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Thread: Educate me on the Puukko.

  1. #21
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    I like my Jarvenpaa kauhavaleinen puukko from the allergic recreationist website.

  2. #22
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    I think if your looking for something around $100 the Jaarvenpaa Puukkoman suggested would be a great place to start.
    I also really like the looks of a stacked birch bark handle on a Puukko.
    Here is mine made by Finish maker Simo Passi



  3. #23
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    Enzo Nordic in O1...

  4. #24
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    Several years ago a forum member with a Finnish background posted this: ‘Puukko’ is a Finnish term. It’s a derivative of ‘puu’ which means wood. A puukko is, first and foremost, a wood carving tool (we have a special term for that, ‘vuoleminen’, the root verb being ‘vuolla’, which comes close to whittling or wood carving, but denotes specifically the use of the blade for push-cuts, not slicing or slashing). Other ‘necessary’ uses of a puukko have to do with fishing and hunting, i.e., scaling, skinning, filleting, and other such tasks in preparing fish and game. Skilled users do about everything with a puukko, though. Once it was thought that a boy really doesn’t need other purchased toys; after he gets a puukko, he’ll make everything else with it. This is no joke! In the 50’s, schoolboys were (at some places) forbidden to use the puukko during wood-carving lessons, because they wouldn’t otherwise learn to use other tools, like planes, saws and chisels. Now the situation is, of course, quite different. Many Finns do not learn to use the puukko properly, though some kind of renaissance may be discernable here (there’s even a special ‘vuolukirja’, whittling book, by Joel Nokelainen 1996, but I think, only in Finnish).

    The puukko has developed to remarkable functional simplicity during generations of hard, straightforward use by ordinary people. It is a compromise, a multi-tool, if you like, with nothing inessential. That explains some of its characteristic features. The blade, for instance, is typically only a hand width in length, or a bit less. A longer blade would hamper its performance in whittling, etc. control is better with a shorter one (for fine work, such as countersinking a hole, the puukko is grasped by the blade and the thumb may be used as a ‘backstop’). But because it is not a ‘pure’ wood carving tool, too short won’t do. Similar explanations could be given for the relatively pointy point (remember the hole?), the (usually) straight back (with absolutely no false-edge or swedge), the wedgelike grind, the relatively thin blade, the smooth guardless handle (often called the head), made traditionally of wood, mostly birch, or of birch bark, etc. There are, of course, exceptions, and specialization is taking place here, too. But most of the recent developments in puukko may be more market-driven than purely function. For instance, the recent proliferation of finger-guards comes solely from legislative (consumer protective) demands of USA. A traditional puukko does not need them, as it is not meant for stabbing (though they were used for that too by the ‘puukkojunkkarit’, a group of Finnish outlaws at the Kauhava region quite a few decades ago).

    The carry system, in Finnish ‘tuppi’, is traditionally great. It’s not a quick-draw or concealment item or anything like that, but protects the puukko (and its owner) well, keeps it securely in place, does not hamper sitting, etc., and is aesthetically pleasing (the puukko is often called ‘tuppiroska’, sheath-litter, as it were and that could, I guess, reflect the high esteem that traditional makers have had for the sheath). But everyone does not know anymore how to make a proper tuppi (or does not have the time/financial means for that). About the grind. Not every puukko has a high saber grind (or ‘wide flat Scandinavian grind’, as somebody said), and not every puukko lacks a secondary bevel, though typically they do. Sharpening the whole flat sides every time would wear the blade down quickly (this actually happens – there are many puukkos around that resemble only faintly what they were as new), though for ‘vuoleminen’ you do need a very acute angle (about 15/30 degrees). In addition, there are (new) puukkos with a secondary grind as well as some with a convex grind (notably, the Lapinleuku, the traditional tool of reindeer-owners). About the thickness, yes, puukko blades tend to be relatively thin (and not very wide, either, and they do not have a full tang, which I have often grumbled myself). This relates again to its primary functions. It’s not convenient to ‘vuolla’ or to fillet with a thick blade, and you do not, typically, chop or pry with a puukko (for chopping we use the axe and for prying the other guy’s tools).

  5. #25
    Fair enough. I'm going to go ahead and suggest the Tommi. It's iconic -- one of the most widely reproduced puukko designs.



