Karesuando Kniven Builds Tools for Lapland’s Knife Needs

Karesuando Kniven is making edged tools informed by their immediate environment in northern Lapland. Every Karesuando tool stems from the real-world needs of the people who live in that part of the world.

“The southern part of Sweden, Norway, and Finland roughly resemble the rest of Europe – that is, in a single large asphalt jungle with a lot of shopping centers, where the largest leisure hobby is to shop,” says Karesuando Kniven Executive Director Per-Erik Niva. But in Karesuando, the Arctic Circle village in which this knife making outfit is located and from which takes its name, things are different. “We up here in the northernmost part of Lapland still live in harmony with nature and for us hunting and fishing is not a hobby, but a way of living.”

That means the Karesuando product catalog is shaped by the needs of users who rely on knives on a day-to-day basis. “We manufacture our tools to meet everyday needs, and for us, the knife is still one of the most important everyday tools,” Niva explains. Karesuando emphasize the handicraft nature of their tools, which are made with locally available materials (plastic is forbidden at the Karesuando factory).

Karesuando’s most popular products fall outside of what we expect to see topping other companies’ best-seller lists. Niva tells us their best-selling tool is the Unna Aksu, a hunter’s axe that has been scaled down to almost knife-like use categories. “If you are going to choose our most popular ‘traditional’ knife model, then it will probably be one of the RipanVildmark or Galten,” continues Niva. “These models have followed us for more than 40 years and are still very popular.”

In terms of what’s next for the company, that will be informed , as always, by the needs of people who use knives every day. ” We never plan a new knife model or ax model, but they only get when someone from the staff or someone from our village comes up with an idea,” says Niva. “Then that person gets the first knife of the new model and will test it in hunting or fishing situations so we know that it is a good, functional knife that we can market.”

Featured Image: Karesuando Unna Aksu

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