Columbia River Knife and tool, Inc., or CRKT, was established in 1994. From the very beginning of this company, CRKT has had a purpose driving them forward: they want to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to market. Because of this drive, they have had collaborations and partnerships with the world’s top designers and many custom knife makers. Born from these collaborations are products and knives that are aesthetically pleasing, superior over all other knives, and have innovative and ground breaking characteristics about them. CRKT produces knives for everyday carry, for tactical missions, for hunting and fishing, they even have a few for survival situations. CRKT knows that their products are being put to the test in your lives every single day, and these products are standing up to the task. To ensure that their products are up to the standards of their users, they make sure to use the most advanced equipment and production systems. CRKT also believes in integrity, and that’s how they do business. They build products that are going to be reliable no matter what the task is at hand. They believe that everyone should be able to afford to carry the highest quality knives and tools, so they build their products with efficiency.
CRKT has recently released a brand new knife. They’ve named it the Homefront, and it really is a game changer. The Homefront was designed by Ken Onion. Ken Onion is the youngest person to ever been inducted into the Blade Magazine Hall of Fame, he accomplished this in 2008. Ken is also recognized as one of the most successful knife designers of all time. Ken is also one of the most innovative knife designers of all time, and has continually designed and released key aspects of knives that keep getting better.
The blade on the Homefront is made out of AUS-8 steel. This steel is a Japanese steel and is similar to the more common 440B steel. AUS-8 is a common stainless steel and it is a decent all around steel. This steel is hard enough to get the job done, it is tough enough to get the job done, and it has enough resistance to staining and rusting. However, it does not excel at any of these. AUS-8 is not a high end steel; it is more like an upper mid-range steel. AUS-8 holds an edge fairly well, but you are going to need to sharpen it more often than many other types of steel. So count your blessings that AUS-8 is a breeze to sharpen and can get crazy sharp. A big advantage to having an AUS-8 blade is that it is pretty inexpensive.
The AUS-8 steel has been finished with a satin finish. This is one of the most common and typical types of finishes for knife blades. This finish is less expensive than a mirror finish and a polish finish, but because of that, it is less shiny as well. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive. This finish will show off the bevels of the blade, while also showing off the lines of the knife. This finish reduces glare and reflections. This finish has decent levels of corrosion resistance.
The AUS-8 steel has been carved into a modified drop point blade shape. I’m sure you’ve heard of a drop point blade shape and know the blade pretty well, but a modified drop point is not as popular. So what it is? This term is generally used when the knife has a shape that is pretty much a mix of a clip point and a drop point, but probably shouldn’t be classified as either. We’ll go over the advantages of both styles of blade shapes and what the advantages on the modified drop point shape are. The drop point is such a popular blade shape because of how versatile this blade shape is. It has a strong point that is easily controlled. This controllable tip gives you the ability to do precision work; hunters love the controllable tip because it allows them to skin an animal without piercing through the organs or ruining the meat. The tip is strong enough to endure heavy use and because of this, the drop point is a popular shape for tactical or survival knives. Another huge benefit of the drop point shape is that it has a large belly that allows easy slicing. The clip point blade shape is similar to the drop point in many ways. For starters, it also has a big belly and plenty of cutting edge, making slicing a breeze. The point is similar, but this is also where they differ. While the tip on a clip point is controllable, it is much sharper than the point on a drop point. However, because it is sharper, it is also weak, whereas the drop point has a very strong tip. Both shapes are great for all purpose knives. The modified drop point combines advantages from both of these blade shapes. Of course it features a large belly, so with the Homefront, you will easily be able to slice. But, it features a broader point than a clip point, so you get the strength behind the point, but you also get a sharper point than you would on a drop point shape. The modified drop point has combined all of the best characteristics, giving you one heck of a blade. The Homefront will be a great knife for your everyday needs, your survival needs, your tactical needs, and basically any other need that you can think of.
