I have two Rob Simonich knives to compare. One is an Aurora, and the other is
the SRT (Survival, Rescue, Tactical) that Rob took on the June Tractor Trip, and which
can be seen in my pics of that trip… Tractor
While there are some major differences, both are finished in the style one
learns to expect from Rob; meaning that they are perfectly fitted to the hand,
have well designed blades, and are finished with outstanding attention to
detail. "Quality" is a word that comes to mind. So does
Both Knives Here. While the knives do not appear too much different in the
photo, the difference in the hand is profound.
Both knives are made from ¼" A-2, with the full thickness of the blades
maintained through the handles where each turns down into a finger hook with a
lanyard hole. Also, both blades have a drop from the line of the handle, ala the
Anaconda, aiding in their chopping ability. The Aurora’s is subtle, the SRT’s
is more pronounced.
The Aurora is a medium weight knife that is well suited, I would think, to
general wilderness work. Rob is always playing with different designs, and had
made this one to take with him on the June trip. It is a Clip point, rather than
a drop point as is normal in this model. It is also 1" longer in the blade.
It is 13 ¾" overall, with an 8 3/8" blade, and a 7 ¼" cutting
edge. I really like having a unique, one-off knife like this.
The balance is right at the finger groove in the choil, and feels light and
response. It has a clip point Bowie style blade with a slight recurve. The belly
of the blade could be used for skinning.
There is a slight thumb ramp with serrations on top, but it is not
exaggerated as with some knives. The ramp and the guard give a tremendous grip
for thrusting, as well as for chopping, without being in the way or obnoxious.
There is a slight finger groove in the handle that assists in holding it
while chopping. Again, the final result is subtle yet effective. The overall
feeling is of smooth, flowing lines that make your hand giggle.
The SRT, however, is a different beast. This one makes your hand sing…
lustily. It is big, it is heavy, it is brutal, it has "Born to Chop"
tattooed across it’s hairy chest. It is an ax. Randall’s are for wimps.
Bussy’s can go piss up a rope. It’s a man’s knife. It’s… Oh.
Sorry... Well, you
get the idea. ;-)
It is 15" long, the blade is 10", with a 9" cutting edge, and
a noticeable recurve. It is a drop point that has been differentially ground.
The blade is thicker at the sweet spot than back by the guard. That, with the
recurve, and the balance point being in front of the choil, gives it a
noticeably blade heavy feel. There is no doubt that it is a chopper, and on the
June trip, it was really put through it’s paces.
This knife made stakes for traps, skinned elk, dug a ton of Camus bulbs, and
chopped through at least one tree fallen across the trail. It even chopped elk
bone, which is really hard on an edge. It is obvious that the heat treatment was
done right on this one. A quick touch-up with a diamond stone, and it kept on
trucking. All this, and it feels orgasmic in the hand; smooth and very well
The sheaths are of Concealex. The Aurora’s has a standard, rigid belt loop
made of the same material. The belt loop carries the top of the sheath’s
opening right at the top of the belt, with the handle extending up from
there. It carries high and very comfortable.
The SRT has a belt loop made out of a GI web belt. It carries the top of the handle
right at the top of the belt. This places the tip about 4 ½" lower than
the Aurora; however with the longer blade, the extra clearance is needed to
allow withdrawing the knife without going into a contorted position. An
interesting benefit of the web belt; it allows the knife to be pushed aside
while sitting, something that cannot be done with a rigid belt loop. One can
carry the SRT around in camp without having to take it off each time he sits
down. This is a very, very nice feature.
In The Sheaths.
If weight is of no concern, and lots of heavy chopping is on the agenda, the
SRT will shine. The blade was in no way babied on the trip, and all who used it
If weight is a concern, the Aurora would be a great choice, still doing
everything it needs to do. And did I mention that the Aurora has a small
survival kit in the handle? Snare wire, fishing line, a hook, a sparking rod, a
button compass and, in the hollowed out micarta slab, some steel wool. A micarta
handled hex wrench is fastened to the sheath for removing the handle slab. All
in all, a sweet little package that one could have in a pack or on a belt
without looking like Rambo.
It’s like having both a truck and a sports car… I like ‘em!
Since the initial posting, I got a chance to take them to the
field. I used the Aurora to fashion a figure 4 trap trigger. While
not nearly as easy as using a small knife, it was not only possible, but the
trigger came out with a great fit.
a notch in the trigger.
close-up of the same.
Copyright © 2000
by William Hay.
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