Bushcraft Puukko – DIY Inspiration

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If you are interested in creating a knife like the one in the featured image. Just keep reading and I will show you in basic steps how to make your own beautiful Bushcraft Puukko.

 

Material & Tools

Lauri

Tang; Curly Birch Wood; Bolsters

Before we get started this is what you need to create your own DIY puukko:

  • 1x scandi stick-tang blade: Lauri  offers quality blades at a good price
  • 1x block of wood
  • front and rear bolster
  • wood & metal saw
  • epoxy super glue
  • metal file
  • rasp
  • hammer
  • sandpaper

Remember: The most important tool is patience! Do not to try to finish your project within just a couple of hours.

Step 1: 

-> File the front bolster till the tang fits snug:

Step 1 Filing

Step 2: 

-> Drill the wood so the tang can fit through. Make sure to drill perpendicular, so the tang won’t be bent and under pressure when inserted into the wood.

Tip: It helps to mark the outline of the tang onto the wood.

prep 1

Step 3:

-> Put all the separate pieces over the tang (front bolster, wood, rear bolster). Put some glue between each of the pieces and fill the drilling hole in the wood completely with epoxy glue. Take your time to ensure every gap is filled.

-> Use a vice or a homemade jig (made of two pieces of 2×4, 2x threaded rods; 4 nuts&bolts) to glue everything together.

glueing

Step 4:

-> Peen the tang with a peeing hammer (any other hammer will work too but makes the job harder). Again patience is necessary.

peening

Peened Tang

Step 5: (The most fun part!)

-> sand the handle untill it fits your hand perfectly and feels nice and smooth

Puukko Handle

Curly birch puukko handle

As suggested by the title this post is intended as an inspiration for people who have played with the thought of making their own stick-tang puukko. If you are looking for a very detailed instruction of how to make a puukko knife I would suggest to you to check out the following book by Bo Bergman:

Bergman, Bo. Knifemaking: A Complete Guide to Crafting Knives, Handles & Sheaths. Asheville, NC, USA: Lark, 1997

 

(Step 6):

-> take your knife out and enjoy the forest!

 

 

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Steel Will Argonaut 800 – Initial Impressions

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      Since the company was launched in 2014, Steel Will has created a very impressive lineup. The Argonaut 800 is part of their medium-price-range outdoor series. This series is my favorite because you get a lot of knife for your money. All the knives in the Argonaut series are made in Taiwan, something that was important for me since most knives made in Taiwan are of good quality. The knives in the outdoor series are made with good materials and they are not too expensive, so you don’t have to be afraid to use them hard. As soon as you take the Argonaut out of its very nice packaging you can tell that this knife was made for heavy-duty use.

PackagingThe card with the Inspection Date speaks for the companies good quality control.

According to Greek mythology the Argonauts were a group of heroes that traveled with Jason on his quest for the golden fleece.

mythology

I can easily imagine taking this knife on an adventure, for example a long backpacking trip or a 4×4  overland tour.

Adventure

BLADE

 

The thick spine in combination with a nice saber grind and the full tang construction inspire confidence (according to the manufacturer the tang has no sharp corners that could create weak points). Due to the built quality and robust design I have zero doubts that the Argonaut will hold up to hard use just fine.

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I have used the knife in the kitchen to cut vegetables and fruits. Of course this knife was not designed to be a kitchen slicer but the geometry is good and slicing onions and oranges was no problem at all.

kitchen duty

The sharp edge and  ergonomic handle make carving fine feathers a breeze. The edge runs close to the handle which helps too. The gap is just large enough to use it as a finger choil.

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The AUS-8 steel is no miracle steel but it is a very good compromise between edge retention, robustness, ease of sharpening and cost. Overall a very good choice for a knife that has to be maintained in the field. It is comparable in performance to the well proven 1095 carbon steel.

HANDLE

 

The Argonaut 800 has a very nice handle that feels super comfortable. The design reminded me of the handle on the Gerber Harsey Hunter.

The handle is longer than that on a standard Ka-Bar USMC so even guys with very large hands will be able to get a full grip.

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The top and bottom guard protect your fingers from sliding on the edge. A very important feature when using the knife with cold or wet hands. At the same time they are not too large to prevent you from putting your finger in the choil or your thumb on top of the spine to get more control. Additionally the Argonaut 800 has a subtle palm swell which increases comfort and security.

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SHEATH

The sheath rides nice and low on the belt so the handle won’t poke you in the side. As a lefty I enjoy very much the versatility of the well fitted injection-molded sheath. By removing the two screws you can turn the sheath into a lefty sheath.

screw

I added some loctite so the screws won’t come loose in the future.

