Kauhavan Puukkopaja Yleispuukko

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Frederick89, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. Frederick89

    Frederick89 Scout

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    First of a series of reviews I'm currently working on for an italian hiking forum. The idea was to test some simple puukkos, none exceeding the 130 € (inc. VAT) price tag, so to talk about something affordable by the majority of users. I went for 85 mm (3.35'') blades as it's more or less considered the EDC length in Finland and for me the best compromise for simple wood carving.
    As for my reviews on Nordiskaknivar I will be very much carving focused and use only seasoned wood, thus testing mostly edge holding and stability under normal use, but with a harder material compared to the green or somewhat moist wood more frequently processed when hiking and camping.
    I think that members like @Sequoia Kid and our other carvers may find the reviews a bit more interesting.


    Kauhavan Puukkopaja Yleispuukko

    Kauhavan Puukkopaja is a family business, founded by Matti Koski
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    in 1995, inside his garage, a couple of km from Kauhava, the "puukko capital" in western Finland.


    blade
    length - 85 mm
    wideness -17 mm
    thickness - 3,25 mm
    tang - 4x3 mm at the pommel
    steel - ThyssenKrupp 80CrV2
    grind - flat
    edge angle - 21°, with microbevel
    edge hardness - ~ 59,5 HRC

    handle
    length - 101 mm
    wideness - 25 mm max.
    thickness - 20 mm max.

    weight
    knife - 65 g
    with sheath - 90 g


    The blade, produced by Laurin Metalli Oy, was stamped from a bar of 80CrV2, machine grinded, then sharpened by hand. Matti Koski has further thinned and polished the bevels, then resharpened. The blade has a flat untapered section, with a clipped point reminiscent of what was the style trend during the 30s. All the heat treatment was done in furnace, by Lauri. The bevels are grinded to 21° and the very edge has a small microbevel, about the same size of the one put by Lauri factory.

    The curly birch handle is roughed out on routers, then finished to a medium grit on belt sander. The brass ferrule and rivet are produced by Lauri as well. The handle is tapered towards the blade in both wideness and thickness, it has a reverse teardrop section, a 30s hooked pommel and generally small proportions.

    The 1 mm thick leather sheath is machine stitched by the Kari Rämäkkö factory. It has a one sided plastic liner; the belt loop is a simple twisted leather strip.
    The retention is decent enough, but the knife has to be pushed hard down to get a tight fit.

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    To be continued
     
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  2. Frederick89

    Frederick89 Scout

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    In use

    This puukko is small. It should be yet another belt knife but I can easily see it also neck carried.
    In fact, the puukko alone weights like a Morakniv Eldris, while having a full size handle and a longer and thicker blade. When sheathed it weights 12 g more than the Eldris, but I honestly doubt that the difference could be perceivable.
    It’s handle heavy balanced.

    Before starting I stropped for a minute with Bark River black (#3000) and green (#6000) compounds.
    First thing I carved a couple of spikkentrolls from a six months seasoned plane wood. You may remember this little gnomes from posts written by our @Schwert years back.
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    The puukko had a fair enough bite working down grain, while it slightly struggled working against it, when cutting away feathers from the first hat and chips from the groove in the second hat.
    Part of the strain is due to the small size of the handle, that doesn’t allow to apply all the force that should be necessary and to the very marked pommel that, when using the chest lever grip, places itself right under the thumb/palm articulation. It doesn’t really hurt, but on the long run it distracts and again doesn’t permit to use all the force.
    During the work I planed down two knots. At the end the center of the edge had one 5 mm long roll, perceivable trailing the nail along, but too small to reflect light. The blade was anyway still shaving for all its length and the roll was fixed with four passes per side on black compound and four of green.
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    Continuing, I roughed out a wood wizard, from a three months seasoned poplar branch.
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    Again, the puukko was fair enough down grain and struggled a bit against it. I felt the biggest resistance when making notches around the branch to separate the wizard from it.
    The tip, even though “big”, was able to work sufficiently well to engrave the two grooves marking the sides of the nose and then the lower lip. A tapered tip would have obviously made the work much easier, especially for the lip.
    Here the puukko was a good planer and the handle was nimble enough. Given the type of cuts required, the pommel was less obstructive.
    At the end the edge had lost some bite, but nothing more. A couple of passes per side with green compound.
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    Lastly I carved a spatula from one year seasoned silver fir.
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    Fair enough bite, but small handle. No particular problems during the roughing of the spine and front part of the spatula.
    Thanks to its few mm of wideness the blade was very nimble and efficient in carving a good junction between spatula and shaft. The marked pommel in this case was helpful to ge a hold with the pinkie finger.
    To carve the shaft belly and junction with the spatula I almost exclusively pulled the puukko towards me, with the index gripped around the first cm of the spine, left sharp by the stamping process. This was actually a bit painful and unavoidable, even changing the grip slightly. At the end of the work the portion of index in contact with the spine had redden and become rather sensitive to touch.
    The edge was pristine and the bite virtually unchanged.
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    Conclusions

    Small, extremely light, capable enough and with a good potential. Having other options I wouldn’t use it as a dedicated carver, even though filing the spine would make it gain a lot in comfort. Nevertheless, between the hooked pommel, which is more of an impediment to me, the absolute lack of spine tapering, which lowers the nimbleness of the tip and the petite proportions, I see it more as a puukko for small hands, little users and for general cutting duties, both hiking and every day.
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  3. operatord

    operatord Supporter Supporter

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    Very nice review! Thanks for posting it
     
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  4. MountainWanderer

    MountainWanderer Supporter Supporter

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    Thank you Federico ! I always enjoy your very informative reviews.
     
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