The CRKT 2261 Tecpatl
Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT, was established in Oregon in 1994. Their purpose since the beginning was to bring the useful technological advancements to create brand new product concepts for the knife community. During these past two decades, CRKT has followed that purpose and brought many new ground breaking and innovative knives to the world. Their knives are built for everyday carry, for tactical purposes, for hunting and fishing, and even for survival scenarios. Their products are high quality and will be able to meet the demands that you throw at it. CRKT believes that if the knife doesn’t meet the user’s standards, it doesn’t meet their own standards. CRKT uses the most advanced equipment and production systems to manufacture their knifes with efficiency. CRKT believes that everyone should be able to afford to carry the highest quality knives and tools.
During the past two decades, CRKT has collaborated with many famous knife designers and makers. Resulting from these collaborations are not only superior knives, but also innovative features. Some of these features include the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System, the OutBurst assist opening mechanism, and the Automated Liner Safety System. When you purchase a CRKT knife, you can know that you are getting an exceptional knife that is ahead of its time. You can be certain that if there is a game changing innovative feature, your knife will probably be rocking it. You are guaranteed that your knife will stand up to the test of time. Any CRKT knife would be a fantastic addition to your collection, and the brand new Tecpatl is no different.
The blade on the Tecpatl is made out of SK5 high carbon steel. SK5 high carbon steels originated in Japan, where they would make a variety of hand tools with it. Some of these hand tools that they have produced with SK5 are chisels and wood cutting saws. This type of steel is one of the highest quality steels for knife blades. This steel is a hard and tough steel. Because there are extra carbides in the metal, the steel has increased abrasion resistance and lets the steel attain an ideal balance of good blade toughness. Because it has such a good balance between hardness and toughness, this type of steel has endured through time in many different cultures. This blade also sports a plain edge, which is easier to sharpen, is better at skinning or peeling, and is great for detail work. Some people are bummed with a plain edge because they feel like a serrated edge would be able to cut through thicker materials, such as rope or thick branches, which is mostly true. However, when you get a plain edge sharp enough, it can almost match what a serrated edge can do.
The SK5 steel has been finished with a black powder coating. Coating finishes help to reduce the reflection and glare off of the blade, while also working to recue wear and corrosion. However, all coatings will eventually scratch off, and they will scratch off quicker with lots of use or with heavy use. The powder coating is actually one of the lowest quality blade coatings, so it does have a higher chance of chipping or scratching off sooner than a different coating would.
The blade on this knife is an interesting shape. I would probably describe it as a mix between a modified Wharncliffe and a modified Tanto. Both of those blade shapes have a very straight sharpened edge with no curve, but the blade on the Tecpatl does sport a slightly curved belly. The back, or the unsharpened edge of the knife, goes pretty straight and then angles downward sharply to meet the curve to make a tip. With this unique blade you get some of the benefits from a few different types of blade shapes. One of the pros to this blade is that the back is relatively wide and thick. This gives you more strength throughout the knife than you would have with a thinner, less wide blade. Because it is so thick towards the handle, this knife is going to be able to take on heavier tasks and cut through thicker materials. Another benefit of this unique blade shape is that you do have a slight belly. This belly is nothing if you compare it to a drop or clip point blade shape, but compared to Wharncliffe’s or Tanto’s, this knife definitely does have a belly. With the belly, slicing is easier and it makes this knife a good option for everyday tasks. The point on this blade is also going to be tough, because it is a broader tip than you would find, especially when being compared to a clip point blade. While stabbing is going to be a little more challenging, because it is broad, you will be able to stab through harder things, because of the strength behind the tip.
The handle on the Tecpatl is made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel has fantastic durability. It is also very resistant to corrosion. However, stainless steel is also a heavier material. You are going to feel this knife when it is put away. Because stainless steel is such a heavy material, knives that are designed to be an everyday carry knife, or even a heavy duty knife, will usually not be made with stainless steel. There is just too much added weight. Another problem with stainless steel is that it is very slippery. To combat the slipperiness, CRKT has added laser markings/etchings, to provide you with the needed friction. These etchings tell a story told through a way inspired by sugar skulls. Another thing that CRKT did to reduce the level of slipperiness was to create a deep finger groove for when you are using it. There is also a pretty big circular hole cut out to put a different finger through. This handle has been designed to be a sugar skull. When you are holding this knife in front of you, with the blade pointed down, this finger holes actually end up looking like eye sockets in a skull. There is a much smaller hole cut out to look like the nose area of a skull. Since this is a single piece knife, the handle has also been through a black powder coated finish. Because it is perfect for holding in a closed fist, this knife is the perfect knife for slashing or pushing.
