Kniv i Trøndelag - historie, handverk, kultur

About this site for English speaking visitors is a site that is dedicated to the tradition of knifemaking in the region of Trøndelag in middle Norway, and mostly to the special tradition witch is centered around Meldal in the Orkla valley.
This site is developed and maintained by Arvid Hoff.

There is a strong tradition for knifemaking in Norway. The traditional Norwegian knife is a utility knife, often with emphasis on the whittling qualities. Knives where seldom made as weapons, although they occationaly may have been used as such. This peaceful approach to knives and knifemaking is maintained today among knifemakers and knife enthusiasts. (Althoug the influence of other more agressive knife traditions has not yet become very significant, we have in recent years sadly enough seen an escalation in the use of knives in harms way).

The traditional norwegian knife has a few key features:

  • The stick tang blade is layered, whith a core of hardened carbon steel welded to soft steel sides. The core steel gives the blade a longlasting and very sharp edge, while the soft steel sides make the blade very tough. The combination of soft and hard steels also makes the knife easy to sharpen.
  • The handle is most often made of wood, and may have one or two metal ferruls. Other handle materials are antler, bone, leather washers, or metal.
  • The knife usually has a sheat with a belt strap, most often made from leather, but the material can also be wood, horn, bone, antler or metal.

There is an important distinction between "brukskniv" and "staskniv" in Norwegian knife tradition. A "brukskniv" is the utility knife for everyday use. A "staskniv" is the dress knife for wearing to church or other formal occasions. In the geographic area this site covers, even a staskniv could see heavy use, and had to meet ordinary demands for usability. Because the staskniv is the most elaborate and interesting form of the Norwegian knife, there is a greater emphasis on that type on this site.

I do not have time or qualifications for translating this site into English. However you may find some of the pictures useful and interesting, and I have translated a few knife-related words so you may understand a few of the captions:

  • kniv = knife
  • skaft = handle
  • blad = blade
  • slire = sheath
  • egg = edge
  • slipefas = grind angle
  • spiss = point
  • rygg = back, spine
  • holk = ferrul, more or less
  • tre = wood
  • lær = leather
  • horn = antler or horn
  • stål = steel
  • jern = iron
  • messing = brass
  • Nysølv = nickel silver
  • dekor = ornamentation
  • gravyr, gravering = engraving

.. and a murul is what they in this region call an old knife whit a small, narrow downgrinded blade. Not much to look at, but still useful for example for woodcarving or for cutting tobacco plugs ...


If you have any questions or comments to the content of this site, please use the form underneath to contact me.

Arvid Hoff

Utforming og innhold © Arvid Hoff 2008