CRKT 281KXP Hi Jinx Knife Review

CRKT Hi Jinx

Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT, has been around since 1994. This company is based in Oregon and is an American company that has made a reputation through their distinct design, the selection that they offer, and the quality of all of their products. Since the very beginning, CRKT has had a purpose that has driven them to accomplish what they have. This purpose is “to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to market.” Because of this purpose, CRKT has collaborated with a variety of the best knife designers and custom knife makers. These collaborations have resulted in products that are always visually stunning and technically superior. These collaborations have also resulted in some of the most innovative inventions in the knife world to date, including the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot system, the Automated Line Safety System, and the OutBurst assist opening mechanism. CRKT uses the newest and most advanced manufacturing equipment and production systems to produce the knives efficiently and with excellence.

CRKT has a company motto of integrity. They build their products with integrity and deal with their customers with integrity. Because of this, they believe that if their knives and tools aren’t up to their customer’s standards, then their knives and tools aren’t up to their own standards. When you purchase a CRKT knife, you can be sure that you are getting a high quality product and that you are dealing with a company that truly cares about you and your experiences. CRKT has produced their products to be able to stand up to everyday use, tactical use, survival use, and hunting and fishing. One of their newest knives is called the Hi Jinx Z, and it is just as quality as the rest of their knives.


The Blade:

The blade is made out of 1.4116 SS steel. If you are like me, you have probably never actually heard of this steel, and if you have, you aren’t quite sure what sets it apart from the other steels. 1.4116 SS steel is similar to the 440A steel. This steel is pretty inexpensive, which helps to keep the cost of the overall knife down. This type of steel has great resistance to rust and corrosion. It can take a fine edge, however, it doesn’t hold this edge as well as other types of steel do. This type of steel is most commonly found on kitchen knives. 1.4116 SS steel is decent, it will get the job done, but it is not super high quality. Investing in a knife with a higher quality steel is going to give you better results in the end. But having a blade made out of this type of steel is a great knife to have as your backup knife.

The steel has been finished with a satin finish. This type of finish is one of the most common finishes that you are going to find on knives. It does help to reduce glare and reflections a little bit, but it is not matte by any means. The satin finish will also help reduce corrosion to an extent, but if that is what you are looking for in a finish, keep looking. The satin finish is mostly to give your knife a pleasing, clean, elegant look.

The 1.4116 SS steel is carved into a drop point blade shape. This is the most versatile blade shapes out there, and it is certainly one of my favorites. The shape is formed by the unsharpened edge slowly curving to meet the point in a lowered position. There are a variety of benefits from having the point lowered. The first one is that you will actually have more control over the tip. Most hunters search for knives with a drop point shape because it lets you skin your game without having to worry too much about nicking the organs or ruining the meat. Another big benefit to having a lowered point is that it creates a broader tip than you would find on a clip point. Because the tip is broader, it has more strength behind it, and it is more durable. This helps your knife stand up to heavier duty and harder tasks. Another reason why the drop point blade shape is so popular is because it sports a large belly. This large belly with plenty of cutting room is what makes the Hi Jinx Z such a great every day knife. One of the only drawbacks to having a drop point blade shape is that because the tip is broader than many other blade shapes, you are not going to be able to pierce or stab many things. In my mind, this is a small price to pay to get all of the other benefits about the drop point blade shape.


The Handle:

The handle on the Hi Jinx Z is made out of glass reinforced nylon, or GRN for short. This material is made by arranging the nylon fibers haphazardly, instead of in a single direction, like G-10, Carbon Fiber, or Micarta. Because of them being arranged haphazardly, GRN has a high strength level, while also being very resistant to abrasion and bending. GRN has been considered to be basically indestructible. However, GRN does not have too much texture when it is in its pure form, so to give the user a solid grip on the Hi Jinx Z, CRKT has added some extreme texturing to the palm area of the handle. With this aggressive texturing, you will be able to hold on to your knife in almost any condition without having to worry too much about slipping.


The Pocket Clip:

The Hi Jinx Z comes with an attached pocket clip. It is half skeletonized and silver satin to match the blade of this knife.


