A Puukko and Some Rocks (otherwise translated as "It's Here!")


February 15, 2012, 06:30 PM
I married a comedienne. Today I received a couple of packages, one from New York and the other came all the way from Finland. Inside the box from Finland was a puukko. My wife long ago stopped paying attention to my knives; she thinks they're all pretty much the same. Surprisingly enough she was interested in the box I received from Ragnar. No knives, but rather a bunch of sharpening stones. I got a Viking whetstone from Sweden, a Wastila stone from Finland, and a translucent Arkansas stone. My wife was shocked that there was nothing sharp included.

Being that she has never sharpened a knife in her life, she couldn't figure out what she was looking at. I told her they were sharpening stones.

"Sharpening stones?"

"Yeah, I use them to keep your kitchen knives nice and sharp. There are a few different types here. One's from Sweden, another from Finland, and the white one is from Arkansas."

"That's it? Stones? As in rocks? You've been bugging the mailman because of a bunch of rocks?"

She then let out a pretty good laugh and left me alone with my new purchases. I didn't see what was so humorous. She's not as funny as she thinks she is.


On to the knife. It is a puukko from puukkoseppa (bladesmith) Joonas Kallioniemi. Joonas is a young maker who has quite a following across the pond. He has only recently began "officially" making puukkos. Like a lot of custom puukkoseppa, Joonas does everything himself. He forges the blade from round silversteel (Böhler k510) barstock, makes the bolster and keeper, and crafts the puukko's handle and sheath.


The quality of this knife leaves me speechless. Even in pictures you can see the outstanding fit and finish of his work. The incredible part is that Joonas is still relatively new to the knifemaking scene; he is only 22 and started just a scant three years ago. He made this puukko before he started making knives full-time. If this is what he is capable of now, I look forward to seeing his progress as he spends more time and gains more experience in his craft.

I promised Joonas that I would use this knife. It's going to sting when I get that first scratch, but a promise is a promise and I have a feeling that it'll be well worth it.

If you enjoyed reading about "A Puukko and Some Rocks (otherwise translated as "It's Here!")" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Dave Markowitz
February 15, 2012, 06:35 PM
That knife is absolutely gorgeous.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk.

February 15, 2012, 07:29 PM
Beautiful. What a great minimalist shape and execution.I'd love to see it with a silver lined lanyard hole at the end to balance the materials.

Did it come with a sheath?

February 15, 2012, 07:37 PM
Yes, this puukko came complete with a sheath. Here are some additional pictures, courtesy of the maker.





February 15, 2012, 08:09 PM
Lawdy that is glorious work!

February 15, 2012, 08:16 PM
Thanks for the extras.

Very, very beautiful. Is this the kinda knife you'll use or just enjoy the ownership of by not getting it uglified through use?

Seems like even ever needing to use the accompanying stones would be a shame.

February 15, 2012, 08:56 PM

This knife will be a user. I admit she's a good-looking piece, but I suspect her true beauty will only reveal itself after she's been put to work. Sort of like a beautiful woman that knows how to cook.

February 15, 2012, 10:19 PM
That's a lovely knife.

February 15, 2012, 10:25 PM
that is too freaking cool

T.A.DAVISON knife maker
February 15, 2012, 10:32 PM
Very nice work.


February 15, 2012, 11:10 PM
Oddly - given it's beauty - it's nice to hear that you'll be using it.

Owen Sparks
February 16, 2012, 12:48 AM
Knives are tools and tools serve no purpose unless they are used.

February 16, 2012, 01:09 AM
That's a seriously beautiful knife. I'm sure you know that knives are a VERY big deal in Finnish culture.

Brian Williams
February 16, 2012, 09:35 AM
That is a piece of working art.

February 16, 2012, 04:48 PM
That is a beautify blade. About the cleanest lines I've ever seen for blade or sheath in a Scandi!

Meridian Blades
February 16, 2012, 11:53 PM
Love that Masur.....Excellent work.

February 17, 2012, 12:09 PM
Now that I'm in the USO (where I can see your pics), I have to agree. Beautiful. Simply elegant.


February 18, 2012, 12:45 AM
Sorry, John. I should have caught that.

Attached now.

That's a painfully pretty knife.

Yes, I would definitely use that. I'd look for reasons to use it.

How is the fit around the bolster at the blade entry point? Is there enough space for crud to collect? I have an older Mora that is more or less of this style family, and the bolster/blade gap is a crud collector. Yours looks like it's a really close fit -- like nearly waterproof.

February 18, 2012, 12:59 AM
The bolster to blade fit is near flawless. I can see the tiniest gap between the two parts, but am unable to feel it. I doubt that I can slip a sheet of onion skin paper in there.

I used it for the first time today whittling a whistle out of a branch. This puukko is a pleasure to use, going through green wood like it's not even there. It's a bit scary how efficient a cutter this knife is. I'm going to have to re-learn how to use a knife safely, this is a blade that won't abide any carelessness by its user.

