Monday, January 29, 2007

Puukko - the Finnish Sheath Knife

Even though I live in the US, I grew up and lived in Finland for over 30 years. In other words, I was pretty "grown up" when I moved to Colorado!

Growing up in rural area in the heart of Finland was very different than it would have been in the US. First of all, it was very safe environment! We spent most of our days out in the woods and only things my sister and I had to worry were not to wonder too far (Our Karelian Beardog, Musti, took care of that.) and avoid the vipers in summer time! Very early on, my grandpa gave me a puukko knife to use for wood whittling. I think I was 4-5 years old. I still remember him sitting beside me on our porch watching over me while I got into whittling my first bark boat. He only gave me couple of advice with a soft voice and let me try my best. I don’t remember how the boat came out, but I do remember how big and important I felt myself… I was trusted to use a puukko! About a year later my grandpa gave me my first puukko to keep… and I have always have one ever since!

I think this is a great way to start my Finnish Puukko blog! Click the head line to visit The National Museum of Finland where they currently have Puukko Exhibition... Some 500 puukkos and sheaths are on display!

I will be posting other topics of Scandinavian knives, but also other outdoors related subjects… Please feel free to comment!


Anonymous said...

I have heard same type of stories from other Finns. It seems like using a puukko knife truly is part of the culture there!

Anonymous said...

Great blog! As a collector of vintage
puukko, I love to read, discuss them.
Have a collection of about 150 with
only two duplicates. Would enjoy
reading about the availability of
vintage puukko in Finland today.
Also any books (have both Ristinen's)
with lots of pics of puukko.

Rich (aka: old puukkophile)

Dave said...

Puukko knives are great. From plain to fancy. Well made and will do just about anything you could ask for. I don't think they get the credit they deserve. Once you have one it becomes a friend for life!

Anonymous said...

Puukko Gal -

Could you comment on the current
Finnish laws on carrying puukko or
knives in general. I've heard it
is illegal to carry a puukko now
in Finland; others that it is ok as
long as the blade is under 3 inches,
etc. Curious minds want to know :-)

Anonymous said...

i have a combo set and the knives seem to fall out easy.Can i shrink the sheath somehow.

American Finn said...

Hmm... what I would do is to take out the knives and wet the sheath and let it dry empty. I'd also treat the sheath with mink oil (or other type of leather oil) after it's dry again.

Mich said...

I have a old puukko knife. It is made from antler, and has engraving on it of a man in a sleigh and a deer pulling it , as well as what looks like a large sun...and other marking. I have no idea the worth of this knife or the history. I cannot find any picture on line of anything close to it. Does anyone know where I can find more info on this knife??
Thank so much

American Finn said...


Do you have a picture of your knife? If you have any, I'd love to see the knife... not sure if I can help, but I can try.

American Finn said...

You can email pictures to