The Helle Utvær is a phenomenal representation of what a modern survival knife should be. Hundreds of years ago, there were people out “in it” really trying to survive and they had knives very similar to the design of this one. But do not be mistaken, the Utvaer is not an homage to the past but a resurrection for the future. There was a lot of thought that went into its design and composition, and it was an honor using and abusing it!
CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS The Utvaer is built off of one solid piece of Sandvik 12C27 steel, which means it is made to be used and abused. The Phenolic liners and curly birch scales are held in place by flared thong tubes which insure that the Utvaer will be a cohesive unit for years to come.
EASE OF USE Scandinavian ground knives excel in survival situations because the grind used allows the blade to enter materials at such a slight angle that it can shave, cut, chop—ultimately perform the function of multiple-edged tools—with ease. Battoning the spine will allow you to split wood and cut heavier branches. The pointed pommel can be used for breaking harder materials, digging a hole, or even breaking a window.
STEEL QUALITY/EDGE RETENTION The Helle Utvær features Sandvik 12C27 which is a beautiful utility steel known for its durability, corrosion resistance, and ability to maintain a razor-like edge for an extended period of time. When heat treated to the recommended hardness of 54-61 HRC, Sandvik 12C27 is tough as nails.
DURABILITY To test the Utvær’s durability, I used it in the dead of winter to build a fire in the snow. I dug a hole five inches deep with the knife and then cut down a pile of branches, some of which required splitting. I filled the hole I dug with the knife with shavings that I also made with the knife. Once my tinder bundle was adequate I lit a great controlled fire and used the Utvær to move the burning branches around in the flames. The knife help up beautifully throughout the whole process.