What's the Best Puukko Knife?


July 13, 2005, 11:52 PM
I've got some Helle Puukko knives and I really, really like them. Oddly they don't seem too popular locally, and I've come up dry at the local knife shops. I'm wondering what the best ones are for possible mail order. Anyone have ideas or links?

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July 14, 2005, 12:12 AM
These guys are in WA & import Helle & others.


July 14, 2005, 01:45 AM

Ragnar is a great guy to do business with.
Great prices too.

www.kellamknives.com also has a good selection.

The best traditional puukko I can think of would be Roselli.

July 14, 2005, 04:41 AM
Thanks! The Roselli blades do look nice. I find most American blades, whether traditional or "tactical" tend to have way too long a blade, and the modern ones are frankly pretty impractical--as are the "arty" knives. I like a big handle and a compact, razor sharp blade that won't puncture too far in the chest or gut. It should also be easy to keep sharp. Helle are nice but the ones I've had were stainless and have to go to a sharpener to get a really good edge.

July 14, 2005, 05:10 AM
I agree with Pawcatch. I've got the Roselli "carpenters" knife and I like it alot, great steel, great ergo handle. The UHC steel is supposed to be super also but I haven't tried it. Ragnar at www.ragweedforge.com is great to do business with. for under $10 each, everyone should have a couple of the Errikson carbon steel blades with molded plastic handle (IIRC #510 or #710).

July 14, 2005, 06:18 AM
I totally agree about most American knives being too long.I find scandinavian knives to be the most universal knives out there.

July 14, 2005, 08:12 AM
I agree that there probably aren't any better puukkos than the Roselli's. There are several knifemakers that make puukkos that range from reasonable to breathtaking (meant both ways).

July 20, 2005, 10:41 AM
I've got some Helle Puukko knives No, you don't. Puukko is a Finnish word, Helle is Norwegian. You may have a tollekniv, which admittedly is pretty much the same thing, but in a completely different language. :)

Both words derive from woodworking, which is what any general purpose Scandinavian knife must do, in addition to cleaning fish and game, camp cooking... We're forest people, a knife is not just a tool, it's the tool you can't be without in the woods. I don't quite remember when I got my first "real" knife (sharp edge, laminated steel, good quality) but I think my mother bought me one for my fifth birthday. In case you're wondering - yes, I did cut myself with that knife. On a hunting trip about 20 years later.

Helle are nice but the ones I've had were stainless and have to go to a sharpener to get a really good edge. I can't remember having had any particular difficulty sharpening one, but that may just be my memory fading. They make both laminated stainless and laminated carbon steel blades, so the center layer is a bit harder than you might expect in a non-laminated knife. I think Helle also sells all their designs as blades only, for those who like to make their own handles and sheaths. An "arty" knife in Scandinavia is a functional knife with a fancy handle (pretty wood, silver fittings and such) in a good looking leather sheath, not a 24 inch saw toothed recurved double edged monstrosity, but I'm digressing.

July 20, 2005, 01:46 PM
Well I was calling them "puukko" because they had the same big handles, small blades and big sheaths. Whatever they were, the Helle knives weren't the best. I'm not sure if I had the budget versions or what but they were difficult to keep sharp and the "brass" hilt on the "hunting" version was just a covering of brass-colored material that quickly wore off. I may have gotten the cheap American version. I gave it away and used the sheath for a beat-up old Swedish blade from Mora that does have real brass and *extremely* sharp steel.

July 25, 2005, 12:09 PM
Most of the scandinavian knives by Rosseli, Helle, Lauri are good quality steel and have well designed handles. Most knife shops that I query them about not having them in stock are afraid of the lack of a guard. It seems liability issues may have an impact on retail sales. Damn shame. Large comfy handles and short, sharp blades make for great working knives.
Many Puukkos have multi material sheaths that rival the time and expense normally reserved for the knife itself.

July 25, 2005, 12:47 PM
+1 for Ragnar at the Ragweed Forge!
I'm still lusting after a Helle Harding knife...

August 3, 2005, 02:54 AM
OK, I just ordered one of Roselli's new UHC Hunter Puukko's from Ragweed per suggestions here. It's a lot more than I have *ever* spent on a knife, but if indeed it will hold its blade as long as it's supposed to I'll be very happy. The ultimate test will come soon, when I cut up leathery spawned-out chum for dog food. That hide can dull the sharpest high-carbon blade in one or two fish.

August 4, 2005, 02:17 PM
Cosmoline,be sure to keep the original grind on the knife.The Scandinavian grind is the main reason why I like them.Plus,it's easy to sharpen,just lay it flat on the wetstone.