Spec ops Grunt
February 18, 2012, 01:16 AM
While we are there: are you supposed to use a puukko differently than a knife with a guard?

February 18, 2012, 01:34 AM
The "no guard" design is commonplace in Scandinavian knives.

They do make Mora & Puukko style knives with guards, and some of the more recent handle designs (non-traditional) are sculpted to provide a sort of integrated "guard" to keep your fingers off the edge.

Traditionally, the "with guard" versions of Scandi knives were used by younger boys, such designs being referred to as "scout" knives. Once a boy had properly acquainted himself with knife safety and proper use, the guard would be removed or a new knife without a guard would be provided.

There are any number of tasks for which a "cross style" guard just gets in the way of the work. I do close-up paring knife functions all the time, and a guard would be a serious impediment.

Certainly there are certain "point push" cuts you want to avoid when using a knife with no guard, but it doesn't take too much practice to master the guard-less design.

If you really must do a stabbing cut with such a knife, you would either use your thumb or the heel of your hand over the butt of the knife handle to prevent your fingers from sliding onto the edge.

Look around your kitchen. You probably have a few (in my case, several) knives of the paring or utility class. Some of them have no protection of any kind to keep your fingers off the edge. A guard on such a knife would make it really hard to get down on the cutting board effectively. It's simply expected that you won't do dumb things with them and slice your pinkies.

Same idea with the traditional Scandi knives.

Spec ops Grunt
February 18, 2012, 01:42 AM
No pushcuts, only pull slices?

February 18, 2012, 02:23 AM
The puukko really shines while working wood. Here is a basic tutorial (http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/forum/f73/spikketrollets-school-demo-39472/) on a few cutting techniques. I found it during my research into Kallioniemi's knives.

This silent movie (http://vstr1.nebula.fi/?id=5790585-1252308059&w=640&h=476&fs=1&c=1&r=640&a=1&p=1) is even better. Pay attention at the 14:00 mark. I aspire to one day have the old man's skills with a puukko.

February 18, 2012, 03:13 AM
I have wondered about that, I don't like not having a guard. If there's a demonstratable need for it then I can see it, but those kind of situations seem like they'd be few and far between. If it's just a case of "real men don't need guards" then I'm going to laugh it off as more phallic envy, which the cult of manhood has way too much of throughout history already. Part of that is a result of seeing the failings of my own Native culture. Far too much suffering is done in that name of needless chest thumping. While I understand the need historically to move from boyhood into manhood, the histrionics that seem to accompany the competitive need to say "I'm a REAL man, and in fact I'm SUCH a real man that I can prove it by doing manly deeds in a dangerous manner to prove that I'm not afraid of anything"are silly. I don't mean to go too far astray, and I don't mean to imply that's what anyone here is saying, but with the similarities between Scandinavian culture and my own Native Alaskan roots I wouldn't be surprised if the historical thinking of "only boys need guards on their knives" comes in Scandinavia from the same place that a real Eskimo man is not afraid to test the ice by walking on it.

When you're doing fine work like whittling or caping I can see how you need as much control over the blade as possible. That's why knives made for those purposes are usually much more handle than they are blade. However, even all my kitchen knives have a way to keep your fingers from sliding up the blade. A lot of my chopping and food prep where I need close-to-the-board blade contact is done with an ulu made the proper way, from an old skillsaw blade. Now THERE's blade control. If you've never used an ulu before, get a hold of a good one and you may never let it go (by "good one" I don't mean the ones in the box with the ulu blade-shaped chopping block/bowl they seel to tourists.)

I can understand the lack of a guard more from Scandinavia than other places, I don't believe knife fighting was a big skill practiced in that part of the world. If it was, guards would be much more prominent.

February 18, 2012, 05:04 AM
Very cool video kamagong

February 18, 2012, 02:37 PM
This silent movie (http://vstr1.nebula.fi/?id=5790585-1252308059&w=640&h=476&fs=1&c=1&r=640&a=1&p=1) is even better. Pay attention at the 14:00 mark. I aspire to one day have the old man's skills with a puukko.


That little trick with the glass fragment for smoothing was quite instructive.

February 18, 2012, 03:30 PM
just: wow.

gotta at least own one Puukko.
I just got mine out an fondled it.
They feel better in the hand than any other knife. IMHO.

Minimalism in perfection.

February 19, 2012, 12:47 AM
No need to be scared of a guardless knife. Have you ever used a slipjoint? They don't have guards either. A puukko is no more dangerous, indeed it is safer because there is no blade to accidentally close on your fingers.

I own a few knives. Some with guards, some without. I don't have a bias either way. I only care if a knife works for its intended purpose. And despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to find a knife that does everything equally well. It's probably the reason why I've bought such a wide variety over the years. That and the fact that I really like knives of course.

If you enjoyed reading about "A Puukko and Some Rocks (otherwise translated as "It's Here!")" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!