    - Christian

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alberta Ed View Post
    Several years ago a forum member with a Finnish background posted this: ‘Puukko’ is a Finnish term. It’s a derivative of ‘puu’ which means wood. A puukko is, first and foremost, a wood carving tool (we have a special term for that, ‘vuoleminen’, the root verb being ‘vuolla’, which comes close to whittling or wood carving, but denotes specifically the use of the blade for push-cuts, not slicing or slashing). Other ‘necessary’ uses of a puukko have to do with fishing and hunting, i.e., scaling, skinning, filleting, and other such tasks in preparing fish and game. Skilled users do about everything with a puukko, though. Once it was thought that a boy really doesn’t need other purchased toys; after he gets a puukko, he’ll make everything else with it. This is no joke! In the 50’s, schoolboys were (at some places) forbidden to use the puukko during wood-carving lessons, because they wouldn’t otherwise learn to use other tools, like planes, saws and chisels. Now the situation is, of course, quite different. Many Finns do not learn to use the puukko properly, though some kind of renaissance may be discernable here (there’s even a special ‘vuolukirja’, whittling book, by Joel Nokelainen 1996, but I think, only in Finnish).

    The puukko has developed to remarkable functional simplicity during generations of hard, straightforward use by ordinary people. It is a compromise, a multi-tool, if you like, with nothing inessential. That explains some of its characteristic features. The blade, for instance, is typically only a hand width in length, or a bit less. A longer blade would hamper its performance in whittling, etc. control is better with a shorter one (for fine work, such as countersinking a hole, the puukko is grasped by the blade and the thumb may be used as a ‘backstop’). But because it is not a ‘pure’ wood carving tool, too short won’t do. Similar explanations could be given for the relatively pointy point (remember the hole?), the (usually) straight back (with absolutely no false-edge or swedge), the wedgelike grind, the relatively thin blade, the smooth guardless handle (often called the head), made traditionally of wood, mostly birch, or of birch bark, etc. There are, of course, exceptions, and specialization is taking place here, too. But most of the recent developments in puukko may be more market-driven than purely function. For instance, the recent proliferation of finger-guards comes solely from legislative (consumer protective) demands of USA. A traditional puukko does not need them, as it is not meant for stabbing (though they were used for that too by the ‘puukkojunkkarit’, a group of Finnish outlaws at the Kauhava region quite a few decades ago).

    The carry system, in Finnish ‘tuppi’, is traditionally great. It’s not a quick-draw or concealment item or anything like that, but protects the puukko (and its owner) well, keeps it securely in place, does not hamper sitting, etc., and is aesthetically pleasing (the puukko is often called ‘tuppiroska’, sheath-litter, as it were and that could, I guess, reflect the high esteem that traditional makers have had for the sheath). But everyone does not know anymore how to make a proper tuppi (or does not have the time/financial means for that). About the grind. Not every puukko has a high saber grind (or ‘wide flat Scandinavian grind’, as somebody said), and not every puukko lacks a secondary bevel, though typically they do. Sharpening the whole flat sides every time would wear the blade down quickly (this actually happens – there are many puukkos around that resemble only faintly what they were as new), though for ‘vuoleminen’ you do need a very acute angle (about 15/30 degrees). In addition, there are (new) puukkos with a secondary grind as well as some with a convex grind (notably, the Lapinleuku, the traditional tool of reindeer-owners). About the thickness, yes, puukko blades tend to be relatively thin (and not very wide, either, and they do not have a full tang, which I have often grumbled myself). This relates again to its primary functions. It’s not convenient to ‘vuolla’ or to fillet with a thick blade, and you do not, typically, chop or pry with a puukko (for chopping we use the axe and for prying the other guy’s tools).
    Thanks for the information. Very cool.


    Thanks kamagong! Beauty you got there!
    Looking for a Used GEC Canoe in either ebony or bone.

    The best men carry pocket knives...... even better men carry a Peanut!!!!

  7. #27
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    Great thread, especially Alberta Ed's info!

    Keep 'em coming folks!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by markksr View Post
    Enzo Nordic in O1...
    I really wish I'd never laid eyes on this knife.......... I must have one!!!!!!!!

    W W!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodrow F Call View Post
    I see these great looking Puukko knives and am thinking about getting one. I've been looking at the Kellam Knives, but what else should I consider?

    Thanks for the help.
    Kellam sells a nice selection of knives, but does not make knives. Pretty much everything they sell can be purchased directly from the maker, less Kellam's markup

    - Wolf Pack; Puukko; Wolverine Made by Ahti

    -KP Line: Made by Kainuun Puukko of Finland. VK stamped ones are made by Veijo Käpylä (the current smith) AK and OK stamped ones should be the last ones made by the Kemppainen brothers, the previous owners.

    -R Line: made by Roselli Oy.

    -J line: made by Iisakki Järvenpää Oy.

    -M Line: made by Janne Marttiini Oy.

