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Roselli carpenter's knife

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Alberta Ed, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I’ve had a Roselli erapuukko (hunting knife with a wide, sharp-tipped, 4” blade) for a couple of years and found it to be an elegant and useful design: strong, lightweight, with a big useful handle of Arctic Birch, and all business. Roselli makes users out of forged traditional high carbon steel (from Krupp, but I don’t know what the makeup is), and he isn’t a fanatic about whether both sides match up perfectly as long as it cuts. And Roselli knives do cut. They’re working blades, with the scales from the forge left on so you can see they’ve gone under the hammer.
    I’ve had an eye out for Roselli’s carpenter’s knife, a somewhat downsized version of the erapuukko, for some time, but was put off by the sticker price and the hassle of importing one. So I was pleasantly surprised to find one at Dick Person’s booth down at Whitehorse’s Longest Days pavilion last week. (Longest Days is a month-long street festival, and we have lots of light at this time of year.) Dick is a near legendary Yukon guide-outfitter who was highlighted in an article in a recent Tactical Knives magazine. He knows knives, and axes, no one better. Dick had what had to be the best display of knives and Gransfors Bruk axes I’ve seen so far in the Yukon. His blades included a healthy selection blades from of Russell, Helle, Brusletto, Mora and Roselli, and doubtless a few others I didn’t have time to drool over. The price was right ($68 Canadian) so I came home with the little Carpenter’s knife in my pocket. (Dick also had an Roselli erapuukko in UHC (ultra high carbon) steel, derived from wootz, but the $320 sticker price was a bit too rich…. )
    The blade is 3 3/8” long, 1/8” thick (just like my erapuukko), and the birch handle is a palm filling 4 ½” long. The blade retains its full thickness right up to about ½” back from the tip, no distal taper, so it’s not at all delicate. It must have been ground on a fairly coarse slack belt, as the blade has a subtle convex grind right down to the edge; no secondary bevel whatsoever. The blade is well set into the handle, but does not extend al the way through. I’m not worried about it working out or loosening, though; you can see epoxy gleaming just inside the small bolster that surrounds the front end of the handle.
    The sheath was not as satisfactory; it was the traditional Nordic pouch design that holds the knife firmly, yet allows you to slide it back in (and usually out) with one hand. However, it had slots for a belt loop instead of the more useful braided leather thong, and it was made of a thin cheap-looking leather with no evident wax. It did have a useful plastic insert. Believing that a good knife deserves a good sheath, I cut the original apart and used it as a pattern to construct a much better sheath from tough latigo leather. Then I waxed that inside and out with Snow Seal, adding a folded over belt loop. I had to do the same with my erapuukko. Finns seem to make great blades, but mediocre leather sheathes. I have seen some nifty wood, leather and fur sheaths from Finland, but those seem to be custom work.
    I treated the birch handle with a couple of coats of tung oil, which seems to last longer than linseed, and next morning after it had dried overnight, sat down before the big old black Arkansas stone I inherited from a great uncle who was a cabinet maker, and which produces the best edges on carbon steel of any of my hones. About five minutes later I stropped off the minute burr and had an edge that is past scary sharp. Roselli’s blades are forged, and seem hard (60 RC?), but maybe that’s subjective.
    Since then I’ve been playing with it, cutting leather (for the sheath), fruit, string, and used it for some rough whittling. This blade flat out cuts! It’s replaced the miscellaneous assortment of Frosts and Ericksson Moras cluttering up my workbench, and I’m going to test it out on grayling this coming weekend up at Quiet Lake. With the sheath it weighs only 4.3 ounces, which makes it an excellent pick for backpacking. If I’d had it instead of my Bark River Woodlands when we packed over the Chilkoot Pass last weekend, I could have saved 1.2 ounces! (And would have appreciated it even more.)
    This is more than a ‘carpenter’s knife’; it’s a puukko, and one of my favourite designs. It’s a keeper, at least as long as I can keep it out of my wife’s hands.
    Cliff Stamp likes this.
  2. Cliff Stamp

    Cliff Stamp Banned BANNED

    Oct 5, 1998
    Ragnar has the UHC Carpenters knife for $125. I keep meaning to pick that up as it is spec'ed at 64-66 HRC and should work well with a fine edge profile.

  3. cerulean


    May 26, 1999
    I've had a Roselli Carpenter's knife (Nikkarinpuukko) for maybe five years or so. It's definitely my favorite user fixed blade. The handle is incredibly comfortable and the blade geometry is awesome.

    I've also thought about getting the UHC version for awhile, but the regular blade steel has worked great for me. Still though, I'm really curious to see how the UHC blades perform.
  4. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    Great blades, Ed.

    I have an erapuukko in UHC as well as a Carpenter's in UHC. Also a leuku in his standard carbon. Roselli knives are excellent.


    Dec 8, 2003
    I had a Carpenters Knife for years until a friend "convinced" me to sell it to him. They are excellent blades and extremely useful as an EDC and in the workshop. Mine would cut and carve all day without needing a touch up and still shave at the end.
  6. FWO


    Oct 31, 1998
    I have a 4" hunter model. The blade holds an edge very well, better then the previous model ( Standard ) . The handle is a glue to tang, rather then rat tail with a wash peen. I do not care for motised or blind tand with out a rivet. Mortised is fine if it is the wide variety with a pin more then half way down.

    Be well
  7. Vince-Corto

    Vince-Corto Banned by Moderators

    May 27, 2005
    I got a Carpenter UHC too !
    I must say it's a very pleasant knife with a incredible blade's steel : definitely one of my ~4 inch favorite knife with my Fallkniven F1 and my Busse Meaner Street ...
    Compare to the F1, it's definitely a better cutter and, when properly sharpen, it shave amazingly ...But it is supposed to be a brittle steel, due to hardness... Personnaly i don't know yet but i guess i won't do any prying with it : as say H.Roselli, a knife is a cutting tool first and as a cutting tool it performs extraordinarly .
    The Blade has a curious finish, really nice i mean... :p
    The handle is really good even if there's no guard.
    The Sheath is good two and smell leather really strongly ... ;)
    I guess it's a really good knife for its price range (here in Europe, you can find them for 79E ...) : so if you do cutting essentially, just go for it ! :D
  8. Ivan Campos

    Ivan Campos

    Apr 4, 1999
    Thanks for the review, Ed. I have been curious about Roselli knives latelly and should mention that his motto, "the unessential is detrimental", has been echoeing in my brains.
    Good to see you around, Elliot! I don´t see you posting much nowadays.
  9. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    Hi Ivan. Seems these days I read more and post less. (But I'm still around. Thanks for noticing, my friend. :cool: )

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