Columbia River Knife and Tool company was founded in Oregon in 1994. CRKT is an American company that is well known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over two decades now, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. They choose to operate on the simple principle that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To accomplish this, they have been collaborating with some of the best knife makers and designers in the world. Some of these collaborations have been with the Graham Brothers, Tom Veff, Michael Walker, Steven Ryan, Ron Lake, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Ken Onion, Allen Elishewitz, Harold “Kit” Carson, Pat Crawford, and Liong Mah. Out of these collaborations have been born many groundbreaking innovations. Some of these innovations have even given CRKT some patents. They have fifteen patents and patents pending, including the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.
CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men had been formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. At this point in time, these men have created a legacy and a fantastic reputation, but it wasn’t always that way. The company did not actually take off until the 1997 Shot Show when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This was a small folding knife that had been designed by Ed Halligan and it was a total success. It was only within the opening days of the Shot Show that the entire years’ worth of product was sold out. They now produce a wide range of products form fixed blades and folding knives to multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.
CRKT has just released a brand new knife called the Snicker.
The Snicker was designed by Philip Booth who is from Ithaca, Michigan. He is a modern day version of a human phoenix—when his art studio burned down in the late 80s, it left his life’s work of paintings and art prints reduced to ashes. Instead of letting it knock him down, he was reborn as a knife maker, and has since swept up a handful of prestigious awards like the Blade Show’s 2016 Most Innovative Design award, and their 2005 Best of the Rest award. He’s a mechanically orientated artist, and his innovative, artful tools are proof.
The steel is made out of 420J2 steel. This is a stainless steel that is a popular choice for knife manufacturers. This steel has a good level of corrosion resistance when it is salt free atmospheres. While some of the better quality stainless steels can resist rusting when submerged in salt water, the 420J2 steel cannot. This steel can resist rusting and corrosion tom any chemicals and household cleaners, and it is actually more durable than many of the other 440 grade steels. This steel is often used in making precision surgical instruments because of its sharpness as well as it’s corrosion resistance. One of the benefits about 420J2 steel is that it is great for producing a fine and smooth polished blade. This steel is very easily machined and has excellent hardening capability, which is why it makes such a good option for all purpose knives. Because it is so easily machined, it is also very easily sharpened.
The steel has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with small pebbles that work as an abrasive. This creates a very textured and well-worn look to the blade. When it is finished tumbling around, the steel is smoothed out and then polished. The result is a dark gray steel that is semi-matte and works well to cut down on glares and reflections off of your blade. The biggest advantage of the stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the blade overtime. It also effortlessly hides scratches, smudges, and fingerprints that your blade accumulates after use.
The steel has been ground into a modified drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is a perfect all-purpose knife shape and it is also extremely popular. One of the most common places that you are going to find this blade shape is on a hunting knife, although they are often used on many other types of knives. To form the shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point helps to provide more control over your cuts and slices as well as adding strength to the tip. Because of the tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades are very popular on tactical and survival knives. The drop point blade shape is so popular on hunting knives because the point is so easily controllable. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidently nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the other reasons that this is such a versatile blade shape is because it features a large belly that provides enough length for perfect slicing. The drop point and clip point blade shapes are very similar and often confused. The main differences between the two are the points. On a clip point blade shape, it has a lowered point, but the point is thinner and sharper than that of a drop point knife. Because it is thinner, it is weaker, but you also have stabbing capabilities. The drop point has a lowered point, but it is broader and thus stronger. However, with the broader point, you have basically no stabbing capabilities. That is really one of the only drawbacks on the drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape will prepare you for almost any situations, whether they are expected or unexpected. The modified drop point has less of a belly because there is a groove near where the handle and the blade meet. It will still provide you with plenty of length for slicing though.
The edge on the Snicker is a plain edge. This is the more traditional blade shape that is easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it. The plain edge is best for push cuts, slicing, peeling, and skinning.
The handle is made out of injection molded Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is a thermoplastic material. This material is extremely strong, very resistant to bending, abrasion, and practically indestructible. And, as a total bonus, it is a pretty inexpensive material. This is a cheaper material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. These characteristics leads to high volume manufacturing and thus the low cost. This is such a strong material because all of the nylon fibers have been arranged haphazardly throughout the handle which makes it strong and durable in all directions. On materials that are similar to GRN, such as G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, the fibers are all aligned in a single direction. This means that when those materials are stressed in the other directions, they will break down and are pretty brittle. However, may people did not warm up to this material because they claimed it felt cheap and almost hollow. As one of the other drawbacks, it tends to provide you with less grip than G 10.
To add texture to this knife, CRKT has added Carbon Fiber Texture. Carbon fiber is a material that is made by thin strands of carbon being tightly woven and then set in resin. This material is extremely strong, but still lightweight, however it is rather expensive. Even though it is so strong, it is not indestructible and does tend to be brittle. Like I previously mentioned, this material is brittle because the fibers are all woven in a single direction. This is an eye-catching material because of the way that the fibers have been woven together. The weave pattern on the Snicker looks like a classic basket weave.
The curved handle with the longer tail provides you with an extremely comfortable grip. While there is no finger groove, there is a finger guard to protect your finger from getting cut.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is skeletonized and made out of stainless steel, which also matches most of the hardware on the Snicker. The pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle.
This is a folding knife that has a flipper mechanism to assist you in opening it. The flipper on this knife is a rectangular triangle. The flipper mechanism is a small protrusion on the blade of the knife that juts out of the spine of the handle when the blade is closed. To deploy the blade, you pull back on this protrusion to flip the blade out and lock it into place. One of the benefits about a flipper mechanism is that it keeps your hands and fingers out of the way when you are deploying the knife, which keeps your fingers safer than if the knife had a thumb stud.
The Snicker also supports a liner locking mechanism. Liner locks are one of the more common mechanism that can be found on folding knives. This mechanisms key characteristic is a side spring bar that is located on the same side as the sharp edge of the blade, essentially “lining” the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, the spring bar is held under tension. When fully opened, that same tension slips the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, keeping it firmly in place and preventing it from closing. To disengage a liner lock, you have to use your thumb to push the spring bar down towards the pocket clip in the example knife shown above, so that it clears contact from the butt of the blade. This lets you use your index finger to push the blade just enough so that it keeps the bar pushed down so you can remove your thumb from the blade path, then continue to safely close the knife. Some of the advantages of a liner lock is that they allow a knife to have two true handle sides, which makes it ambidextrous friendly. Another advantage is that you can close the knife with one hand without switching grip, which is ideal for when you need both hands on the job. However, liner locks aren’t typically as strong as other locking mechanisms, so you should keep that in mind while performing the heavier duty tasks. Liner locks are plenty strong for most tasks, but because they are made form a thinner piece of metal, this locking mechanism is more prone to wearing out.
The blade on this knife is 1.845 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.106 inches. The overall length of this tiny knife is 4.688 inches long and the closed length is 2.938 inches long. The weight of this knife is 2.3 ounces.
When CRKT was describing this knife they said, “In the face of daily duties, the Snicker always has the last laugh.” While this is one of the most compact everyday carry folders that you are going to find, it still performs with the punch of a full size blade. “This folder is proof that skipping the bulk doesn’t mean skimping on performance”. This knife is made out of 420J2 steel that has been finished with a stonewash finish and then carved into one of the most versatile blade shapes: the drop point style. The handle on this knife is made out of injection molded glass reinforced nylon with carbon fiber texture. The flipper opening mechanism keeps your fingers safe while the locking liner secures your blade in place while you are using it. This tiny knife is going to do big things. Get yours today at BladeOps.