The Helle “JS” Limited Edition 2022 Knife was created by Jan Steffen Helle who is the current Production Manager at the Helle factory, and grandson of Sigmund Helle. It features a 110mm (4.33 inch) long and highly polished H3LS (triple layer steel) blade with a slight false edge/swedge on the spine. The handle is slightly shorter at 107mm (4.21 inch) and features stacked red leather inlets and curly birch in combination. The sheath, made with the original 1930s style Helle print on it, is done in black with red stitching to honor the forge that Jan Steffen’s grandfather was in charge of running.
The Back Story Behind the 2022 Helle Limited Edition Knives
This summer it will be 90 years since two brothers built their own forge and started making knives on their family farm in Holmedal Norway. Much has changed since then, but for Helle, Sigmund and Steinar’s focus still applies: To make solid tools that both feel and look good. 90 years and two generations later, Helle’s design philosophy is still founded in the same established principle. Today, it is current production manager Jan Steffen (the grandson of Sigmund) and current MD Svein-Erik (the grandson of Steinar) that are entrusted with carrying these principles forward.
When designing this year’s limited edition knife, Jan Steffen and Svein-Erik wanted to honor their grandparents by designing a knife that preserved the essence of their grandparent’s design philosophy. They agreed that the focus should be the pride of Helle in the three first decades of production: the Fjellkniven series. This was Helle’s “high-end” option at the time and combined many of the elements of traditional Norwegian knife culture with high-end material choices, featuring a highly polished blade with false edge/swedge on the spine. Jan Steffen and Svein-Erik also agreed that the right thing to do was to reuse the old sheath pattern developed by their grandparents in the 1930s and reintroduced with the Sigmund.
But here the agreement ended… Jan Steffen wanted to honor his grandfather’s forging skills and include a red element in the design. Svein-Erik on the other hand wanted to include the classic Helle green and incorporate the classic reindeer antlers – his grandfather’s favorite – in the design. Since diversity of opinions has been treasured within the Helle family from the beginning, they therefore agreed to make one design each.