Columbia River Knife and Tool company has been around since 1994. CRKT is an American company that is based in Oregon. CRKT is known for their unique designs, the selection of products that they offer, and the quality of those tools that they offer. CRKT has been driven by a purpose during these past two decades. This purpose is, “to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to market.” This purpose is what has lead them to have many collaborations with multiple of the best knife designers and knife makers in the world. Out of these collaborations have been born some of the most innovative and ground breaking technological advancements in the knife world. Some of these advancements include the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System, the OutBurst assist opening mechanism, and the Automated Liner Safety system. These technological advancements are part of the reason that CRKT has some of the best knives for everyday carry, for tactical missions, for hunting and fishing, and even for survival scenarios.
CRKT believes that every single person should be able to afford a high quality knife or tool. So to help keep costs down, they use the newest and most efficient manufacturing machines to be able to produce these products efficiently. Another thing that CRKT believes in is integrity. This theme word is behind every single aspect of their company. They have chosen to use integrity in their business model, meaning that they build their products for reliability and durability. They also always deal with their customers with integrity. CRKT has said that, “standing behind our customers is as critical as standing behind our products.” This means that if you purchase a knife or tool from CRKT, you can be sure that you are getting a quality product that will last you years. You also know that you aren’t getting scammed and will be treated with the utmost respect when ordering your product. CRKT is a reliable company that has excellent products. And they have just released a brand new knife. They named it the Crossbones.
The blade on the Crossbones is made out of AUS 8 steel. AUS 8 steel is a Japanese steel, but it is very similar to the 440B steel. AUS 8 is pretty resistant to rust and corrosion. It is also very tough; however, it does not hold an edge as well as some of the higher end steels would. But, on a positive note, AUS 8 steel is very easy to sharpen and can get a crazy sharp edge. AUS 8 is commonly known as a stainless steel, however, this term is misleading. Any steel will rust or stain if left in just the right, or should I say wrong, environments. AUS 8 is no different, it will rust and it will stain. And it will do both of these things easier and quicker higher than a higher end grade steel would. All in all, with AUS 8 steel, you get a great balance between toughness, strength, edge holding, and resistance to corrosion. Because it is a medium grade steel instead of a high end steel, you get almost the same qualities, but for a much cheaper cost. This is a bonus, because it keeps your knife quality and durable, but you don’t have to shell out a fortune to buy this knife.
The AUS 8 steel has been finished with a satin finish. The satin finish is one of the most common finishes that you will find on a knife today. This satin finish is pretty much right in the middle of the different common finishes; it is shiny, but it is not mirror or polished finish. I wouldn’t call it matte though. The satin finish helps to slightly cut down on reflections and glares, all while working to help reduce rusting and corrosion. The satin finish is a solid finish, but there is nothing extra special about it.
The AUS 8 steel has been carved into a trialing point shape. Some basics about the trailing point blade shape: instead of curving down at the point, like many of the common knife shapes, the tip, and back edge, actually curves upwards. The trailing point shape gets its name because the point “trails” higher than the average part of the blade. This is usually a very lightweight blade shape. There are a handful of benefits to a trailing blade shape. The first one is that it provides you with a very large belly, with plenty of cutting length. Because the Crossbones has a trailing point shape, it is excellent at slicing and skinning, thanks to the large belly. Another benefit is that the upwards curve creates a very fine, sharp tip. This crazy sharp point is perfect for doing detail work. This blade will help you with detail cutting tasks such as skinning game or fish. Another great benefit is that the high point is out of the way. There are a few disadvantages to the trailing point blade shape—because the point is so sharp and fine, it is pretty weak. The point on the Crossbones is prone to breaking, so this is not going to be the best knife for everyday tasks. This is definitely targeted towards the hunters and fishers of the world.
