Finnish "Butterfly" knife- Remember this one?

May 11, 1999
Anyone else out there have the red-handled Finnish butterfly? I got mine about 15 years ago from a Finnish cousin and used it for 10 years before it was stolen when our apartment was robbed. Just this past Christmas that same Finnish cousin gave me his, knowing how much I had loved my original. I'm ecstatic to have one of these funky cool knives again and have been using it daily in the kitchen.
I've heard they were used by some U.S. GI's in Vietnam- anyone have any other information on this knife?
Also, does anyone know what kind of steel the blade is made from? It seems to be some variety of stainless since it doesn't rust or stain from kitchen use.

I remember those knives well.Brookstone's used to sell for around $10 or $12. I handled one at the time and passed for a Pacific Cutlery butterfly only cause the Swedish one's handles were so light and tight. Lockup by the back bar was a real pain.I don't recall the steel used at the time though. I wish in hindsight I bot one anyway.
Yep. It's been a while since I saw one of those. The handles are light and tight because they were designed as inexpensive utility knives, with no particular thought toward fast one-handed opening.

I have one of those. I don't know what the steel is, either, but it is some sharp and holds that edge very well. It is, however, a pain to open and to clpse, definitely a two-handed task.

Walk in the Light,
The following info comes from "The Working Folding Knife" by Steven Dick (a great book - you should get a copy if you don't already)

An importer got permission to import Hackman Camp knives (from Finland) from US Customs. The book doesn't give the type of stainless used, but does state that a number of these knives were purchased by the CIA. Since they were of foreign manufacture, they were "sterile" (not traceable back to the US).

"Walk softly and carry a big folder... and a small folder... and a SAK... and a multi-tool..."
The name of the knife is "Retki" (Finnish for "Camping trip"). My friend has one of those and I've been playing with it a lot (when I was learning opening and closing a butterfly knife and didn't pay attention in grabbing the "safe" handle, I got some minor cuts on my fingers and knuckles). Unfortunately, I can't remember could the locking bar be opened by squeezing the handles and then loosening the grip (works for some butterfly knives with plastic handles). They're still being sold for about 14 dollars here in Finland. I don't know if Hackman makes them any more, since they recently quit making puukkos (I guess that goes for other knives, too). They are still being manufactured by another company and they now sell them with a belt pouch.

My two bits,

[This message has been edited by Jani Kemppainen (edited 02 June 1999).]
I have a Swedish one that has red handles. I like it very much because the latch is an elaborate, over-designed spring-loaded mechanism, and because it has a bottle opener on the side. Leave it to the Swedish to incorporate a bottle opener into a butterfly knife.

Thanks for the information on my knife. You mentioned that someone is still making them; any chance I could send you some dough and you could send me a knife?

Jason F.
Jeepers creepers! Jason, I don't know how did I manage to miss your question (that is why I reply directly to this thread), I need to slap myself in the face a few times. As for getting one of those knives, it could be done. The US Dollar is quite strong today, so just the knife would cost maybe 13 dollars. If you are still interested, please feel free to e-mail me.


Two important questions in life:
Do they have a catalog?
Did you know there's a town called "Batman" in Turkey?
I too have the red handled knife and I'm very pleased with it. A little work with a sappire fingernail file and both the handles and the latch can now be opened at will. With a copy of "Iron Butterfly" by Cacoy 'Boy' Hernandez I started to learn balisong manipulations.
I purchased the blade it along with a Hackman Puuko sheath knife from Brookstones some years back. The Sheath knife has a nylon handle and is diamond shaped like a kite in cross section. very comfortable to use in the kitchen and in the field. -Brian
Hey, Schlager,

How long ago did you pick up that Hackman puukko? I bought one in the 80s and want another. Hackman says they don't make them anymore.

Email me with reply if you like.


[This message has been edited by Zieg (edited 06 August 1999).]
Sorry Zieg,
I bought that Puuko back in the mid 80's. I would guess that maybe we start up an elitist discontinued Puuko club within BF since they are good knives, and are no longer available. wink wink, nudge nudge. -Brian

Yeah, I bought mine about the same time from a catalog called "Leichtung." A woodcarving and woodworking tool catalog. I emailed Hackman a while back and they said they stopped producing the knife years ago. I was bummed because I have used the thing as a kitchen and camp knife for years. While it has held up better than any other knife I have used so much, I know it will not last forever. So, I wanted another. Well, in the meantime, my wife and I have a brand-new set of Wusthof Grand Prix for the kitchen and I am going to order a Roselli for camping. This will let me give the Wirkkala a rest, I think.

Good idea about the discontinued knife topic, though. There are a lot of us whining knife nostalgia-ists around, I think. "Boy I remember that knife could . . ."

[This message has been edited by Zieg (edited 07 August 1999).]
Oops, brain fart. I also ordered mine through Leichtung, though I didnot catch the error until you mentioned it. I bought the pair, folder and sheath knife.

I was intrigued by the story in the catalog about how the store owner had met this guy in the Finn Army that cut up the Russians real sneaky like and did not carry a gun for the noise.

I had heard this story else where but when reading "Frozen Hell" the author said this stuff never happened. My experience in the Black Hills in all types of weather tells me to put the "sneaky" part down as fiction and propaganda. -Brian