Loctite 1

The sheath holds the knife  by friction and  has a double snap as a second security as well. The belt loop can be opened, so you can remove the knife without taking your belt of.

retention

CONCLUSION:

Overall I am very impressed with this knife. If you are looking for a heavy-duty user in the size range of a Ka-Bar I think you can’t go wrong with the Argonaut 800. It performs very well for all the tasks that you could ask from a field knife, does not break the bank and in my opinion is a very pleasing knife to look at.

 

 

Brusletto Hunter

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This 5inch nordic style hunting knife has been sold over 1.2 million times according to Brusletto. It is their best seller and a gorgeous piece of cutlery, made in Norway. The Handle is made of nicely shaped and contoured Masur Birch:

Brusletto Hunter

Check out my youtube-review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTZEgMhPsOk

What’s the best hunting knife?

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If you are a hunter you might have asked yourself this question before. Often we hunters spend a lot of time & money trying to find the perfect knife. Of course a knife that does all the different tasks for different game species equally well does not exist. Watch this video to find out what makes for a good hunting knife:

Hugo Köller – „Okuliermesser“ – Budding Knife

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Several months ago I wrote an entry about a Solingen made pocket knife by Hugo Köller, you can check out the article here. Little did I know back then that I had already a knife made by Hugo Köller in my possession. A knife that is very special to me, because it belonged to my late grandfather. Apart from being a very successful business man, who together with my grandmother build up an apparel store after WWII, he was a very passionate gardener.

Okkuliermesser 1

The knife I´m showing you today is what we call an “Okuliermesser‘ in German. The English term for this type of knife is “Budding Knife“. Budding knives are used for fruit tree propagation. For executing this technique the gardener needs an extremely sharp knife with special characteristics. The most noticeable is the sharpened round “nose“ near the tip of the knife. The nose is used to loosen the bark of the tree.

Okuliermesser 4

You have to be very careful even when the knife is closed because the nose is not covered by the handle. Okuliermesser 5

The second characteristic is the chisel ground blade. While making the cut the flat side of the blade has to point towards the stem, this makes it possible to get a very level cut surface, which aids the healing of the tree.

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Okuliermesser 4 s

Similar to my other knife my grandfather’s knife also has messing liners, a carbon steel blade and back spring as well as synthetic handle material. It is equally well constructed and still razor-sharp. The sharpness of this knife is legendary in my family and there is a nice anecdote that I don’t want to withhold from you. One day my grandfather spent once again some time in his beloved orchard. He had to use the knife and as it always happens when you use a sharp knife and don’t pay attention, he cut himself rather badly. Being the tough guy that he was, instead of going to the doctor and getting stitches, he just filled the cut with super glue, bandaged his finger and kept on working.

The knife has a neatly fitted red spacer, because the blade is shorter than the handle.

DSC_1180 sOkuliermesser 3 s
I am very thankful to own this knife since it is one of the few items I have of my grandfather. It will always remind me of this great man and I sincerely hope that I inherited some of his qualities. The appreciation for a fine knife is one of them for sure!
Okkuliermesser 2

Linder Super Edge 2 – Forest Knife made in Solingen

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Linder Super Edge 2

The German cutlery company Linder is located in Solingen. The company’s origins trace back to the end of the nineteenth century. Since 1937 it is owned by the family of Paul Rosenkaimer. This family has a long history in knife making too that traces back to the seventeenth century. If you are interested in the company’s history you can learn all the details from Mr. Rosenkaimer here. Linder produces a wide variety of fixed and folding knives for all different types of purposes.

The Super Edge Line consists of four different models that share the same handle and blade steel, but have different blade and edge designs. The Super Edge 1 has a 9cm long, flat ground blade. It might remind you of the famous Fällkniven F1 knife and that is no coincidence. In 1995 Linder produced the first F1 knives for Fällkniven. My model, the Super Edge 2 features a 11cm long flat ground blade that is best described as a semi skinner. Linder calls it the ‚hunter-blade‘. The Super Edge 3 is a 13cm long interpretation of a clip point blade. Last but not least the Super Edge 4 has a multifunctional blade design. It might look a bit funky but this design offers  a lot of functionalities. This knife comes with a guthook and a bottle opener and is a purpose build hunting tool. The Super Edge 4 won the International Knife Award at the IWA in 2005.

I really like the concept of the Super Edge Line that Linder created. It offers the user a variety of different blade styles, with good materials at an affordable price.

Linder Super Edge 2

However, the Super Edge 2 in my eyes is the most versatile tool of all four knives. It is neither too big nor too small and with its 11cm long blade it almost stretches the Germany legal blade length for fixed blades of 12cm to its limits.

Blade

Talking of the blade, this is clearly the high light of this knife. Manufactured of Japanese ATS 34 steel (similar to Crucible’s 154CM) and ice-vacuum-hardened by Linder to 60HRC this steel offers great toughness and edge retention.

