Helle 90th Anniversary edition
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- Last updated: 01/11/2022
Helle celebrate their 90th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion they have produced some very special limited edition knives with some really nice ‘old style’ features. As always, the knives are incredibly well made and presented, plus they are built to last a lifetime. Each one comes in a presentationstyle, tube-shaped box with instructions and a polishing cloth.
Designed by Jan Steffen, grandson of one of the original owners of the company, the Helle JS features a very highly polished, H3LS stainless steel blade. It is 110cm long and features a slight false edge/ swedge on the spine. At 3mm thick, just off the spine, the blade is extremely strong and rigid, plus, like all Helle knives, it comes razor sharp straight out of the box.
The 107mm long handle is constructed with curly birch stacked with red leather inserts to give a really striking look. The stick tang is capped off with a small brass ring at the back. The handle has a nicely shaped ‘belly’ in the middle portion, and wider sections at the back and front which make it sit and index perfectly in the hand, so grip is excellent. The black leather sheath features Helle’s original 1930s style print, and the double-row red stitching really stands out.
It also matches the leather in the handle of the knife.
The Helle SE is designed by Svein Erik, grandson of the other original owner of the company, and although the blade is pretty much the same as the JS, the handle is different.
At 115cm, the handle on the SE is slightly longer than the JS, plus it has the feel of a bit more girth around the belly. Although the size difference is only subtle, you can feel it and take a more relaxed, but still secure, grip on the knife. This handle is constructed using antler, curly birch and dyed green leather, and they combine to give a great feel and grip. The layers are perfectly aligned and finished with each other but you can still feel the different materials. They work well together to provide a good hold.
Both knives are reasonably light (142 and 144-grams, respectively) but they have the feel of a heavier and stronger tool. Being razor sharp, they will fillet or joint cleanly and edge retention is very good, so minimal maintenance of the blade is required.
Of the two, the handle on the SE does have a slightly more substantial feel and better hold, being slightly bigger and having more layers of different material to enhance grip. Most of the limited production run of these knives will probably be locked away by collectors, but they are designed and built to be used not stored.
They are covered by the Helle Lifetime Warranty, which, of course, has a few reasonable exclusions, so you know you have a quality product with cover against defects.