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 Post subject: Puukko
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:20 pm 
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There are some puukkos scattered throughout various threads but I thought it would be good to have a thread devoted to them. I've been familiar with them for a long time but have been just recently come to appreciate the beauty and history of this Nordic knife. They are beautiful in a lean and timeless way.

If you have any puukkos please post them here?

Here is a definition of the puuko from Theo Eichorn's excellent blog puukkomies.posterous.com. Theo is an American who has moved to Finland to study and make knives. Also see his site at http://web.me.com/acornknives/acornknives/Welcome.html

"The word puu in Finnish is wood. The puukko is seen as a knife for wood, or a woodsman, and at this it excels, for many reasons.

These are some general rules about what makes a puukko recognizable as such. Of course, like any rules, these are often broken and one can find many variations.The Puukko is a belt knife. That is, it is carried in a sheath (tuppi), hanging from a belt. The puukko is generally a modestly sized knife, the blade being about as long as the distance across a grown man's palm, with a handle of more or less equal proportion (8-10cm, or 3 1/2-4in.) The blade is more or less straight. The handle is in line with the back of the blade. Similar knives with curved backs and handles are usually of a more Scandinavian origin. (Finland, while being Nordic is not technically part of Scandinavia.)

The puukko will have a single bevel from the thickest part of the blade (the spine) to the edge. The thickest part of the blade is usually about a quarter to a third of the way down from the back. This single bevel creates a steeper angle than most knives we Americans are used to, that have a secondary bevel just above the edge. This edge geometry is much like a chisel, which is part of what makes this knife work so well when carving wood. Most puukko also forgo a ricasso, allowing the use of this "power spot" for carving wood. The further out from the hand down the blade you work, the more stress is put on your wrist, due to the forces of leverage!

Puukko do not have guards. Sometimes, if it is felt that it needs one, they will carve out a recess behind the bolster or ferrule. A guard on a knife, in the mind of a Finn, denotes a fighting knife. It protects the hand during a stabbing motion if the blade contacts something hard, such as bone. During skinning there is no need for a stabbing cut, the finger rests behind the blade for opening an animal and care is taken to avoid bone. During wood work you use a cutting motion, and a guard will only get in the way. Therefor, a guard is considered superfluous on a puukko.

There is also a major difference in how the knife is carried. In America, most right handed people will wear a belt knife on their right side, for a straight draw with their right hand. A puukko is carried (for a right hander) on the left side, for a right handed cross draw, the sheath being grasped with the left hand. This is why sheaths are of the "dangler" variety. It also allows for the knife to be easily pushed out of the way when sitting and to be easily drawn while in this position.

So, that basically covers it. The puukko is a work knife for the woodsman, of modest dementions and generally percieved as a tool, not a weapon. It has a long history, many examples pulled from graves a thousand and more years old. There are many traditional forms, from the simplest to fancy festival models."

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My traditional Nordic knife blog: http://nordiskaknivar.wordpress.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Here's my contribution to the thread. Helle HE30 made in Norway. Meets some of the criteria for a Puukko but not all. I'm thinking that Puukko is a Finnish term and may not apply to Norway. It's kind of like "What's a Jack Knife" in terms of definition.

Here is a little info on the construction of the Helle Knives: http://helle.com/Default.aspx?tabid=4935&language=en-US

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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:29 am 
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It doesn't matter what you call that one Tom, it's a beautiful Nordic knife. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:25 am 
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These are my additions. Thanks Mike for starting this thread puukkos have always been one of my favorites.
1-3. Pekka Tuominen customs.
4. Rannanjarvi double
5. Iisakki Jarvenpaa Aito
6. Horsehead puukkos
7&8 Veikko Hakkarainen Kullervo


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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:31 am 
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This came with the Pekka Tuominen custom puukko. Pretty much the same as Mike posted.


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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:38 am 
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Thanks Mike, it is a great knife and really feels good in the hand and has great balance.

Bill, I really like your Puukkos, especially the Pekka Tuominen. I see now that not even the true puukkos follow the standard definition. Looking at your sixth picture, the top knife does not seem to follow the statement that the handle can be longer than the blade but never shorter. I'm getting closer and closer to calling the Halle HE30 a Puukko. I'm really getting to like the Puukko a lot. Thanks for the pics.

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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:40 am 
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Here's my paltry collection of 2 and half..
Lahdensuo Lapua
Image

Image

And Lisaki Jarvenpah
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And a wee tiny "boy's knife" I think bottom of pic.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:45 am 
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Nice ones Willie, and hey, you've got 1 1/2 times what I've got. ::tu::

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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:00 am 
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TJ the horsehead puukkos are not traditional puukkos. The description that Mike posted and the one that I added are for puukkos that were used in every day life.


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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:20 am 
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I added the same puukko twice so I'll put the one I should of here.
TJ I really like the Helle. I tried hunting one down, but had no luck. I ended up getting a Tapio Wirkkala which had a similar shaped handle.
Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:49 am 
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Nice knives every one.

It sure would be nice if "Froggyedge" came back on this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:14 am 
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FRJ wrote:
Nice knives every one.

It sure would be nice if "Froggyedge" came back on this thread.

Me too Joe. He always had great pics and posts.

Bill, that's another great one. I think what I like most about the Puukko is it's simplicity of design, made for the working man. I have seen some very beautiful, ornate knives and sheathes that I would have loved to have but way out of my league, price-wise.

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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:58 pm 
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Thanks for posting your puukkos. Froggyedge was our go to man on the ground in Scandinavia. I sure miss that guy. I'll send him a PM with a link to this thread and see if he's still around.

Here's some nice knives to look at:

http://www.hankala.com/englanti/front_page.htm

http://www.puukkopekka.com/

Thanks to Billswfl for leading me down the puukko path! ::tu::

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"Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long." Ogden Nash

My traditional Nordic knife blog: http://nordiskaknivar.wordpress.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Here's a few from my accumulation.Some of the pics have other knives in them so I will try and describe just the puukkos.
The first picture of 5 knives;the 1st,third,and fourth are Scandanavian.Top one is marked but I can't read the name.Third and fourth are J.A.Hellberg.
Second picture is an ebony handled knife with silver pin work and a silver(probably nickel silver)sheath.No maker's name.
Third picture is an unmarked horsehead puukko.
Fourth picture is an unmarked knife.
Sixth is marked but unreadable to me.
Seventh is a few miniatures.
Eighth is a Swedish mora marked but partially obliterated.
Last is another Swedish knife with an unusual sheath.


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 Post subject: Re: Puukko
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:00 pm 
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I posted this in another thread, here it is again. Image

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