When our first daughter was born, my husband gave me a beautiful pearl necklace to celebrate her arrival. Our intention is to give her that necklace when she gets older. Similarly, when our second daughter was born, my husband presented me with a matching set of pearl earrings. When our son was born, I wanted to give my husband something unique and precious that he could some day bequest to our boy. A ring? Other than our wedding ring, my husband doesn’t wear jewelry. Cufflinks? Does anyone even wear those anymore? A watch? My husband gravitates towards watches that are more techie than collectible. It took me ten years. But I finally found a gift suitable for the father of my child to pass down to his son – an heirloom knife!
It’s surprising that the concept of heirloom knives didn’t occur to me sooner, considering the fact that Chris Rounds, my father-in-law, is a master carver. It is his hand-carved Adventure Bound sign that hangs over our fireplace. He also started Ultimate Kitchen Tools to feature his beautiful hand-carved kitchen utensils. Each unique kitchen tool is individually carved, numbered and engraved by Chris. Last Christmas, he presented each of our children with their own carving kit and taught each of them how to safely use a carving knife. I guess you could say that heirloom knives are a part of the Rounds family DNA!
The acquisition of heirloom-quality knives is a growing trend. People are seeking out knives that are unique and beautiful as well as functional.
So what makes a knife an heirloom-quality knife and not just…. well…. a knife? Swiss Army is probably one of the most widely recognized brands in the world. In addition to being the pocket knife of choice for many Boy Scouts, Swiss Army manufactures knives for the most discerning knife aficionado. Consider the Rangerwood Damascus Limited Edition. Only 5000 knives were made globally. The Swiss Army Damascus Limited Edition knife is a pocket knife made with Damascus steel. A Damascus blade is comprised of many layers of different types of metals that are forge welded together, then acid etched to show the layers. This process is expensive and time-consuming. But it creates a gorgeous wave-like pattern as the acid affects the different types of steel in different ways. A Damascus blade is not only stunningly beautiful, it stays sharp longer than most production quality knives.
If you are interested in carrying a functional piece of modern art, you will be excited to hear that Adventure Bound will soon be offering Leatherman Tools. Leatherman blends style and functionality with its modern-minded form. Whether you’re in the market for the more traditional Leatherman multi-tool or the innovative Tread bracelet-style multi-tool, a Leatherman tool is a durable and practical piece to pass from generation to generation.
Much of the heirloom knife demand is being met by Scandinavian manufacturers, whose unwavering commitment to quality and unparalleled beauty has generated appeal in the heirloom knife industry.
According to Sporting Good Business magazine, SGB Today, ” James Graven at Treehouse Communications, who represents Scandinavian knife maker Helle said the brand will spend years training their employees on making cutlery such as forks and knives before they are given the opportunity to work on crafting their hand-made knives. Another prominent Scandinavian high-end manufacturer, Hults Bruk, has extremely high levels of quality control when accepting raw materials for the production of their axes. These practices, makes for long-lasting and heirloom quality knives and axes that can still be used frequently, and without a major hit to a customer’s wallet.”
Adventure Bound is proud to carry the following Hults Bruk axes and Helle knives:
The Hults Bruk Almike ax is a small all-purpose ax. It is intended for tasks such as making kindling, doing light clearing and for any number of backcountry jobs. The Hults Bruk Almike axe can be worn on a belt. It has an axe head weight of one pound and a handle length of 16 inches.
- The axe head is hand-forged and made from Swedish axe steel in a foundry that has been in operation since 1697.
- As part of the hand grinding production process, the steel is struck multiple times thereby increasing its density and resulting in more durability of the axe.
- The head is constructed in such a way that there is a tempered zone designed to hold a very sharp edge even after many sharpenings.
- The curved hickory handle is treated with linseed oil.
- Each axe comes with a traditional leather protective sheath that is embellished with some unique Swedish decorative elements. (Replacement sheaths are available) The axe is shipped in its own storage box and comes with a detailed users manual.
Helle makes heirloom quality fixed blade and folding knives. The majority of Helle knife handles are crafted from curly birch, which is prized for its strength and beauty. Helle uses a triple laminated stainless steel blade. The core is made of high alloy steel, which provides a tough, long-lasting razor-sharp edge. To protect the steel core from rust or breakage, the alloy core is encased in two layers of tough 18/8 stainless steel. By utilizing triple-laminated stainless steel around the high-carbon core, Helle produces a knife that is unique in the industry in its beauty, craftsmanship and superb functionality.
Though Helle is best known for its fixed blade “bushcraft” knives, the company manufactures a tight collection of folding knives as well. After all, it’s not always practical to walk into the conference room with the tell-tale leather sheath of a Helle fixed blade knife. The Helle Dokka knife is a classic all-purpose folding knife. It was the first folding design in Helle’s collection. The Dokka is constructed with a beautiful curly birch handle which encases the integrated steel liners. The Dokka features Helle’s unique triple laminated stainless steel blade.
It also comes with a genuine leather pouch with an integrated belt loop.
Norwegian fisherman have a long-standing reputation for their toughness and resilience. The Helle Hellefisk is a fixed blade fishing knife whose design is rooted in an era when Vikings ruled the Norwegian coastlines. Just holding this knife inspires visions of sailing through crystal clear subarctic waters amid towering fjords, whilst hauling in a massive catch of Norwegian salmon. Constructed with a cork handle and weighing only 2 ounces, this knife will actually float! The blade is made with an ultralight, ultra strong Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel material – perfect for constructing a blade that is very thin and very sharp.
The freedom to roam anywhere in the wilds that a man chooses isn’t just a mark of pride in Norway. It’s a legally enshrined right. And more often than not, you’ll see a knife like this on the outdoorsman’s hip – perfectly balanced, finely made, and well used. The Eggen is handmade by the Norwegian craftsmen at Helle, which has been making functionally beautiful knives for more than 80 years. Treat the triple-laminated stainless steel 4″ blade with respect; it’s wickedly sharp right out of the box. (Quite a few outdoorsmen even shave with them in a pinch.) The curly maple handle fits the hand in any grip position, and has a rich grain and lustrous finish that rivals the beauty of fine furniture. If you’re looking for the ultimate all-around bushcraft knife, you can’t to do better than the Helle Eggen.
Yes, it’s a handsome knife. About as a handsome as a knife can be, in fact, with a traditional barrel handle of curly birch, leather and walnut that’s a bona fide work of art. But to appreciate its true beauty (and to understand why it’s the revered favorite of bushcrafters worldwide), you’ve got to take it into the field to baton branches or skin game. The mirror-finish, full-tang blade is triple laminated, with a core of high carbon steel sandwiched between surgical steel, to hold a scalpel-sharp edge for months on end. No wonder it takes 60 separate hand operations by the knife experts at Helle® of Norway to craft this classic. The rich oiled leather sheath has a 2″W belt loop that’ll fit on your work belt. There’s also a security strap that slips over a brass “button” on the handle butt, so you won’t lose your knife when you’re belly-crawling through prickly ash. Knife and sheath comes in a handsome gift box with care/sharpening instructions and a cleaning cloth.
The Helle GT is a big robust “American-style” hunting knife. It is the epitome of a bushcraft knife in that it incorporates Helle’s triple-layer stainless steel blade with a thick, heavy finger guard. The handle is smooth as silk and fits comfortably in the hand. It is the perfect tool for manly activities such as carving meat, splitting wood or defending your cooler from a bear attacks.
Though this collection of knives provides excellent eye-candy for the outdoor enthusiast, its craftsmanship and quality is better appreciated by the hand as opposed to the eye. Come visit us today to feel the satisfying weight of an heirloom quality knife.