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The Puukko: customs, history and video’s


My latest purchase is a custom Puukko. My buddy Hans made it with beautiful Micarta for the handle. This was the initial reason for doing this video. Afterwards, I asked Hans to do an interview style video with me as well. And then also the history of the Puukko became interesting. So this article has been subject to several changes and additions.

The Puukko is for most of us outside Scandivia synonymous with a bushcraft style knife.

The Puukko is a type of knife with its origin in Scandivia (Norther Europe). It has already been made for many centuries by many blacksmiths and craftsmen. Hunters, shepherds, fishermen and artisans have used (and still use!) their Puukko for skinning, hunting, woodworking and fishing, just to name a few applications.

We all know the Puukko with the barrel shaped handle, but there are a lot more styles, like horse head and others. Some very basic and some with rich decorations.

Most of us will make the association with a Scandi grind. But Puukko’s have a variety of grinds as well.

Hans, a hobby knife maker with love for Puukko’s

Being member of the Bladestock Brothers, but also a personal friend, Hans is well know in the Dutch knife scene. He is in his early 70’s, but still as active and involved as if he still is in his 30’s. Hans is involved in the knife hobby & community in several ways.

  • First of all, Hans has a thorough knowledge of knife history and knives in general.
  • He is jury member for the Dutch Knife Exhibition.
  • He is a hobby knife maker. He learned a lot from Andrew Jordan, Alessio Salsi and other famous knife makers.
  • He restores old vintage and antique axes.
  • And much more.

Because of his love for Puukko’s, he makes these quite frequently. Sometimes with ready to use blades, sometimes with handmade blades. In the video below he shows 2 finished Puukko’s and his personal favorite bushcraft knife. But first, a couple of pictures from Hans on the making process of the Puukko he recently finished.

Hans showing off: 2 Puukko’s and his personal bushcraft knife

A little bit of history

In the interview Hans mentioned Puronvarsi. This is a famous blacksmith who started in the mid 1800’s and since then the craftsmanship has passed on from father to son. 85 year old Yrjö Puronvarsi passed the familiy tradition on to his grandson Antti Mäkinen in 2008.

Hans also mentioned that he learned a lot from Andrew Jordan and Alessio Salsi. Here some pictures of some Puukko’s made by Alessio. Hans was highly inspired by these!

Puukko’s made by Alessio Salsi. An inspiration for Hans!

In the video below, I will show my personal custom Puukko made by Hans. With lovely Micarta scales on the handle.

A couple of high res pics from my custom Puukko.

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