Saturday, 27 November 2010
Blades from Norway & Finland
When it comes to cutting tools I normally carry a pocket knife, it used to be a Bundeswehr issue pocket knife by Victorinox, then I changed to a smaller lighter Wenger classic but this week I'd been using a Mauser Officers Knife by Victorinox, basically the same knife as the Bundeswehr pocket knife but with an extra blade. I rarely carry a fixed blade knife but used to use a Frosts Mora utility knife with a carbon steel blade. I've generally preferred carbon steel blades but like the Opinel pocket knives I had over the years I'm not careful enough to keep the blades clean.
I'd bought a few things over the years from a company called Attleborough Accessories and always received a mail order catalogue from but the latest one is the last as the owners are winding up the buisness. I'd looked at their range of traditionally styled knives in the past but always put off buying one, as most of the prices had been reduced it looked like an opportunity to get something. I ended up choosing 2, one on it's appearance, the other due to it being a special edition and the fact that it had a stainless blade.
The special edition is by Brusletto, the Nansen, made to commerate Fridtfof Nansen is a fairly plain design, the handle is birch and the blade stainless carbon steel. The only marking on the blade is the etched signature of Fridtjof Nansen. The sheath is made from cowhide and has a plastic insert and hanging loop and holds the knife very firmly. The Nansen came nicely packaged in a presentation box.
The blade measures 93mm and was razor sharp out of the box, the overall length is 193mm and with sheath the weight is 125g
The other knife is made in Finland, maker unknown but they're available from a variety of bushcraft type suppliers. Unlike the Brusletto the handle is slightly less utilitarian, made mainly from curly birch it has a few constrasting rings and is topped with a piece of Reindeer antler.
The blade is carbon steel and is only polished along the grind, the flat of the blade being black. The sheath is similar in design to the Brusletto but is finished better, rather than a raw edge at the top the leather has been shaved/split and turned down inside the sheath, the leather also feels more pliable. Like the Brusletto there's a plastic insert and hanging loop.
The blade like that of the Nansen is very sharp, it's wider than the Nansen which makes it look much shorter but in fact there's only about 4mm difference. The handle is fuller and slightly longer, overall length being 210mm. The Finnish knife is heavier than the Nansen at just under 210g.
If I was to carry one it'd be in winter when I'm likely to be wearing gloves or when canoeing, I prefer the Finnish made knife but from a practicality standpoint the Nansen with the stainless blade is probably the one I'd take. Obviously there are legal implications as both knives are fixed blade and over 3" so it remains to be seen whether I do end up carrying one, as always common sense needs to be applied