I’m not going to mask my enthusiasm for the Kellam HM10. I think it’s a badass piece of high carbon steel made by one of the most respected bushcraft knife makers in Finland. Kellam Knives uses high carbon steel for their puukko knives, and the HM10 follows the same mantra of quality, minimalism, and performance.
The knife is a hand-forged piece of steel that is twisted while glowing red hot then hammered into its basic shape before grinding. The high carbon content of the steel gives it a remarkable 62-63 progression temper edge on the Rockwell hardness scale. This makes it a very durable knife that has excellent edge retention, and the progression tempering makes the knife hard and sturdy without being brittle.
It comes with a simple brown leather sheath that is folded and stitched and intended for use inside your pocket. The sheath itself is smooth and fits the knife snugly, and extends nearly the entire length of the knife, so there is no fear of the knife slipping out while in your pocket.
With a razor sharp 2″ blade, the HM10 measures just 4 5/8″ overall and is wrapped with sisal fiber on the spine side of the knife.
Sisal is a renewable plant that is commonly used in making durable rope, carpets, and other industrial quality fiber, but it is definitely not native to Finland, and is best grown in countries around the equator such as Brazil, Venezuela, and India. One of the main qualities of sisal is its natural ability to stretch and its high resilience to rot — making it an ideal and very unique handle material to this little bushcrafter.
In my job, I’m not normally allowed to carry a fixed blade knife on my belt, but always have to carry a pocket knife. I usually struggle to stay true to my bushcraft knife yearnings, AND carry a pocket knife, but there are few traditional makers that produce a quality pocket knife that I actually like as compared to my favorite bushcraft knives.
Enter the Kellam HM10
With the HM10, I really get the best of both worlds. Recently, I picked up two of these knives to pitch at a knife show, and I was secretly hoping they wouldn’t get purchased, but both were gone before I even opened the show! The leather sheath fits nearly the full length of the knife, and the whole rig fits perfectly in the small pocket of a pair of jeans. I see how it can easily be worn as a neck knife, although I did not try it myself.
The Kellam HM10 is one of my all time favorites, and I always recommend it to people looking for a pocket knife, but also want the qualities of a fixed blade (durability, construction, etc). I always think of it as super classy, and it always gets noticed and passed around when I use it just because it’s so damn cool, sharp, and unique.
If you’re looking for a pocket knife that sort of isn’t a pocket knife or if you’re looking for a fixed blade knife that sort of isn’t a fixed blade knife, the the Kellam HM10 may be your girl. This is simply an attractive knife that out performs nearly every knife of its size. It’s destined to be a family heirloom because of its old world styling, and superior design using quality steel.
If you’d like to see how the HM10 stacks up to other bushcraft knives, then check out the sortable grid I put together.
Check it out, and let me know what you think.