Teemu Häkkilä – TH-Puukot
“I am a 25-year-old full-time knife maker from Finland, from Nivala in Northern Ostrobothnia. I have made knives for almost 10 years already. Knife making has been my job for a little bit over than a year now, after I graduated Engineer of Industrial Management. Knife making is my passion and that is what I want to do. I make lots of other products too, for example fishing lures, leather belts, cheese slicers etc. But knives are my main product. Most of my knives are Puukkos but sometimes I make for example Leukus, chef knives, kiridashes etc. Nowadays most of my knives are custom ordered and waiting time is about 1–2 months. I don’t have much time for my hobbies – fishing and cross country skiing – because knife making takes all my time.
We haven’t had knife makers in our family but we all have been very handy. My whole life I have always made something with my own hands. I became interested in knives when I was in eighth grade. We made one knife at school and I liked it so much that I started to make knives at home too. I just read lots of knife making books and watched videos online. So I am pretty much self-taught.After I practiced knife making more, people started to ask if they could buy some knives from me. A few years later it was time to start my own company.
First I had only hand tools but then I bought more and more machines and tools every year. Now I have a pretty well-equipped and large workshop where it’s good to make knives as well as other wood, metal and leather works. I make all my blades myself and I like to use lots of different steels. I use carbon steels and stainless steels and I have programmable ovens for heat treating. I also make damascus blades with different patterns. I sell blades separately too and many times blades are made after customer’s wishes.
One and a half year ago I became interested in wood stabilizing. I bought all equipment for stabilizing and started to use my own woods in my knives. First I stabilized blocks for my own use only but then I started to sell blocks too. Now many makers use my woods in their knives and I have gotten very good feedback for my blocks. Stabilizing is a very interesting technique because I can use for example many beautiful spalted woods after stabilizing them. Stabilized wood is my favorite material for knife handle because it’s beautiful, easy to finish and strong material which stands the test of time.
In my area there are not so many traditional knife models. Only one that I know is Kalajokilaaksopuukko. But I have not made any of those because that knife style is not my cup of tea. Instead, last year I designed a puukko model for my home town when it turned 150 years. It’s called Nivala-Puukko.
I believe I have my own style in knives which people can recognize. My style is pretty simple. I don’t like to decorate too much and I like straight lines in my knives. I don’t make any traditional knife models. Traditional materials are always good but I like very much to try something new and test different materials and new shapes too. My goal is to make high quality knives for my customers with my own style. And I always try my best and try to develop my skills and working methods. I believe you are never ready as knifemaker because there is always something you can make better.”
You can find more of my works at my websites thpuukot.com, Facebook and Instagram.”