. He had mentioned that he did not have any role models to look up to while growing up, and he was the only blacksmith he knew. And so, he had to go to the library to get books on forging and learned by himself.

Abbott never thought of becoming a professional blacksmith, and he did not care much to invest in equipment and materials. He had bought an anvil when he was 14 years old at a yard sale and took it wherever he went. Heworkedon small-scaled weapons like blades, ornaments and often used his porch as his workshop.

Abbott went on tograduatefrom the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) with a degree in electrical engineering. Then, he moved to Pasadena, California, andworkedfor the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Project.

He laterreturnedto Caltech and worked under the George W. Housner Student Discovery Fund. He taught students the art and technique of blacksmithing to make materials for the college shop.

Ben Abbott | Biography (1)

'Forged in Fire'

Oneday Abbott got an email from his friend about a casting call for the second season of a show calledForged in Fire.

Forged in Firewas a prize-winningcompetitionwhere modern aged bladesmiths compete in an intense environment to re-create historical edged weapons. Therealityshow first aired in 2015. Being aired on History Channel, the show is running on its eighth season in 2021. Ever since the first episode, the show had garnered immense popularity and was ranked on 25th position on IMDb's 'List of Most Popular Game Shows.'

Abbott was also one of the fans of the show, and he had watched all the episodes of the first season. He then applied for the call and soon got selected for the ninth episode of the second season titled 'The Khanda Sword Challenge.' Hewenton to win the challenge, fulfilling his 13-year old self's desire, and forged his first-ever sword. Along with the championship, he took home $10,000.

A couple of months after his win,Abbottwas called back by the creators of the show for the third season which was, theForged in Fire: Champions Edition. In that season, the previous champions competed against each other to find out the best among the best.

In the final round, Abbott battled against three other winners and went on to win against them. He took home the third season championship along with the prize money of $10,000, becoming a two-timeForged in Firechampion.

Judging 'Forged in Fire' and Ashgrove Forge

With hiscollectiveprize money, Abbott splurged on heavy equipment, tools, materials, and workspace. He began pursuing forging, more than his hobby. He even started taking orders, worked on his weekends, and balanced his day job as an electrical engineer.

The creators of theForged in Fireoffered him a full-time position as a judge on the show. Before that,Abbotthad frequented some episodes as a replacement and guest judge. He appeared as a judge in an episode of the fourth season. He then replaced the veteran judge Neilson for a couple of episodes in the fifth and sixth seasons.

Abbott then quit his job in California and moved to East Coast, Richmond, Virginia. He founded a custom manufacturing business named Ashgrove Forge. While he is not working for the show, he spends his time at his workshop, taking orders and working as a blacksmith, bladesmith, and jeweler.

A proud Abbott shared about his life and achievements as a forger, "…and it's I wake up every morning grinning I couldn't have imagined this as being a future you know where I am now. And my art it's come from a long time of playing and it's come from a lot of different sources that have all come together which is fun right, I do a lot of jewelry work, I do a lot of woodworking and obviously, knife making blacksmithing. But all of those things like they come together and knife making I can do engraving, I can do I've inlaid gold in swords you know I mean it's been things that have come from all sorts of different sources and come together you know there's no substitute for experience and it really is an interesting journey that I've gone through to get to where I am today…"


Abbott ismarriedto dancer, choreographer, and artist Heather Rabun. The couple has a son,Alden, born on22 October 2020.

Heather Rabun Ashgrove Forge Neilson Forged in Fire

Ben Abbott | Biography (2024)


How many times has Ben Abbott won? ›

Ben Abbott

He debuted as a judge in season 4 of Forged in Fire and later participated in the Forged in Fire: Beat the Judges challenge in 2020, winning the title twice more. Abbott then went on to win five more times in the "Beat the Unbeaten" challenge series in season 8 of Forged in Fire.

Is Ben Abbott a scientist? ›

Ben Abbott graduated with a BS degree in Watershed and Earth Systems in 2009. He undertook a PhD program at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks with Dr. Jay Jones. In 2012, Ben participated in the film The Tipping Points of the High Arctic where he examined the rate of melt of the Permafrost.

Who was the serial killer in The Forged in Fire? ›

Joseph James DeAngelo
Conviction(s)First-degree murder with special circ*mstances (13 counts) Kidnapping (13 counts)
Criminal penalty12 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 8 years
Victims13+ murdered 51+ raped 120+ burgled
15 more rows

What happened to Doug Marcaida? ›

Doug sustained an arm injury, necessitating a hiatus from the show. Subsequently, it came to light that the injury occurred. during the testing of a weapon featured on the series. Since then, Doug has fully recuperated.

Do Forged in Fire contestants get paid? ›

Reality competition series Forged in Fire pits four bladesmiths against each other to forge bladed weapons such as a Katana, a Tabar, or a Jian Sword. The overall winner receives a $10,000 grand prize and the title of Forged in Fire Champion.

Do Forged in Fire winners keep weapons? ›

Did you get to keep any of the weapons that you forged on the show? So, the thing about keeping weapons on the show is that you can only decide to keep them if you lose. But I won all my battles, so I was never given the opportunity to keep them.

What is Ben Abbott famous for? ›

Ben Abbott, a prominent judge on the popular show Forged in Fire, has forged a reputation as a two-time champion. The show, which tasks skilled bladesmiths with crafting swords, captivates audiences with each episode's thrilling challenges.

Who has won Forged in Fire the most? ›

My Ranked List of the best “Forged in Fire” Smiths:
  • Ben Abbott has won the competitions nine times with zero losses. ...
  • David Baker has won multiple times with beautiful designs. ...
  • Jesse Hu became the “Gladiator of the Forge Competition” with 8 wins. ...
  • Ira Houseweart.
Mar 12, 2023

Why is Ben Abbott on Forged in Fire? ›

Ben Abbott is a two-time Forged in Fire champion who began making blades after seeing arms and armour in museums and castles around England when he was 13. Not being able to buy a sword at the time, he decided to make one for himself.

Who is Ben Abbott Dallas wife? ›

Christy Abbott and her attorney husband Ben purchased the stunning estate in the summer of 2009. The manse sits a mere mile from their previous home, a one-acre property on Turtle Creek.

What episode of Forged in Fire was Ben Abbott in? ›

Did you know. This episode is the second occurrence of Ben Abbott as a contestant. He first appeared on the Season 2 episode, "The Khanda" and would later go on to be a judge, starting with the 21st episode of Season 4, "Ultimate Champions Edition".

How many times did Jesse Hu win Forged in Fire? ›

8x Gladiator of the Forge. Second most wins in Forged in Fire History (8-0)

What happened to Doug Marcaida Forged in Fire? ›

Doug sustained an arm injury, necessitating a hiatus from the show. Subsequently, it came to light that the injury occurred. during the testing of a weapon featured on the series. Since then, Doug has fully recuperated.

What is the spinoff of Forged in Fire? ›

Knife or Death (officially Forged in Fire: Knife or Death) is an American competition series that airs on the History channel.

Will Forged in Fire be back in 2024? ›

Forged In Fire Season 12 does not have an official release date, but it will likely be announced in the future. As of May 2024, History hasn't green-lit the 12th season of Forged in Fire.

Who got fired from Forged in Fire? ›

Why Wil Willis Left Forged In Fire: The Host's Disappearance Explained.

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