This knife is a fixed blade, which has many advantages to it. For starters, fixed blades are stronger and more durable than folding knives because there are no small or moving parts that can break or rust over. And because of this added strength and durability, fixed blades are the perfect survival tool. Not only can they cut, they can also dig, hammer, and pry if needed. Fixed blades are also easier to maintain. This is because while folding knives have many small parts that are prone to rusting, a fixed blade is what you see. All you have to do is wipe it down and you are good to go. Fixed blades are also excellent for tactical use because they can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife.
The sheath that comes with this knife is a kydex sheath including a spring loaded MOLLE compatible gear clip. Kydex is a modern thermoplastic material that was originally used to make holsters, among other items. Kydex’s biggest advantages is how durable it is. It can stand up to a variety of extreme environments, and even be submerged in salt water and still hold up well. However, there are some disadvantages to having a kydex sheath. One of these is that it has no personality, it is basically just a lump of plastic. Another bummer about kydex is that it is pretty loud when you are unsheathing and putting away your knife. If this doesn’t bother you, then by all means, enjoy the benefits of it. However, if you are trying to conceal yourself, this sheath will give you away; it is that loud. The last drawback to having a kydex sheath is that with repeated drawing of your knife and putting it away, it will start to dull the edge of your knife.
This knife was designed by Michael R. Rodriguez. He designed this knife to be part of the CRKT Forged by War program. He says, “a good combat fighter relies on instinct; a great fighter understands the importance of an ergonomically flawless weapon.” Michael is a veteran, having served 21 years in the United States Army and retiring as a Green Beret. The laser markings are that of a sugar skull to reflect Michaels heritage and his own personal stories and history. On it, there are horns, the Crusader’s Cross, and the Office of Strategic Services Symbol. Michael also served in the 7th Special Forces group, and to commemorate that, he has engraved a 7 just above the blade. The arrow engraving is reminiscent of the crossed arrows of the Special Forces. And lastly, he has had three lightning bolts engraved into the knife, these are two represent the Green Berets and their shoulder patch. Michael believes that even in a world full of sophisticate missiles, there is no reason to skimp on your hand-to-hand combat companion. The Tecpatl should be your first choice for your last resort weapon.
The blade on this knife is 3.375 inches long, with a thickness of 0.203 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 5.813 inches long. The handle on the Tecpatl is 2.438 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.6 ounces.
The Pros of the CRKT Tecpatl:
- The steel chosen for this knife is a great balance between hardness and toughness.
- The straight edge makes sharpening a breeze.
- The black powder coating helps reduce reflection and glare, and works to prevent rusting or corrosion.
- The blade has enough of a belly to be able to slice.
- The blade is wide and thick, providing you with plenty of strength.
- The tip is broad, so you do have strength behind it, but it is still sharp, so you can still stab.
- The stainless steel handle sports plenty of durability and is resistant to corrosion.
- This is a fixed blade, so it has plenty of strength and is very capable of slashing or pushing.
- There is a rich history that surrounds this knife, and you can see this history directly on the knife.
- The kydex sheath is strong, durable, and very resistant to wear.
- This sheath can survive in a variety of extreme environments, including being immersed in salt water.
Cons of the CRKT Tecpatl:
- The black powder coating on the blade and handle is the most prone out of any coatings finishes to scratch or chip off.
- The stainless steel handle is going to be slick, even when it is properly texturized.
- The stainless steel handle does add quite a bit of weight to the knife.
- This is a fixed blade, so it is harder to conceal than a folding knife.
- The kydex sheath is noisy, has no personality, and will dull your blade after time.
As a writer, I love a good story. I love the history behind the knives that are on the market. I love knowing why they are the way they are and what the different characteristics mean to the designer. The CRKT Tecpatl has one of the most symbolic and rich histories of any knife that I have reviewed. You can buy yours here.
CRKT started off with a heavy duty steel that has been used for years as a tool steel in different cultures. The shape that they ground that steel into gives you a variety of different advantages. And the durable handle just helps with the tactical aspect of this knife. This is a durable knife that you will hopefully not have to use, but it should be your first choice for your last resort weapon.