The Squid is not your typical everyday carry folding knife. From knife designer Lucas Burnley of Albuquerque, New Mexico comes this compact knife with great potential. He has based this knife on the concept of a compact pistol, meaning it can still fully function without the extra fluff. It is a tactically inspired knife that can stand up to any opposition.
As a compact knife, the Squid might be small in size, but not in stature. Listed below are the specs for this mighty knife.
- Product Type: Folder
- Locking Mechanism: Frame Lock
- Overall Length: 5.70″
- Weight: 3.50 oz.
- Handle Length: 3.40”
- Blade Length: 2.10″
- Blade Thickness: 0.110″
- Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
- Blade Edge: Plain
- Blade Style: Drop Back
- Blade Finish: Stonewash
- Handle Material: 2Cr13
- Handle Color: Gray
- Sheath Included: No
- Lanyard Hole Included: Yes
- Pocket Clip: Tip-Up
As you can see, the knife isn’t that large. Both in weight and in length it is small, but there is potential in the squid. In the wild, squids are pretty average in size (around 24 inches in length). However, there are those giant squids that always seem to wreak havoc in horror or action films. Although the CRKT Squid will not break into a rampage, the knife will still put up a good fight and be a great everyday tool.
Burnley Knives was founded in 2003 by Lucas Burnley in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their mission is to “create custom knives with a superlative level of design and function utilizing ever evolving techniques and materials.” Much of Burnley’s inspiration comes from spending time with his father, time out among Mother Nature, and action packed survival stories and films. Over the years, he has experimented with a range of styles to combine classical knife designs with modern materials and techniques. His goal in creating the Squid was to make a great quality knife, which is readily available to a broader spectrum of people to own and use. Even though the Burnley design is compact, it is still able to function at 100%.
While there are other opening mechanisms out in the market (spring assist, fixed, automatic, etc.) there is a reason why a folder knife is a viable tool, especially as an everyday carry. One reason a folder knife is beneficial to own is because of how quiet it opens. Another point to note is that in some places, having a spring assisted or automatic knife can get you into legal trouble whereas a folder knife will not. This isn’t true is all cases, but something to point out. One more thing to make mention of is that the more parts that move in the knife, can mean a greater potential to wear out and break down over time. Also, when compared to fixed blades, a folder can be more discrete when carrying it every day. It doesn’t draw as much attention to it compared to the attitude people have about the serious nature of fixed blades. It simply is much easier to carry around in the city. Plus a folder tends to be more compact than a fixed blade. This is especially true with the tiny size of the Squid.
The frame lock on the CRKT Squid is a type of locking system that was first introduced with the Sebenza Folder. The Frame or Integral Lock was created by Chris Reeve of Chris Reeve Knives and first appeared on the Sebenza. Chris Reeve calls it an Integral Lock, but the common name used in the industry now is simply “Frame Lock”. The original Integral Lock was developed in 1987. It is used when a portion of the back handle is slotted in a groove on the knife to lock the knife into place. This groove is in place behind the blade to refrain it from closing. Many suggest that this is one of the best locking mechanisms for its life-long durability and its reliability. The locking system makes the Squid more reliable during use because of its ability to resist slipping while retaining its strength.
The Frame Lock is a modification of the Liner Lock created by Michael Walker to simplify and strengthen the design. This is done by removing the handle scales and thin liners from the knife and using thicker liners to serve as both the handles, and the integrated locking bar. Frame locks are stronger than normal liner locks and are simpler in design. While holding the knife, the lock is being reinforced since it is integrated into the handle. Having this type of lock improves the overall quality of the knife.
The drop point on the Squid is an all-purpose blade that is able to stand up to anything that it comes across. Its blade is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner. The large edge for cutting makes it perfect for slicing. Another advantage that the drop point has is its tip. The point on the blade is sharp and is thicker than other styles, thus allowing for a stronger tip. The point is also great when it comes to controlling the blade. Accuracy is key, especially when it comes to fine tune cutting. The drop point is an all-around good blade to have on a knife and is popular on knives because of the controllable point and large slicing area.
The steel used in the blade on the CRKT Squid is 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. For a knife that is very inexpensive, 8Cr13MoV is a tough steel to compete with. It is a Chinese steel with similar qualities to the Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel. 8Cr13Mov and its variations are excellent steels considering how little it costs to produce. Similar to AUS-8, 8Cr13MoV lacks the edge retention of the higher end steels. This is considerable based on the cost of making the steel. It can, however, take a sharp edge. It is considerably tough, and corrosion resistant. Owning a stainless steel knife does not require too much attention. Even though they are a little harder to sharpen, stainless steel blades are a popular choice because of the environment where the knife will be used; i.e. working in less than ideal weather conditions, dealing with corrosive liquids, etc.
