the school of belief is that traditionally, you should make your own as it is then charged with -your- energy. but this can be hard if you are looking for a specific wood(for wards) or mineral(again for wards) most people do not have the metal craft ability to make their own athame. you can purchase your own. cleanse it and "charge" it.
Sacrifice animals. You have no idea how often I been to my aunt's house and animal corpses have been around. Goat heads, chicken feet, the works! I spent one Christmas accidentally witnessing the beheading of a rooster. Yesterday they grabbed a baby bat and trapped it in a cup, lord knows what they're gonna do to it!
Ultimately, it's all about what's important to you. Did you spend a week making your tools painstakingly by hand? Great! Did you save up for a month to buy them? Also great. In the end, it's not the tool, but what it means to the person wielding it that matters.
The best wands are obtained by climbing the highest mountain and taking all day to get there and it must be one of the highest branches of a very gnarled thorn tree in the middle of the Black Mountains of Wales. The harder you work for it the more powerful it is. If you don't come back down the mountain bloody and muddy then it means nothing.
I was going to read all of the replies before I answered, but I got bored after the third go 'round of 'I don't believe in magic'.
Anyway, you can, by all means make your own tools. Some folks find a sense of spiritual connection when they fashion things with their own hands. But, as others have pointed out, some things are hard to make. And you need to ask yourself, do I want to spend years learning how to forge my own blades? Do I want to go without a tool so that I can devote years learning how to carve wood or paint or whatever else style of decoration you may want to add to your wand?
There are plenty of craftspeople out there, Pagan or not, who devote several years to their craft, developing the skills it takes to create powerful and beautiful tools. They make their living on these skills developed over time and because not everyone can do the same, but people still need the tools.
And a quick note to all the non-believers: Believing in magic is like believing in the mail man. He doesn't need your faith to exist.
Sometimes it matters. It depends on your faith and the spell.
Some say you need a specific knife that can never touch the ground, some say any old kitchen knife will do.
What kind of magic do you want to do, and in what system?
If you don't feel something is important, then you should find a system that allows you to use whatever you are comfortable using.
I don't think it matters all that much when it actually comes to results. I used to do the whole ritual tools thing, but as my ability and understanding evolved I started to change the way I worked, and now though I do have a wand I hardly ever actually use it, and the last time I broke out all my ritual tools was because my daughter wanted to do some magic and I believe in starting out at the bottom with all the ritual and working your way up.
But you do need to use what is required in your system. I wouldn't dream of trying a Hermetic spell using random objects I grabbed from around the house and blessed. Just like I wouldn't take a ritual blade out to chop a root for kitchen witchcraft out of the ground.
I'm being tormenfed by a girl who was like a sister to Ms. We met this summer we're real close and have grown further and further apart through out this time she has "planted" certain thoughts up until now it's all starting to effect me. I've dabbled in the white magic she is black for sure. A few weeks ago she had something done to her and they did a ritual she made me feel I was the one doing it and no it wasn't but here latelymore and more signs haveshown I need protection fast please help
I tend to believe that making things is far better, but buying things isn't bad either. Sometimes there are certain things I just can't make. When I do make things though, I also don't just go for the fact that I'm crafting it with my own hands to create the connection, but I use materials that are relevant to the purpose and already have a deep connection and resonance with the "otherside" that I've seen. I also tend to be very ritualistic in the creation process, rather than simply crafting it, as I feel that it strengthens it as a whole. Also, if possible and depending on the purpose I tend to try to create a physical link between the object and myself, even though I've been advised against this, I feel it helps me have a better flow and creates a kind of centralized matrix of energy that I can work with.
You don't really NEED tools. You can always envision tools if you want. But personally, I like to either make my tools, or use tools that people have given to me as a gift. If you make it yourself, you put some of your own power into it while making it, making it that much stonger, in my opinion.
I've made a wand and quite a few pendents(as a matter of personal preference) my self. The meterials you pick though reflect what kind of energy you project in my opinion. It could be a rock from the ground to a piece of wood that you've found. The smallest speck of dirt to a large amount of ash. I added to my first(and possiblly only) wand untill i was satisfied that it was completed.
But sometimes it comes to a certain point. You pick out one meterial, fiddle with it a bit and it just feels natrual when its used. Pendents seem to be my sort of thing though sence i bind them to my hand or use them for dowsing. In other cases its better to have pendents because you can wear them around your neck if you feel so inclined to. Use them as protection charms or use the energy placed apawn them. And or transfer it to something else for storeage and repourpus them that way.
I wouldn't know of metal baised "athanes" as you call them. I'm more of a shaman. Closer to nature and all that. Everything i make comes from my imediate surroundings of nature.