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Spotlight: Helle Utvaer bushcraft knife, designed by Jesper Voxnaes

The Helle Utvear is a Scandinavian bushcraft knife, designed in Denmark, made in Norway. Designer Jesper Voxnaes came up with this design. It is one of our favourite bushcraft knives and we would love to tell you why.

Who is Jesper Voxnaes?

The designer of the Helle Utvaer is Jesper Voxnaes. This modest Dane has been making amazing knives since 2007. Many famous brands worked with him in the past few years. The hollow pins in the handle are typical for a Vox-design. The same applies to the excellent ergonomics of the handle. In the Utvaer you do not only see the hand of Vox, but also of the knife makers at Helle. Simply wonderful!

Scandi grind blade made from 12C27 steel

Anyone who says Helle, says scandi. Here we mean the grind of the blade. After all, a flat piece of steel needs to be turned into a tool that can be used. With most knives the blade becomes thinner from the spine towards the edge. A scandi edge, however, only has a broad edge at the end of the blade. As such the blade is stronger and better suited for wood work. The sharpening angle on a scandi edge is also smaller, in this case only 13 degrees. As such cutting into wood and making feather sticks will be easier.

Towards the tip the scandi edge has a slightly larger angle. As such the edge at the tip will be a little stronger. The spine of the blade is sharpened at a 90 degree angle. As such you can easily use a firesteel. In addition, a sharp spine is practical when scraping tinder, from, for instance, a birch tree.

Unlike many other bushcraft knives the shape of the blade of the Utvaer is a little higher towards the handle. As such you can carry out detailed tasks with a little more control with the end of the edge. Think of, notching, for instance.

The blade is made from Sandvik 12C27 steel. A Scandinavian type of steel which was specifically developed for knives and cutting tools. It is tough, retains its sharpness well, is stainless and relatively easy to sharpen. You couldn't possibly ask for much more.

Full-tang construction

Many Helle knives are made with a 'rat tang' or 'hidden tang' construction. It is a construction where the tang is fully hidden inside the handle. Great for many tasks you carry out with this type of knife. But for the more demanding tasks it isn't the best option. In those situations you might be looking for a full-tang construction. This means that the tang of the blade runs throughout the handle. The same was done with the Utvaer, As one of the few Helle knives this knife has an extra solid handle.

Well-thought out ergonomics

Anyone who knows Jesper Voxnaes' work, knows that he pays a lot of attention to the ergonomics of his knives. If you only look at the knife from the side, without looking at the differences in depth, you could make a mistake by thinking it is just a 'plain old knife with a wooden handle'. However, when you take a closer look, and look at it from above, you will realize a lot of attention was paid to this seemingly simple handle.

In this case Voxnaes opted for the 'coke bottle' shape. As the name already suggests it is a shape that might remind you of a bottle of coke. This means that towards the blade it starts out narrow, slowly becomes thicker to abruptly become thinner towards the end and then thicker once again. As a result

the handle will fill your hand just enough. The thick part at the end of the handle nicely 'traps' your hand to make sure it won't leave your hand.

Because the handle is nice and thin at the front you can hold it in many different ways. From the standard hammer grip to a 'pinch grip' where you almost put your thumb and index finger on the blade.

With bushcraft knives you often see that, for the handle, a balance must be found between being able to comfortably work for a long period of time with a 'round' handle, and to make sure it won't roll in your hand. With a round handle your hand can last a long time, but the knife will roll in your hand. You also don't know how you are really holding the knife. When you take hold of a square or high handle you will immediately know how you are holding it, but it is slightly uncomfortable to use this type of handle for a long period of time. For that reason it is great to notice that the Utvaer is round wherever possible, and angular where it needs to be.

Great about the Helle Utvaer is the protruding tang at the of the handle. Here a piece of steel protrudes from the handle which can be used as an improvised hammer. The edges have a sharp finish to make sure you can also use this part to scrape tinder or to use a firesteel.

The sheath on the Helle Utvaer

The Helle Utvaer comes with a leather sheath. In it you will find a plastic plate to make sure the stitching won't be damaged by the razor-sharp edge. The sheath has been enhanced with a belt loop to make sure you can carry it on your belt. It can rotate in relation to the sheath to make sure it will never get in your way.


The Helle Utvaer is a pure bushcraft knife, perfect for wood work. But also hunters and hikers appreciate the versatility of this knife. It is the perfect example of Danish design and Jesper Voxnaes' brilliant design philosophy, combined with Helle's traditional production. We are fans! Are you?

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