The RMJ Tac­ti­cal Utsidihi uses steel that makes it the per­fect dual com­pan­ion for land and sea. BY KEVIN ESTELA

There’s a proper tool for ev­ery job. RMJ Tac­ti­cal has made a name for it­self through the de­vel­op­ment of mod­ern­ized tom­a­hawks de­signed to sur­vive the rig­ors of the bat­tle­field and pro­vide the warfighter with a tac­ti­cal ad­van­tage. In some cir­cum­stances, a large chop­ping tool ca­pa­ble of break­ing holes in walls for shoot­ing ports or crack­ing locks comes as an ab­so­lute ne­ces­sity.

In other cir­cum­stances, car­ry­ing a full­size tom­a­hawk is sim­ply im­prac­ti­cal. En­ter the Utsidihi. At less than 8 inches over­all and only 3.3 ounces, one could wear this blade dis­cretely and prac­ti­cally any­where. RMJ is known for cre­at­ing tools that make quite the state­ment, but could one of the small­est blades they have pro­duced live up to the rep­u­ta­tion of its big­ger brothers? I was will­ing to find out and pur­chased my sam­ple at the most re­cent BLADE Show.

Ini­tial Im­pres­sion

The Utsidihi is avail­able in ei­ther par­tially ser­rated or plain edge vari­a­tions.

The blade comes skele­tonized and fits in the Ky­dex or leather sheath as is. There is an op­tional G-10 han­dle kit with fas­ten­ers that does not re­quire a sep­a­rate sheath. Also avail­able is spe­cial laser-cut 3M pres­sure-sen­si­tive grip­ping ma­te­rial for a min­i­mal­ist han­dle. I elected for the plain edge vari­a­tion and Ky­dex, with ev­ery in­ten­tion to pur­chase the op­tional leather sheath and G-10 han­dle for greater util­ity and car­ry­ing op­tions.

In the hand and weigh­ing in at a lit­tle over 3 ounces, the Utsidihi prac­ti­cally dis­ap­pears. Other than the cut­ting edge, all edges are rounded and it was sur­pris­ingly com­fort­able in hand for a skele­tonized knife. With just a lit­tle para­cord, the knife be­comes more user-friendly and hand-fill­ing. The fin­ish is con­sis­tent and clean and the knife only shows ma­chin­ing/ man­u­fac­tur­ing marks where a RMJ fan would ex­pect them, run­ning per­pen­dic­u­lar to the edge on the face of the blade. In work­ing through dif­fer­ent grips, it be­came clear this knife would lend it­self to daily carry and a va­ri­ety of tasks.

The De­sign

I de­cided to go di­rectly to the source for more in­for­ma­tion on the de­sign of the Utsidihi.

Ac­cord­ing to Ryan M. John­son (Pres­i­dent and pri­mary de­signer of RMJ Tac­ti­cal), “As I de­signed the Utsidihi, my main pur­pose was to de­sign a(n) easy to carry, prag­matic so­lu­tion to the weak-hand carry self-de­fense blade.”

One only needs to look to the grow­ing trend of eas­ily car­ried por­ta­ble fixed blades, ei­ther cen­ter line or on the sup­port side of the body, to iden­tify the “why” be­hind this blade de­sign.

“Above all, I wanted to edit out all that was un­nec­es­sary and keep the sim­plest so­lu­tion pos­si­ble.” John­son con­tin­ued.

Far too many blades are com­pli­cated in their lines, carry sys­tem, and rea­son­ing. “Sim­plify, sim­plify, sim­plify,” John­son added. Sim­ple is good, and sim­ple works when cre­at­ing a blade that will ap­peal to a broad base of users.

“(But) I wanted the de­sign to be a plat­form on which par­tic­u­lars could be tweaked to bet­ter suit the end user. I wanted to start with some­thing ba­sic that could be mod­i­fied to make it your own,” John­son con­cluded.


The Utsidihi will work as in­tended as a self-de­fense/of­fense blade, but it can be eas­ily mod­i­fied for use as a ca­sual neck knife for the back­packer/ hiker or even as a dive knife, thanks to the Nitro-v steel RMJ uses. Nitro-v is the re­sult of adding ni­tro­gen and vana­dium to the al­ready proven AEB-L steel. This re­sults in an ex­tremely cor­ro­sion-re­sis­tant steel with ex­cel­lent hard­ness and edge re­ten­tion.

The Sheath

With a knife as well-thought-out as the Utsidihi, I wouldn’t fault RMJ if they skimped on the sheath de­sign. That is of­ten the case with so many ex­cel­lent blades—the knife per­forms and lives up to the hype, but the sheath falls short in ex­e­cu­tion. That is not the case with RMJ’S Ky­dex.

