Columbia River Knife and Tool, Inc. is an American knife company that was established in 1994. The company is currently based in Tualatin, Oregon. The founders of this company are Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer, who both previously worked or Kershaw Knives. This means that they know what they are doing when it comes to knives.
Their company did not really begin to get big until three years later, in 1997, at the Shot Show. This is when they introduced a small folder by Ed Halligan called the K.I.S.S knife. By the time the show was over, they had sold all of their product of this knife. In the end, they sold 5 times the original production numbers, which resulted in a tripling of production efforts.
CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of their most popular are the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff-Serrated edges. CRKT has collaborated with a wide variety of some of the best knife designers in the world, which is where their high-quality knives come from.
They produce anything from fixed blades, folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.
CRKT says, “From day one, we put innovation and integrity first. 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®.”
Today we will be talking about one of their newest knives, the Hvas.
This knife was designed by Jesper Voxnaes, who comes from Loegstrup, Denmark. CRKT says, “When Jesper needs to test a design, he only has to step into his own backyard. The harsh elements and conditions of the fjords and forests in his native Denmark do the rest. When he was starting out, no one was making the kind of knives he wanted to design so he learned by trial and error. Apparently his efforts paid off given his IF Award in 2013 for one of the Top European Designs. Now he creates and uses knives like the Amicus® as he sails, camps, and drives off-road. Which is more often than not.”
The blade on this knife is made out of 1.4116 stainless steel. This steel is the steel that is used in Swiss Army Knives. This is a softer steel, which means that it is an excellent steel for a beginner sharpener. Because it is a softer steel, it does not hold an edge as well, but because it is so easy to sharpen, you can get it back to razor-levels in just a few minutes. Surprisingly, this steel has very high corrosion resistance. Plus, this steel is also very tough. The steel can be hardened to about a 55-57 HRC.
The steel has been finished satin, which is one of the most common blade finishes in the cutlery industry today. To create this finish, the blade is sanded in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. As a key, the finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner the finish is going to look. The Hvas has a very clean satin finish. The satin finish is used to show off the bevels of the blade as well as showcasing the fine liens of the steel. Lastly, the satin finish does cut down slightly on glares, reflections, and corrosion.
The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. The drop point blade style is the most popular blade style that is used today. This is for good reason too. The style of blade is very tough and very versatile. The blade has a spine that curves slowly from the handle to the tip of the blade. The large belly curves upward to meet the spine of the knife in a lowered tip. The lowered tip is going to ensure that you have high levels of control over your cuts and you can perform fine detail work with this knife as well. The lowered tip is very broad, which is where the drop point gets its famous strength. The drop point style of blade is one of the strongest blade shapes in the industry, allowing you to take on almost any task. The drop point knife is also very versatile because it has a very large belly. The belly makes slicing a breeze. One of the only drawbacks to this knife style is that because the point is so broad and strong, it is not going to allow you to pierce or stab easily. The Hvas is designed to prepare you for almost any outdoor task, and the drop point blade is going to allow you to do any of that.
The handle is made out of Glass Filled Nylon, or GFN. This is the same material as FRN and is the off-brand of Zytel. This material is a thermoplastic material which is very strong, resistant to bending and abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, this is a cheap material to make. This material is cheap because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and also textured however the manufacturer wants during the production process. This means that the manufacturer is going to have high volume manufacturing and a low cost. This keeps the overall cost of the knife down.
This material is practically indestructible because the nylon fibers inside are arranged haphazardly throughout which means that it is going to be strong in all directions instead of a single direction. This material is similar to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, except that in those other materials, the fibers are arranged in a single direction, which is why they are brittle and break apart more easily. The overall pros of this handle material is that it is going to be strong, tough, have practically zero maintenance, and will be inexpensive. The cons to this material is that it is a little less grippy than some of the other similar materials, and some people feel like it has a cheap plastic feel to it.
