The Helle Mandra was developed by Helle and Les Stroud – a.k.a. “Survivorman”.
In order to perfect the design of this newest Helle knife, Helle traveled to the raw, remote, and overwhelmingly beautiful country of Romania to work alongside Les Stroud on his latest Survivorman episodes.
The location of the expedition was situated in the Carpathian, a 1.450 kilometer mountain range extending through Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Romania, and Serbia. An area of great dynamic contrast with both picturesque valleys and striking mountain peaks of over 2.500 meters.
An area of untouched nature, the Carpathian Mountains have impressive flora and fauna in addition to presenting the largest populations of brown bears, wolves, chamois, and lynxes in Europe.
From a cultural perspective, this area is the border between Europe and Asia with the famous Transylvanian Dracula legend based on the Ottoman controversy between the Romanians and the Turks.
During Les’s time in Romania, early prototypes of The Mândra were utilized in the Survivorman Romania episode. Adjustments and refinements were then integrated into the final design with Anders working directly on location with Les when he returned from his film excursion.
“We are extremely proud to present a brand new Les Stroud knife” notes Anders Haglund, head of international marketing with Helle. “In fact; the word Mândra literally means proud, and the new knife is named for the hilly peak where Les was found by the Salvamont rescue party during filming Survivorman in Romania”.
Les Stroud continues: “Put to the test during my intense filming of Survivorman and inspired by the raw and breathtaking nature of Romania, I now have the pleasure of unveiling my latest knife collaboration with Anders Haglund and Helle knives; The Mândra.”
Weight: 70 g
Blade Length: 69 mm
Handle Length: 80 mm
Blade Material: Triple laminated stainless steel
Blade Thickness: 2.6 mm
Handle Material: Curly birch and vulcan fibre
Sheath Material: Genuine leather
Design: Les Stroud
Art No: 620
Helle knives are designed to retain their sharpness as a lifelong outdoors companion. But it is still important to take care of your knife and its sheath.
The Handle. Dry the handle with a soft cloth if wet and wax occasionally.
The Sheath. The leather needs to be impregnated occasionally with colourless impregnation agent (grease or wax) to keep supple. Dry the sheath carefully in room temperature if it becomes wet.
The Blade. Wipe the blade with a soft cloth if wet and treat with grease occasionally.
Use a diamond tool or a wet stone for sharpening. Place the knife bevel flat to the sharpening tool and work the entire blade. Work one side until you can feel a slight burr on the opposite side. Switch side and repeat the procedure until you feel the burr on the first side. You have now established an edge.
Remove the burr by stroking the blade gently over the sharpening surface on both sides, as if cutting very thin slices. Keep the bevel flat towards the sharpener and move from side to side until the burr is gone.
If the blade is very dull or damaged, use a fine-grained grindstone and plenty of water and sharpen until you have a raw edge. Use much cooling liquid and never sharpen on a dry stone. A hot-ground edge looses its heat treatment and ruins the blade.