Pros: Finish, Blade Sharpness, Handle Material, Weight, Overall Quality, None
One Helle of a Big Knife
As far as I can tell, the knives produced by Helle each reflect very well the vision of smooth and pretty lines in a traditional Skandi style. The Lappland is the big boy example of this vision, on the edge of "knife" and almost into "short machete." The bigness here starts with the smooth, thick handle that is big enough for large hands but not excessively big for most adults. The simple pommel cap shows where the rat-tail tang attaches after traveling through the entire handle. The matching bolster is also quite thick and extends the handle a few quarters of an inch. Without a guard, this extra length is important for keeping one's fingers off the sharp portion of the blade, which begins immediately upon exiting the bolster. The blade is relatively thin given its length, but is flat and quite broad beyond the short skandi grind. The laminated steel is strong and pretty hard, particularly at the cutting edge where it matters most. The grind produces a wickedly sharp edge that holds its shape--thus its sharpness--through an extended period of chopping and slicing. The simple drop point on the blade shares this sturdy sharpness even while carving wood. The sheath is functional at best, and though it sports some charming embossing work and other bits of skandi flair, the loose-hanging leather loop guarantees that this heavy blade will repeatedly smack against one's thigh even when tied down at the tip. This tool would do better with a different, custom-made sheath, or with a backpack to attach it to. All in all, this is a nice example of a gigantic skandi style knife, but at this size the disadvantages of the traditional skandi design really stand out. Take the Lappland for what it is, but not for your main trail knife.