Linder Super Edge 2 The semi-skinner blade shape might be considered ugly or similar to a butcher knife, for me however, it is an elegant blade design that is at home in the forest. The full flat grind that came razor-sharp from the factory makes it a breeze to carve feather sticks for starting a fire.

Linder Super Edge 2

Furthermore, the knife excels at skinning, because of the less pronounced tip and the belly of the blade. The 11cm long blade also gives you enough length to butcher larger pieces of meat. At 4.5mm the spine of the knife is more than robust enough to allow the knife to be used for harder jobs, such as batoning smaller pieces of wood, yet it is not too thick to prevent the knife from being a good slicer.

Linder Super Edge 2

The spine of the knife is sharp enough to throw sparks of a ferro rod, an important feature for bushcrafters. The precisely cut jimping is sharp Linder Super Edge 2

 

and allows you to really lock your thump in when cutting powerfully.

Linder Super Edge 2

At the same time it is not too sharp or pointy to hurt your finger.

Handle

Linder Super Edge 2

The handle is made of Kraton that feels just right, not too soft and not too hard either. With a Shore hardness of 85 it has been described as being in the middle between the harder grip of the F1 and the very soft grip of Cold Steel’s Master Hunter. I really enjoy holding the knife. The large finger groove, chequering and lands at the front of the handle make for a secure grip.

Linder Super Edge 2

Additionally the handle widens in the middle and at the end which also helps when gripping the knife.

Linder Super Edge 2

There is however one minor critique that I have. The handle could use a little bit more volume at the area of the finger groove. As soon as you get used to it this is not really a problem anymore. The knife just feels great during use. I wear large size gloves and the handle at 11.5cm gives me enough room for a stable grip.

Linder Super Edge 2

The tang of the knife runs all the way through the handle which is secured to the blade by a rivet that also serves as a lanyard hole, big enough to fit through 550 para cord.

Linder Super Edge 2

Sheath

The sheath is probably my least favorite part of the knife. To be honest, there is really no other reason for my dislike other than its looks. It functions perfectly. However, it just does not look good. It is made of a hard plastic core that is covered by cordura.

Linder Super Edge 2

It has a very unique retention system. The knife is held in the sheath by a spring that presses against the handle. The tension of which can be adjusted by a little screw.

Linder Super Edge 2

Additionally there is another retention system, a traditional strap with Velcro that is a bit flimsy and should be replaced by a proper button snap.

Linder Super Edge 2

However, the knife sits perfectly secure and without any rattle in the sheath, even without the strap.

Linder Super Edge 2

The sheath also comes with a very large belt loop that lets the knife ride low on your hip and can accommodate even the widest belts.

Linder Super Edge 2 Linder Super Edge 2

Linder Super Edge 2The only real miss of the sheath is that it does not have a drainage hole and that there is no sheath for left-handed users. A great benefit for hunters is that the sheath is very silent and does not produce any rattle or noise when it comes in contact with wood.  In case you can not get over the odd look of the sheath you can upgrade to a traditional leather sheath that Linder offers for all the knives of the Super Edge Line.

Conclusion

The Linder Super Edge 2 is a tool designed with the real world user in mind. It is not designed to be a safe queen or a looker. Its beauty is in its function as a user. Whether you are a hunter, avid outdoors man or a bushcrafter the Linder Super Edge 2 can easily take every job you might need to get done when in the forest. For under 100€ you get a great performing, German-made tool that can easily compete with its more famous cousins, the F1 and Master Hunter.

Linder Super Edge 2

Check out my youtube review here!

PS: It works great as a steak knife as well!

SE  2 Steak Knife

© Text & Pictures: Philipp Jakob

Leuku – YP Taonta

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The Leuku (Sami: Stuorraniibi), Sami Knife or Huggare is the traditional knife of the Sami people. The Sami are the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia). They are nomadic Reindeer-Herders that live in close connection to their animals. Due to their life style they always had the need for a knife. Typically the Sami carry more than one knife. A smaller knife called „Puukko“ with a blad up to 4 inches/ 10cm , for light chores and a bigger heavier knife called the „Leuku“ with a blade starting from 7 inches/ 18cm up to 9 or 10 inches / 25cm. The Leuku is used for all the heavy-duty work, such as chopping wood, butchering large animals and building shelters. It is usually made of carbon steel and comes with a traditional leather sheath. The handle is commonly made of natural materials such as wood (most often birch), Reindeer antler, bone and brass. In its style and appearance the Leuku is a typical nordic knife. However its size and heft is unusual for the knives of the north. In my opinion this knife is equivalent to the heft and capability of a large Bowie knife or a camp knife.

