In a competitive knife market, it’s not that easy to choose the correct brand. Yet if you ever considered an inexpensive high-end knife with groundbreaking design then CRKT might be your only reliance. They are producing immortal designs with excellent usability continuously. From the end of the twentieth century, during the last 26 years (yes! You heard it right) they are developing knives. The quality of the knife speaks for their experience. If I am not wrong, you are worrying about which CRKT knife you need to buy as there are plenty of models out there. Here in this article, I am presenting a top 10 CRKT knives review with detailed explanations.
Hopefully, It will not break the bank and give you the feeling of great value for money.
Background and Key Specifications of CRKT Knives
The renowned brand CRKT is owned by Columbia River Knife and Tool Inc. and is widely known for delivering top-quality knives. It is based in the United States, specifically in Oregon. Rod Bremer and Paul Gillespie are proud creators of this knife manufacturing company. Although this company owns sharpeners, multi-tools and similar products. They offer an immense diversity of fixed and folding blade knives. However, they specialize in making survival, fishing, hunting, tactical, etc. knives.
Don’t confuse the cost with their quality. They produce a series of inexpensive and cost-effective knives with a particular need in mind. Often they team up with the top brands in the knife market. They are really masterminds in making affordable knives with the premium build quality and healthy design.
As I already mentioned, CRKT builds knives for some particular applications. In this piece of writing, I will provide an in-depth but simple review of the best CRKT knives.
Key Features of CRKT Knives
- CRKT focuses mainly on purpose driven knives.
- Creates innovative styled knives with collaboration of famous designers.
- This company provides extensive warranties.
- Affordable, value for money and available for plenty of sizes.
CRKT M16 Folding Pocket Knife
Most probably you are familiar with the idea of a flipper in the knife era. You will be amazed to know that M16 has popularized this style. Kit Carson was the creator of this knife. You will find it in many varieties. However, the optimal blade is the 01T version of M16. It holds a sleek handle made of titanium which has a 3.125 inch spear point. The basic function of M16 is to help in tactical applications. It contains a nice straight spine handle and handles with proper holes. Additionally, it has liners to reduce weight.
From the tango to a spear point, you will get every flexible size for your tasks. It also comes with flexible handle materials. Titanium, Aluminum, and Zytel are available as handles depending on price ranges. You will be amazed to know that it also has a version which is specially made for a rescue. In this case, they provide a flipper tab with a seat belt cutter and a glass breaker situated on the backside of the handle. Dual flipper is also available for several models. This helps to work like a hilt, at the time the blade is unlocked. Not only do they work really well with cord and rope but also they are not heavy to carry.
The M16 is running for a long period with a solid reputation. Furthermore, it receives extra advantages from the popular LAWKS system. This blade is very much compatible with this secondary safety device as it fits in the middle of the blade and scale. This knife series is delivering excellence at a reasonable price.
- Great weight distribution.
- Not much expensive
- Plenty of varieties available
- Steels from some M16 varieties are junk
- Not much durable
This knife is CRKT’s oldest but the most famous designs of all time. It has huge variations but all the knives are robust and solid. If you are a design lover, then this is for you.
CRKT Crossbones EDC Folding Pocket Knife
The Crossbones is one of the latest popular innovations of CRKT. It is made in Taiwan. You are bound to love it for its efficiency. Jeff Park is behind this release. It has a gorgeous handle which is very easy to maintain. It will catch your eyes for Italian old school design. Very simple but splendid. It is built from 6061 aluminum anodized. Surprisingly it holds a textured model under the lifted X pattern. To use the right-hand tip-up carry, CRKT provides a stainless rich carry pocket clip which is polished greatly. The back spacer expands through the endpoint of the handle which creates a delicate lanyard hole.
The Crossbones holds an entire length of 8.06 inches with a 3.54 inch blade. The interesting part is that it only weighs less than 2.5 ounces which is extremely useful and flexible for daily tasks. Actually, it weighs 2.4 ounces.
CRKT uses AUS- 8 steel for the blade. This steel is known for being soft steel. It is very easy to sharpen but it lacks the longevity of its age compared to other expensive cutting steels. Although this steel is very much solid and robust, thus comfortable to maintain.
Admittedly, the Cross bond knife has superiority over others for its light weightless and for easy to pocket. It should be noted that it is designed as a long bold knife so it will not be suitable for all applications. The plus point is that this knife can go through the places where other knives can’t survive as it holds a thin blade. On the other hand, the handle is greatly textured that’s why it is fun to grasp.
