Roselli Carpenter UHC

Le 30 août 2002, par James

A Finnish puukko with an extraordinary steel.

Roselli Carpenter UHC (Ultra High Carbon, between 1.5 and 2% carbon, a kind of production wootz, as the crystallisation patterns show).


Blade : 85 mm Total length : 195 mm

The handle falls well in the hand, it is not a full tang, but a partial one. No worries about this, it still seems very well built.

The blade outline is good for all-purpose work, with some flat, some belly, and a very sharp point. The grinding angles are shallower near the handle, which makes it good for precision cutting.

The sheath is well built, with a plastic liner insert protecting it from being cut by the blade.

The overall size, with the blade in the sheath, is perfect, small enough to fit in a jean’s front pocket, or any jacket pocket.

Out of the box the bevels are not even, nor symmetrical, but it seems to be the case with all Roselli. Not a problem when using it, as the performances are exceptional :

The blade shows an outstanding sharpness and keeps it for a long time. I compare the performances to a D2 dozier blade or a M2 benchmade. It even seems to hold an edge better. Hardness is given at 65 HRC ! Very hard. The crystallised steel (wootz) is probably what allows this hardness without being brittle as a file. It is not a knife for prying, as the maker remarks, as quite fragile to torsions.

Roselli carpenter UHC


Well, I decided to give it a full Nordic edge, with only one bevel, and very slightly convex towards the edge. It seems easy, as the edge was already ultra thin, but it took me some time because the steel is so hard. [1]



Here is the result


The edge came out scaringly sharp. The hair test does not describe anymore how sharp it is. I can shave my beard with it is more descriptive.

Holding it : I strongly advise this hand position, as there is no guard. This is a knife for pulling, not pushing


Same here, edge towards me. You can develop a lot of power handling the knife this way and pulling


I wanted to show the plastic lining inside the sheath. I am not sure it shows. Well, any way, this makes the sheath highly secure, secure enough that I just put the knife in my pockets, not bothering with the belt



I have owned this knife for more than a year now, and used it a lot. I played for a few weeks with it, using it as if I only had one knife, both in NIB state and with the new edge, carving bows and arrows for the kids, carving some figurines in harder wood, in the kitchen, on ham, cutting dried grass etc.... This knife rocks ! It was good when NIB, it is now excellent, A very fine and resistant edge ! I also like the sharp tip, very useful.

Heimo Roselli has produced with this UHC steel, one of the best cutlery steel I have encountered so far. Very hard edge, without making a too brittle blade, mine does have a very very thin edge now, ground to the end with the puukko bevel, and it never rolls, never chips, and rarely needs sharpening.

The ergonomics of the handle are excellent. People who prefer slightly bigger blades can still buy a Hunter model, 12.5 cm [2].

I forgot : This specific blade felt on a ceramic floor, tip first from my waist. The tip did not show any real damage (2 minutes sharpening 1/10 of mm on the tip). The Provencal ceramic tile had a chip. I really thought I had ruined the knife ! This has happened to me a few times in my life, once among others with an ATS34 Benchmade folder on concrete, and the tip was ruined on a good millimetre. I since talked about this to another Roselli carpenter UHC owner, and the tip of his knife broke in similar conditions.

This steel is more resistant than what I expected. Of course, I would not try to pry anything with it. I did not test prying, I do not have the heart to destroy a 100 Euros knife, just to see when it breaks [3]. But the involuntary tip test points me to more margins than expected. After all, wootz is known for its plasticity, while retaining a hard edge...

One littel point against however, the handle may prove to be a bit short for some hands. In which case, I would choose the slightly bigger Roselli Hunter UHC without hesitation.


Of course, such a high steel hardness poses the problem of sharpening the blade, as it will eventually get blunt. I found out that I could do it using (by order of efficiency) ceramic stones, diamond stones or Japanese water stones, my preferred being the Japanese waterstone [4]. The solution in the field would be one of these diamond coated pocket sharpeners, like the ones from DMT.