    -AK Line: made by Altti Kankaanpää, father of Pauli and now retired, though still forging sometimes.

    -Historical Knives, Finnish Knives: made by Antti Mäkinen, grandson of Yrjö Puronvarsi.

    -KT Line: made by Wood Jewel on design of Kauko Raatiniemi, owner of Wood Jewel itself. Seems that puukkos and leukus are made by Kauko and his son Tuomas, while the others are made by other men.

    -Other Lines
    -HM Line: made by Harri Merimaa of WoodsKnife wth Lauri blades
    -YP Line: made by Antti Mäkinen (1° and 3°),
    Kuronen Puukko (2°), Paaso Puukot Oy (4°)
    -Kullervo: made by Veikko Hakkarainen of Tapio
    -S Line: made by Finman
    -Ranger Puukko: made by Fiskars
    -Small Knives: various souvenir puukkos made by Paaso, Lappi Tuottet and Lauri Tuottet

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamagong View Post
    Fair enough. I'm going to go ahead and suggest the Tommi. It's iconic -- one of the most widely reproduced puukko designs.



    - Christian
    That knife right there is a perfect example Christian, I absolutely love the blade and handle shape of it!
    Distilled perfection!

  11. #31
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    You can buy a blade and mount it on your own. It may not turn out as lovely as a professional knife maker's product, but it will be uniquely yours.

  12. #32
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    Educate me on the Puukko.

    Tommi-puukko - A design inspired and named after an Englishman. Just saying

    Quote Originally Posted by dogstar View Post
    You can buy a blade and mount it on your own. It may not turn out as lovely as a professional knife maker's product, but it will be uniquely yours.
    Yup. Certainly plenty of choice there. There are also kits available in various degrees of completion too.
    Last edited by scruffuk; 12-04-2013 at 12:39 AM.
    "Don't thee thou me thee thou thissen and see how tha likes thee thouing"


  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by scruffuk View Post
    Tommi-puukko - A design inspired and named after an Englishman. Just saying
    Not because he crafted them, but because he tought Kalle Keränen (the first of Tommi makers) how to do oil quenching. Keränen called the first puukkos after him as a tribute, but soon started to be called Tommi himself.

  14. #34
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    Thanks for the info Ed! Christian, I knew it was a matter of time before your treasures came out.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAK Guy View Post
    I really wish I'd never laid eyes on this knife.......... I must have one!!!!!!!!

    W W!!!!!!!!!!!
    Easily one of the best feeling knives in hand that I own.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Linton View Post
    Kellam sells a nice selection of knives, but does not make knives. Pretty much everything they sell can be purchased directly from the maker, less Kellam's markup

    - Wolf Pack; Puukko; Wolverine Made by Ahti

    -KP Line: Made by Kainuun Puukko of Finland. VK stamped ones are made by Veijo Käpylä (the current smith) AK and OK stamped ones should be the last ones made by the Kemppainen brothers, the previous owners.

    -R Line: made by Roselli Oy.

    -J line: made by Iisakki Järvenpää Oy.

    -M Line: made by Janne Marttiini Oy.

    -AK Line: made by Altti Kankaanpää, father of Pauli and now retired, though still forging sometimes.

    -Historical Knives, Finnish Knives: made by Antti Mäkinen, grandson of Yrjö Puronvarsi.

    -KT Line: made by Wood Jewel on design of Kauko Raatiniemi, owner of Wood Jewel itself. Seems that puukkos and leukus are made by Kauko and his son Tuomas, while the others are made by other men.

    -Other Lines
    -HM Line: made by Harri Merimaa of WoodsKnife wth Lauri blades
    -YP Line: made by Antti Mäkinen (1° and 3°),
    Kuronen Puukko (2°), Paaso Puukot Oy (4°)
    -Kullervo: made by Veikko Hakkarainen of Tapio
    -S Line: made by Finman
    -Ranger Puukko: made by Fiskars
    -Small Knives: various souvenir puukkos made by Paaso, Lappi Tuottet and Lauri Tuottet
    Excellent. Thanks.
    Looking for a Used GEC Canoe in either ebony or bone.

    The best men carry pocket knives...... even better men carry a Peanut!!!!

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by sitflyer View Post
    That knife right there is a perfect example Christian, I absolutely love the blade and handle shape of it!
    Distilled perfection!
    Thanks Duane. I agree. I saw my first Tommi maybe a dozen years ago and it took me nearly that long to pull the trigger and order one. I even ordered a puukko that was sort of like a Tommi. It didn't help. All I did was make me want a Tommi even more. I could've saved myself time and money if I had just bought the knife I wanted in the first place.