- Cost effective and super lightweight
- Heavy durable steel
- Seamless performance
- Fast Opening & closing system
- Annoying lock stick
To sum up, Crossbones holds a beautiful design and comfortable usability. It can be value for money if you choose this knife for these stunning qualities.
CRKT Swindle EDC Folding Pocket Knife
Now we’re jumping to another Ken Onion’s innovation. It is the modern version of the popular classic sway back pattern.
The swindle is a total 7.5 inches long and contains a 3.2 inch long blade. It weighs about 3.3 ounces. The basic design of this knife is long and thin. This makes it spread out of the blade. This provides a practical gentlemanly sort folder which operates battle for EDC. However, this expands throughout the dress knife area also. You can easily put up your 4 fingers in the handle as it is quite long and also the curve design really makes it comfortable to use. CRKT created a nice balance of comfort and grip for the jumping which is situated on the backside of the knife. If you want to toss the knife in the opposite grip for the second run of jumping, it will grab your thumb nicely. It’s an awesome experience.
Besides, the entire steel handle provides additional heft for the knife which makes it easy to carry it. Differing from a tactical knife, the Swindle blade shows up a really nice tip.
CRKT offers the Swindle in two separate plates of steel. The standard model with the plane handle offers 8Cr14MoV, while the premium version uses the Sandvik 12c27 which contains a milled handle. The milled handle provides a greater grip than the standard one. It is worth noting that this innovative design achieved many awards and it is a fan favorite knife.
- Modern design and technology
- Super smooth IKBS pivot
- Smooth cutting experience
- Spunky action at closing time
- Very hard to clean
If you are looking for a knife which is greatly efficient as well as balanced in functions then a Swindle knife is made for you. The design may not catch your eyes but it will surely feed your needs.
CRKT Pilar EDC Folding Pocket Knife
If you are on a tight budget then CRKT Pilar is suitable for you. This model is created by the famous designer Jesper Voxnaes. This knife holds a small blade with a forward finger choil of 50 by 50. This will help you to grasp with your four fingers as it shrinks to 3.5 inches. In addition to this, full stainless steel made for frame lock helps to maintain a stable position and you can comfortably play as you wish.
To summarize the technical, the length of this knife is 2.4 inch and it had a nice cutting edge of 2 inches. On a whole, it is about 6 inches long and the handle is about 3.5 inches. And also it is about 4.2 ounce.
CRKT utilizes 8Cr13MoV stainless steel for the blade making process. All I can say is that this is medium quality steel. We cannot say that it is that good or even bad. In my opinion, it is decent and actually, it matches this price range. However, if we talk about edge retention, this knife is very much okay and acceptable. We can say the same about the fact of corrosion resistance. Now if I talk about the pros, this knife is superior in taking edge to it as it’s so easy. I cannot stress more on this topic. Actually, I have found it is much easier compared to other steel made knives.
- Value for money
- Contains deep choil
- Acceptable edge retention
- Design is not decent
- Cutting edge is short
Overall this knife will not satisfy you fully nor dissatisfy you either. So choice is yours.
CRKT Homefront Aluminum Folding Pocket Knife
Have you ever thought of using a knife style from World War 2? Or wonder about how the knife looks at that time? CRKT made it possible for you by designing a knife to mimic the old era.
Ken Onion is the lead designer of this knife. It has a smart fresh trick upon its sleeve. It is counted as a masterpiece and one of the best knife styles.
This knife allows the user to separate each and every part of the knife instantly for any purpose. Isn’t it awesome that you can clean and wipe it anytime without any help from any instruments?
The length of the blade is 3.5 inch and the thickness is 0.1 inch. However, it weighs 4.03 ounces.
The Homefront model is not surely the most beautiful but if you want the classic vibe and old memories than you need to choose this. This tool will fulfill two tasks at the same time. It will connect you to the past and also do the job really good for which it is originally made.
The edge of the Homefront is not sharpened completely throughout the plunge line. The effect you will receive a great part of .25 inch blunt. This can help you as a forward finger choil, undoubtedly you will miss some cutting surface. Moreover, in some cases, this knife is tougher to make sharper compared to other knives.
- Effortlessly maintainable design
- Sharpening is easy
- Great value for money
- Lifetime warranty
- AUS-8 should be used
- Not usable to strip in the field
To sum up, the advantages of this knife exceed the disadvantages. So if this fulfills your needs then you can collect it.
