ALL PUUKKOS ARE KNIVES, NOT ALL KNIVES ARE PUUKKOS. - Pekka Tuominen
Around the turn of the century (1999) I read an article in Fur, Fish and Game about how good the Finnish puukko was as an outdoor knife. I ordered a couple models and was hooked after they arrived. My first knives were a hunting knife by Altti Kankaanpaa and a Leuku camp knife by Jarvenpaa. The blades were both carbon steel, handles made from curly birch (visa) and park leather sheaths. I had never had a knife that was as sturdy, well made and attractive as these were.
Because my retail store, Superior Beads, attracts mostly women as customers, I saw men roll their eyes coming into the store seeing walls full of beads, tables full of beads, beautiful jewelry and nothing for them. Guys like knives, so I began putting a few puukkos on display for the gentlemen. Relatively few people in the United States have ever even seen a genuine puukko, let alone held one in their hands. The quality, comfort, finish and utility are remarkable. The knives were a hit with the men.
In late 2002, after a trip to Finland to the Kauhava Puukko Festival, knife shows in Chicago and Houston, my friend Les Ristinen, owner of the Suomi Shop in Wolf Lake, Minnesota, asked me to buy his wholesale puukko business. I had been a good customer of his, and he knew I would continue to provide good service to his customers, that I would be fair and honest and that I appreciated the traditions and qualities of the Finnish puukko.
From that, Puukko Cutlery was born -- and you no longer have to travel to Finland -- or a small town in Minnesota -- to enjoy these timeless and useful Finnish knives. A fine puukko may be used daily and yet passed down through generations.
In 2016 a big change occurred. After 18 years of owning and operating Superior Beads, I decided to retire from the bead business and close my store. That was completed at the end of February, 2016. Customers can no longer come to Duluth and see the knives at the store as they did in the past. Now my plan is to devote my time to the website and also attend a few more outdoor retail shows. Please return to the site often as inventory will be updated and new options will be available.