A very good knife, one of the bests puukkos I have owned. One of the most amazing blades I own in terms of edge holding [5], without being too brittle. A very good quality-price ratio.

Notes :

[1] I started with a medium Norton, finished the edge on a medium spyderco, then a fine spyderco. All very small stones and part of my holidays sharpening kit

[2] 5"

[3] And like H Roselli, I consider knives are for cutting, and pry-bars for prying

[4] I use a dual grit 1000/6000 stone, 1000 is for sharpening, 6000 is for honing. The Japanese waterstones are simply the most efficient way I know to sharpen any steel knife I own so far.

[5] The only players in the same category are ceramic blades, but they are very brittle, and take a poor edge, and are a pain to resharpen, as diamond sharpener are mandatory. Some D2 steel blades also compare close to UHC.

par James



Le 3 septembre 2002

Additional Information at :

Roselli’s site .

Le 9 juin 2003

Thanks for your excellent user’s review of this Roselli, which I am considering to purchase at the moment. As it is intended for general fielduse next to my GB Mini, I am simply looking for a good and light cutter, which should be able to replace my Fällkniven F1. Since The Mini takes care of the rough jobs, lateral stress and prying capability are of no consequence. As it should be portable as a necker, could you advise the weight ? Have you tested it with a Swedish Fire Steel or alternative ferrocerium rod ? The F1 is is a fantastic ’sparker’, would be nice if this one can perform as well.



Le 9 juin 2003

Total weight is 110 g, blade only is 60 g. Wait a second, I try my (doan magnesium starter) ferrocerium rod... 10 cm of strong light is what I see, some sparks going to 20 cm. Even brighter on the Swedish fire steel. I do not think you’ll have any problem on this side. I tried with my F1, and to my observation got a bit less sparks.

Cheers, /JM

Le 23 juin 2003
Today, I received my UHC-carpenter by mail. Just started playing with it. Looks promising. Thanks, JM. 
Le 24 juin 2003
Good, Tell us what you think. ;)
Le 14 décembre 2003

Based partly on this review, I ordered a Rosselli Carpenter UHC. After carrying it daily for several months, here’s my take on it.

1. The steel is incredibly hard. The grind was uneven to the point of being sloppy. It took several hours of work on a large 600 grit DMT diamond stone to even start to straighten out the edge. But once it’s straight, it holds it’s edge longer than any other blade I’ve known.

2. The steel is brittle. I don’t abuse good blades but sometimes use them hard. I’m a wildlife biolgist for a federal agency. During the summer, I fight fires as a camp manager. I really need and use a good knife. I’m so dependent on them that I generaly take at least three on fires. I think the Carpenter is about perfect in size and shape for general camp work, which is mostly cutting rope, opening boxes, and cutting fiber tape. But in light work, without going on a fire or being used by anyone else, a small chip appeared in the blade and the point broke off about 1/32nd inch back. Not much, but you won’t dig splinters out of your hand with it. I don’t even know what I did to chip the blade. Haven’t dropped it, didn’t cut any metal, didn’t pry with it. Just light use. Maybe my blade is tempered differently.

3. On a working knife, I like the butt of the handle flat and square to the blade. It might not look artistic or graceful, but if you want to punch through something, I want to position the knife and punch the butt with the palm of my hand. Do that fifty times rapidly with a pointed or slanted butt. This handle looks nice and is a good size, but the shape of the butt is wrong for me.

4. On a whim, I ordered it with my name engraved on it, thought it might keep the knife from walking. Save your money, the "engraveing" is just a light scratch on the hard steel.

Bottom line for me is that this steel would make a great straight razor or kitchen knife for vegetables, and since I own it, I will continue to carry it on it a daily basis in the field ; but I won’t take it on fire or camping or deep into the bush where I want a knife that I can depend upon not to break when the going gets tough. I’m going to get another puukko from a different maker.

Le site est affiché en français avec ses sections françaises seulement, sachez qu’il existe cependant beaucoup à découvrir dans la version Anglaise.

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