the story of a knife smith from lapland
Marttiini Oy is famous for its skilfully made Finnish knives, and its roots stretch back almost 90 years to a blacksmith's workshop in Rovaniemi. In the decades since, the knife factory established by Janne Marttiini has grown into an enterprise that manufactures 600,000 knives a year. Since 2005, Marttiini's respected brand has been part of the international Rapala VMC group.
Steel, curly birch, reindeer antlers, leather. The first thing that catches the eye about Marttiini's Finnish knives is the beautiful design and the traditional handicraft, but the guiding principles of the product design were the needs of users, high quality, and northern, Arctic conditions. J. Marttiini's knife factory, established in 1928, has preserved its reputation has a manufacturer of high-quality Finnish knives throughout its history.
STEADY BUT ROBUST GROWTH
In the initial decades, Janne Marttiini worked hard to manufacture knives for the Finnish market, but the open-minded merchant made his first exporting trip to the U.S.A. in the 1950s. Later, Janne's son, Toivo Marttiini, took up the management of the company and focused on personal customer relationships and export markets. Thanks to this, a successful export trade to the U.S.A. began in the 1960s. In 1967, J. Marttiini's knife factory was awarded the President of Finland's export prize in recognition of its "exceptionally great exporting achievements".
Filleting knives are mostly exported to the U.S.A.
In fall 2005, the international fishing equipment group Rapala VMC Corporation purchased the full share capital of Marttiini Oy from the Marttiini family. The deal reinforced Rapala's global position as a supplier of filleting knives, as customers value Rapala's brands and want more fishing-related products. Marttiini Oy is also able to make use of the wide reach of Rapala's distribution network.
EFFICIENT HANDICRAFT EXPERTS IN PRODUCTION
Marttiini has production premises in Rovaniemi, Finland and Pärnu, Estonia. All of the blades and grips are manufactured in Finland, but the surface treatments of grips, manufacturing of scabbards, and assembly take place at both factories. The company's website shows that there are knives for countless different purposes, such as preparing food, hunting, and trekking. "We have more than 200 different models in production," says Jari Halme, the Production Manager at the Rovaniemi factory.
Filleting knives are exported in large volumes from Estonia, while the factory in Finland concentrates on small-run production. "Our total production is about 600,000 units per year. More than half of the products are exported, mainly to the U.S.A.," Halme adds. Marttiini has had a factory in Estonia for about 15 years. The small but efficient company has 20-25 employees working on the surface treatments, assembly, packing, and scabbards for filleting knives. Both lacquer and wax are used for the surface treatment. The quality of the birch wood surfaces used for the knife handles is already so high that no sanding is required before lacquering.
A DURABLE AND BEAUTIFUL SURFACE LACQUER FOR THE HANDLES
The Production Manager at the Estonian factory, Andrus Aarla, explains how the handles receive their surface treatments: "The handles are dipped in TEKNOCOAT 1687-58 acid curing lacquer twice. The lacquer dries quickly and forms a waterproof surface. To guarantee the insulating capacity, the blade mounts are also lacquered: the lacquer also protects the mounts from corrosion."
The surface treatment agent must be highly suited to dip coating, and it must not form bubbles. "We are satisfied with the current lacquer, but there is also interest in water-soluble products. We hope to be able to try some of Teknos' products for this purpose in the future," Aarla says.
Approximately 30,000 knives are made in Pärnu every month. The old models remain in production from one year to the next, but new products are launched every year. The absolute hit product this year was the Finland 100 centenary knife. This year, Marttiini will be celebrating 90 years in business. For celebrations and for the day-to-day, a Marttiini knife makes an excellent tool or gift.
Marttiini Oy's CEO, Andrus Aarla, and Teknos' Sales Representative, Priit Eenraid, examine knife models
Founded in 1928
Branch: Tools and business gifts
CEO: Päivi Ohvo
Net Sales: (2016) 6,2 Meur