The Marttiini blade’s production process is a demanding and time consuming one. First a steel bar is rolled into a steel band. In the rolling process the steel molecules change shape from round to oval. This process increases steel density and makes it tough. In the rolling phase for the filleting knife the molecular structure of the wedge shaped steel band becomes denser toward the cutting edge. This makes the blade flexible and resilient. The rolled steel bands are cut into blade blanks that are then tempered. Those blank blades are supplied to Marttiini by reputable French and German factories that are specialised in blade manufacturing.
The foundation of a Marttiini knife’s sharpness is the honing angle achieved with a sharpening stone. At the Vääksy factory the blade blank goes through several production phases before it is ready for the last and most important production phase. This phase, which requires special professional skills, the blade is honed by hand to give the products the famous Marttiini sharpness.
The stainless steel used by Marttiini is an easy-to-treat blade material that maintains its sharpness for a long time. The proportion of chrome in the steel blend is 13% and the hardness is 53-54 on the Rockwell scale (HRC). We recommend the diamond sharpener for chrome steel, see page 37.
A blade made of carbon steel is especially suitable for carving and it is easy to hone it to its original sharpness. With a carbon steel blade, it is important to dry it immediately after use. It would also be a good idea to treat it regularly with unsalted oil, eg. cooking oil. A regularly treated carbon steel blade remains rust free and has an especially long working life.
Carbinox T508 steel combines the best characteristics of carbon and chrome steel: toughness, honing easiness, and extreme durability. The steel blend carbon content is 0.5%, chrome content 8% and its hardness 56-57 HRC. The material is not classified as stainless but its resistance to corrosion is considerably higher than that of traditional carbon steel. In the maintenance of Carbinox T508 it is sufficient to clean the blade carefully and dry it after use. However we also recommend the occasional treatment of the blade with unsalted oil.
Dirt and water-repellent Martef coating reduces friction to almost zero and at the same time protects the blade from corrosion. Due to this coating the blade moves especially smoothly in cut material and cleaning the blade after use is very easy.
The traditional handle material of Finnish knives is curly birch. This tree grows mostly in central and eastern Finland. The fiery looking curly birch is perfect material for a knife handle, because it is durable and beautiful. There is a limited amount of this fine looking curly birch on the market, making the price considerably higher than in the case of ordinary birch. Ordinary or straight birch is also used to make the handles of several traditional Marttiini knives. In some models the wooden handles are heat-treated, giving the wood the beautiful dark look of hardwood. This treatment also makes the handle very durable against, for instance, moisture.
Wooden handles are given a wax, varnish or stain finish. The wax deepens the glow of the wooden handle and at the same time protects it from dirt and moisture. A waxed handle also feels pleasant. Varnishing emphasises and protects the natural colour of the birch. It also protects the wood from wear and moisture. Staining gives the handle a shade that changes over time without covering the tree rings. Staining makes the handle supply a firm and safe grip.
Marttiini’s traditions are best displayed in knife handles where reindeer and elk antlers are combined with the beautiful Finnish curly birch. Reindeer antler processing is a demanding handicraft where skills are valued.
The Condor knives of the Fishing, Hunting and Kitchen series have handles made of a rubber mixture suitable for handling foodstuffs. The ergonomically-modelled rubber handle is machine washable, easy to care for, hygienic and safe. The rubber handle also feels pleasantly warm in the wilderness, even when it’s extremely cold or humid. The handle’s roughness and finger guard guarantee a safe and firm grip on Condor series knives.
Several wooden handle knives have metallic ferrules. The raw material used is either brass, German silver, cast bronze or stainless steel. The characteristics of brass, German silver and bronze include patinisation over time. Patinised ferrules may be polished with an ordinary metal cleaning agent.
The Condor series finger guard ferrules are made either of PP or ABS plastic. PP plastic is a full-coloured, tough and machine washable material. ABS plastic is used in handles where an impressive metallic coating has been added though an electro-chemical process. We do not recommend machine washing for metal coated handles, since powerful washing agents and high water temperatures could damage the coating.
The purpose of the sheath is to protect the knife and the user when the knife is not in use. A knife may be attached to a belt with a sheath’s fastening strap. A separate sheath is designed for every single knife. The sheath’s small details are decorated but often they also have other practical meanings. For example the rectangular piece of leather at the tip of several sheaths prevents a belted sheath from moving like a pendulum.
Leather sheaths of Marttiini knives are made of plant or chrome tanned leather. Leather is mostly acquired from Europe. Sheaths are made of natural and painted leather.
Knife sheaths are still mostly made by hand. Each sheath must be exactly the designed size and appearance so that it forms a perfect couple with the knife. A template iron is used to cut a blank from leather and before sewing the edges are glued together. Several sheaths have a plastic sleeve inside that prevents the blade from penetrating the sheath.
Sheath impressions are made either on the sheath blank or the finished sheath. The sheath’s surface finishing may also include varnish that increases its dash and protects the sheath from dirt and moisture. The rivets and possible bronze bands reinforce and decorate the sheath.
Cordura is an especially durable certified nylon fabric produced by DuPont. It is stab and tear resistant, fast drying, easy to care for and light.
A durable and hygienic plastic sheath is practical with knives that are used under damp and dirty conditions.