Columbia River Knife & Tool Company, or CRKT, was founded in 1994. This is an American company that is known for distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years now, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. To do this, CRKT collaborates with the best designers in the world and operates on a simple principle: “that the greatest thing we can give our customers is Confidence in Hand”.
CRKT did not truly take off as a company until around 1997, at the Shot Show, when they introduced the K.I.S.S knife. During this shot show, the year’s supply of this knife sold out within only the opening days. Now, CRKT owns fifteen patents and even has some patents pending. Some of these patents are the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back safety mechanism, and Veff-Serrated edges.
CRKT has recently released a brand new knife and they called it eh Rakkasan.
Austin McGlaun is the designer behind this new knife. He is from Columbus, Georgia. Austin served in the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq and also as a street cop in Columbus, Georgia. Because of these two careers, he knows that a knife has to work as both a weapon and a tool. As part of the Forged by War program, he applied his skills as both a combat vet and a knife maker to develop the Clever Girl. Ne says that a knife is ugly but effective, it’s not ugly. It’s perfect.
The steel that this blade is made out of is made from SK5 Carbon Steel. This is the Japanese equivalent of American 1080. This steel is a high carbon steel that has a carbon level between 0.75% and 0.85%. Because of the high levels of carbon in this steel, the steel has increased abrasion resistance and also allows the steel to achieve an ideal balance of very good blade toughness with superior edge holding ability. This steel is commonly found on a variety of hand tools, because it has stood the test of time and use over many years in a handful of different countries. This steel is a hard steel that has the ability to make high quality blades. Because of the level of hardness, knives made out of this stele has the ability to cut through almost anything and is a very tough steel.
The steel has been finished with a black powder coating. This coating is applied as a free flowing, dry powder. Because it is applied as a poser coating, it can actually produce thicker coatings than a conventional liquid coating. Plus, it doesn’t run, so there will be no thicker or uneven sections. This coating is usually applied electrostatically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a layer or a skin on the blade. It creates a harder finish than a traditional paint would. This type of coating helps to resist scratches that the blade would have accumulated over time.
The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. To form the shape of this blade, the back, or the unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and stops about hallway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be “cut-out” or “clipped out”, which is where the blade shape gets its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped out. This clipped out area can be curved or straight, but on this specific knife, it is curved. This blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market and makes for a fantastic all-purpose blade. The most common place that you are going to find this blade shape is on a bowie knife, but it is also a popular blade shape on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. Because the point on this blade shape is lowered, the user will have more control over all of their cuts and slices. And, because the tip is so controllable, and because it is sharp and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. While clip point and drop point blade shapes get confused often because they are similar and both very useful, the biggest difference in the two is that the clip point has a sharper and thinner tip than the broad tip of the drop point blade shape. While that is a big benefit in a lot of situations, the tip is also going to be more prone to breaking or snapping during heavier use. One of the other reasons that a clip point blade shape is so versatile is because it sports such a large belly. This belly provides you with enough length to make slicing a breeze. This blade shape will prepare you for all of the expected situations that you might come across, and still prepare you for all of the unexpected ones that you come across.
The edge on this blade is a plain edge. In general, a plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Plus, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary. The plain edge is best for applications like shaving, skinning, or peeling. A serrated edge is best for thicker and tougher materials, however, when a plain edge is sharp enough, it can manage cutting the thicker or tougher materials. The last benefit of a plain edge is that it is much easier to sharpen than a serrated edge. With a plain edge, you can sharpen your blade with a file or extra coarse stone.
The handle on the Rakkasan is made out of G10. G10 is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. This material has very similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it can be made for almost a fraction of the cost. To make the G10, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is crazy tough, very hard, extremely lightweight, and still strong. G10 is actually considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger than Micarta. To add texture to the handle, the manufacturer will add checkering or other patterns to the handle. On this knife, the texture that they have added is a very small checkered pattern. This handle material is very popular on tactical folders and fixed blade because it is so durable and also very lightweight, yet still nonporous. Even though this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN handles. The G10 handle on this knife is black.
There three shallow grooves carved across the spine of the handle as well as three more shallow grooves on the bottom of the handle. This is to help provide you with a secure grip in even the toughest of situations. CRKT has also added a finger guard to help protect your finger from slipping and slicing yourself. The hardware on this handle is silver.
This is a fixed blade knife. While many people love folding knives for a variety of reasons, such as them being more discrete or easy to conceal, fixed blades have so many benefits to them. For starters, fixed blades are bigger, which tends to make them stronger. Secondly, fixed blades are much harder to break than a folding knife. On a folding knife, there are a variety of moving parts that can rust, get dirty, or break. Because fixed blades have none of these small moving parts, there is nothing that can break. And, because you don’t have to worry about all of the small mechanisms, you can take on harder tasks without having to worry about breaking your knife. Thirdly, fixed blades are easier knives to maintain. This advantage also has to do with the lack of small and moving parts. Really all you have to do with a fixed blade is a quick wipe down and sometimes oil the blade. This ease significantly cuts down on the maintenance time that you have to schedule to maintain the high quality of your knife. Fourthly, you can bring a fixed blade into play quicker than you would be able to with a folding knife. With a fixed blade, you have to unsheathe it and that is it. It’s a one step process. With a folding knife, you have to pull it out and then deploy it before you can use it. Lastly, a fixed blade is a superior survival tool. A fixed blade offers you more versatility for tasks than a folding knife would. With a fixed knife, you can cut, dig, split wood, prepare food, use it as a hunting weapon, hammer, and even pry. This is because of the larger size and extra strength that you receive with a fixed blade.
The sheath that comes with this knife is a black Kydex sheath. This is a more modern sheath material, made out of thermoplastic. This was originally used to make holsters. The biggest advantage to Kydex is how durable it is. This sheath can survive in a variety of different environments, including being submerged in salt water. However, there are a variety of disadvantages to having a sheath made out of Kydex. It does not have much personality, in fact, it seems to look like a hard lump of plastic that lacks character. But, some people do like the dark color because it blends in well in stealth or hunting. One of the other drawbacks to having a Kydex sheath is that it is very loud when you are drawing out your knife or putting it back in. There’s a noisy click when doing either of those tasks. The last drawback to having a Kydex sheath is that with repeated drawing and putting back of your knife, the Kydex sheath will dull its edge.
The blade on the Rakkasan is 4.894 inches long, with a thickness of 0.147 inches. The overall length of this knife is 10.438 inches long. This knife weighs in at 9.2 ounces.
CRKT started their company with a single purpose: to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to today’s market. To achieve that purpose, they have been collaborating with some of the most well-known, most advanced, and most popular knife designers and makers in the world.
The Rakkasan is one of many new models that CRKT has released this year and this specific one is one of several knives that are part of their Forged by War series of knives. This knife was designed by war veteran Austin McGlaun and the Japanese translation of “umbrella for falling” after the World War II Paratroopers from the 187th regiment. Each of these models sports a rugged and textured handle design complete with finger groove cutouts for a secure grip as well as a full bellied blade to handle a plethora of tactical and utility scenarios.
To start the design of this knife, they chose to use SK5 high carbon stainless steel. This steel is finished with a powder coating. The powder coating helps to increase the hardness of the steel and helps to reduce scratches and other abrasives that the blade would accumulate over time. The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is one of the most popular and versatile blade shapes because of its thin, lowered tip and its large belly. The handle is a black G10 handle that is lightweight, durable, and very strong. This fixed blade comes with a Kydex sheath. The Rakkasan would be the perfect edition to your knife collection–go ahead and get yours here.