Helle knives are made to the most outstanding standards and the quality is unquestionable. Their razor-sharp triple laminated stainless steel blades are legendary and anyone that has owned one knows just how good they are to use.
Having owned a few Helle knives I am familiar with their quality and build, but the Arv has proven to be just that little bit better than the rest. The contours of the handle are the nearest to perfection I have experienced and the knife sits very comfortably in the hand. The size and shape of both the handle and the blade are so well balanced that you can use the knife for just about any task, from boning fish to carving wood or breaking down an animal comfortably.
The knife is very strong, as well as sharp, and the edge retention is excellent. The handle is made of layers of curly birch wood, leather and antler and although there are no detectable steps between the materials they, combined with the contouring, provide a very good grip, much better than the smooth look might suggest. When the knife and the hand are both wet, the grip is still very sure-footed, without you having to apply an excessive amount of pressure, so you still have good control over the blade.
The drop point blade is just under 3.5” long, 0.75” deep at the heel, and a reasonably hefty 2.6mm thick, making it ideal for general use and certainly strong enough for most tasks. The handle is 4” long and 1” wide in the middle and although the knife weighs just 3oz, it’s no lightweight when it comes to heavy cutting or carving.
A quality leather sheath is included and it holds the knife very securely, despite relying on friction alone to hold it in place. An expensive knife should have a decent quality sheath and Helle certainly hasn’t cut any corners on the leatherwork.
This has become the ‘knife of choice’ from a large collection and is getting used a lot more than the rest. The outstanding ‘usability’ of the Arv makes it more of a working tool, rather than a collector’s piece to keep indoors and never use, but that said it looks fantastic and is well worth investing in if you do have a collection. It’s supplied in a good quality presentation-standard tube, with a decent polishing cloth and paperwork, making it a great gift.
Although there are many cheaper knives on the market, the additional cost of a Helle tool does mean that you are getting something that will, with proper care, last you a lifetime. Instead of buying two, three or four knives over a lifetime it’s worthwhile investing that bit more in a Helle Arv, which is a knife for life.
Header Image - Photo Credit: Camilla Nilson
Thanks to Mark Underwood and Gun Mart for writing and letting us share this review.