Arno Bernard Rinkhals Opens the Floodgate for More Folders

After eighteen months of prototyping and perfecting, Arno Bernard Knives has released its first ever slipjoint, the Rinkhals. The new knife mixes traditional Arno Bernard flourishes into the modern slipjoint recipe.

The Rinkhals sits comfortably in familiar spec territory for a high-end slipjoint. The blade profile is a drop point, 2.8 inches long and made from RWL 34 steel. The simple handle is constructed from titanium and accented by an inlay that, in conventional Arno Bernard style, can be a wide variety of materials – including uncommon ones like Thunderstorm Kevlar. The Rinkhals weighs 2.3 oz., and comes with a removable clip as well as a pocket slip.

According to Ruan Bernard, the knife adheres to the Arno Bernard motto: ‘Tough Enough to Use – Nice Enough to Collect.’ “We made a design that is modern but incorporated an old fashioned mechanism,” he tells us. He predicts multiple disparate audiences for the Rinkhals, possibly including those new to the Arno Bernard brand. Bernard reckons the Rinkhals is “For the younger generation collector, or for the older collector that embraces the change and knows quality when they see it. And any user that wants a really good knife.”

It took some time to make the Rinkhals a reality. When we spoke to Bernard last year he told us that his father’s shop has been prepping for folders for more than five years. Designing, tweaking, and perfecting the Rinkhals took 18 months on its own. “The challenge was not knowing anything about slipjoints,” Bernard explains. “The biggest challenge was to get the walk and talk to what we think the customers would love. Now we are about to find out!” He goes on to say that the tactile experience of operating the Rinkhals is one of its best selling points, and one that unfortunately doesn’t translate when looking at it on a computer screen. “It is extremely smooth and the sound is oh so sweet on your ears.”

Given its premium materials and fit and finish, the Rinkhals might evoke images of the Chris Reeve Knives Mnandi. Bernard tells us that like many his shop takes inspiration from the quality and utility of CRK products. “When we started out with the Rinkhals we wanted to make a folding knife that worked technically as good as a Chris Reeve knife, but that has a unique design to Arno Bernard Knives,” he says. However some subtle inspiration might have drifted in. “The thing that bothered [Arno Bernard] about a slipjoint was the small cut in the blade that always hurts your nail. Franco [Bernard, Arno’s son and Ruan’s brother] and he came up with the cutout and looking at it now it surely must have been subconsciously inspired by the Mnandi. [It] makes it very comfortable to open the Rinkhals and it looks fabulous.”

Now that Arno Bernard has checked the slipjoint off their list, they can look to their next folding knife project. Last year they teased a flipper and a button lock knife too. Bernard tells us to expect the next folder release later this year, in September. The shop also plans to break into another new category. “We are also looking at kitchen knives, but we might have to move these to 2020,” Bernard notes.

Knife in Featured image: Arno Bernard Knives Rinkhals