If your vision of a Scandinavian outdoors knife includes a premium steel blade that’s honed to a razor’s edge, a one-of-a-kind handle made of birch and antler, and a sculpted leather sheath, you’ve pictured the hallmarks of Norway’s Helle Knives. The company recently assumed its third generation of owners, since it was created by Steinar Helle at the site of a historic Viking boat burial on Norway’s west coast in 1932. Producing a knife the Helle way involves dozens of by-hand operations, performed on the manufacturer’s original machinery. No doubt Helle benefits from its huge range of knife designs, which include collaborations with survival expert Les Stroud, making it exceedingly difficult to keep your collection to just one. Perhaps the brand’s greatest feature is its unique triple-laminated steel, which sandwiches an easy-to-sharpen carbon steel cutting edge between durable layers of stainless steel to protect the blade from rust.
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