Puukko Knife Making, by Traditional Crafts of Finland (1972)


A puukko is a traditional Finnish hip knife, used in everything from hunting and fishing to gardening and housework (like opening brand new DVD box sets). The small, handy knife is a part of Nordic pride and an essential component of the national costume. And even though carrying a knife in Finland is ostensibly outlawed, it’s not uncommon to see the tool hanging from the occasional belt around town.

The beauty of a puukko knife is in its no-frills simplicity. It’s just a short, straight backed blade no more than 4” long, with a similarly sized handle. It’s in the latter where a Finn really shows off the pride in their cutter: handles are made in various ways, but the most traditional way is to layer and glue slats of soft wood, before carving it into the desired shape.

They say that a good puukko knife is “equal parts artistic expression and tool”. When watching a master at work, making a puukko from start to finish, we can easily see what they mean.