One of my all-time favorite finishes is a nice stonewash blade. It is the finish on the CRKT Squid. The process of getting a blade to look this way begins when the blade is rolled and tumbled with pebbles and an acid of sorts, then smoothed. In theory, it can hide scratches or other abrasions to the blade. This is a favorable characteristic that many knife owners desire. Because of the tumbling process to create this finish, it looks as if there are already hundreds of markings on it. Yet, the markings are done in a natural way to form a work of art. Similar to a snowflake, no two stonewashes are the same. The finish has a different look to it. It is able to reflect direct light off the surface blade. With all of the noticeable artistic markings on the knife, there is no need to worry about other markings that may come with using the knife. The knife can be used for its intended purpose of cutting and doing any other type of work while taking on any marking. Some suggest that because of the process, a stonewashed knife can become more resistant to rust as well. The acid oxidation it goes through in the process enhances a blade’s rust resistance with a stable oxide barrier between the steel and its surrounding. Another benefit of stonewashing a blade is their low maintenance and their ability to preserve their original look overtime. I am in love with this blade. It is amazing to look at, and it comes with benefits.
Stainless steel handles, such as that on the Squid, contain a minimum of 10-13% chromium. The chromium in the steel alloy helps to make the knife corrosive resistant. Chromium creates a barrier to oxygen and moisture which makes is rust resistant, but not rust proof. While it does provide excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, it is not particularly lightweight. Stainless steel handles can also be rather slick. The main advantages to having a stainless steel handle is that it is strong, durable, and corrosion resistant. The Squid is practically made solely from stainless steel. This will help extend the life of the knife. The pocket clip on the Squid runs half the length of the handle. Though not quite a discreet carry, it is pretty close. Though the clip is only available in one position, it still works great for any knife user out there.
Small Everyday Carry
As an everyday carry knife, it is important to know how the CRKT Squid feels when being carried around all the time. Especially as a small carry knife. Those criteria include its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.
The CRKT Squid is comfortable to carry in your pocket. The slim design takes up minimal pocket real-estate. Because of its smaller size, it sacrifices the potential for a really secure and comfortable grip. When closed, the knife is 3.40 inches long. You’ll find that most comfortable carry knives are anywhere between 3.5 to 5 inches long when closed. The knife rests just near the edge that range. Frequently, before any knife purchase, I ask myself, “Will the knife fit in my pant pocket?” But I also ask “Will the knife fall out of my pocket?” The knife isn’t too deep when resting in the pocket. However, the pocket clip allows the majority of the knife to fit within my pocket.
One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. One of the worst feelings that can happen on a day to day basis is carrying something heavy in your pocket. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The CRKT Squid barely fits right into this range. Weighing in at 3.50 ounces, this knife is fairly lightweight. For the size of the knife, it is a good idea to take precaution when carrying it around. Because of its lack of weight, the knife has a greater potential to fly out of your pocket.
Thickness and Width
Like we mentioned before, the knife is very slim. At most, the knife is just about an inch thick. And the knife is just about a quarter of an inch wide from handle scale to handle scale. There is hardly anything to the CRKT Squid.
The goal for the CRKT Squid is a simple look, nothing to extreme. It isn’t too dull, or to flamboyant. The conservative look is one of the advantages that this knife has. One other goal for this knife was to make it legal to carry all over the place. Though you are still responsible in keeping the law, it’s nice to know that there are some people out there trying to help you to have a decent knife that is legal, and useful.
The CRKT Squid is a tough knife that can the job done. To best show you how it gets the job done, there are certain tests that the blade undergoes to demonstrate its skill. Below are the results of these tests.
Paper- The Squid was easily able to cut through multiple layers of paper. But because of the tip on the blade, penetration wasn’t as good as other blade styles (such as a dagger or tanto). Shredding all of that unwanted mail will be easy with the Squid.
Cardboard- This is probably where the Squid excelled the most. The cuts were much simpler than those of the other tests. I was worried that the size of the Squid would prevent me from using the knife to its full capacity. Nevertheless, I was taken back.
Plastic- Again, the penetration problem persisted primarily in cutting the plastic. But once it had pushed through the tough material, it was easily able to slice through the rest of the plastic.
Rope/Paracord- Cutting the rope was pretty normal when compared to other knives. It got the job done, but nothing too impressive.
CRKT and Lucas Burnley did an excellent job at creating an inexpensive knife that is highly functional. I would be surprised if anyone couldn’t own this knife. It is supposedly legal everywhere, it is inexpensive, the size is small and comfortable, and it is good quality for what it is worth. I highly recommend this knife. Pick up the CRKT Squid today!