The handle, like the rest of the knife, is sleek, simple, and will work like a charm when it comes down to it. The handle is black and has been roughly textured to give plenty of texture, even in the wetter environments. The spine of the knife curves slightly from the handle to the butt, which is squared. The belly of the handle has two large finger grooves and a middle that bulges out slightly. There is a thick finger guard so that your fingers will stay safe while you are using this. In the first finger groove, there is a row of jimping, which will give you more control over your cuts.
The Pocket Clip:
The handle has been drilled to attach the pocket clip for either left or right hand carry, which helps to make this knife fully ambidextrous. The clip can only be attached for tip up carry though. The clip is simple, which is Jesper’s favorite style of design. The clip is not a deep carry clip, but it does flare upwards at the bottom, which will help it attach to your pocket a little more securely. To cut down on weight the clip has been skeletonized at the top of the clip. The clip is black, which matches the handle on this knife.
This is a folding knife that uses a finger hole to assist you in opening the knife. This knife is also equipped with a locking liner and CRKT’s Field Strip technology.
Because it is a folding knife, you do not have to worry as much about the innards, because there is no spring that can break down and ruin the ability to use this knife. That being said, you will still want to keep the inside clean and dry so that it does work to the best of its ability. Another benefit to it being a manual folding knife is that you don’t have to worry about all of the strict laws that surround an automatic knife.
The thumb hole has been around since around the 1980s. The hole was popularized by Spyderco, but over the years, plenty of other brands and designers have equipped their knives with the thumb hole. This opening mechanism really does work. Just like a thumb stud, a thumb hole is a similar opening mechanism, but instead of a stud, it’s a lost. By its very design, the mechanism is ambidextrous. Plus, it doesn’t protrude from the blade, which means that it isn’t going to get in the way once the knife is opened.
The locking liner is one of the more common locking mechanisms that you are going to find on folding knives. The locking liners key piece is a side spring bar that is located on the same side as the belly of the blade. This spring bar essentially lines the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, this spring bar is held under tension. When the knife is fully opened, the same tension slips the bar inward to make contact with eh butt of the blade, which will keep it firmly in place and prevent it from closing. To close the knife, or disengage the lock, you just use your thumb to push the spring bard “down” so that it clears contact with the butt of the blade. At his point, you can use your index finger to push the blade so that it keeps the bar pushed down. You can then remove your thumb from the blade path, then continue to safely close the knife. One of the biggest benefits to a liner lock is that you can close the knife with one hand without switching grip, because they allow the knife to have two true handle sides. This characteristic is especially important when you are using both hands on the job. If you are planning on using the Hvas for more heavy duty tasks, you should know that the liner lock isn’t as tough as other locking systems. While it will give you the strength for the typical tasks that you come across, don’t plan on always performing really tough chores with the Hvas.
CRKT’s Field Strip technology is an award-winning, breakthrough innovation. This technology comes from the shop of legendary knife craftsman Ken Onion. This no-tool take-apart technology allows for practical and efficient tool cleaning & maintenance in the field. To disassemble: start with the knife in the closed position, push the front release lever up away from the blade, then spin the release wheel on the rear of the handle away from the pivot shaft—once you feel the handle release, pull it up and away from the blade. The knife comes apart in three sections. Reassembly is as easy as reversing the procedure.
The blade on this knife measures in at 3.339 inches long with a thickness of 0.126 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.525 inches long. When the Hvas is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.875 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.7 ounces, which is a very good weight for your everyday carry knife. This knife is great to have with you at all times because it is going to equip you to take on almost any task, while it won’t weigh you down considerably.
When CRKT is discussing this knife, they say, “For a minimalist with an appetite for big adventure. Jesper Voxnaes’ Scandinavian backyard is filled with fjords, punctuated by mountains, and sliced by surging rivers. So when he sets out to design an outdoor knife, it’s crafted to perform. Everywhere. And with Field Strip technology, the HVAS™ is taking preparedness to the next level. Your move, Mother Nature.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.