CRKT No Time Off Folding Pocket Knife
As the name suggests No Time Off knife is a noisome and a fashionable knife by CRKT. Usually, the trendsetter designs last long and people remember them much. If you are a knife lover than you must be familiar with the Flavio Ikoma design system. This knife holds a seamless pivot known as IKBS in order to provide rough less action.
It is a very solid and robust knife. If we talk about the technical, this knife is overall 18.4 cm long and the blade is 7.6 cm long with a thickness of 3.8 mm. However, it weighs 165 grams.
The blade is in an open position that is locked with a liner lock. You will feel very much comfortable to open this knife as it has a smart IKBS and nice ball-bearing method.
Apart from this, this knife is not suitable for each and every one of you. Don’t scratch your head because you have heard it right and I mean it. CRKT designed this knife for a particular audience in mind.
- Strong and robust knife
- Less expensive
- Great performance
- Smooth opening feature
- A bit weighty
- Made only for tough tasks
Actually, it is only for working-class men who need a hard and stable knife for producing heavy tasks. In the other words, it is not a casual knife. This knife is really durable, stable, and tough at a very reasonable price. If you are not fitting with these criteria then I suggest you use the other knives in my review list.
CRKT Squid Folding Pocket Knife
If you are hunting for a solid high-value knife which is easy to carry but on a budget then Squid is suitable for you. In fact, it is a decent knife of this price range and surprisingly it can beat many pricier ones.
The blade is about 2.25 inches long with a handle of 3.5 inches. It contains steel of 3.5 ounces.
CRKT uses 8Cr13MoV steel for creating the blade of this knife. You may already know many costly and premium knives are made from this same steel. This steel is not less expensive than the premium AUS8 steel. If you judge from the perspective of performance, heat treatment and stability, both of them will get the same mark. CRKT is very popular among the premium knife makers in the world and they treat all of their products equally. My point is, in this budget price range, this knife is obviously value for money. In conclusion, the Squid is a budget knife which literally beats many expensive and premium knives.
- Great value for money
- Sharp edge
- Innovative Design
- Little in shape but robust in work
- Contains grip issues
- Opening time is a bit slow
This Squid knife is of normal size but it’s smaller than ideal ones. If you use a small pocket then it is worth giving a shot for this knife.
CRKT Eros Lightweight Razor Edge Knife
One of the renowned knife designers throughout the world, Ken Onion, is behind Eros.
Originally, the Eros was sold in two different sizes. The smaller one is 2 inch and the larger one is 3 inches. But later CRKT abundant the smaller, 2-inch one. Now you can only buy the larger ones.
To sum up the technical, the Eros holds a large hollow grind. This produces extraordinary performance in slicing tasks. The blade stock of 0.09 inches also bumps the slicing operation as it is heavily thin. And the main part, the spear point blade is 2.84 inches.
It has a tip of needle-sharp quality and this can easily break and stab over cardboard or even a one-piece container.
CRKT uses two different steels in two different standards of Eros. The basic or standard version uses AUS-8 which is smooth stainless steel. On the other hand, the enhanced or premium version offers ACUTO+ steel. This steel is not that much popular, however, this is uniquely made for CRKT by Aichi.
However, CRKT shares an awesome pocket clip near the pivot for both of the versions.
- Movable clip for tip up
- Very sharp knife
- Unique Design
- Easy to carry
- Hard to open
CRKT can discontinue the production of Eros. So if this meets your needs, I will suggest you get one whilst it’s available.
CRKT Fossil Folding Pocket Knife
Did Fossils remind you of dinosaurs? But you don’t need to go to a museum to see or use fossils. CRKT has done this digging job for you and is given the opportunity to take a fossil of your own. Yes, I am talking about the Fossil folding knife by CRKT.
Flavio Ikoma designed this knife. He was motivated by the skin of crocodiles.
The overall length of this knife is 4.95 inches when closed and about 9 inches long when opened, with a blade of 3.96 inches. It is of .15 inch thick which bumps the seamless applications. Moreover, the weight of the Fossil is 6.1 ounces.
Everyone should be concerned regarding the slippery handle. The handle of Fossil is made by 2Cr13 and it has a G10 overlay. You will be very comfortable with gripping, as not only the contours but also the texture works extremely well which helps to avoid slipping.
To conclude, the view of this knife is very attractive and stunning. You can clearly use it for several years as it is made of solid materials.
- Decent performance
- Smooth opening
- Great sizing
- Edge retention is not up to the mark
- Picket clip quality is not good
If you enjoy forward or reverse position, you will surely feel the taste of solid grip.
I think you will not regret collecting this handful knife.