Ryan M. John­son de­signs all of his sheaths with a com­puter pro­gram and is able to cus­tom­ize the fit through a CAD process. RMJ has both a Ky­dex and leather sheath avail­able for the Utsidihi, and both are de­signed for use. The Ky­dex sheath supplied with mine fea­tures a sin­gle Bio­thane snap strap that runs across the body of the sheath al­low­ing for hor­i­zon­tal carry on the belt. Dur­ing the course of test­ing, in and out of the wa­ter and worn in var­i­ous con­fig­u­ra­tions, in­clud­ing 11 o’clock on the belt hor­i­zon­tally and in­verted as a necker, the sheath held strong and pro­duced no rat­tle. Even after tak­ing the Utsidihi re­peat­edly in and out of the sheath, the “click” re­ten­tion of the Ky­dex re­mained strong.

In the Field

Un­like test­ing larger knives, only where it is le­gal and prac­ti­cal, the Utsidihi was worn daily and test­ing was on­go­ing through­out all hours of the day. The knife was pocket-car­ried or neck-knife-car­ried dis­creetly on

ruck marches and runs. It was worn on a belt while hik­ing and ca­noe­ing. The knife was used in and around the house as a sub­sti­tute for tasks to which a fold­ing knife is nor­mally as­signed. This meant us­ing the knife for ev­ery­thing as sim­ple as cut­ting meat, fruits and veg­eta­bles around the grill, to open­ing bags of mulch for the land­scape and break­ing down card­board for the re­cy­cling bin. None of which caused any is­sue, as ex­pected.


While there was more fre­quency in us­ing the Utsidihi in tasks like these, they didn’t pose any real chal­lenge to the knife, and there­fore, this re­quired tak­ing it to task in the great out­doors.

The Utsidihi was car­ried in con­junc­tion with its big brother, the RMJ Pathfinder, as well as a fold­ing saw. With that com­bi­na­tion, there was re­ally no task un­ac­com­plished in the camp. The Utsidihi is not a chop­ping knife and its lim­i­ta­tions must be un­der­stood. It makes an ex­cel­lent backup knife to a large blade and works as de­signed as a per­sonal blade for gen­eral cam­pcraft. This in­cludes shav­ing wood to cre­ate tin­der, carv­ing branches to make a camp kitchen, and cut­ting cordage and web­bing. Again, no is­sues were ex­pe­ri­enced, ex­cept in cut­ting the thick­est web­bing—at 2 inches wide and not un­der ten­sion, the Utsidihi did not cut all the way through with the first cut, but thor­oughly with the sec­ond.

The Utsidihi was also used while fish­ing and div­ing, and was car­ried in and around both fresh and salt wa­ter and spray. It was used to cut bait, gut fish, and was cov­ered in fish slime.

Cut­ting through frozen shad and mack­erel spines did not phase the Utsidihi. It was used to pry open sandy shell­fish, as well. After trips around the wa­ter, the knife and sheath was sim­ply hosed off and the para­cord stripped. Even

though the metal un­der the para­cord did not have any rust to cause con­cern, the para­cord picked up the un­mis­tak­able stink of rot­ting fish. Luck­ily, for pen­nies I was able to trash the cord and re­place it with a new length.

Fully Ca­pa­ble Lit­tle Blade

I found out, while writ­ing this, a train­ing blade would be of­fered even­tu­ally for those who wish to in­cor­po­rate the Utsidihi into their com­bat­ives train­ing. I knew as soon as I han­dled this new lit­tle RMJ it would be a win­ner and in my test­ing, I was never let down. For a com­pany like RMJ, what­ever prod­uct they in­tro­duce must be able to stand on its own next to the tom­a­hawks that made the com­pany fa­mous. I fully be­lieve this lit­tle blade will be­come an in­dus­try stan­dard oth­ers are judged against. KI

Be­low: RMJ Tac­ti­cal is known for their tom­a­hawks, like this Shrike, that makes a great com­bi­na­tion with the Utsidihi. Photo Credit: Brian Grif­fin

Above: The Utsidihi with a fully ser­rated blade.

Bot­tom: The Utsidihi can be con­fig­ured in a num­ber of ways with op­tional han­dle ma­te­ri­als. Photo Credit: Brian Grif­fin

Top: The au­thor used the Utsidihi on nu­mer­ous dives and tested it by cut­ting cordage in and around wa­ter.

Right: The RMJ Utsidihi worked great while pre­par­ing the oc­ca­sional camp­fire. It split and feath­ered wood with ease.

Bot­tomt: The RMJ Utsidihi was the per­fect camp­mate.

Top Right: The RMJ Utsidihi was used for cut­ting up bait and gut­ting fish dur­ing test­ing. There was no dis­col­oration, stain­ing, or rust­ing on the blade after ex­ten­sive use.

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