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 What are Siberian Yakut Knives?

Traditional Yakut knives are as symbolic of Siberia, as khomus, Siberian Tigers, fossilized Mammoth tusks or Yakut diamonds. Moreover, for many centuries, the knives have played a much larger role in the lives of the indigenous people of Siberia, than all the gems lying in the ground. The importance of this item to the Siberian people is captured in an old saying: “Knife – my third hand”. Knife – an indispensable companion of almost any traditional craft. It is carried while fishing and hunting, while also used when carving and working in the kitchen. A craftsman may even use a knife as a wood planer.Geometry

Owning a Yakut knife is a learning experience. Yakut knife’s blade has a concave/convex geometry with a hand-forged or machined fuller one one side.
The first most common impression from the sceptics is that “as you sharpen a blade like that, you will run out of the cutting edge”

This idea is due to a misunderstanding on how to sharpen a Yakut. You sharpen a Yakut blade by laying the knife flat on the fuller side. Over time the fuller gets less deep, but you always have an even amount of steel on the edge. If you were to sharpen it like a “conventional” knife, then yes eventually you would lose the edge. Sharpened correctly will result in a razor thin edge with a strength of a knife and you never run out of the edge to cut with.
There are many theories on where this concave/convex geometry originates. Most likely it was inherited from the early bone knives used by the native Siberians such as Evenki and other indigenous people.
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Useful links:

Selecting the right steel for your tool: Types of steel

High Carbon steel: Care & Maintenance

Join our discussion forum: Siberian Forged Knives

Check out my blog to learn more: History & Tradition

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Moose hunting with this beauty was awesome. The ONLY knife I’ve never had go dull the entire gut and skin of the complete moose. I let an older aboriginal man use it for a bit and he wanted to buy it off me so bad, saying it was the nicest knife he’s ever used! Thank Anton Salnikov! I have 4 of these knives and couldn’t be happier. Next up is a hatchet!

 

‎Corey Taylor

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Got two more knives from Anton. A work of art, at the same time highly functional. Used them in  the taiga. Thank you Anton!

Grigori Nasonov