    - Christian

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodrow F Call View Post
    I see these great looking Puukko knives and am thinking about getting one. I'm trying to figure out what is what when it comes to the Puukko. I have a Mora, which I guess is a modernized version of the Puukko, but I'd like something a little more traditional or nicer.... or both. I've been looking at the Kellam Knives, but what else should I consider? I plan to use it as a camping/hunting knife and don't want anything longer than 4" in the blade.

    Thanks for the help.
    Okay, Woodrow, will do my best to contribute (with some help from Wikipedia).


    Puukko, Mora and Helle knives are all Scandinavian knives, but from tree different countries. They all have the same heritage as a traditional knife, carried by everyone who needed a cutting tool (EDC knife). The basic design (aprox. 4" blade, smooth wooden handle, no fingerguard and a pounch style sheath), goes back more than 1000 years.

    Puukko, Mora, Tolle (Helle brand) are the main types of knives, but when it comes to Scandinavian knives, there is a number four type which has to be includen; Sami knives, which still today, is carried by the Sami people.


    The Puukko knife (Finland):

    A puukko (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈpuːkːo]) is a small traditional Finnish belt knife with a single curving cutting edge and a flat back.

    The basic components of a puukko are a hilt and a blade along with a sheath, which can be attached to a belt. The blade is short, typically less than 100 mm.

    The flat back allows the user to place a thumb or his other hand on it to concentrate the force. Puukkos are used both as a tool for all kinds of carving, especially to work wood, and to clean the catches of anglers and hunters. Some puukko designs have a slightly upwards or downwards curved point, depending on what purpose the knife has. A hunting puukko's tip is often curved downwards to make skinning and opening the animal easier and less messy. The blade is relatively short, usually about the same length as the handle. Fisherman's puukkos sometimes have a small dovetail on point to ease scraping off the innards of a fish.

    Most puukkos have a slight shoulder but no choil, since the point where the edge ends and the handle begins is also the point where most power can be applied. A puukko often has no guard to stop the hand from slipping onto the edge, but this is of no great importance, since it is primarily considered a cutting tool, not a stabbing weapon. In cases where the knife and the hand are expected to get wet, like if the puukko is meant for gutting fish or game, some form of guards are carved into the handle. The traditional length of the puukko blade is the same as one's palm width, usually 90–120 mm. Carvers, huntsmen and leatherworkers favour shorter blades; woodworkers, carpenters and constructors longer. The Saami leuku, which is an outdoorsman's tool, may have blade up to 400 mm, and historical väkipuukko up to 500 mm; it is more a machete or short sword (scramasax style) rather than true puukko.

    Both factory forged and hand forged blades are often laminated. A thin layer of very hard steel (traditionally crucible steel made from limonite iron) is sandwiched between two layers of softer metal, which make the blade less brittle and facilitates repeated sharpening. Before the 19th century, almost all iron in Finland was made from limonite on charcoal blast furnaces, which yield very pure and high quality iron suitable for crucible steel. German silver steel was and is a popular core-steel material. Today both carbon steel and tool steel are used. The blade can be lightened and strengthened with a fuller.

    The traditional material for the handle is birch. Also oak, ash, pine bark, horn (especially elk and reindeer), scrimshaw and bone are used. Often the handle is made from various materials between spacers. Today, however, industrially made puukkos often have plastic handles.

    In Finland and northern Scandinavia many men put great pride in carving their puukko's handle. Over generations, this knife has become intimately tied to Nordic culture, and in one or another version is part of many national costumes. A good puukko is equal parts artistic expression and tool. Making it requires a lot of different skills: not only those of a bladesmith, but also those of a carver, a jeweller, a designer, and a leatherworker to make the sheath — and if you master the difficult art of weaving birchbark, this is an opportunity to use it. Finest puukkos have blades of Damascus steel, and forging a blade using blister steel was considered the hallmark of a master smith.


    The Mora knife (Sweden):

    Mora knife (in Swedish: Morakniv) is a term used to refer to a range of belt-knives manufactured by the cutleries of the town of Mora in Dalarna, Sweden, primarily by Mora of Sweden. In Sweden and Finland, Mora knives are extensively used in construction and in industry as general-purpose tools. Most Mora knives are similar in design to Finnish puukkos.

    The forging of Mora knives dates back to medieval sword-smithing tradition. The proper way to pronounce "Mora" is with a long o ("moo-ra").