August 4, 2005, 07:28 PM
Cosmoline, congratulations! You're in for a treat, great all-around knife.
Please give us a review after you have a chance to try out the UHC hunter.
I've used the Roselli carbon steel carpenter's knife alot and I agree with Pawcatch on the qualities of the simple Scandi edge. Also keep a few carbon Erikksons around for general use and abuse (~$9 from Ragnar's Ragweed Forge)

August 6, 2005, 11:45 PM
Just got it--fast delivery for Alaska. It has a good factory edge to it. It's sharp though I have a feeling it could be made a lot sharper. The UHC steel blade is nice and thick, though the very sharp point looks like it might break off with a little force. The birchwood stock is very nice. There's plenty of room for big hands to manipulate it even when wearing gloves. THe factory sheat has a plastic liner and holds the stock tight while keeping the blade free--a VERY important feature. I've noticed that high-carbon blades will rust easily if allowed to touch the sheath. The tight neck of this sheath should keep moisture out, esp. with the addition of some protective wax to the leather.

There's nothing fancy about the knife at all. It's all business.


Why these puukko style blades aren't more popular here I don't know. The state has seen several generations of Finnish immigration and there are a ton of them running around here. I've seen many historic Alaska photos with sourdoughs using puukko-style knives. But now all you can find at our local knife shops are overpriced "art" blades that sometimes don't even have a stock or impractical "tactical" blades. There are some good hunting blades around at sporting goods stores here and there, but nothing like this.

August 7, 2005, 12:12 AM
You'll find that birchwood stays grippy even when wet. its treated with linseed oil IIRC.
I use Sno-seal on my sheaths and a heat gun on low to get good a saturation. I also drilled a 1/8" hole in the bottom of the backside of the Roselli sheath.

August 7, 2005, 10:18 AM
Very nice! I'm jealous...

August 7, 2005, 10:47 AM
Thanx for the link! I just ordered the Roselli Axe. Just what I been looking for! :D

January 14, 2007, 04:13 PM
hey, i was just wondering which of the roselli puukko knives is best for all around uses, i mean from carving wood to carving game to anything else imaginable.

January 14, 2007, 04:17 PM
I've been using the hunter for all kinds of things. It just depends on your preference and what you're using it for. If you're doing a lot of wood carving the standard grandpa style short bladed one might be better. I'm not sure UHC blades are a good idea for scraping on a lot of hardwood.

January 14, 2007, 04:22 PM
ok cool, but i dont have big hands so will the hunter give me any problems?

January 14, 2007, 04:29 PM
It hasn't been a problem for me, and I don't have big hands. It's designed to be very easy to manipulate even with gloves on.

January 14, 2007, 04:32 PM
alright man, thanks alot, just ordered mine :D

Max Power
January 15, 2007, 03:38 PM
I have been lusting after those UHC knives for awhile. They don't handle lateral stress very well but they are a knife not a prybar.

I like the guardless moras by errickson but the clipper knives with the rubber handles are the same blade with a more modern handle. Right now all I have for moras is the stainless clipper but for 9$ I am for sure getting one of the laminated carbon steel ones with a wood handle. I like carbon steel much better but the stainless on my mora is quite good. The ugly green sheath works really well and you can fit a firesteel in with the knife perfectly.

For a thicker pukko style knife there is the sexy Fallkniven knives or the bayonet
for the Valmet rifle. I would love to find one of those Valmet bayos with a beat up handle and customize it with some elk horn and a good leather sheath.

March 14, 2008, 05:33 PM
+1 for Ragnar at the Ragweed Forge!
I'm still lusting after a Helle Harding knife...

hah!! ive got my Helle Harding...so...in your face!!! :D

March 15, 2008, 05:27 AM
They have a little different selection than Ragnar and I can personally vouch for their customer service. Juoni and Harriet have been very pleasant to deal with over the years and their products are second to none. If you are looking for Finnish puuko and the leuku favored by the Laplanders this is your kind of place.

February 21, 2009, 02:27 PM
Here are a couple of good pages...


February 21, 2009, 06:45 PM
Don't think there is a 'best' out there, but I just received this forged puukko from Kaleb of Muskrat man knives (top in photo along with bushcraft he also made for me). I just spent all morning doing hard pruning with it in the back yard. Scary sharp with polished bevels, no problems cutting greenwood up to 1.25" with very little effort. Aggressive curve and point actually turned out quite useful for woodworking/chore duties as well as food prep.

This one will be my main 'user' for now as i will put away my self-handled puukko I made using a Lauri PT blade. Used to use a Kellam Wolverine before that (the Kellam uses Lauri PT blades for their Wolverines).

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