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Helle Knives: A Legacy of Norwegian Craftsmanship

by / Friday, 14 August 2015 / Published in Blog

For 80 years, Helle Knives have been made in the beautiful surroundings of Norway. These knives are designed for an active lifestyle spent fishing and hunting or foraging for other foods. Outdoors people have found these interesting knives to be both useful and beautiful, and the company’s legacy is equally interesting.


Credit: http://www.helle.no/

1930s
In 1932, two brothers named Steinar and Sigmund Helle started making knives in the forge at their farm located in Holmedal, a small Norwegian village in Sogn & Fojordane County. To grow their business, Steinar Helle filled his rucksack with their knives and bicycled eastward over the mountains, an incredible journey to undertake on a bicycle. In Oslo, the knives quickly sold, and the brothers decided to continue expanding their customer base.

1940s
Because Holmedal didn’t have electricity, for years the knives were made on whetstones that were spun by hand. By the 1940s, electricity reached the village, and even though the brothers made their production process larger to suit their growing customer base, the knife-making process still was not automated. Helle Knives was already known for its unique designs and quality products.

helle
Photo Credit: Appalachian Outfitters

Today
Now a significant portion of Helle Knives’ knife production is still accomplished through manual labor. Helle foregoes large, automated production lines to make knives that can handle the elements. Each knife requires about thirty minutes to produce and 45 different manual operations to meet the Helle standards – this guarantees that the final knife has the exact properties it needs to withstand camping, filleting, and other general purposes.

Each knife is unique, as they are all crafted by knowledgeable, experienced designers in Holmedal. All of the staff at Helle live in the outdoors of Norway’s fjords and mountains; they use the same knives that they design, making each member of the Helle team also part of the company’s R&D department. All of the knives must pass the team’s inspection as a knife that fulfills its purpose – only then is it packaged and shipped. In 80 years, the company’s customer base has grown, and now Helle’s skilled craftsmen make high quality knives that are sold around the world.

Helle Knives
Photo Credit: http://www.helle.no/

Drawing on fjords, mountains, and seas for inspiration, all of the knives are created for specific tasks, whether they’re the best filleting knives or the most multifunctional tools in your gear. Helle Knives are engineered to withstand the outdoor elements for generations, a legacy of Norwegian craftsmanship that can be passed down through families and friends.

Helle Knives At Appalachian Outfitters

Visit our store in person to see our entire selection of hand-made Helle Knives directly from Norway.

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