    Types of Mora:

    There are two main styles of Mora knife in common use today; the newer synthetic-handled varieties and the so-called "classic" style, made in a large variety of sizes. The Mora of Sweden company uses blades of 12C27 stainless steel, UHB-20C carbon steel, Triflex steel, or very hard (HRC61) carbon steel laminated between softer alloyed steel.

    A Mora of Sweden knife Clipper, with a stainless steel blade and a synthetic handle.
    Mora knives were mostly produced by the "KJ Eriksson" and "Frosts Knivfabrik" companies; they merged their brands in 2008 under the "Mora of Sweden" brand.

    Mora still produses the original knife with birchwood handle (with red paint as an option).


    The Tolle knife (Norway):

    Tolle Knife ( Old Norse talguknifr to the sebaceous ' whittling ') , is a traditional slirekniv to telgjing ( shaping, whittling ) .

    The blade was formed in iron , with inlaid plate of steel to edge. Thus, given a smoothly assembly that could take and hold a sharp edge and encapsulated so that the steel is not as easy broke .

    Hilt / shaft were usually three , but could get reinforcements in horn or bone . Some districts had a knife smiths who experimented with the design of the shaft by hand shape, while others held on an oval or tubular shape.

    Traditional, Norwegian knives have a protective sheath or ferrule , often in leather, often with embossed or burned decorations. Such knives always listened to the common man the equipment. To the nines heard usually an additional elaborate knife and sheath with herds of silver or nickel silver .

    Knife Forging was usually one additional position for village blacksmith . Good knife smiths were often familiar enough that they were virtually full-time employed only with this.

    Both Finns and Swedes are known for making good knives . Best known is the Swedish knives from Mora . This was because they had good iron ore , and good governance in the manufacturing process . Mass production mora knives were before equipped with red wooden handle , but now comes with blue molded plastic jaw . The sheath was before the powerful impregnated fiber material, but is now in plastic.

    From ancient knife was used as a universal tool. It could cut , shape , slaughter , gutting fish, cut and stab holes . At worst, it could be used as weapons. Duel with knives are further described in family history and other writings from this era.


    The Sami knife (Finland, Sweden and Norway):

    Traditional Sami Knife produced by Kainuun Puukko (Finland), Strømeng Knivsmed (Norway) a.o.. However a traditional knife would have a smooth transition between the handle and the blade without a guard and a sharper edge to the silver or tin plate normally placed at the but.
    The Sami knife (Sami: Stuorraniibi = "big knife", Finnish: Lapinleuku), is a large knife traditionally used by the Sami people.

    The Sami knife has a long, wide, and strong blade that is suited for light chopping tasks such as de-limbing, cutting small trees for shelter poles (See Lavvu), brush clearing, bone breaking and butchering tasks, and is sometimes used as a substitute for an axe for chopping and splitting small amounts of firewood from standing dead trees- an essential ability when all dead and fallen wood is buried underneath many layers of snow. Typical Sami knives have a blade length ranging from 200 to 450 mm. The largest knives can be considered as machetes or short swords.

    The handle is generally made from birch for better grip when used in snowy conditions. This also provides good control over the blade, particularly when using draw strokes, which are preferred when handling the knife with gloves, or while the hands are numb. The tang runs through the handle. The handle has no crossguard. Traditional material for the sheath is reindeer leather.

    The blade's edge often has a Scandinavian (or Scandi) grind, i.e. a single flat bevel. The blade should be strong enough to split (reindeer) bones, and tempered to sustain low temperatures. Some Sami knives have fullers.

    The Sami people typically use two knives; the smaller one can be called a buiku, puukko or unna niibaš ( "small knife" ), while the larger "Sami knife" is called stuorra niibi ( "big knife" ). An even larger version known as a Väkipuukko is similar to a Seax.


    Some usefull links:

    morakniv.se
    helle.no (take a closer look at the Viking and the Tolle).
    puukko.fi
    helsinkiknifeshow.com
    samekniv.no


    Hoping this was usefull.

    Henrik

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamagong View Post
    Thanks Duane. I agree. I saw my first Tommi maybe a dozen years ago and it took me nearly that long to pull the trigger and order one. I even ordered a puukko that was sort of like a Tommi. It didn't help. All I did was make me want a Tommi even more. I could've saved myself time and money if I had just bought the knife I wanted in the first place.

    - Christian
    This is really doing nothing to help me resist caving and getting one. I've been looking at the Kainuun website for months!

    *sigh* I will haft my YP blade some day instead.
    "Don't thee thou me thee thou thissen and see how tha likes thee thouing"


  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAK Guy View Post
    I really wish I'd never laid eyes on this knife.......... I must have one!!!!!!!!
    Enzo gets a good review in this video

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