Recently, I was sightseeing on the dock in ROskilde, Denmark, when I noticed a group of commercial fishermen cleaning their catch of fresh eels. I naturally assumed they would be using one off the many plastic-handled knives common to the fishing industry and I walked over to take a closer look. Much to my surprise, all of the fishermen were actually using large, wood-handled folding knives to open and skin the eels. Most of the knives had obviously seen long, hard use. The blades were sharpened down to the point where it was difficult to even determine what they had ben, but there were a couple I could instantly identify by the shape of their handles. Both where what American cutlery buffs generally call “Sodbusters.”
The origins of the sodbuster are a little vague. Early 20th century German companies referred to the knife as a “Schlactmesser Zum Zulegen” (folding butcher knife). This is only logical when you understand that the classic German butcher knife has a straight back rather than the rounded style common to eh English and American models.
A hero's Puukko knife built behind enemy lines!
by John Larsen / Mar 1, 2008