Helle Viking Knife Model #96
The Viking is a new version of a Helle classic that was produced as part of a fundraiser for an around-the-world cruise of a Viking longship. The knife is notable not only for its historical...
The rather thick blade is made of laminated carbon steel, and the black finish of the heat treatment is left on the sides for rustic look. The blade’s tang is peened over a diamond shaped washer. The handle is subtly shaped for comfort and control with a variety of grips. The Viking comes with a traditional sheath that hangs from a thong.
Helle knives are designed to retain their sharpness as a lifelong outdoors companion, but it is still important to take care of your knife and its sheath.
The Handle. Dry the handle with a soft cloth if wet and wax occasionally.
The Sheath. The leather needs to be impregnated occasionally with colorless impregnation agent (grease or wax) to keep supple. Dry the sheath carefully in room temperature if it becomes wet.
The Blade. Wipe the blade with a soft cloth if wet and treat with grease occasionally.
Use a diamond tool or a wet stone for sharpening. Place the knife bevel flat to the sharpening tool, and work the entire blade. Work one side until you can feel a slight burr on the opposite side. Switch sides, and repeat the procedure until you feel the burr on the first side. You have now established an edge.
Remove the burr by stroking the blade gently over the sharpening surface on both sides, as if cutting very thin slices. Keep the bevel flat towards the sharpener, and move from side to side until the burr is gone.
If the blade is very dull or damaged, use a fine-grained grindstone and plenty of water, and sharpen until you have a raw edge. Use much cooling liquid and never sharpen on a dry stone. A hot-ground edge loses its heat treatment and ruins the blade.
Length overall 8.5" (215 mm)
Blade length 4.3" (110 mm)
Blade steel Triple Laminated Stainless Steel
Length closed ()
Cutting edge 4.3" (110 mm)
Weight 4.1 oz. (116 g)
Blade thickness .145" (3.7 mm)
Handle material Curly Birch
Sheath material Genuine Leather
Sheath weight 1.3 oz. (38 g)
Country of origin Norway
HELLE BRAND BORN AMONG FINLAND’S MOUNTAINS
There have been changes (well, at least a few) – since Steinar Helle cycled over the mountains.
Surrounded by a wild and beautiful landscape lies Holmedal, a small village in Sogn and Fjordane county. Here, among mountains and fjords there is ample opportunity to enjoy outdoor life activities such as hunting and fishing or collecting mushrooms and berries.
This outdoor life was probably not foremost in the minds of brothers Steinar and Sigmund Helle when they started knife production in the old forge at home on their farm in Holmeland in 1932. Locally, their sheath knives quickly became extremely popular, and the foundations were soon laid for a small piece of Norwegian craftsmanship history.
Soon, the local market became too small, and new markets needed to be conquered. Steinar Helle packed his rucksack full of knives and set off on the long trip over the mountains towards the east. On a bicycle!
In Oslo, he sold the knives for 40 øre apiece. As there was no electricity in the village, the whetstones had to be spun manually during the initial period. When electricity arrived towards the end of the 1940s, it became possible to move production to larger and more suitable premises.
This did not mean that production became automated, however. Then, as today, much of the production was done manually. The Helle Philosophy remains the same: quality craftsmanship is best preserved by skilled craftsmen. Craftsmen with extensive experience and knowledge still take pride in making each and every Helle knife unique.
KNIVES DESIGNED FOR A PURPOSE
The wild mountains, fjords and open seas combined with generations of outdoorsmen produced the inspiration for the Helle design. Each knife is designed with a specific task in mind. The purpose of a specific knife may be that it should replace a couple of other tools and be a versatile and multifunctional tool. Or its mission can be to be the best fishing knife around.
This does not mean that the Helle knives are plain and not aesthetic. These knives should feel as good in your hand as they are beautiful to the eye.
Helle makes honest knives. In a way you could argue that everybody who works at Helle is also a member of the Research and Development department. They are all leading lives in the rugged Norwegian mountains and fjords and actually use the knives that they make. No Helle employee would accept a knife that does not work as intended or a knife with some useless gimmick.
To design a Helle knife the designer needs to understand and appreciate how a knife should work in real life. And for the same reason you could also argue that everybody at Helle is a member of the Helle quality team.
CRAFTSMANSHIP THAT MAKES AN IMPRESSION
Do you remember your first bark boat? Your first homemade bow and arrow? Or what about the first time you gutted a fish you had caught yourself? A Norwegian would most likely remember when he or she first used a Helle knife.
Whereas many knife manufacturers today depend on automated production and large product lines, Helle depends on quality and production through craftsmanship. Since 1932, Helle knives have represented the very highest traditions of quality in Norwegian craftsmanship.
Despite its aesthetic qualities, a Helle knife is not made to be an ornament. It is made to be used.