In the far east in Siberia, there lies the Republic of Sakha with its vast area and rich history and culture. The people of Sakha Republic, also known as the Yakuts, stand out in the world for living in one of the coldest places of the world and for their hundreds of years’ worth of unique culture. One of the proudest creations of the Yakutian people is their originally designed bushcraft knife, dubbed locally as the Yakut knife.

This ethnic knife has many qualities in store. Because of its innovative asymmetric blade design, it can be useful in more than one field. This Scandinavian knife is well known among enthusiasts for another reason – its distinctive convex-concave dimension. Which in this case, is said to be adopted from another ethnic group of Siberia – the Evenks. History has always portrayed Yakuts as the master of forging steel. Their brainchild, Yakut knives, features a similar calculated design, which seems to attract a good deal of attention till now. In this post, we’re gonna cover all that you should know about a Yakut knife, and where to find one. Let’s start!


Overview of the Yakut Knives

The Yakuts, inhabitants of the Sakha Republic, reside in one of the most hostile parts of the globe. With extreme winter and summer, the natives were at war with nature every day. The Yakut knife is one of their survival knives in an attempt to persevere.

The Yakuts were master blacksmiths, and they engineered this knife to perfection. The shape of the blade marks the most attractive thing about this knife, which also makes it more functional. The handmade blades fashion the unique convex-concave geometry, which enhances the cutting ability and sharpness of a Yakut knife significantly. The concave side of the blade has a groove on it, stowed in position to reduce weight and wasting of metal. The convex side, on the other hand, doesn’t have the dent, it tones down to the edge that forms a chisel grind. The combination of chisel and convex grind on one blade makes the blade stronger and enables it to carry out versatile tasks. The straight spine enhances the balance of the knife, and it meets the edge on the sharp tip, which is immensely handy in combat, filleting fish, drilling, etc. Yakut knives hardly need sharpening, but if you prefer, you could hone these on sharpening stones.


Types of Yakut Knives

Yakut knives are one of those knives which have been around for hundreds of years, and while they are still being used, the core design of the knife has practically stayed unchanged. So, the Yakut knife that we see in the markets now is about the same as the model designed and made by the Yakut blacksmiths centuries ago. So, not many variations of the knife have surfaced in the market.

But based on the size and the use, the knives can be categorized into two types. The Taiga version has a wider blade and is large in size; they are used for butchering animals for meat, cutting wood, etc., hefty tasks. Then there is the Tundra version which offers a lighter design with a narrower blade and smaller build; it was used in the kitchen, daily cutting chores, combat, etc.


Characteristics of a Yakut Knife

Size & Weight: Despite many variations of the Yakut knife, its initial design and measurement are somewhat constant. The overall length of the Yakut knife ranges within 8-12 inches; while the weight is kept fairly on the low side for transportability and complicity of forging reasons, it’s made small and light, around 0.3-0.7 lbs.

Blade length and Material: The blade of the Yakut knife is what makes it distinctive from others. The convex-concave dimensioned blade measures between 100-180mm in length and 25-28mm in width. The construction material of the blade is usually Russian H12MF steel which is sturdy and durable because of its high-density properties. These blades show upgraded resistance against heat and wear extreme strength to defy external influence; and high edge retention.

Some modernized models use N690, U8A, ShX15 steel, these additionally provide higher corrosion resistance and enhanced hardness, which ensure durability in action. The blades are usually given a rugged finish; although sometimes Damascus-layered blades can also be found, they are bought for collection purposes.

Handle: The handle of a Yakut knife ranges from 5 to 5.5 inches in length. Traditionally, the Yakut knives used by the people of Sakha had handles constructed of birch, curly birch, guibourtia, birch burl, etc. The handles are solid by build and provide enough diameter for a comfortable yet strong hold even while wearing gloves.

Some of the recent designs come with elkhorn, bog oak, wenge wood, etc., which are particularly easy on the eyes. The pommel of the handle is strong enough for hammering; finally, the hidden full tang in the handle doubles the stability of the blade.

Sheath: Yakut knives were held in great importance to the wielder. And this reflected how they wanted to carry the knife. The Yakuts used handmade sheaths made of leather, cow tails, etc., to keep the blade and wore it around the waist. Now, along with leather sheath, wooden scabbards are also found with some versions.



Q: What’s the difference between a Yakut knife and a Puukko knife?

A: Puukko knife is another traditional knife of Scandinavian origin. It was originally created to be used indoors as a utility knife for daily chores, such as preparing food and doing the minimal wood carving. While a Yakut knife is more of an outdoors knife that you can use to hunt, gutting and skin hunted animals, fillet fish, chop vegetables, cut wood, and whatnot. The two knives also differ visually, one features a grooved blade and another with a flat spine.

Q: Why is there a groove on Yakut knives’ blades?

A: The calculated groove on Yakut knives was placed as forging and acquiring steel was hard in those times for Yakut nomads, so they attempted to save steel by putting a dent in it. That cavity, as a result, reduced the weight of the blade while making the blade wider but not heavier.

Q: Where to buy a Yakut knife?

A: If you require ready-made knives, then there are some appalling choices in Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc., where you can buy beautiful handmade Yakut knives at a reasonable price. Otherwise, it’s wiser to collaborate with an expert blacksmith to make you one by using your dimensions and materials, etc., to design your customized model.


Common Uses of Yakut Knives

Yakut knives are as versatile as they come. There’s hardly a field you can find where you can’t put this traditional baddie to use. Be it indoors or outdoors, Yakut knife has your back through all your regular as well as the unlikely chores. Because of its unique and asymmetric grind, sharp tip, solid tang, and robust spinal build, it’s highly functional and hardly beatable in strength.

Thus, the Yakut-styled knives are most functional in bushcraft and combat. Thanks to its sturdy build and resistance, it can survive the hostility of weather and environment; this feature held priority to the Yakut nomads. The unique synergy of the knife can hold against compelling forces to an admirable degree and refuses to bend at all. So, taking a Yakut knife to your camping, hiking, hunting ventures would prove to be very fruitful indeed. Yakut knives come in handy while making fires, chop firewood, branches, feather sticks, etc. The sharp tip is helpful while digging soil, breaking the ice, carving wood and tree trunks.

The blade’s geometry makes it so sharp that it can be used to shave, cut through leather, thick fabric, rope, bandages, wires, etc., effortlessly taking care of all your cutting needs. A Yakut knife’s versatility really saves up many times when you’re outside, such as camping, hunting, hiking, ice fishing, etc. Skinning and preparing animals for storage is also another of its strong suits, as it was mainly designed to aid the Yakut nomads who farmed animals for a living.

Apart from those, you can also use it to prepare food before cooking; meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, slices like butter. With the sort of strength, a Yakut knife packs, you can even cut frozen foods with it. In fact, a Yakutian cuisine, stroganina, is served with long curled strips of frozen fish, and the Yakut knife is used in preparation.



The Yakut knife is an ethnic tool of the Yakuts, who popularly live through livestock husbandry, mining, etc., because of the hostile environment. Therefore, the Yakut knife is designed to fit those diverse ways of life. Thus, we get an excellently built functional knife that is useful in so many ways; that we think it’s almost silly not to have one. Our sole aim in this article has been to guide curious minds like you who are interested in eccentric ethnic knives such as this. And tell you its tale in the most factual way possible. Godspeed!

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