Pete Wadeson checks out two folding lock knives from a highly regarded Scandinavian blade manufacturer.
Helle Knives are, without doubt, amongst the most respected and desirable brands of blades available to the hunter and outdoorsman. Mostly known for their handmade, fixed blade models, there are however two folders available; the Dokka and Bleja.
As you’d expect, they’re made using top-quality components that Helle have made their trademark. The blade is manufactured from their own and patented Triple Laminated Stainless Steel (TLSS), which is unique to the company. TLSS consists of a core of high alloy steel, which gives a lasting, razor-sharp edge. However, this alone can’t fully exclude the threat of rust or breakage, so is reinforced by two layers of tough stainless steel(18/8) to protect the blade against breakage and corrosion, while the core still provides a superb cutting edge.
The handles on both folders are crafted from the hard and beautifully configured curly grained birch, which is hand polished and oiled. In use, they prove consistent with the blades, fitting very comfortably in the hand, giving a secure grip and overall balance is nigh on perfect. Both come supplied with hand-stitched, specially tanned leather belt pouches, plus a generously sized cleaning cloth.
First up, is the Helle Dokka, which is a classic, all-purpose folding lock knife and the first of its kind the company designed and produced. It has an overall length of 7.9” with the 3.3” blade deployed, while the 4.6” curly birch handle serves to give a wonderful grip and features internal, integrated steel liners and lock back mechanism. A thumb nick gives access to the blade and weighing in at 4.6oz puts this one firmly in the mid-weight class and, in use, the precision of build is clearly felt, as upon opening the strong clip point blade seemingly glides out from its closed position to lock out very securely and positively.
Incidentally, Dokka is taken from a Nordic village of the same name, a titbit of trivia that may or may not be of interest, but what will be of interest is that this is a very well built and wonderfully crafted field knife. Its time in production already has proved it’s become a firm favourite with many hunters and outdoorsmen.
The more recently launched Bleja (name after a Norwegian mountain) was in development for over 3-years, due to the company wanting to perfect a new locking mechanism, but again it’s a design that utilises full liners. However, unlike the Dokka, they’re recessed further back into the opening of the handle, but operation of the blade is just as smooth and precision positive as its stablemate. Dimensions are the same as the Dokka, but it weighs heavier at 5.3oz. Both knives also have integral lanyard attachment holes through the rear end of the handles.
So, which to choose? That’s a tricky one, as both are superbly crafted, traditional Norwegian folders and are as cosmetically appealing as they are practical and functional. What will be a game changer for some, is that the Dokka has a much deeper profile blade than the Bleja and has a more thickset (wider) handle plus a more pronounced finger choil.
Incidentally, no Helle knife is the same, particularly the handle grain configuration and even overall colour tone as can clearly be seen by the folders featured!
Thanks to Pete Wadeson and Gun Mart / Shooting Sports for writing and letting us share this review.
Header Photo Credit: © Jay Cyluck