A/S Helle Fabrikker was established in the early 1930's in response to hard times and the depression. The unemployed brothers Steinar and Sigmund Helle started making farming tools and other implements in the forge of their father's farm.
In 1932 they started making small sheath-knives which quickly became popular locally. Thus, the foundations of an important business in a typically Western-Norwegian rural area were laid.
As production increased they were forced to go further afield to sell their products.
The first big sales journey was by bicycle to Oslo where knives were sold at 40 øre each. Only sheath knives were produced for the first 15 years, but in 1948 production of table knives started, closely followed by forks and spoons.
For the next 25 years, cutlery became the main product, but since the mid 1970's, sports knives and forged knives for silver cutlery have accounted for most of the production base.A/S Helle fabrikker is a typical cornerstone business in rural Norway. The village of Holmedal has only 500 inhabitants, whilst the employment catchment area of the business covers a population of 2000. Despite the many challenges this poses, it is counterbalanced by the advantages of a stable, skilled and positive workforce possessing qualities which are hard to find in larger communities.
This is one of many reasons why we look forward to further development with optimism in the same tradition that has distinguished our business throughout its almost 70 year history
No machine can replace skilled craftmanship
A Helle knife is made to withstand the stresses and strains that a knife is subjected to outdoors. Helle upholds its traditions of craftsmanship and quality rather than large product lines and automated production. We believe that quality is best preserved through skilful craftsmanship.
Skilled knife specialists take pride in making the Helle brand synonymous with quality. We use up to a half an hour to create a knife, as we want to be sure that your demands for quality and finish are met.
A Helle knife goes through up to 45 different manual operations before it is finally checked and packaged.
The steel in Helle knives is unique
The differences between a Helle knife and other knives are many. The biggest difference lies in our triple laminated stainless steel blade. The core is made of high alloy steel which gives it a lasting, razor-sharp edge. This harder layer cannot however exclude the threat of rust or breakage.
To exploit the superb qualities of the high alloy steel we added two layers of tough stainless steel(18/8) to protect the blade against breakage and corrosion, while the high carbon core still provides a superb cutting edge. This triple laminated stainless steel is unique to our knife blades. The steel we use is more expensive than in most other knife brands, but that is all a part of Helles philosophy of never compromising on quality.
Triple layered, laminated stainless steel
Handles of carefully selected materials
Good craftsmanship requires the ability to create handle shapes which are consistent with the blade, fit comfortably in the hand, and add character to the knife. In most handles, we use the hard and beautifully structured wood of curly grained birch, alone or in combination with matching materials, such as leather and stag horn.
A painstaking process of grinding, polishing and oiling is performed to offer full justice to the natural beauty of these materials.
Because we use natural materials in our handles, each Helle knife has its own unique look. A knife is more than just a blade, and a Helle knife is a true work of art.
The Sheath - the Nordic way
Quality is of utmost importance to A/S Helle Fabrikker, and we apply the same criteria to our sheaths as we do to our knife blades and handles.
Good craftsmanship and the perceptible quality of the materials used, make for a sheath which is both strong and attractive.
Like our knives, our sheaths are designed to be functional and durable. At the same time, we demand that all sheaths match the beauty and character of the knives that they encase.
Our sheaths are made of specially tanned leather, and treated with saddle grease for increased lustre and durability. The particular shape of the Norwegian sheath bears evidence of long-time functional development and at the same time, it enhances the quality of the knife.
Quality & Craftmanship
Do you remember your first bark boat? Your first home-made bow and arrow?
Or what about the first time you gutted a fish you had caught yourself? For a Norwegian, it is most likely that he or she would have used a Helle knife.
Whereas many knife manufacturers today depend on automated production and large product lines, we depend on quality and production through craftsmanship.
Since 1932, Helle knives represented the very highest traditions of quality in Norwegian craftsmanship.
Despite its aesthetic qualities, a Helle knife is not made to be an ornament.
It is made to be used.