My particular leuku has been hand forged by Antti Mäkinen, a blacksmith from Finnland. The members of his family have been blacksmiths for several generations. Their maker’s mark is stamped into the blade:

Maker’s Mark: Yrjö Puronvarsi

This leuku has a 9 inch / 23cm long blade. It is meant to be a chopping tool, which you can tell as soon as ýou pick the knife up. It is hefty and the balance point is about 3 inches / 7cm in front of the brass bolster, which aids when chopping. However the knife is also capable of some finer tasks, such as making a feather stick. The blade has a beautifully polished convex scandi grind. The flanks of the carbon steel blade are left unpolished and show the oxide coating that is typical for hammer forged blades. This gives the knife a rustic, tool-like look.

The blade is 0.177 inches / 4.5mm thick and keeps its thickness over the entire length of the blade. This adds to the stability and weight of the knife.

Strong tip – reminds me of an icebreaker

Leuku I

Almost all nordic knives are stick tang or hidden tang knives. This means the tang is not as wide as the blade. It narrows down so the handle can be fitted over it. The handle is then peened onto the tang with a brass rivet. This construction has the advantage that there is no metal exposed to the hand. Thus it prevents the hand from freezing onto the knife in the extreme cold conditions of the nordic countries. The handle of my leuku is made from birch wood which is then sealed with varnish to protect it from moisture and swelling. With a total length of 4.7 inches / 12cm and the wide oval shape it provides a safe grip during chopping, even for people with large sized hands.

Peened Tang

Brass Bolster

The knife came with a typical nordic style leather sheath that is fitted with some simple embossed ornaments. The belt loop extends around the top of the sheath. When the knife hangs from a belt the loop chocks on the handle and thereby secures the knife in the sheath. The knife also sits very deep within the sheath to keep it safe and to protect the handle, only 2 inches are sticking out.

The leather is sewn together at the back of the sheath. Inside of the sheath is a plastic inlay which gives it its shape and  prevents the knife from cutting through the leather.

DSC_0488

The following pictures show the YP Taonta Leuku next to some other nordic knives. First up, another leuku knife, made by Marttiini. This shows the size of this massive knife. The Marttiini Lapin Leuku has a 5 inch / 13cm blade and is definitely not a small knife, however it looks tiny next to the custom leuku. Somewhere I have read that knives of the size of the Marttiini would be considered women’s or children’s knives by the Sami.

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And finally, just for the fun of it, the leuku next to another custom knife made with a Brusletto Badger blade:

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If you would like to learn more about YP Taonta knives check out the homepage of Antti Mäkinen: http://www.yp-taonta.fi/

To find information about leuku knives, I would recommend having a look at the following two blogs:

https://nordiskaknivar.wordpress.com/tag/antti-makinen/

https://nordiskaknivar.wordpress.com/tag/leuku/

and

http://perkelesblog.blogspot.de/2012/02/5-leukus-from-finland.html

© Text & Pictures: Philipp Jakob 

Gratis Messer durch Biergenuss!

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Wer so wie ich gerne Bier trinkt und Messer mag, der sollte sich einen Sixpack Pils zugutekommne lassen. Eine bekannte Brauerei verschenkt momentan zu jedem Aktionssixpack ein Güde Universalmesser. Als kleiner Tipp, es handelt sich um eben jene Brauerei, in der 1842 das erst Pils gebraut wurde.

Doch nun zum Messer. Nach zwei Wochen und einer gefühlten Ewigkeit, kam mein Güde Universalmesser (Nr.7900/10) endlich bei mir an. Das Messer war ansprechend in einer Hülle aus Wellpappe verpackt. Der Griff aus Bubingaholz ist wunderbar sauber und glatt gearbeitet. Nieten und  Klinge schließen absolut nahtlos mit dem Holz ab. Die  10cm lange Klinge ist aus rostfreiem eisgehärtetem „Spezial-Messerstahl“ hergestellt und mit einem leichten Hohlschliff und einer feinen Sägezahnung versehen.  Wahrscheinlich handelt es sich bei dem verwendeten Stahl um den für Solinger Küchenmesser typischen 1.4116 Stahl. Für ein kleines Küchenmesser dieser Art sicher keine schlechte Wahl. Der Stahl ist sehr rostresistent und durch die Sägezahnung sollte es mit der Schnitthaltigkeit auch keine Probleme geben. Das Messerchen schneidet mühelos durch weiches Schnittgut und durch die feine Verzahnung lassen sich auch härtere Brotkrusten „durchsägen“. Die schlanke und nur 1mm starke Klinge gleitet wunderbar durch Äpfel, Tomaten, Gurken und Brötchen. Eben ein echtes „Universalmesser“, dass ich beim Vesper nicht mehr missen möchte.

Güde Universalmesser

Schade, dass man nicht öfter ein Messer zum Bier geschenkt bekommt. Ich könnte mich daran gewöhnen. In diesem Sinne, Prost!

© Text & Fotos: Philipp Jakob