“CRKT (Columbia River Knife and Tool) was founded in 1994. From day one, we put innovation and integrity first.” Says CRKT. “We made a commitment to build knives and tools that would inspire and endure. We collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing we can give our customers is Confidence in Hand.”
CRKT is an American knife company that is currently based in Tualatin, Oregon. This company was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both individuals were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. The company did not truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show when the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife was introduced. The small folder, designed by Ed Halligan was a success. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of the product was sold out.
The company produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has collaborated with custom knife makers such as Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers.
CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending. These include the Outburst assist opening mechanism, Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.
Today we will be discussing the brand new CRKT SiWi.
Darrin William Sirois is the designer behind this knife. CRKT says, “Coming from a Special Ops background, Darrin doesn’t design knives that just work in theory. They need work in action too. And he knows the missing element to any great blade: human input. That’s why you’ll often find him hounding his Special Operations teammates and asking them what they like and don’t like about their knives. Now as part of the Forged by War program, he’s fine tuning until his knife making mission is complete. Along the way, he’s earning nods from award shows and fellow soldiers all around the world.”
The blade is made out of SK5 Carbon Steel. This is one of the highest quality steels for a knife blade. It is the Japanese equivalent to American 1080. This is a hard steel that makes it create high quality blades and tools. Sk5 carbon steel gives a knife the ability to cut through practically anything. It produces a mixture of carbon rich martensitic with a few undissolved carbides. The extra carbide will increase the abrasion resistance and lets the steel attain an ideal balance of good blade toughness. This steel also gives excellent edge binding ability. A knife with a Sk5 carbon steel is going to be one of the best knives that money will get you.
The blade has been finished with a black powder coating. The coating is going to work to prolong the life of the blade because it puts a barrier between the high carbon steel and the environment. This makes it a little more durable, a lot more corrosion resistant, and a little more tough. The only drawback to having a coated blade is that the coating can and will scratch off over long periods of time or heavy use. Once the coating has scratched off, the only way to retain the same benefits would be to recoat the blade. Some of the benefits of the coating on the SiWi is that it cuts down on glares and reflections while also creating a very sleek finish.
The knife has been carved into a thick drop point blade shape. The drop point blade is the most popular blade shape in the cutlery industry because of how tough and versatile it is. It makes a great option for everyday carry knives to tactical or survival knives. The spine of the blade starts at the handle and curves towards the point in a slow slope. This creates a lowered point which is going to give the user more control over their cuts and slices while also allowing them to perform fine detail work with this knife. While the point is sharp, it is not as sharp as a clip point knife. This is because the point is very broad, which gives the knife the characteristic strength. Lastly, the drop point blade shape has a very large belly that makes slicing a breeze. The only drawback to the drop point knife is that because of the broad point, you do lose out on some of your piercing and stabbing capabilities. You need to remember that instead of being able to pierce exceptionally, you have unmatched strength in this knife.
This knife does have a plain edge. The plain edge is the more popular option between the three common edges: plain, serrated, and combo. The plain edge is going to be easier to sharpen because you don’t have to worry bout any of the teeth. It is also going to be easier to get a finer edge because of the same reason. However, plain edges do lose their sharpness quicker than the other two options do. The biggest advantage to a plain edge is that it equips you to take on the widest variety of tasks, especially when it comes to anything that requires a push cut.
G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made out of fiberglass. This material is extremely similar to carbon fiber, except that it is a little bit inferior. To create this material, the manufacturer is going to take layers of fiberglass cloth. The manufacturer will then soak them in resin, then compress them, and lastly bake them under pressure. This process creates a material that is very tough, very hard, very lightweight, and very strong. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates, G10 is considered to be the strongest. Tactical knives and fixed blades benefit from the qualities of G10 because it is a durable material that is lightweight while also being non-porous. The non-porous part is one of the biggest advantages, because it is not going to absorb any liquids that you do work with. This means that maintenance is going to be a breeze, because all you have to do is wipe down the handle. The pros to a G10 handle is that it is going to be tough, light, and durable. However, it is also going to be brittle and some people complain that it lacks the elegance they want out of a knife.
