The Helle Temagami Wilderness Knife evokes images of individuality and self-reliance while living in the outdoors. A wilderness knife, also known as an outdoorsman’s knife, is a fixed-blade knife that is intended to be used for a variety of the most critical jobs in the wild such as cutting tinder for starting a fire or butchering game. It should be noted that wilderness knives, unlike survival knives, are not intended to perform all the tasks that are needed to survive in the woods—just the most critical ones since the outdoorsman generally carries an assortment of other tools to complement the knife, such as an ax that is used for chopping wood.
Helle Temagami is a Norwegian company that was founded in the 1930s by brothers Steinar and Sigmund Helle to produce farming implements. In 1932, they started producing small sheath-knives that quickly became very popular with local buyers. Despite this initial success, the company continued to focus on producing cutlery before diversifying into sports knives in the 1970s. Despite its worldwide success, the company remains based in the small rural village of Holmedal in rural Norway, where it has access to a focused and positive workforce.
This attractive knife has a striking handmade appearance that makes it look like something that outdoorsmen might actually have used during the past century, with a strong rustic look. The Helle Temagami knife features a handmade handle that is made of leather and curly birch. The handle features a finger guard for safety as it helps keep your fingers off the edge when you’re using the knife, while the design of the handle allows users to maintain better control of the blade while they’re using it.
The fine blade is made of laminated triple-layered stainless steel for durability and easy sharpening and measures 3.5-inches while the handle is just over four inches. The knife has a semi-full tang for increased strength with the tang exposed on the pommel end and top while being covered on the finger side by the wooden handle. It is also a very lightweight knife that weighs just three ounces, making it very easy to carry around in your pocket. The knife also comes with a protective pouch-style sheath made of full-grain leather that stores the blade securely without the use of straps or snaps.
The Helle Temagami Wilderness Knife has gotten an average rating of four stars out of five from customers, with about half of them giving it a five-star rating. The knife was praised for its carbon-steel blade which was seen to hold its edge well and is razor-sharp right out of the box. Apart from its high level of functionality, the knife was also praised for its appearance, with a reviewer calling it a thing of beauty. Even those who gave it only a four-star rating had only minor complaints about it, such as the knife not exactly resembling the picture on the product listing, but the many benefits they enjoyed from the knife more than compensated for any nitpicks they may have had with it.
The Helle Temagami has a version of gimping about halfway across the top of the blade between the handle and the tip. Some have speculated these ridges were for striking a fire steel to create sparks, but a statement by Helle reveals that the ridges are simply for better grip by your index finger (not thumb) while performing cutting tasks like pushing down heavily on the blade (ie. skinning an animal). The statement from Helle further explains that the coatings on the blade are soft, and therefore would not wear well if the blade was used to strike a fire steel.
While it may not have as many features as other outdoorsmen’s knives, it makes up for it with a solid set of basic features. If you want an outdoorsman’s knife that will do everything that you need it to do when you’re out camping or roughing it in the forest or needing a survival knife, then the Helle Temagami Wilderness Knife is something that you need to have as part of your gear. This knife is rated four and a half stars.
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