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  • Writer's pictureMarine X

TRM Holey Nerd: A Hole in One...or a Swing and a Miss?

This knife is seriously stubby, and I love it.

Written by Marine X

(Photo/Marine X)

Full Disclosure: I was sent this knife and the first thing that jumped out at me was the name Nerd. Moreover, The Holey Nerd. I am a huge fan of Three River Manufacturing’s (TRM) parent Halpern Titanium, Inc. because of their story of providing quality titanium to many manufacturers, starting with their initial load out of the bed of a pickup truck. 

So when I learned Harpern Titanium turned their attention to knife making in the form of TRM, I was intrigued. I rarely review knives but I know what I like. Composite materials, such as G-10, Micarta, and Carbon fiber are my favorite. Pulling the Nerd out of the box, I knew it was that much closer to a 10 out of 10 because of the G-10 scales. It's significant that I decided to review the Nerd and it's one of my most versatile carries in years. 

The appeal of this knife is the space it resides in. It's small, with a blade length south of 2.5 inches and an overall length barely crossing 5 inches. In a world of choice: size, weight, country of origin, and, of course, price. So finding a good pocket knife for you, is no simple task. Amongst the chaos, however, TRM made a knife not trying to be a jack of all trades. 

TRM created an EDC knife that works well for tons of people, offers customizable materials, and is mostly legal, everywhere. The Three Rivers, MA-based company continues to innovate and the second generation Nerd exposes that fact. 

BLUF: The Holey Nerd is a knife created by TRM for those that needs a knife, needs it legal, slicey, and customizable. Best suited for navigating your busy urban day, DIY tasks around the house, and a companion at a campsite. All we need to do is discuss the action and pocket clip, because they are an issue.. 

TRM Holey-Nerd Review

(Photo/Marine X)


OAL 5.5”

Blade length 2.2”

Blade steel CPM 20CV or CPM Magnacut

Blade shape Drop point

Grind Flat

Lock Type Liner

Carry Right hand, tip-up

Weight 1.7 oz.

Price $215


Sheesh!, the fifth pocket sizing

CPM 20CV or CPM Magnacut steel

Quick changing, fully customizable, 1st party scale options

USA Made


The pocket clip collides with ergonomics


Detent could be better (lots of wrist needed to open)


Final conclusion, if you want a tiny little EDC knife, with lots of scale options and a premium feel, the Holey Nerd is for you. Very light-weight, good flicking hole, and once more third party options arise, even more scale swapping will be available. 

Design & Features

(Photo/Marine X)

With a flat grind, CPM 20CV drop-point blade and tons of scale options, the version of the Holey-Nerd that I had the pleasure of testing is built like a Sherman tank. American steels are increasingly more popular, especially CPM 20CV. Mostly do to the steel’s toughness and rare need for sharpening. Furthermore, it holds a great working edge, long after the factory edge. 

The Nerd is a flicking knife that utilizes a liner lock mechanism. The combination of G-10 and liner locks is common because it remains effective for a long period of time. Because of the build, the scales are not intertwined with the body of the knife.

First Impressions

(Photo/Marine X)

This Nerd is stalwart — short and slicey. And there’s a lot of attractiveness to that.

This knife has a closed length of 3.3 inches and a blade length of 2.2 inches. In my judgment, and noticing how the knife teeters on the top of my finger, the balance is handle heavy. You normally want more weight in the handle for a good use, but this had a pinch too much weight.

And for a short knife, the Nerd tucks into my large glove sized hands well. Although it is a three finger hold unless you are okay with your index sharing space with a relatively small finger choil. The pocket clip will dig into your palm if you hard use the knife, but it is tolerable.

(Photo/Marine X)

The brings me to my main gripe with the knife design, the detent. The knife requires a bit of wrist and flick to open. More easily opened with two hands, that can be a downside. However, with more use, the one hand action should improve. 

So, what did I actually do with the Nerd?

(Photo/Marine X)

It is my new man cave and around the house knife. It is the knife I put in my pocket when I don’t intend to really leave the house or the trappings of my neighborhood. If I am tinkering in the man cave, this knife is on me. It easily works with joggers or basketball shorts just as well as dickies and jeans.

While woodworking, it is my pencil sharpener and the knife that works its way into my rucking loadout. There is no fidget factor to the the knife so I tend to not play with it like some of my other knives.

In Conclusion

(Photo/Marine X)

Thinking about the difficulty of finding a knife that is fifth pocket size, can slice, and future-proof, TRM knew the assignment. Its smaller form factor doesn’t hold it back from a number of tasks, all with the relative ease of sharpening. 

With the consideration of the CPM 20CV and G-10 body, you can expect to use and, in theory, abuse the Nerd. This knife can be pushed to the limits with the occasional rehoning and light maintenance.

Besides the pocket clip and wrist action to open, the knife is made easy to carry and use. I can see this on a barista’s hip, at a camp, or workshop. 

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