The handle on the Crossbones is made out of T6-6061 aluminum. This is a durable material, that has a handful of benefits. For starters, many knife lovers crave a heftier feel to their handles because it provides a surety that your knife is going to be able to stand up to the tasks at hand. Something fantastic about aluminum is that it provides a hefty feel to your knife, but since it is a lightweight and low density material, it won’t actually weigh your knife down, like a stainless steel handle would, for example. Aluminum is also extremely resistant to corrosion, which helps cut down on maintenance time. However, there are also a handful of drawbacks to having your knife handle made out of aluminum. One is that aluminum is prone to scratches. CRKT has been around the block a few times, and knows this. So to combat the scratches, they finished the handle with three different finishes. They tumble the handle, then they bead blasted it, and then they finally anodized it. Let’s go over these finishes and what they do for the aluminum. The tumbled finish is when the aluminum has been tumbled around with an abrasive material. This finish helps to hide
scratches and also gives the aluminum a less reflective nature. The bead blast finish is when the manufacturer fires small glass or ceramic beads at the aluminum with high power. This produces an even grey finish to the metal. This finish also helps to recue reflections and glares; it actually provides an even, matte finish. However, because it creates micro abrasions in the aluminum, this makes your handle more prone to rusting or corroding. So the last finish that CRKT performed on this aluminum handle was a hard, gray anodization. Anodization provides a couple of benefits. For starters, it creates a barrier between the aluminum and the oxygen, so it cuts down on how easy your handle is with rusting or corrosion. The anodization process helps to add hardness and protection to the handle. And lastly, the anodization process adds a color to the handle. With the crossbones, this anodization process has created a sleek, gray color to the handle. The handle is actually two toned. The gray part is in the shape of an hourglass, while a silver part outlines the hourglass shape. The last drawback to having an aluminum handle is that aluminum is a very cold metal. It will feel like it is biting into your hand in cold environments.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip on the Crossbones is a skeletonized pocket clip. This is a silver metal to match the blade and hardware. This pocket clip will help your knife to hide securely in your pocket, and help it to almost disappear.
The Crossbones is a low profile flipper with a locking liner. A flipper knife is a manual folding knife. A flipper knife works because there is a small part of the blade, usually that looks like a shark’s fin, that protrudes from the spine of the handle when the blade is closed. To open this knife, you push down on that protruding part with enough pressure to flip the blade open. Because of the locking liner, the blade will then lock into place, so you don’t have to worry about it shutting while you are in the middle of using it. When you want to close the Crossbones, you undo the liner lock and push the blade back into the handle. There are a handful of advantages to the flipper mechanism. The biggest one is that this mechanism will keep your fingers out of harm’s way, or the sharpened edge of the blade, during the whole process. There is really no way that you can cut yourself during this process. The flipper mechanism is quick, safe, and efficient.
The blade on the Crossbones is 3.536 inches long with a thickness of 0.124 inches. The overall length of the knife is 8.063 inches long, with a closed length of 4.503 inches long. The Crossbones weighs in at 2.4 ounces.
The Crossbones was designed by Jeff Park. In 2005, Jeff stumbled across Ken Onion’s shop and basically never left. Over the past decade, he has made a serious impact on Ken and Jeff has definitely learned a few things along the way. Jeff Park has come to have the reputation of being a perfectionist, because he has been so detail oriented with all of his projects. He has a definite taste to his designs; most of his knives are simple, yet flawless, elegant, and almost breathtaking. Jeff follows the fundamental art rule of “form follows function”, and his knives show that he has a deep understanding of both form and function.
The Pros of the CRKT Crossbones:
- The steel is strong enough, tough enough, stain resistant enough, and has enough edge retention to get the job done.
- The steel is easy to sharpen and you can get a crazy sharp edge on it.
- Because the steel isn’t quite a high end steel, this steel is going to be more inexpensive than many steel options, but will still give you the qualities that you desire.
- The trailing point shape provides the user with enough belly to make slicing a breeze.
- The trailing point is a lightweight blade shape, so your knife isn’t going to be extremely heavy.
- The trailing point has a very fine, sharp tip that will allow you to do the most delicate work.
- The aluminum is strong, durable, resistant to corrosion, and lightweight while providing you with a hefty feel.
- The aluminum handle has been finished with three different styles of finishes, so you know that it will be extra durable, extra resistant to corrosion, extra resistant to scratches, yet still very lightweight.
- The flipper mechanism keeps your hand safe, while being quick and efficient.
The Cons of the CRKT Crossbones:
- AUS 8 is a good steel, but it does not excel at anything.
- The trailing point has a delicate tip, so it is prone to snapping or breaking off.
- The aluminum handle is going to be cold.
CRKT is a reliable company that has produced hundreds of excellent, innovative, and ground breaking knives. The Crossbones is a combination of all of those characteristics. They started with a durable steel that is going to get the job done and carved it into a shape that will be perfect for you hunters and fishers out there. They complemented this blade with a durable handle that is resistant to corrosion. Because of these two great features, maintenance time will be cut down and you won’t have to worry about your knife rusting while you work near water and guts. The Crossbones is going to be one of the best hunting and fishing knives that you will ever work with.