“5 from the Grinder” with Daniel Pica (Screech Owl Knives)

Today’s featured knifemaker is not one I met at BLADE Show, rather someone whose work I have become familiar with through interactions on social media. It was the knife below, which is still a work in progress, that first caught my eye. He shared it to a Facebook group when it was still just a blank, but I am a sucker for a Wharncliffe blade. As a commenter on his post said, “I need that into my life”. It isn’t even one of the pictures he sent me to feature. I just really like it. He lists Walter Brend as one of his influences. I can see it in the grind-style of this knife.

I will let Daniel take it from here…

First, in a few sentences, please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives.

My name is Daniel Pica and I am the owner of Screech Owl Knives, a one-man custom knife shop located in central North Carolina.  I first started making knives after my Uncle gave me my first custom knife as a gift for my college graduation.  It was then that I realized knives can be beautiful works of art.  Being an avid outdoorsman and a craftsman, it only made sense to me to try my hand at making knives.

Question 1: What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?

My biggest influences are Bob Loveless, Bob Terzuola, Walter Brend and the Jones Brothers.  I do not have any mentors but benefit greatly from attending meetings at the North Carolina Knifemakers Guild.

Question 2: What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?

That would be a toss up between a clip-point bowie, a tanto and a seax.

Question 3: What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?

  I believe that traditionally forged, ABS syle knives are going to be making a come back.  I also believe that folders will remain hot.

Question 4: Is there a knife from your lineup that you feel best exhibits who you are as a knifemaker/designer in terms of design elements, aesthetic or techniques used?

Probably my knives designed and made for the sportsman.  Besides making knives, hunting and fishing are also passions of mine.

Question 5: What is your EDC and why?

 My Critter model with a bowie style clip point blade.  I love the size of the blade and how easy it is to carry for a fix blade.  Also the flat grind is a great choice for EDC with this model.

You can check out more of Daniel’s work at his website: ScreechOwlKnives.com, or their Facebook Page, Instagram, or YouTube Channel.

If you are a knifemaker or know a knifemaker that would like to be featured in a future 5 from the Grinder post, please send an email to thetruthaboutknives@gmail.com


  1. Cadeyrn says:

    Really striking and attractive work. There’s a lot of additional drool-inducing work on that website, so second the idea to check it out!

    1. Richard Gouge says:

      I am fortunate enough to own several of his blades and they are too notch in every regard. Worth every penny and then some. They are super strong and nothing is spared when it comes to detail and function. The sharpest knives I have ever owned in style and function… Thanks Daniel Pica for your incredible knife making gift.

  2. David Warren says:

    I love how he has showed the process on social media ! He has developed fans like me, who have never bought a custom knife. I am now a true believer and fan ! The critter is now on my mind when I go to bed, and when I wake up. Makes me feel like a kid again, wishing I could own a Nintendo like all the other kids ! lol it’s not a good time for me to buy right now, some personal issues, but I will be saving up !! I will own the critter one day !! If not for all the pics on FB. I would have never developed this Passion for a custom screech owl Critter !!! Thank you, Daniel for sharing everything, and bringing this passion back out in me. It’s brought me happiness and I’ve not even touched one yet !! lol Quality materials are a must now days, but without the Artist. It’s still a production knife. I have 4 kids that come 1st, but one day I will own one !!!!
    Thank you,
    Dave Warren

    1. I agree. Watching the stages develop in the wharncliffe has been both interesting and informative.

  3. Branson says:

    The knife in the 1st photo was made for me by Daniel earlier this year and all I can say is WOW!

    Not only is the craftsmanship top notch but all my interactions with him have been outstanding. He took my would like to have’s and turned them into the perfect bushcraft knife for me.

    I would not hesitate to have him make me another knife and highly recommend him.

    Also worth mentioning the kydex work is the best I have ever seen (same comment from all my shooting buddies)

    1. Sweet. Daniel seems to have quite the devoted following. Not that I am surprised.

  4. Daniel Pica says:

    I really appreciate the kind replies you guys are putting out there! I feel that I get most of my reward from this work by seeing others feeling the same way I do towards my knives! I work hard to give everyone the best I can and I appreciate the patience I get in order to deliver that.

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“5 from the Grinder” with Daniel Pica (Screech Owl Knives)

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