Knife Reviews – Joonas Kallioniemi & DavidH

Paul Pinkerton
 

Here is a fine pair of outdoorsy knives that I received recently. Thought you might enjoy a little look around. The one here with the single piece, birch handle is a slim puukko made by Joonas Kallioniemi in Bohler 510 (silver steel). The other, the one with the red micarta scales, is an O1 folding bushie, a slipjoint by DavidH.

I have had them a few days only, but have given them a go with the usual testers. Bits of paper, cooking dinner and cutting up meat and fruit and veg, shaving and shaping pieces of green and seasoned wood. That sort of thing.

The first thing to say about both is that I am extremely impressed with them. They are not only effective in what they are designed to do, but they are very, very well made, and affecting in their looks. They feel competent in use and have that quality in good pieces of cutlery, in that they are able to teach you new things about how a knife can perform, going beyond your expectations.

 

I saw two posts on BB, one from each maker introducing what they did and immediately promised myself to at least try to get pieces by them. I dropped and email to David and pretty soon got a reply saying that this one was available and would I like it. Another to Joonas asking if he could make this single piece handle, traditional puukko, got a positive response. Then I just waited for them to arrive. Not as easy as you might think.

As you can see from the pictures of the puukko, it is a smaller, rather slender piece. The handle is accomplished in a way I haven’t encountered for a while. It allows for neat, detailed carving work, as well removing material in a more approximate sort of way. I really like this conventional, sort of barrel profile for the handle, with its ovoid section. It is very lively in the hand, presenting lots of options in use, and never feels like it has locked into position in a prescriptive way.

The blade itself is trapezoid in section, and similar to Jukka Hankala’s blades. But this is far from an unusual way of lightening the blade in traditional Scandinavian knife design. It has uses beyond just weight reduction. For instance, it allows for some purchase when using the knife with the back of the blade pinched between thumb and forefinger, while the handle is tucked away into the remaining three fingers.

You can also see that the tip is a refined thing. The grind is clever at the point, allowing for some reinforcement of the tip in the the way the thicker middle part of the blade is handled. There is an odd thing about this silver steel. It tastes really nice I peeled an apple and there is a piquancy in the flavor imparted by the metal. But, it is not that sometimes rather overpowering flavor that you can get from 1095, or the stuff that Opinel use. Maybe as the patina increases the taste will change. Just have to keep it clean I guess.

David’s knife is a rather different thing; part from the obvious aspects of its foldyness. It is has a lot more gravity It is a heavy knife. The blade is 3mm thick. The brass liners are substantial and micarta is no lightweight material. It has a semi halfstop. A half pause, perhaps, which is very appealing. The blade stays very much open when it is open, and closed when it is closed.

 

Moreover, and I may have this wrong, but David uses CNC to produce the parts, and this might account for the finest match of the back of the blade where it meets the back spring that I have ever seen. I just sit around looking at it. It is a wonder of precision – as indeed is the whole knife

I understand that David also makes lighter knives in a similar pattern. I think I would like one of these at some point in the future, though most certainly not instead of this one. The weight of this knife really lends a quality of confidence to the knife when in use, especially when, say, putting a point on a stick, for example. It really feels like a tool, this one.

Jacket wear, I would say, rather than jeans pocket wear, I thought at first. But I ran up a little gray suede, fold over sheath for it. Where the grippiness of the suede clings to the lining of the pocket, this helps greatly in keeping the thing comfortable, and just seems lighter that way. I understand Rapidboy and David are working a design for a more robust sheath for these knives.

 

Continue reading on page 2