Helle makes a knife that is as sharp and functional as it is beautiful. Their 2020 Limited Edition is the Helle Torodd. Production on this knife is limited to only 800 pieces worldwide and not only is it gorgeous, it also has a great story. This knife is an homage to continuity in a small, family owned businesses and the passing of the torch from one generation to the next.
First, the knife. It has a 4.2” triple laminated stainless steel drop point blade with a flawless mirror polish and a Scandi grind. It has a blade thickness of about 0.12” and a blade etch with the signature of Torodd Helle. Like all Helle knives, it is razor sharp straight out of the box.
The handles are stacked dark oak and natural curly birch with green leather spacers. The green theme is tastefully carried out in the stitching of the brown leather sheath. Green is color of Helle brand, as well as the team color of the 1986 Norwegian national championship soccer team for which Torodd Helle played. It has an overall length of 8.4” and weighs 3.31 ounces.
The Helle Story
Now, the story. Steiner and Sigmund Helle moved to America to seek their fortunes in the 1920s. In the 1930s, after the Great Recession, they moved back to the old family farm on the west coast of Norway. There they started Helle Knives. Helle tells us, “When it rained, which it often does on the West coast of Norway, it was a blessing because the rain generated power to grind knives. Close access to the fjords meant opportunities to bring goods out into world. And when they had to cross the steep Western Norwegian mountains, Steinar used his bicycle to navigate them.”
In 1980, Torodd Helle – son of founder Sigmund Helle, and the second generation of Helles – joined the family business. He was the Financial Director and for the last 15 years has been the Managing director. After forty years in the family business, he retired and turned the company the running of the company over to the third generation of Helles. But it’s not only the owners and managers of the company that are in their third generation. Helle tells us, “Family tradition is not just at the management level, we have second- and third generation factory workers as well. We treasure our tight-knit community, and that feeling of trust and familiarity transmits to the products we produce.”
The Helle Sigmund was “[d]esigned by two generations of Helle men. Knife-blade designed by Sigmund Helle in the beginning of the 1930’s and its handle by his son Torodd in 2012.” The Helle Torodd was, in turn, based on the Sigmund and beautifully refined by the third Helle generation. This continues a lovely story of a closely knit knife manufacturing community to honor the traditions of the past. As Torodd Helle states about his time heading up the family business, “…it has mostly been fun. We have prospered through a stubborn determination to make proper knives. This stubbornness and quality focus is something that I think will be passed down to the next generation.”
- Triple Laminated Stainless Steel, Mirror Polished
- 4.2” Drop Point
- Scandi Grind
- 0.12” Blade Thickness
- Stacked Dark Oak, Curly Birch Handle with Green Leather Spacers
- Brown Leather Sheath with Green Contrast Stitching
- 3.31 Ounces
- 8.4” Overall
- Made in Norway
The Helle Torodd is a beautiful knife, and the Helle story is truly a great story. If you’re interested in this knife, click any link in the article or simply click the button below.
All images courtesy of Smoky Mountain Knife Works – smkw.com.