Coming, like all Helle Knives, in a strong card tube along with a care and maintenance booklet, a linen cloth and a lifetime warranty against production faults, the Helle Sigmund reflects 80 years of design heritage from this renowned Norwegian knife-making company.
The blade of the Sigmund knife was designed by one of the founders of the company, Sigmund Helle, in the 1930s and is approx 4.25” long, 7/8” wide and 2.5mm thick with a drop point, a “Scandi” grind and a stick tang. The steel used is Helle’s own triple laminate with a high carbon core, and more resilient (18/8) stainless steel outer layers which protect the core from corrosion and breakage. You can see the “join” in the steels of the mirror polished blade on the grind.
The handle of the Sigmund knife (designed in 2012 by Sigmund’s son Torodd) is about 4.5” long, made from stacked beech, stained oak, and leather shaped to give a very attractive and comfortable grip over a wide range of holds and is very slip resistant, even when very dirty with mud, blood and gunk.
The knife fits well and securely into the molded leather sheath, which features a double sewn welt edge, a riveted on plain belt loop and an attractive molded design on the front.
In use, the Sigmund knife proved not only to be an attractive tool, but a very effective one too. Weighing in at only around 3.5oz (98g), the knife was comfortable in a variety of holds and dealt easily with carving, whittling and food preparation tasks and while the “cheeks” of mirror-polished softer steel marked a little during heavy batoning (which is not something I recommend for any knife – use wedges or an axe!), the harder edge steel neither rolled nor chipped in the least.
The spine is a little too rounded to work well with a ferro rod.
The knife proved easy to get back to its original hair-popping sharpness with basic tools when it started to dull, and despite being used to the verge of abuse during testing, the Sigmund knife showed little sign of any wear or tear beyond some minor marks in the finish.
Thanks to John Fenna of Bushcraft UK
Made to a very high standard, (Helle Knives go through up to 45 manual operations during manufacture) of quality materials, the Helle Sigmund is a good all-purpose fixed-blade knife that has classic good looks, is as practical as it is attractive and costs around $150.