Gear Review: Picolomako by Bastinelli Knives

As you’ve seen in a previous post, we’re all about the curved blades and retention rings. This knife—the Picolomako—is one of my favorite to carry. It’s comfortable, the sheath is robust and well attached, and capable of being deployed in a variety of carry options.

Let’s get into the specs.

This blade is 7.375″ overall, with a blade thickness of just over 1/10th of an inch. The upswept hollow ground blade is 3″, but due to the upsweep you get 3.125″ of cutting surface. Made of N690Co steel, this is one hell of a sharp blade. It slides through the paper test like a how knife through butter.

With a G10 handle and retention ring, this blade draws and sweeps with ease. It’s very ergonomic. I like it a bit more than the Kalinou insofar as it’s ease of deployment, but it doesn’t make you feel like a human raptor like the Kalinou does.

There is also some jimping on the top of the blade, which assists with control and power cuts.

What’s more, is the sheath is versatile, and equipped with a spring loaded release on the belt clip, allowing you take the knife off without undoing your belt. Moreover, you have the ability to change the carry angle and where you place it—pretty cool if you ask me.

Tipping the scales at a scant 3.4 ounces, this knife was co-designed by Doug Marcaida—Kali expert—and Bastien Bastinelli. Overall, I’m very impressed with the sharpness, craftsmanship, and ergonomics of this knife.

Now, many questions have come through the inbox about this knife, and yes, we will admit, it isn’t your average blade.

The biggest question is what’s up with that bottle-opener looking thing at the top, above the blade?

Well, that’s mainly for aesthetics and balance. I’ve heard people BS and say that’s to grab another blade when you’re knife fighting – but let’s save that drivel for the John Woo movies.

The next is what’s up with the “ring” at the back?

Well since this knife ifs a karambit derivation that ring serves a couple purposes. First is retention. You slip your index finger through that usually, but I’ve seen some Kali practitioners slip their pinky through it (I personally don’t like this but I’m a casual practitioner so what do I know?)  This allows you to retain the weapon during combatives, but also allows you to “flip” the blade forward, and slash with it. However, since this isn’t a true karambit – it lacks some essential features to properly do that – namely jimping or a lip on the ring so you can hold it in place with your thumb when slashing. That being said, you can still wield this thing like Jet Li, but be careful. I’m giving you a severe understatement when I say this thing is SHARP.

Pros, what we like:

Lightweight, super sharp, aggressive looking and outstanding ergonomics. The sheath also is great – with positive retention, carry options, and easy deployment.

Cons, what we don’t like:

That I don’t have two of them. Snag one.


Alex Castiglione lives in Atlanta, and is an avid outdoorsman and competitive shooter.

His where-abouts include getting after it in his garage gym, practicing martial arts, hitting the trails, or running CrossFit and Strongman competitions for his non-profit, Barbells for Bullies, which holds fundraiser fitness competitions dedicated to aiding Bully breed rescues, dog rescues, or other non-profits with similar missions.

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