The handle is definitely one of the most unique aspects of this knife. The G10 has been textured with little bumps that give plenty of grip to use this knife in a variety of environments. However, there are also finger indents spanning the entire length of the handle—both near the belly and on the spine. These indents are going to give you even more texture and a more comfortable and secure grip on this knife, because one of the indents is going to be an indent hat you want to use.
To give your finger a comfortable place to rest, there is a massive finger groove right when the handle starts. In fact, it is so close to the blade, that part of the blade’s metal has been sued to carve out this finger groove. There is also a finger guard to protect your fingers form getting hurt.
This is a fixed blade, which has plenty of advantages. One of the first advantages is that they are strong and big. And because of the size, the blade is going to be extremely strong, and not prone to breaking. That leads to the next advantage, which is that they are not prone to breaking. This is partly because of the size and thickness, but it is also due to the fact that there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. And because they don’t have any moving or inner parts, they are also easier to maintain. This makes cleaning very straightforward—all you have to do is wipe the blade and handle down and make sure that the blade is dry before putting the sheath on. You should also oil the blade occasionally to help the coating remain strong and intact. Next, the blade is usually longer, which allows you to take on more tasks. The blade is usually longer because it does not have to fit inside of a handle. Fixed blades are also better in a tactical situation. This is because a fixed blade can be brought into play more quickly than a folding knife. All you have to do is pull the knife out of the sheath and you are ready to go. If you were using a folding knife, you would have to pull the knife out, flip it open, and then you would be ready to use it. The last advantage is that it is going to be a better tool overall. This is because of all the characteristics, but it allows you to not only cut, but dig, split wood, use it as a first aid tool, use it in food preparation, and even use it to hammer.
The sheath that this knife comes with is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN, which is the same material as FRN. This is a thermoplastic material that is very strong. It is also resistant to bending and abrasion, which makes it almost indestructible. As a total bonus, it is an inexpensive material. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. These characteristics allow you the manufacturer to high volume manufacture which gives you a low cost.
This is such a strong material because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in the material being strong in all directions. This is opposed to G10, carbo fiber, and Micarta, which have the strands aligned in a single direction. This means that it can be stressed in almost any direction without breaking apart.
The blade on this knife measures in at 3.341 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.200 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 7.438 inches long and weighs in at 5.6 ounces.
CRKT says, “Built by a hero, refined by an expert. Retired Sergeant Major, Darrin Sirois channeled experience from 25 years of active duty into the creation of his original design. The knife world loved it. Then, renowned expert, Chris Williams made several small suggestions. The revisions boosted the SiWi™ compact tactical fixed blade into a league all its own. This is collaboration at its finest.
If there’s one thing that Darrin Sirois has learned from his time overseas, it’s that if a tool can’t endure some of the most extreme conditions imaginable, it’s not worth having on hand. So when he was in his Fayetteville, North Carolina shop, designing the knife that was to later become the SiWi™, his mission was singular: make it last. Then Chris Williams stepped in. He’s a master of aesthetic, and with several small tweaks, together they elevated the SiWi™ to a design force to be reckoned with and gave it a name that reflects the collaborative process. Match made.
This mission-ready fixed blade is a compact powerhouse. Though that sounds like a paradox, the proof is in the incredibly stout modified drop point SK5 carbon steel blade. Finished with a non-reflective and highly resistant black-powder coat, it’s built to last, a quality that’s equally as evident in its unique G10 handles. The handles match the 3.3” blade in its compact-yet-stout capacity with texture for a strong grip even in the grittiest conditions. The subtle jimping on the back spine finishes the look and feel. Finally, the glass-reinforced nylon sheath stands up to its counterpoint when it comes to utility with many different carry options.
When two great minds converge to create a knife, you know it’s going to be good…the SiWi™ far exceeds expectation.”
You can pick up this brand new knife today at BladeOps.