CRKT 6215 Caligo Flipper Knife Review

CRKT is Columbia River Knife and Tool, Inc. They are an American knife company that was established in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. The company is currently based out of Oregon.

Both of the founders had previously worked with Kershaw, but then decided to pursue their own knife designs. This company did not really begin to take off until the 1997 Shot Show. It was here that they introduced the K.I.S.S. knife, or the Keep It Super Simple knife. The small folder was designed by Ed Halligan was a complete success. In fact, within the opening days of the show, the entire years’ worth of the product was sold out. This knife sold at 4.-5 times the original production numbers.

Of course, no company has survived without some issues. The biggest inconvenience that has ever happened to CRKT was in 2000. On October 3 of 2000 US Customs seized a shipment of 80,000 CRKT folding knives worth more than $4.3 million. All 50 models seized had always passed every Customs test in prior situations. The shipment had cleared Customs on September 29 but on October 3 an inspector decided that the knives acted like switchblades despite the fact that none of them fit within the definition set forth by the U.S. Switch Blade Knife Act of 1958. On October 17 a letter was co-signed by Oregon U.S. Congresswoman Darlene Hooley and Senator Gordon Smith that petitioned the head of Customs to aid CRKT. Because of their action there was a Federal inquiry of the US Customs actions that had to be answered within thirty days. On October 20 the company was once again allowed to move their product. However, this was not before losing over $1 million in sales and spending over $30,000 on legal fees. Since then, they have clearly bounced back.

The company produces a wide range of tools that includes fixed blades, folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has also 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.

Through these collaborations and with their own designs, they have come to own fifteen patents and patents pending.

Today we will be discussing the CRKT 6215 Caligo Flipper knife.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is T.J. Schwarz who is from Boise, Idaho. CRKT says, “TJ was destined to be a car designer. In high school he discovered his uncanny ability to draw cars—in fact, he was so good at it that by the time he was in college, he was accepting commissions from classic car owners. Just as his career was starting down the automotive path, his good friend Bill Koenig of Koenig Knives intervened and everything shifted. Once he got a taste of knife design, he never looked back. So when he says, “engineered for performance,” he means it.”

 

CRKT 6215 Caligo Flipper Knife
CRKT 6215 Caligo Flipper Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese stainless steel that has a high performance-to-cost ration. If you are looking to compare this steel to another style of steel, most people would choose AUS-8, although AUS-8 is the superior steel. 8Cr13MoV steel does hold its edge well, while also resisting rust extremely well. The biggest advantage that this steel has is how inexpensive it is. While you get fantastic qualities for its price, you are not going to be able to compare this steel to premium steels. You are getting what you pay for. For this everyday carry knife, it is a fantastic option that is going to get the job done.

The blade has been coated with a black oxide coating. Black oxide is also known as blacking, which is a conversion coating for ferrous materials that is used to add mild corrosion resistance as well as give the blade a sleek, black look. The coating is going to provide a couple of benefits. For starters, it is going to prolong the life of the blade by increasing the blade’s wear and corrosion resistance levels. This is done because there is a layer in between the environment and the steel.  The coating can also make the blade cut easier, because it cuts down on drag. Plus, it gives the blade a sleek, black look. Unfortunately, all coatings are going to scratch off after time and use. At that point, you are not going to keep any of the great benefits of the coating until it has been recoated.

The blade has been carved into a drop point bale shape. This is the most common blade shape on the market today and for good reason. The shape is tough as well as being extremely versatile. This is achieved because the spine of the blade extends from the handle to the tip of the blade in a slow, curving manner. This creates a lowered point which is easily controlled. Plus, because the lowered tip is so broad, the blade becomes very durable. It is the broad tip that gives this knife style its characteristic strength that people have come to love. It is the broad tip that allows users to really use this knife for nearly anything. The blade also has a very large belly, which makes slicing a complete breeze. The larger the belly, the easier it is going to be to use it for slicing. Since the Caligo is an everyday carry knife, you are most likely going to be doing a lot of slicing. The large belly is going to come in handy. Of course, every blade shape does have its drawbacks. The biggest drawback on a drop point blade shape is that because the tip is so broad, it is going to be tricky to use it for stabbing or piercing like you would be able to with a clip point knife. You have to keep in mind that it is that broadness that gives you the incredible strength and durability of this blade shape.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when it comes to knife handles. Aluminum is a low density metal that gives the handle a good, hefty feel to the knife without actually weighing the knife down. This means that you are going to feel like you have the weight to back you up (because you do) but you are also not going to notice the knife in your pocket as you go about your day to day activities and chores. The most common type of aluminum that is used today is the 6061-T6 alloy, which has incredible tensile strength. In fact, out of all the alloys, this alloy is the strongest and most durable.

