Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT, was founded in 1994. From day one, they put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build knives and tools that would inspire and endure. They collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. This is an American knife company that is currently based in Tualatin, Oregon. This company was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. However, the company did not truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show when the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife was introduce. The small folder, designed by Ed Halligan was a success. Within the opening days of the show, the years’ worth of the product was sold out.
The company produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has 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.
CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending. These include the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and the Veff-Serrated edges. The Outburst is the company’s proprietary mechanism for their assisted-opening knives. The Lock Back Safety mechanism, which is also invented by Ron Lake, is similar in function to the LAWKS mechanism. And Veff-Serrations were developed by Tom Veff, who is a sharpener and knife maker, and are exclusively licensed to CRKT for production.
To make sure that they give their customers Confidence in Hand, they collaborate with the best knife designers in the world, to give you some of the best knife innovations in the world.
Today we will be talking about the Realtree Homefront Hunt Flipper Knife with a satin blade.
The blade has been made out of 1.4116 Stainless Steel. This is the steel that is used in Swiss Army Knives and it is an excellent steel for beginner sharpeners. It is exceptionally corrosion resistant and very tough. This example is extreme, but some people even clean their knives with this type of steel in the dishwasher—I would not recommend this, but you get the point. This steel does not hold an edge well at all, but it is so easy to sharpen, you can get it back to razor levels in a few minutes. This is a German steel that is most commonly found on popular kitchen knives. This type of steel is typically hardened to 54-56HRC, and the bigger the blade, the softer the steel. This steel is quite stain resistant.
The blade has been finished with a satin blade finish. The satin finish is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted and mirror polished which are matte and high gloss. This is the most popular finish on production knife blades, it shows fine buffing lines with two direction finishes that better display the bevels of a blade. This finish requires great hand skill to accomplish. This finish is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. It does have decent corrosion resistance, but less so than polished or mirror finished knives. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks.
This blade has been carved into a drop point style blade. The drop point is a blade shape that is used on many knives, and is most commonly seen on hunting knives. This, along with the clip point blade shape, is one of the most popular blade shapes used on knives today. Both of these shapes are great all-purpose knives, but the drop point blade shape can stand up to more than a clip point can. 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. It is this lowered point that provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. These two blade shapes are very similar but vary when it comes to the points. The clip point has a sharper, finer, and thinner tip, so you do have stabbing capabilities; but the point is much weaker and prone to breaking. The drop point has a wider point, which means that you are going to be able to take on the heavier tasks, but you do lose out on your stabbing capabilities. This blade shape is one of its biggest advantages, but it is also one of its biggest disadvantages. The drop point is such a versatile blade shape because of the large belly area that it is perfect for slicing. It is this slicing capabilities that are going to come in handy in your most common tasks. When you are looking for a great EDC knife, you should be looking for a knife that is going to be able to slice well. And, when you are looking for a hunting knife, you definitely need to be searching for a knife that can slice, because dressing game require lots of slices.
Because this is a hunting knife, it has a plain edge. The plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for application s like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. This is because those applications involve either push cuts or the need for extreme control. When you are looking for a hunting knife, you definitely need to be searching for a pain edge.
The handle on this knife is made out of GRN, or glass reinforced nylon. This is a high strength, abrasion, and impact resistant thermoplastic polyamide formulation of the family more commonly known as nylon, often with varying degrees of fiberglass added for extra stiffness. This material is also resistant to bending—it is practically indestructible. And, as a total bonus, it’s cheap. This material is so close to being indestructible because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. This material is very similar to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, but with those materials the fibers are aligned in a single direction. This makes them brittle because when the fibers are stressed in a different direction, the material starts to break apart. With the haphazardly arranged fibers, it doesn’t matter which direction the material is stressed—it won’t break apart.
Many knife enthusiasts did not warm up to this material because they felt like it was cheap and almost hollow feeling. GRN also tends to provide you with a little less grip than G-10 would. This material is inexpensive to purchase because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. All of these characteristics lends well to high volume manufacturing and hence low cost. This material is strong, tough, requires zero maintenance, and it is inexpensive.
The GRN has been printed to blend in with the forest. IT is tan with branches and green splotches printed on the palm. On the spine of the handle, there is a row of thick jimping to give you extra grip. The GRN has a small chevrons carved into the handle so that you have a secure grip no matter what environment you are in. This texture will help you have a secure grip even when you are dressing your game and everything is bloody and messy.
There is also a small finger groove carved into handle to give your fingers a comfortable and secure place to rest while you are using this knife. All of the knives features have been designed so that you will have a secure grip on this knife even during the messiest of times.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is dark grey and skeletonized. The clip is kept in place by one small screw; the clip and the screw matching the rest of the hardware on the handle.
This is a flipper knife that sports a liner locking mechanism. The flipper mechanism is a relative newcomer on the one hand opening scene—especially in popularity. While studs and holes enlist a thumb to open the knife, a flipper employs an index finger, and the feature is naturally ambidextrous. Some people have reported that deploying a flipper reliably takes a bit of practice, and that is probably true. An essential element of a great flipper is a high quality pivot mechanism.
The liner lock is easily the most popular knife lock found in folding knives. It was invented in the early 80s by knife-maker Michael walker and was quickly adopted by a number of mainstream knife makers. The liner lock functions with one section of the liner angled inward towards the inside of the knife. Form this position, the liner is only able to go back to its old position with manual force, therefore locking it in place. The tail of the liner lock, which is closest to the blade, is cut to engage the bottom of the blade under the pivot. If the user wants to disengage the lock, they must manually move the liner to the side, away from the blade bottom.
The Realtree Homefront knife is also equipped with CRKT’s field strip technology. This was designed by world-class knife maker, Ken Onion. The field strip technology lets you easily disassemble your knife whenever, wherever, and without tools. To do so you follow these steps: 1. with the knife in the closed positon, push the lever up. 2. Rotate the wheel clockwise until the handles separate. 3. The handles and the blade should separate easily. To reassemble you follow these steps: 1. Press and hold the pivot. 2. Rotate wheel counter clockwise until snug. 3. Push the lever down. The Field Strip Technology has won the Blade’s Show Most Innovative Design Award, Men’s Journal Gear of the Year Selection, and KnifeNews Dealer’s Choice Most Innovative New Knife award.
The length of the blade on this knife measures in at 3.5 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4.75 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 8.125 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.3 ounces.
While the Homefront knife is not new to the CRKT line-up this year, alternate variations were introduced after the overnight sensation of one of the most innovative platforms to date. Designed by American knife maker Ken Onion, this flipper features breakthrough “Field Strip” technology that allows the user the capability of complete disassembly without the use of tools–all done in less than a minute. Each liner lock designed model features no-nonsense classic aesthetics but the functionality and utilitarian value is as modern as it gets. From the beginning, CRKT has been driven by a single purpose: to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to today’s market. This model, the K265CXP, features a unique Realtree™ finished GRN (Glass Reinforced Nylon) handle, stainless steel liners, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your CRKT Realtree Homefront Hunt Flipper Knife today at BladeOps.