6 Things You Should Know About Scandinavian Knives

Scandinavian knives are a type of knife traditionally used by the Sami people of northern Scandinavia. These knives are characterized by their curved blades, which are designed to be used for a variety of tasks. Here are six things you should know about Scandinavian knives:

  • They are made from high-quality steel, which makes them durable and long-lasting.
  • They have a curved blade, which is designed to make it easier to skin and cut meat.
  • The handle is usually made of wood or antler, which provides a comfortable grip.
  • The blade is sharpened on both sides for maximum cutting efficiency.
  • They are lightweight, making them easy to carry and use.
  • They are often decorated with traditional Sami designs.

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They have become a cult among the rangers, made their way into the ranks of hunters and fishermen, and charmed discerning collectors with their looks. When it comes to Scandinavian knives, always different in their own way from the others. Their clearly defined lines, precise contours and drawn curves seem to carry a rigorous, mathematical model.

This does not mean, however, that they are monotonous, dull and predictable. Cutlers, blacksmiths, carvers and artisans have long been able to decorate them in the finest detail – with the refinement of royal jewels. Whether simple or ornate, they always carry their historical legacy of the stormy, Nordic nature.

1. The knife that belongs on your belt

You won’t find them in the wooden hutches by the stove; you’d look for them in a desk drawer or stuck into a beam for nothing. Scandinavian knives have always belonged on the belt. To the place where they are ready to help when working, moving, hunting or grazing. Together with the holster they form an inseparable pair, always perfectly matched.

The Northmen have never been peasants, who keep the farm in the yard and only go out into the fields behind the house or in a team. From time immemorial they have been bound to the land in which they move. The knife is a tool for hunting and processing meat, the knife is a tool for firewood and shelter, the knife is a tool for cooking and food processing.


Add to that crafts where natural materials need to be processed and you’re in the picture. Each knife may have a slightly different cut height and tip shape for its specialty, but each is versatile enough to fulfill its mission. That’s where their strict, unchanging shape comes in.

2. Two sizes, two shapes

Small Scandinavian knife puukko for small jobs, big knife leuku for big challenges. If you run from Finland to Sweden to Norway, you will encounter these two formats everywhere. The Pukkoo has a blade length of 7 to 12 centimetres, which is expected to be not only perfectly sharp but also tough. One’s knife must be fine and sharp to separate the meat from the skin, but at the same time it must split the chips for the fire.

The Leuku has a blade length from 15 inches upwards and is a versatile “cleaver” for larger jobs. It replaces an axe when chopping poles for a shelter, it will cut a hole in frozen ice on a lake, and at other times it will take the place of a butcher’s knife when butchering game for drying.


It is not uncommon for knives to be made in matched pairs, in a common, shared sheath. A consistently learned handstroke will reach for a smaller knife one time, a larger one another. As needed. That no other shape is thought of in Scandinavia is evidenced by the fact that even the bayonets of war rifles have this typical shape.

3. The material of the blade is crucial

How to determine if a Scandinavian knife is really worth it? Legend has it that it must be able to cut reindeer bones without the blade snapping off. In ancient times, the iron on the blade of knives was smelted from limonite ore, which gave them unusual strength and toughness.

Today the standard is 80CrV2 carbon steel, which is extremely tough. On more luxurious pieces you can also find blades made of laminated (layered) steel, either stainless or carbon. You can find it most often on Helle knives or craft and collection knives.


4. Handle made of natural materials

If the temperature drops below – 30 °C outside the Arctic Circle, the handle of the knife must not endanger the palm of the hand in any way. You will rarely find metal guards and pommels, and you will not encounter rope braids or mineral decorations. The base is layered birch bark or wood with a typical, curly flint. The complement is bone or antler.

The knife must fit in the hand without slipping. The simple, almost barrel-shaped handle guarantees a perfect grip. At first glance, the simple handle is tuned for power cutting, but also for gentle, sensitive manoeuvrability. Just as well handled by the carver, it can be wielded with equal confidence by the hunter.


If a knifemaker hands you a finca with a stabilized wood handle today, know that it is a knife that Northerners are unlikely to reach for. Wood saturated with resin is cold and chilly, no longer a natural material.

5. Cutting with a poisonous blade

A Scandinavian cut goes to zero – just like a razor blade. It has to pass effortlessly through the grain of the wood, it has to get effortlessly lengthwise and crosswise through the frozen flesh of the game. It does not tolerate the facet, which in other knives serves to increase the durability of their blades.

Even so, a hint of it can be found on some mass-produced blades. If you want a blade to perform to its full potential, you’ll need to hand-hone it to get to the perfection you’ve always dreamed of. It is the simplicity of sharpening that can completely engross newcomers to the world of knives.


With high cut, you don’t need aids to keep the plane and angle. You are copying the surface with a stone, and you are only watching that you don’t sand one side more than the other. The rest is just rhythmic drudgery that always brings great pleasure.

6. Setting on the thorn

No other knives have a handle with a thorn so typical as Scandinavian knives. A steel mandrel runs through the handle to the end cap, which, by threading or unthreading the mandrel, holds the handle unmoved in its place.

There is a good deal of frugality behind this, but also foresight. A handle so fitted can be replaced by another anywhere in the field if damaged. Whether you assemble it from slices of bark with holes punched in the middle, or burn a hole in solid wood with a mandrel to fit.


By knocking the end, any loosening of the handle can be solved, by knocking the end, the handle can be disassembled and replaced. Without modern epoxy adhesives, without the smell of glued rivets, screws and complicated fasteners.

What are Scandinavian knives?

Scandinavian knives are a type of knife originating from the Northern European countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. They are characterized by their distinctive curved blades, which are designed for slicing and skinning fish and game.

What makes Scandinavian knives unique?

Scandinavian knives are unique for their curved blade design, which is designed to make cutting and skinning fish and game easier. They also feature a single-edged blade and a handle made from a variety of materials such as wood, bone, and antler.

What are the benefits of using a Scandinavian knife?

The curved blade of a Scandinavian knife allows for a more efficient cutting and skinning motion. The single-edged blade also provides a sharper edge and better control when cutting. The handle is designed to provide a comfortable and secure grip.

What types of materials are used to make Scandinavian knives?

Scandinavian knives are typically made from high-quality stainless steel. The handle is usually made from wood, bone, or antler.

Are Scandinavian knives expensive?

The price of Scandinavian knives can vary depending on the quality of the materials used to make them. Generally, they are more expensive than other types of knives.

Where can I buy Scandinavian knives?

Scandinavian knives can be purchased from a variety of online retailers and specialty stores. Knife Depot has a wide selection of Scandinavian knives for sale.

Six Things You Should Know About Scandinavian Knives

  • Scandinavian knives are known for their sharpness.
  • They are lightweight and well-balanced for easy handling.
  • They are typically made from high-quality stainless steel.
  • Their blades have a thin, curved shape that makes them good for slicing.
  • They are incredibly durable and will last for many years.
  • They are often used for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Discover the unique craftsmanship and quality of Scandinavian knives! If you’re looking for a reliable and versatile knife, then look no further. Learn more about the six things you should know about Scandinavian knives today and get the perfect blade for your needs. Don’t wait, explore the world of Scandinavian knives now!

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Thank you for visiting SpecialMagicKitchen! I am Tommy and I do all of the writing, recipe developing, and food styling for the blog and my wife.


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