CRKT Hootenanny EDC Folding Pocket Knife
Here I am presenting another knife designed by Ken Onion. This knife has a cross design with aka Every Day Carry.
If you look at its specifications, Hootenanny is 7.8 inch long and it has a blade of 3.34 inch long. The weight of this blade is about 4.8 ounces.
If we categorize, we can select this knife as a fish and fowl knife. CRKT has made this knife specifically for hunting and doing little applications. That’s why it has additional length from the handle as well as the blade, so that it can be useful in providing these performances.
As like most of the blades by CRKT, Hootenanny is made of 8Cr13MoV steel. This steel is very simple and comfortable to sharpen. But as I already mentioned, it is lacking at the edge retention section. This is a bolstered style knife and it holds a stainless steel frame.
This is CRKT’S one of the most popular designs. Its pocket clip sounds similar like others. The gunmetal gray bolsters and dark scales make this knife more appealing.
- IKBS pivot technology
- Super smooth usability
- Budget friendly
- Pocket grip is non reversible
- Tiny flipper
If you are design enthusiastic but also looking for a budget knife, then you can go for Hootenanny.
When should you go for the CRKT Knives and Why?
CRKT provides knives in every budget segment. From very low to damn high you will find it. Name a task and surprisingly CRKT will offer a specialized knife particularly made for you. And their quality exceeds their price.
However, as like all the brands, CRKT lists knives based on higher the price and better the quality strategy.
CRKT Knives vs Benchmade Knives
While both CRKT and Benchmade are great knife brands, both share some similarities and dissimilarities. CRKT is manufactured in China and Taiwan but Benchmade is in the USA.
Benchmade is renowned for delivering premium grade knives. They have only three types of knife. Blue, Black and Gold class. All of the knives are made of high standard materials and very much durable. Benchmade also provides Black class knives for law enforcement forces and gold class knives that are made of advanced methods.
However, CRKT is generally more budget focused although they also provide high class knives.
CRKT Knives vs Spyderco Knives
Like CRKT, Spyderco provides quality materials with elegant design. Spyderco is associated with many celebrities to perfect their knife developments. Both CRKT and Spyderco have an impressively extensive range of products. Spyderco is available in every budget segment and also in every unique task.
While CRKT has a great 26 years of experience, Spyderco has a massive 40 years of production experience. Spyderco is mostly mid to high range focused while CRKT is for all. However, In manufacturing quality, CRKT overpasses Spyderco.
Spyderco and Kershaw are more or less the same. So the same analysis fits for CRKT knives vs Kershaw knives.
Are CRKT Knives Good?
This is not a unique question and I face this question a lot. And I am concluding my answer in this passage.
Yes, Undoubtedly, CRKT knives perform great in all applications. But there is a bit. It depends on your selection. As I already mentioned, although some knives are universal, CRKT focuses and develops knives for a specific task. Every knife has his own advantages and disadvantages. Basically these pros and cons are the direct results of focused knife making strategy. To get the best performance in any task, you need that task focused knife.
So your duty is to investigate and select the knives that match best for your application.
In this article I have deeply provided all the information you need to choose the best knife for your work. I have gone through every small detail in the simplest manner possible. Take some time, think and choose the best knife which fits your criteria to deliver your task seamlessly.
To conclude, I can’t stress enough to say that CRKT knives are great.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What is a CRKT knife?
Answer: A CRKT knife is a knife which is made by Columbia River Knife & Tools and manufactured in America.
Question: Who makes CRKT knives?
Answer: Columbia River Knife & Tools makes CRKT knives.
Question: Where are CRKT knives made?
Answer: CRKT knives are mainly manufactured in China and Taiwan.
Question: Is CRKT Siwi a good knife?
Answer: It is a decent knife with a decent price. But for buying it, you must check if your needs can be fulfilled.
Question: Is Crkt a good knife brand?
Answer: CRKT is a well reputed and leading knife brand in the world.
Question: Are Crkt knives made in China?
Answer: Yes. They are mainly made in China. But some of them are made in Taiwan.
Question: Are any Crkt knives made in the USA?
Answer: No. They only provide overseas made knives.
Question: Where does Crkt make their knives?
Answer: They make them in Taiwan and China.
CRKT’S product talks about their quality. They have been creating knives for a long time and they have mastered the art of building a solid, durable and qualitiful knife. In these years, they have partnerships with different designers to deliver creative and advanced knives. I believe CRKT will not upset you in any manner.
However, all of them had made for some specific applications. So you need to focus on your needs and choose the proper knife for your collection.