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Educate me on the Puukko.

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Woodrow F Call, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    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.
  2. The Helles are absolutely top of the line for production puukkos, with laminated steel blades. I've had a few Kellam Wolverines and one of the larger sizes, and those are very well made carbon steel production puukkos. There are several US makers out there that have tried their hands at crafting a puukko, with some great results, I've gotten a few from makers here. Scott Gossman has crafted a puukko model in the past, but he doesn't take orders any more. I had the first one, traded it like a fool, he made some more. It was flat ground, mine had micarta scales, he made some with wood scales that were more traditional, and another larger one that went to the sandbox. Scott also created the Polaris with Kevin Estela, sort of a puukko influence.

    Kamagong and Comoha have, or had, some really nice puukkos. I started a thread on puukkos, that included some very nice custom pieces posted by members. The best seem to have come from the source, the European far north, or as Led Zeppelin put it, the land of ice and snow...


    I am an idiot and limit myself usually to flat and or flat ground with convex edge fixed blades. I've had everything from a custom Marlowe puukko and the Skookum bush tool to the Mora. Today, Moras are everywhere at home. Tool box, tackle box, closet. All the other scandis are gone. :(
  3. puukkoman


    Sep 30, 2004
    I heartily recommend a Jaarvenpaa. Some entry-level models are very reasonably priced, and the quality is definitely there.
  4. sitflyer


    Mar 10, 2011
    I asked myself this very same question quite some time back, and so far this one has been my favorite in hand:

    The stacked birch bark offers an amazingly comfortable grip, and this shape of handle seems to just work.

    Silenthunter's linked thread above is where I finally started narrowing down what I wanted to try in the Puukko's, some really great posts are contained in this thread!
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  5. Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    I did read silenthunterstudios thread. Great pics in that one. I wasn't sure what was what though. Thanks for the suggestions!
  6. halfaxe


    Nov 29, 2012
    I would recommend a birch bark handled puukko. Very traditional and as far as I know, only used in puukkos. It has a unique comfortable feel that is unlike any other material.

  7. Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    They definitely look great.
  8. Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    BTW, who made those birch bark ones?
  9. kamagong


    Jan 13, 2001
    First of all Moras are not puukkos. Puukkos are from Finland, Moras are Swedish. They are related, but not the same.

    How much do you want to spend?

    - Christian
    bradleybuckman likes this.
  10. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    This is certainly not a puukko, but from the same part of the world (roughly), Zlatoust, Russia.


    The birch bark handle is extremely light weight and comfortable. This 8" OAL knife weighs just 95 g or 3.35 oz.
  11. Frederick89


    Dec 30, 2009
    Moras were born as swede carpenter knives. Puukkos are only finnish.

    I second the birch bark suggestion, but be prepared to pay something, since they are really time consuming to make.
  12. Frederick89


    Dec 30, 2009
    Just saw this now.

    From left to right

    Iisakki Järvenpää Oy, Pasi Hurttila, Eräpuu Oy, Pasi Hurttila.

    Järvenpää is one of the oldest puukko factory still in activity, whose founder was for some time the knifemaker for tzar Nicholas II Romanov.
    Eräpuu is a family business based in Kemi. Not only knives but also all kind of souvenirs and wool clothes.
    Pasi Hurttila is a blacksmith now living and working in Ivalo, 30 km away from the great lake Inari.
  13. Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    See, I need education on the Puukko. ;) Thanks.

    I'm not sure what I want to spend. I'm looking into an entry level quality Puukko. Right now, around $100 is my limit, but it's not a hard one.
  14. mtangent


    Dec 6, 2011
  15. rinos


    Feb 17, 2008
    Roselli handmade knives are very good value for money


    but there is a lot of makers with good knives and decent prices
  16. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    This is probably the closest thing that's readily available in the US to the classic Puukko design. To be fully faithful, the blade would be more diamond shaped in cross section let's say 2/3 the way up the blade...with the back not sharp at all but not flat like this one. Many are stacked birchbark but just as may are curly birch. Then there is the Sami knife. The Sami people are the reindeer herding people of the far north of Scandinavia and Finnland and even into Russia. They tend a little more to a flat wide pommel.

    Trying to nail down exactly what a Puukko is in words is a bit like "tactical", "survival", "bowie"...mileage will vary although in defense of the term, it is seldom used to glorify or promote the thing the way these other terms are.
  17. jon_slider


    Aug 24, 2010
    I have a Kellam Wolverine. It is modestly priced and easily available, but if I did it again, I would look for a barrel shaped birch bark handle. I wear size large gloves, my thumb to pinkie span is 10". I find the swell of the Wolverine handle slightly fatter than I would like, it measures 3 and 3/8" in circumference at the center swell. Its a well made knife in every way, I recommend it if you have larger hands than mine, but not if your hands are smaller.




    there is more Puukko handle info in this thread:
  18. kamagong


    Jan 13, 2001
    I'm torn. On the one hand, a new Aito like the one Duane posted is a right fine knife and should last the rest of your life. But for the price of a BRKT you can get a heirloom quality, custom puukko, made by the Finnish equivalent of Kerry Hampton or Jared Oeser.

    I suggest looking at a bunch of pictures. Find a knife you like, then come back here and ask the forum where you can find one just like it.

    - Christian
  19. HFinn


    Sep 6, 2012
  20. Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    If I did that, it would end up being really expensive! :p

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