John Grimsmo Norseman Custom Folding Knife

Reviewed by corwin99 on April 5th, 2013


John Grimsmo is a new Canadian knifemaker that made a name for himself producing cool anodized aluminum and titanium knife scales for production knives such as the popular Spyderco Manix2, and only started making these not long ago in 2011. His first CNC machined and hand-finished custom knife model is the Norseman, and has some very interesting looks and cool features.

This example of the Grimsmo Norseman is only the 3rd Normseman ever made by John, and was made for a friend of mine who graciously allowed me to review it. Being such an early example, it doesn’t have the level of finish and polish that the current models have from what I am told. Based on the current photos I have seen, I does appear that the newer ones are better finish, so please keep this in mind while you read.

The blade is made of RWL-34 stainless steel, and features 3D-machining on the surface of the primary grind. The blade profile is a sort of tanto with a hawkbill-shaped main edge and a curved piercing point. The main edge is a hollow grind, and the front edge is flat ground. I’m not a huge fan of 3D machined blade, just because I find that more traditional satin and polished surfaces are more attractive and are less likely to rust and corrode. But generally, it’s a nice blade. I think I would have preferred the gaps in the machined lines to be the same throughout the blade, instead of getting wider on opposing sides of two grinds.

I quite like the idea and design of the handle, and it sits well in the hand with a great grippy surface. The overall shape is flat, which I usually don’t prefer, but I think for the style and context of this knife, it has to be. It would be very cool to have this honeycomb pattern on a fully contoured handle, but it would be more difficult obviously. This special example has a Nuko Tools logo engraved inside one of the honeycomb holes and is finished in an anodized gold. Each honeycomb also has a jeweled finish on the surface which contrasts with the raised portions of the handle.

Fit and Finish
Fit and Finish of this Norseman is okay, but could and has been improved in subsequent pieces. The handles and blade are “over-finished” with a little too much polishing on the edges and the spine of the blade. I would have like to see some crisper lines and edges especially on the spine of the blade and in the machined honeycomb handle. The ball bearing pivot and flipper mechanism is smooth and works well.

The orange peel finish of the handle is somewhat inconsistent, and there are some strange finishing/machining marks in some areas including the recess for the lock back which is shown in one of the pics. I would have liked to slightly better finishing out the door.

Overall a strong first effort from a young Canadian maker, with tons of potential. There is a lot to like about the Norseman, and even more to look forward to with future releases. John Grimsmo is a knifemaker to keep your eye one, as I think that we will see some very nice things coming out of his shop in the near future.

Blade Length: 3.65?
Overall Length: 8.75?
Closed Length: 5?
Weight: 4.6oz.
Blade Steel: RWL34 at 60RC


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