Maestro Sonny Umpad showed me how a well designed blade should feel in the hand. He himself modified every blade that he worked with, changing the shape of the handle, adding grip, changing the balance point and even the shape of the blade itself to suit him and suit it's purpose.
When teaching us, Sonny would put different types of blades in our hand to bring out certain movement as each shape presented different possibilities of movement and cutting.
He was constantly experimenting and refining so form and function would become one in the wielder's hand.
He taught me not to be satisfied with close approximations and mediocre designs, and unfortunately this has caused me much disappointment in a few of my blade purchases, especially those only seen and not felt before ordering.
Blades are tools first and foremost, whether they are used for cutting rope, boxes, or sugarcane. For gutting fish, butchering meat, or defending against threat.
One blade cannot be all things, but a blade can feel good in the hand, and a blade that you trust is a wonderful thing
- Maija Soderholm
Using the Finnish Puukko and 19th Century American Bowies as inspiration,
this knife harkens back to a time when the knife was an indispensable tool ,
whether used for fishing or hunting, camping out, working on projects at home,
or eating lunch. It could also come in handy for the traveler or adventurer
as a self defense tool.
The Somico Vaari is 13.25" (~34cm) long overall with an 8" (~20cm) blade. Blanks are precision cut from .24" (~6mm) thick A2 tool steel using computer controlled abrasive waterjet to ensure maximum consistency. Heat treatment is done carefully in small batches using oil quenching and cryogenic treatment to squeeze every last bit of performance out of the steel. Blades are then tempered to an approximate hardness of 58-60 HRC for good edge retention and easy sharpening in the field.
Each blade is hand ground and finished with a sabre-style main bevel, a fully tapered tang for perfect balance in the hand, and a subtle swedge that brings the blade to a needle-fine point without sacrificing the strength of a thick spine.
Aggressive jimping allows for a secure thumb supported grip. Three holes are drilled in the pommel to accommodate lanyards and further refine the blade's balance. The Somico Vaari can be ordered with a Japanese style handle wrap of waxed reindeer leather or with removable black canvas micarta scales. Sheaths are custom made from either leather or kydex.
Designing the 'Vaari'