Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I thought I'd give the cool little Nying knife I bought at a garage sale last Saturday a closer look. I knew exactly what it was as soon as I spotted it from across the garage, and I knew I wanted it as well. I have had one of these stout little knives in my hands before and immediately knew it was a knife I'd like to own, though I didn't buy it that day.
The Helle knife factory in Norway turns out some fantastic knives. The style isn't particularly American, but I have long held the theory that the best knife for a given region is the ones the locals carry, not the one that is best advertised in the hook and bullet magazines. This might be a machette in the jungle, or a small blade without a hand guard, much like the majority of the Helle knives are. This is a fantastic example of a small Scandinavian knife, and while I won't give you a disertation on the variations of Scandinavian knives with respect to the local regions, I have yet to handle a Scandinavian knife that didn't seem "right."
One of the two places I know of to buy a Helle knife in the USA is over at the Ragweed Forge website (the other is Dryad Bows). According to Rangar, "The Nying is a short stubby knife designed for fishermen. The handle is generously proportioned to give a good grip even when your hands are cold or covered in fish slime. The 2 3/4" blade is laminated stainless steel. The attractive leather sheath has a distinctive cutout. It is fitted with a keeper strap, which engages a stud on the pommel, and a suspension thong. (Blade is 2 3/4", length overall is 6 3/8".)
This knife received the prestigious Norsk Designråd Award for design excellence."
As you can see, the size is small, but no smaller than a typical Swiss Army blade, and, I think, more useful, and most defiantely more stout. Besides being easier to grip with "cold or slimy hands", the thick birch handle also is less fatiguing for long periods of knife work. The weight is essentially non noticable. I look forward to carrying this knife with me this summer and next fall and really putting it to some work.