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Trace Rinaldi

Trace Rinaldi’s Armageddon

As is our practice, before each new video is produced we select a custom knife as the main "working blade" for the volume. For Volume 11, "Solo survival skills" we will be using this combo from Trace Rinaldi.

Trace’s work can be seen at http://www.thrblades.com/

Trace Rinaldi’s 10" Armageddon with companion blade in sheath. The blade weighs 24oz.

The Armageddon is made in A2 steel and features a sub-hilt and choil for up close control. The finger choil is perfectly positioned for whittling and tends to shift the balance point so the large blade is balanced by the handle.

Holes in the grip make it possible to lash the blade to a staff or to securely attach a cord wrap (if desired). The full tang is usable as a hammer or bone crusher. It also helps the user retain control of the blade under heavy use.

The heat tempering is done by Paul Bos and features his logo. Notice the file work which adds traction for the thumb when the user is utilizing the finger choil.

On the back of the sheath, under the cord wrap is a DMT sharpener and a Magnesium fire starter. There is about 30 feet of 550 para cord wrapped around the sheath. The slight bow of the blade makes this into an excellent draw knife for field expedient bow making.

I took the blade to a local Hawthorn patch. Hawthorn is a very dense and springy wood and a good test of the chopping power of any blade. The Armageddon wreaked havoc on the wood despite the "give" of the branches.

As a more substantial test I dropped several small ponderosa pines. The blade cut like an ax. There was no deformation or apparent loss of edge during the day long chopping tests. This tree was about 4 inches in diameter and I dropped it in less than a minute. You could build a cabin with this knife!

The long piece of Hawthorn looked like a nice walking stick so I used the blade as a draw knife to shave the bark and thorns from the wood. This will normally dull a blade quickly as the pressures are against the side of the blade and can cause the edge to roll (bend). There was no deformation or rolling and the blade remained as sharp as it was when it came out of the sheath.

BTW the stick is tied to the old railing to help it to dry straight. Hawthorn makes a fine walking stick and is tough as nails.

The companion blade is another story. It, like it’s big brother, is perfectly designed for it’s function. It carves well and will be a sweet little carver, gutter utility blade. You’ll be seeing much more of this little blade in the video.

My Initial Impressions

The woods are in fear. Animals scurry for safety. I have received the Armageddon. It is aptly named.

When I opened the box the butt of the knife was facing my hand. It crawled out of the box on it’s own accord. It kept coming out of the box for what seemed like a minute… It’s BIG but it feels like a much smaller knife. 24 ounces of Knife with a real 10 inch blade of A2 Bos tempered steel.

The slight upward curve of the blade begged to slice into something. I wanted photos before I chopped. It wanted to chop before I took photos… it won. It slid through 1.5 inch pine branches like the guillotine through a French Aristocrats neck. OooooH!

It came with a priceless little companion blade tucked alongside the outer part of the sheath and wrapped with paracord. Hidden on the backside of the sheath is a sharpener and a firestarter. I won’t release them from their prison of cord until after I’ve taken my photos.

Both blades are finely finished and truly ready to sing for me. I took my sharpening steel to the big blade just to hear the song and it is a fine tune. It RINGS like a church chime announcing the end of lent…

There is a finger choil with traction groves cut just above it this lets me choke up on the blade to do some fine work while using the thumb for control. I’ll be using this feature a lot starting in June. Trace really knows how to make a handle you can control. There is much more I can say but for now all I have to say is that this is one fine blade and I am proud to be able to present it for all to see.

The sheath is clean and well thought out. It is also strong enough to keep this slicing demon under control.

Trace, You out did yourself. Thank you. Amazing.



Follow up after the trip…………..

Ok you steel freaks… here’s how the Rinaldi Armageddon shook out on the field trial.

The trip was a trial. We got beat to death from day one. The blade went to work immediately on shelters and staffs etc. I used it HARD daily for two plus weeks and when I set it down in my office a couple of days ago I took a look at it.

The blade is stained with sap and blood. It looks like hell. There are scratches in the handle and the sheath where I bounced off rocks. The handle actually shows some wear marks from use.

The edge is perfect. There are no nicks or scratches… just stains. I never needed to sharpen the blade, I only stropped it to keep the razor/field edge. The handle design is the best I’ve ever had. Everyone along had a go with it and everyone commented on how useful the false choil was. The choil grip makes the blade balance dead on so Karen was able to use the blade like it was a toy. In the hands of the 6 and a half footers (Ray and Brian) the handle still fit great and gave them incredible control and power. I would put it up against the "hawks" they both carried for chopping power. For all around usability and function, it beat the hawks hands down.

The blade actually does sing. When it is withdrawn from the sheath it makes a "Tshuiiing" sound as one hears in the movies. It rings like a bell. Initially I thought that meant it might be brittle. I used it to pry open a half split log and the blade bent about 10 degrees. When the log finally gave way, the blade returned to true instantly. I do not have the strength or weight to bend it any farther. I weigh 200 lbs and had my entire BOUNCING body weight on it.

As the blade got used more I started to build a "relationship" with it and the thing kept singing. It is an amazing piece of design work.

The smaller blade makes a great little whittling and cleaning knife. I used it a lot around camp for regular "chores". At the moment I have it pretty permanently mounted to the sheath of the big boy but I think I have a way to attach and detach it from the main sheath for use as a belt knife. That way I can remove it from the Armageddon and use it for a camp carry.

In the video we shot, I chop up some ground squirrels with the big boy. I doubt we’ll show the footage unless we sell a "sick puppy" video but that baby can definitely work wonders on flesh.

I have a truly amazing knife….Thanks Trace!

Oh! and BTW… It passed my "Elk leg bone test". There were no deformations and no chips in the blade. It just buzzed through 2 inches of the toughest bone on the planet. It was actually sharper after the test than any other blade I’ve tested. Paul Bos does wonders with his heat treating.

If you can get Trace to make one… You’ll love it. Currently he is said to be years behind on delivery.


January 7, 2010Karen Hood