CRKT Carnufex 5480 Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool company was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. This is an American company that is known for its 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. They collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. Some of the designers that they have collaborated with are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steven Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending which include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, Lock Back safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

However, they didn’t always collaborate with the best designers and have their own patents. CRKT took almost three years before it truly took off. It was at the 1997 Shot Show when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple). This was a small folder, which was designed by Ed Halligan. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of product was sold out. Since then, they have continuously progressed, developing a fantastic reputation, and maintaining that reputation.

CRKT has recently released a brand new knife called the Carnufex. This is a simple folding knife that can perform much more than simple tasks.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8CR13MoV steel. This steel comes from a series of Chinese steels. There are a variety of formulas in this series of steel—the best is the 9Cr steel. 8Cr steel is the next best one in the series and is commonly compared to AUS 8 steel, however 8Cr steel is the inferior steel between the two. This steel is a stainless steel, so it does resist rust well. However, since it is a softer steel, you do have to keep on top of your maintenance. Make sure that you clean and oil this blade often. Since this is a softer steel, it is an easy steel to sharpen. In fact, most beginners will be able to pull this sharpening job off. You can also get an extremely fine edge on this blade and the sharp edge will last for long periods of time. The biggest advantage thatiop0- this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. With it, you get a good balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. But, you still do get what you pay for, so while this is an average steel that will be able to take on the majority of tasks, it will not excel at anything.

The finish on the Carnufex blade is a satin finish. The satin finish is created by sanding a steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive material; the abrasive material is most commonly sandpaper. One of the main purposes of a satin finish is to showcase the lines in the steel. This is a classic finish that is also one of the most popular finishes on blades today. In terms of the look, the satin finish is a medium finish. The mirror finish is more reflective than a satin finish and a coated finish is going to be more matte. This look provides you with a very traditional look to your blade.

The blade on the Carnufex has been carved into a modified spear point blade shape. The spear point blade shape is very similar to the needle point blade because they are both good for piercing. But, they do differ because the spear point is stronger and it contains a small belly that can be used for some slicing. The spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. One of the most commonly found knife styles that sports a spear point blade shape is on throwing knives. One of the other differences between a needle point blade and a spear point blade is that the needle point blade has a very sharp but weak point whereas a spear point blade has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. Another one of the benefits to the spear point blade shape is that it has a lowered point that is easily controllable. This means that it is very useful for detail work and for fine tip work. One of the reasons that makes this style of knife versatile is that it has a small belly hat can be used to manage some cutting and slicing applications. However, if you do compare the belly to a knife with a large belly such as a drop point or a clip point knife, the belly is extremely small. This is considered a hybrid blade design that is extremely functional. The spear point design offers you a great balance between piercing capabilities and slicing abilities. It has the sharp point of a dagger or needle point knife and sports the strength that a drop point blade has behind the tip. Plus, it also has that belly that is used for slicing.

The blade sports a plain edge. The plain edge is the more traditional edge between plain edge, combo edge, and serrated edge. The plain edge is easiest to sharpen out of the three options because it doesn’t sport any teeth. The plain edge is the best type of edge for push cuts, slicing, peeling, and skinning.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 2Cr13 Stainless Steel. This is a newer steel that has ground breaking properties. This is a very stainless steel, because the alloy works to reduce how porous the steel is. The stainless steel is particle-reinforced for added strength and resilience. Immersion tests have revealed that this steel has a finer matrix structure resulting in an increased tinsel strength and the electrostag remelting process used in manufacturing it makes it highly versatile. The stainless steel has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. After the steel has been tumbled, it is smoothed out and polished. This creates a textured, rugged look. It is usually a dark, matte gray. One of the best benefits to a stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the handle for long periods of time.

CRKT 5480 Carnufex
CRKT 5480 Carnufex

The handle on this knife has inlays made out of Glass Reinforced Fiber, or GRF. This is a thermoplastic material. This is extremely strong, it is resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, it’s cheap. With this material, the fibers are all arranged haphazardly throughout, which is why it is such a strong material. In similar materials, such as G 10 or Carbon Fiber, the fibers are all arranged in a single direction, which means when it is stressed in a different way, it tends to become very brittle. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a variety of way in the production process. This leads to high volume manufacturing and low cost. One of the drawbacks to this material is that some people feel as if it has a cheap plastic feel to it.

The inlays on this knife do add enough texture to provide you with a very strong grip in almost any situation. This is a huge bonus because the stainless steel is slippery, like most stainless steels are.

The black GRF is designed to look like a dinosaur fossil, which contrasts nicely against the smooth silver of the stainless steel. To help add more grip, there are two finger grooves. The first one is the classic finger groove shape, with the second one being extremely shallow and elongated. There is also a finger guard to help protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Carnufex is a silver clip to match the handle. It is not skeletonized and has “CRKT” stamped on it. This is not a reversible pocket clip. The clip is kept in place by two, small, silver screws. These screws match the rest of the hardware on the knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that is assisted by a flipper. The flipper is a shark’s fin shaped protrusion that is part of the blade. When the Carnufex is closed, the protrusion comes out of the spine of the blade. To deploy the blade, you pull back on the flipper and it puts enough pressure on the blade to flip it open and then lock it into place.

The Carnufex also sports the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot system. This system was designed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. The system uses lubed ball bearings that are set into the folding knife pivot. The result is a rapid blade deployment that is smooth and fast. CRKT says, “Go ahead, set a flipping land speed record.”

The Carnufex knife also features a frame lock. The frame locking mechanism is very similar to the liner locking mechanism except that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. Just like the liner lock, the frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, engaging at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Carnufex has a blade that is 3.975 inches long with a thickness of 0.148 inches. The overall length of the knife is 9.063 inches and sports a closed length of 5.098 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.8 ounces.

 

The Designer:

The Carnufex was designed by Flavio Ikoma. He says while some kids dream of being a ballplayer, Flavio always dreamed of being a knife maker. In his adolescence, he worked on knives of the Japanese sword variety in his father’s shop. He has gone on to learn metallurgy, to work with Ken Onion, and to become a force for innovation. Flavio brought to market the revolutionary IKBS ball bearing pivot system and evolved the classic locking liner with the ILS safety.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT described this knife they said, “Make mincemeat of your daily tasks—dino style. The Carnufex™ everyday carry folder is modeled after a keystone dinosaur predator—and for good reason. The form influences function for this attractive, shapely folder, and tears apart anything that gets in its way. Flavio Ikoma of Presidente Prudente, Brazil designed the Carnufex™ to be an aggressive take on a general utility knife. This everyday carry folder’s unique look is modeled after the prehistoric ancestor of the crocodile, and the streamlined design and textured inlays look distinctly reptilian. The unique, eye-catching designs of the handle serve to set off the no-nonsense stainless steel blade. Flavio Ikoma is the inventor of the IKBS™ Ball Bearing Pivot System and puts it to work with the Carnufex™. After all, a knife named for a reptilian hunter should deploy swiftly and smoothly. The stainless steel stonewash handle features a glass-reinforced nylon textured inlay meant to replicate the prehistoric reptile for which it’s named. The Carnufex™, in Latin, translates to butcher. Put anything in its way, and watch it mow straight through.”

As you can see, this knife is truly a game changer. Flavio has provided us with a unique, sleek look. This is a high quality knife that will be the perfect addition to your collection. Pick yours up at BladeOps today.

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