The handle on the Homefront is made out of aluminum. T6-6061 aluminum alloy to be exact; which just so happens to be the most common type of aluminum used along with one of the strongest alloys of aluminum out there. Aluminum is a very durable material for handles. Many knife carriers like to have weight and heftiness behind the knife, because it helps the user feel more in control and gives you a little extra durability. But, knife carriers also don’t want to feel weighed down, like they have a brick in their pocket. Aluminum truly gives you the best of both worlds; it feels hefty, but it is actually a very low density, lightweight material, so it is not going to weigh you down. Aluminum is a pretty slippery material, so to combat that, CRKT has added some heavy texture. This texture will provide the user with a solid, secure grip. CRKT has also added jimping down part of the length of the handle, giving you an even more secure grip. Aluminum is also prone to scratches, and to help combat that, CRKT has anodized the Homefront handle. The anodization process provides hardness and protection to the aluminum. It also can add color to the handle. The Homefront has been anodized gold. The last drawback to having an aluminum handle is that it is a cold material. If you work in a cold environment, this knife is going to feel very cold in your hand, it might even feel like it is biting into your skin. If you work or live in a cold environment, or somewhere that experiences pretty harsh winters, this knife is not going to be your best friend during those colder months.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip that has been included with this knife is a skeletonized pocket clip. It is a charcoal color.
The Homefront is a manual folding knife, with a spine flipper to help rapidly deploy the blade. So how exactly does a flipper work? The basics of it is that there is a part of the blade that extends through the spine of the knife when the knife is closed. On the Homefront, this flipper is a small circle with a hole in the middle of it, which is one of the most uniquely shaped flippers that I’ve seen. You push down on this flipper, which then puts pressure on the detent. When enough pressure overcomes the detent, the blade will flip up into the open position and lock into place. There a few benefits of a flipper mechanism, but one of the biggest is that it keeps your fingers safe and out of the way of the sharpened edge of the blade while opening your knife. Another big advantage to the flipper mechanism is that you can open the Homefront with only one hand. The flipper mechanism is safe, quick, and efficient; these three characteristics are probably everything that you are looking for in an opening mechanism.
The blade on the Homefront is 3.5 inches long, with a thickness of 0.133 inches. The overall length of the knife is 8.313 inches long, with a closed length of 4.728 inches long. The Homefront weighs in at 4.8 ounces.
This knife features a very unique, innovative characteristic. This is the first of CRKT’s knives to feature what they all the “Field Strip”. This innovation was created by Ken Onion, a well-known knife craftsman. This innovation allows you to take apart your knife with no tools for practical and efficient cleaning and maintenance, even when you are in the field. To dissemble your knife, you 1. Start with the knife in the closed positon. 2. Push the front release level up away from the blade. 3. Spin the release wheel on the rear of the handle away from the pivot shaft, once you feel the handle release you pull it up and away from the blade. The Homefront will then come apart into three sections. To reassemble the knife, you do the same process, but in reverse.
Pros of the Homefront:
- The steel is hard enough, tough enough, and corrosion resistant enough to get almost any job done.
- The AUS-8 steel has been finished with a sleek satin finish.
- The blade has been carved into a modified drop point blade shape, which gives you all of the best characteristics of both the drop point and clip point shape.
- The aluminum handle is durable, strong, and resistant to corrosion.
- The flipper mechanism is efficient, safe, and quick.
- This knife features the Field Strip mechanism, which allows you to take apart your knife without any tools whenever you want, to easily clean and maintain your entire knife.
The Homefront looks like your classic grandpa’s World War 2 folder, but it’s so much more than that. While it does rock an old timey look, I guarantee that everything about this knife is new and modern. For starters, the AUS-8 steel is carved into a modified drop point shape, truly giving you the best of both worlds. You get the strength behind the tip that the drop point shape offers, and you still get the sharpness behind the tip that the clip point shape offers. With this blade shape, there isn’t much that you aren’t going to be able to accomplish. The handle has been anodized gold, giving it a more classic look. But this aluminum handle is going to be able to endure more than you can imagine. To top the whole knife off, CRKT has added their new Field Strip technology. This is an innovative invention that allows you to take your knife apart, without tools, to clean and maintain in the field. There is nothing old timey about this new invention. This invention is all thanks to Ken Onion. The brand new Homefront is going to change the way that you think about knives.