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A '''puukko''' is the [[Scouting in Finland|Finnish]] word for the traditional Finnish or Scandinavian style woodcraft belt-[[knife]] that is a tool rather than a weapon. The word is in the process of assimilation into English.
== Desgin ==
The basic components of a puukko are a hilt and a blade along with a sheath, which can be attached to a belt. The puukko's blade has a single curving edge and a flat back. The flat back allows the user to place a thumb or his other hand on it to concentrate the force. Puukkos are used both as a tool for all kinds of carving, especially to work wood, and to clean the catches of anglers and hunters. Some puukko designs have a slightly upwards or downwards curved point, depending on what purpose the knife has. A hunting puukko's tip is often curved downwards to make skinning and opening the animal easier and less messy. The blade is relatively short, usually about the same length as the handle. Fisherman's puukkos sometimes have a small dovetail on point to ease scraping off the innards of a fish.
Both factory forged and hand forged blades are often laminated. A thin layer of very hard steel (traditionally [[crucible steel]] made from [[limonite]] iron) is sandwiched between two layers of softer metal, which make the blade less brittle and facilitates repeated sharpening. Before the 19th century, almost all iron in Finland was made from limonite on charcoal blast furnaces, which yield very pure and high quality iron suitable for crucible steel. Today both carbon steel and tool steel are used. The blade can be lightened and strenghtened with a fuller.
The traditional material for the handle is
In Finland and northern Scandinavia many men put great pride in carving
== Usuage ==
Getting one's first puukko is considered, in Finland, the symbol of coming of age for both boys and girls. This is about 5-7 years old. Men's and women's puukkos do not significantly differ.
In the Nordic countries, the puukko is an "everyday" knife that is used for everything from hunting, fishing, and garden work to opening boxes in the warehouse.
In Finland the carrying of knives without a permit or job related reason is prohibited in public spaces. Thus the only urban areas where they can nowadays be seen carried openly are garrisons. The puukko is the only civilian item which can be openly worn with combat gear without breaking the regulations, and most conscripts bring their own puukkos with them into military service. It is a custom of Finnish conscripts, Non-commissioned officers, and officer cadets to carry a decorated and engraved commemorative puukko of their year course as a part of thier uniform, not unlike a commemorative dagger. This is rationalized as the carrying of a handy tool, but it also doubles as a symbolic sidearm. However openly carrying a puukko, while technically illegal is not vigriously prevented. Construction workers often go to diners with a puukko hanging from their coveralls and in the rural and Northern parts of the land it is not uncommen to go shopping in the village stores wearing hunting clothes that includes a puukko.
The puukko has also given the root for