When I first explored the world of custom knives, there was a young man in Southern California that caught my attention. Trace Rinaldi was busy creating some of the cleanest “using” knives I have come across. Around this time, Trace was collaborating with TOPS Knives to turn his custom Armageddon into a production model. If you like large knives, it is still one of the best designed “choppers” on the market. Since that time, Trace has been quietly turning out knife after knife.
From Cali to Idaho
Trace spent his childhood on a California farm and this rural lifestyle greatly influenced his knifemaking. He knew firsthand what a good knife needed to be. Recently, he made a move out of California and is now living in the great outdoors of Northern Idaho. This move has motivated him to take a second look at the cutlery needs of the outdoorsman. When you live on the edge of nowhere, you think twice about the knife you want with you when you head into the wilderness. This motivation led him to combine his combat, tactical, and outdoor designs into the perfect blending to create the ultimate survival knife.
Just a few weeks ago I received three examples of Trace Rinaldi’s latest creations—all based on the concept of outdoor survival. First impression was that two of the knives were variations of Trace’s existing models being transformed for the survival market. The third knife was a totally new concept, the S.I.C.K. (Survival Intensive Combat Knife).
If the “S.I.C.K.” is a little large for your taste, Trace can work up a package using one of his smaller knives. No matter what size, they all have the quality we expect from Trace Rinaldi.
The short way of describing the S.I.C.K. would be to tell you to take a touch of “utility,” add in a dash of “combat” and stir well until you reach “survival.” A longer method would be to tell you the knife has a 5-1/2-inch blade of 5/32-inch CPM-S30V and is 1-5/8 inches across at its widest point. The blade pattern itself could best be described as an extended drop point. Overall length would measure just at 12 inches. The full tang is mated to forest green G10 handle scales held in place with stainless steel tubes. The butt extends 1/2-inch past the scales and is complete with a single lanyard hole. The handle is well contoured and has a single finger groove for your index finger. There is also another groove in the choil, allowing you to choke up on the knife when more control is needed. A portion of the spine is also grooved to provide a good thumb purchase during close work. The sheath is also a major portion of the survival package. Fashioned from Kydex, the sheath not only holds the knife but also several accessories that will help the outdoorsman survive. The best way to point out the features of the sheath would be to discuss them while I test the knife and package in the field.