The Mechanisms:

CRKT Hi Jinx
CRKT Hi Jinx

This knife is a folding knife with a locking liner. This knife sports the IKBS system. This was designed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. This system sets lubed all bearings into the folding knife pivot. Because of this, the knife can be rapidly deployed with a smooth and fast movement. This knife is a flipper knife. A flipper knife works by using a small fin shaped that protrudes from the spine of the knife when the knife is in the closed position. You push down on this fin and it flips the blade open. Then the locking liner safety clicks into place and your blade is locked in the open position. When you want to close the knife, you undo the liner lock and push the blade closed. There are a few benefits to having your knife be a flipper, one of them is that it always keeps your fingers out of the sharpened blade range. This means that you never have to worry about your fingers getting cut or pinched. It also allows you to open your knife quickly and efficiently.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.293 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.111 inches long. When this knife is open, it measures in at 8 inches long, with a closed length of 4.721 inches. The Hi Jinx Z weighs in at 4.9 ounces.


The Designer:

Ken Onion is the man behind the Hi Jinx Z. Ken is considered to be the most innovative and successful knife designers of all time. He was the youngest ever to be inducted into the Blade Magazine Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 2008. In 1996, Ken, created the first commercially successful assisted opening mechanism. He recently just introduced the Field Strip Technology. Ken seems to always have new, ground breaking ideas. These ideas have won him so many awards. You know that if Ken Onion helped to design your knife, it is going to be an innovative, quality knife.


Pros of the Hi Jinx Z:

  • The steel on this knife is a pretty inexpensive knife.
  • The steel has decent toughness and strength behind it.
  • This steel is very resistant to corrosion.
  • This steel can get a very fine edge.
  • The satin finish helps to reduce glare, reflections, wear, and corrosion.
  • The drop point blade shape has a large belly with plenty of cutting room.
  • The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes, perfect for everyday use, tactical, or survival needs.
  • Because the tip is lowered, you have more control over it, allowing you to accomplish detail work with the tip.
  • Because the tip is lowered, it is broader, and thus has more strength and durability behind the tip.
  • The GRN handle is basically indestructible, it has incredible durability.
  • The GRN handle is resistant to wear and bending.
  • The GRN handle has plenty of extreme texture to provide you with a secure grip.
  • The knife comes with a pocket clip.
  • This knife sports the IKBS ball Bearing Pivot System.
  • This is a flipper knife, so your fingers are going to be kept out of the way and always safe.
  • Ken Onion is one of the worlds most renowned knife designer, so you know that this knife is going to be quality and innovative.


Cons of the Hi Jinx Z:

  • Because it is a drop point shape, the point is broad and stabbing things will be harder.
  • The pocket clip is not a deep carry pocket clip, so your knife will not be as secure in your pocket.



Columbia River Knife and Tool company produces some of the most unique and quality knives on the market. They believe that everyone should be able to afford a high quality knife. They make their products with the newest manufacturing equipment to produce their knives and efficiently as possible. Because they produce their products so efficiently, they can keep their prices a little bit lower. Over the past two decades, they have collaborated with a variety of the most well-known knife makers and designers. Out of these collaborations have been born some of the most innovative technology in the knife market to date.

To create yet another masterpiece, the Hi Jinx Z, CRKT started off with a good steel. This steel is able to take on the tasks that you need it to, but it really isn’t going to be able to perform anything extra. This steel has a satin finish and a plain edge. Because it is a plain edge, it will be easier to sharpen and will be used for a larger variety of tasks. To make this knife perfect for every day uses, they chose to grind the steel into a drop point shape. This shape is the most versatile out of any of the knife blade shapes because it is strong, durable, has a big belly, and a decent tip. To complement this blade, Ken Onion and CRKT designed the handle out of Glass Reinforced Nylon. This is one of the strongest materials of its kind, because of how the fibers are placed haphazardly instead of in a uniform direction. This helps the handle be less brittle and less resistant to wear and bending.

This knife does have a flipper opening mechanism, which helps to keep your fingers safe and out of the way when you are opening it. Because they used the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System, the flipper mechanism will work quicker, smoother, and more efficiently.

The Hi Jinx Z is a quality knife that is going to be able to accomplish your everyday tasks. Because of the level of steel, this knife is the perfect knife for your backup knife or if you don’t want to worry about banging up your knife. Because all of the materials are good, but not great, this is a very inexpensive option for your everyday knife choice.

When purchasing a new knife, you know that you can rely on CRKT for giving you a great knife. The Hi Jinx Z will be a great addition to your collection.


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