When a knife is properly texturized, the user is going to have a secure grip that is also comfortable if they need to be using it for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, aluminum also has high conductive properties, which means that if you are planning on using this knife during the colder, winter months, it is probably going to be uncomfortable. The overall benefits to an aluminum handle is that it is going to be strong, lightweight, durable, and incredibly resistant to corrosion. The cons of an aluminum handle is that it is going to be cold to hold, it can be a little bit slippery, and it is going to be susceptible to scratches and dings.

The handle on this knife is pretty unique. The spine starts out going straight, but hen angles sharply toward the butt. There is a large finger guard (the flipper) that will protect your fingers well. Then there is a deep finger groove. Following that, there is a slightly shallower finger groove. The handle finishes out by slowly curving toward the butt. The handle does sport a lanyard hole.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is not reversible. It has been attached to the handle for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This clip has been slightly skeletonized near the top of the clip, to cut down on weight. This is not a deep carry clip, so it will not be as secure or concealed in your pocket.

The pocket clip and the hardware on this knife are all black, making this an entirely black knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that has been equipped with the IKBS system as well as a locking liner.

To create the IKBS system, designer Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala invented this system that sets lubed ball bearings into the folding knife pivot. The result is rapid blade deployment that is smooth and fast.

The IKBS was originally designed to fit in balisong knives, but because of its versatility it can be actually used in almost any kind of folding knife, mainly liner locks and frame locks.

Using bearings in balisongs is quite difficult because of its tight space in the pivot area, also this kind of knife is very susceptible to impact due to its high speed opening and closing, besides that, balisongs always have 2 pivot pins, meaning that the bearing system cannot be too complex or expensive.

Some of the characteristics of this mechanism is that it is going to be low maintenance, cheap, easily adjusted, durable and tough, will not allow blade play, as well as giving the user a smooth operation.
The locking liner is one of the most popular knife locks that is found on folding knives. It was invented in the early 80s and was quickly adopted by a number of mainstream knife makers. The locking liner functions with one section of the liner angled inward towards the inside of the knife. Because of this positon, the liner is only able to go back to its original position with manual force, which creates a very secure lock for your blade. This locking mechanism can be used with only one hand, which is one of the biggest advantages it offers.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.185 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.129 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.471 inches long. When the Caligo is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.4 ounces, which is a great weight for an everyday carry knife.

 

Conclusion:

             When CRKT is discussing this knife, they say, “Hello, horsepower. The Caligo™ is a study in high-aesthetics, but that’s not where designer TJ Schwarz called it quits with this everyday carry folding knife. He’s got a background in mechanical engineering an affinity for classic cars.…and it shows. Gentlemen, start your engines.

When designer TJ Schwarz of Boise, Idaho says, “engineered for performance,” he means it. In college, he started selling hand-drawn pencil sketches of classic cars. His art was so striking that classic car owners began to solicit commissions. With a background in mechanical engineering and his budding business, he was drawn like a magnet to the automotive industry…until a high school friend talked him into designing a knife. Then everything shifted. Years later, he’s made a name for himself among knife makers. And we’re proud to collaborate with him on the Caligo™ everyday carry pocket knife.

With a low-profile flipper opening and IKBS™ ball-bearing pivot mechanism, it goes from zero to sixty faster than a hot rod. Caligo™ is the Latin word for darkness, but you probably could have guessed that upon a first glance at the black oxide finish on the modified drop point blade. Coupled with the black anodized aluminum handles, it looks like it’s fresh off the showroom floor. The blue pivot ring elevates it to a league all its own.

Shift your everyday carry game into high gear with the Caligo™.” You can order this knife today from BladeOps.