Columbia River Knife and Tool Company is an American company that was founded in 1994. CRKT is known for their distinction in design, selection, and quality and for over 20 years, they have put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. This company operates on a 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 well-known designers are 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. From these collaborations have been born about fifteen patents and now CRKT owns fifteen patens and patents pending. Some of the better known patents that they own are the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and the Veff Serrated edges.
There are two men behind CRKT knives, Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. At this point in time it seems as if they have created legendary knives and it almost seems like that process was a quick and easy one. The process was not quick nor easy. It took about three years for this company to truly take off; it was at the 1997 Shot Show when they introduced the K.I.S.S, Keep It Super Simple, knife. This is a small folder that Ed Halligan designed. It was within just the opening days of the Shot Show that the entire years’ worth of product sold out. They now produce a wide range of fixed and folding blades, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.
CRKT has recently released a new everyday carry knife called the Vizzle.
The man behind this sleek everyday folder is Jesper Voxnaes. Something unique about him as a knife designer is that when he 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 to make them himself by trial and error. Apparently his efforts paid off given his IF Award in 2013 for one of the Top European Designs. He now creates and uses knives like the Amicus as he sails, camps, and drives off road, which happens to be more often than he isn’t.
The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This specific formula of steel comes from a Chinese series of steel. Out of this series, the 9Cr steel is the top dog in quality levels, but 8Cr steel falls shortly behind it. When people are looking for a steel to compare 8Cr steel to, they normally pick AUS 8 steel, but between the two, AUS 8 is the superior steel. 8Cr steel is a stainless steel, but it is also an average steel, so while it does resist rust well, you do need to keep up on your maintenance to keep it in tip top shape. 8Cr is a softer steel, so it will be very easy to sharpen and you will be able to get a very fine edge on it. Surprisingly enough, the edge actually does stay sharp for very long periods of time, which is a total bonus. Especially since softer steels normally don’t have high levels of edge retention. This steel has a hardness level of 58-60 HRC. The biggest benefit that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. While it doesn’t excel at anything, it can take on the majority of tasks, and you get it at a very low cost.
The finish on this steel is a satin finish. This style of finish is created by repeatedly sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. The main purpose of a satin finish is to showcase the lines on the knife. This is a very classic finish and in terms of where it falls on the spectrum, it is a medium finish. There are a handful of finishes that are shinier than the satin finish but there are also a handful of finishes that are more matte than the satin finish. The satin finish provides you with a very traditional look.
The blade has been carved into a trailing point shape. The trialing point style is lightweight blade that has a back edge that curves upward. The style gets its name from the point which actually trails higher than the generalized axis of the spine of the knife and blade. Some of the benefits to having a trailing point is that it provides a large belly with plenty of length. This aspect of it is perfect for slicing or skinning. Another one of the benefits is that they offer the sharpest point for fine, delicate, and small work, such as skinning and caping game or fish. One of the most commonly found places for the trailing point blade is on skinning and fillet knives, but they are found elsewhere. The Vizzle would be great for skinning, but it has been designed to be an everyday carry knife, and the fact that it is such a great slicer makes it a great option for your everyday carry knife. With all of the advantages, there are also a couple of disadvantages to the trailing point style blade. The main disadvantage is its weak point. Because this style of blade has been designed for fine and delicate work, it will easily bend or break if it is used on tougher materials.
The edge on the Vizzle is a traditional plain edge. This style of edge is the perfect edge for push cuts, slicing, and skinning. You can get a very fine edge on this style of edge and it is very easy to sharpen. One of the concerns is that a plain edge is not going to be able to saw through some of the thicker materials, but with a sharp enough edge, you will be able to accomplish that.
The handle on the Vizzle has been made out of stainless steel. One of the biggest benefits to having the handle made out of stainless steel is that it is very resistant to corrosion. With a knife that is so good at skinning and working with wet, bloody, or messy situations, the corrosion resistant handle material is going to be a huge blessing. One of the second main advantages that stainless steel works to give you is its excellent durability. This material can truly take a big beating, which makes it a great option for your everyday knife, when you never know what you are going to encounter. One of the drawbacks to a stainless steel knife handle is that it can be pretty slippery and it is heavy. You are going to feel this knife in your pocket at all times.
To combat the slipperiness of the handle, CRKT did add a row of light jimping on the spine of the handle, near the butt. However, it is still a stainless steel, so there are going to be other knife handles that you have a better grip on.
The handle is fairly straight, but it does still provide you with a comfortable grip. There is no finger groove for you to rest in, but there is a finger guard to protect your fingers from getting cut.
The stainless steel handle has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tossing the steel around with small pebbles. It roughs up the steel just enough to give a textured look. After the steel has been tossed around, it is smoothed out and polished. This is one of the more rugged looks that you are going to get with a finish. The best aspect of the stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the handle over time and effortlessly hides fingerprints and scratches that the handle would accumulate over time.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is also made out of stainless steel and sports the same stonewashed finish. It has a flared end and is kept in place by two small silver screws that match the rest of the hardware. On the center of this clip, CRKT has stamped their logo in a darker gray. The pocket clip can only be used for tip up carry and only on the traditional side of the handle. This is a drawback, because it means that the knife is not ambidextrous carry friendly.
This knife is a folding knife that features a flipper to help you open it. The flipper on the Vizzle is a rectangular triangle. The flipper is a small protrusion that juts out of the handle when the knife is closed. To deploy the blade, you pull back on the flipper, providing the knife with enough resistance to “flip” the blade open and then lock it into place.
The blade locks into place thanks to the frame lock mechanism that this knife features. This mechanism is one of the more common locking mechanism that you are going to come across. The frame lock mechanism is very similar to the popular liner lock, but the main difference between the two is that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. Just like the liner lock, the frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, which engages it at its furthest point. The frame locking mechanism is known for their strength and thickness, which means that you are going to be able to perform some of the heavier duty tasks with the Vizzle.
This knife also features the IKBS ball bearing pivot system. This system was designed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. The system uses lubed ball bearings that have been set into the folding knife pivot. Because of the ball bearings, you can quickly deploy the blade, while keeping it smooth and fast. CRKT, talking about using the IKBS ball bearing pivot system has said, “Go ahead, set a flipping land speed record.”
The blade on the Vizzle is 3.353 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.144 inches. The overall length of this knife is an even 8 inches long. When the knife is closed, it sports a length of 4.605 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.7 ounces.
CRKT said it best when they wrapped up this knife in a perfectly flowing paragraph: “Rough yet refined. Just like you. The stylish Vizzle™ everyday carry folder looks like it belongs in a speakeasy, but the long, sleek blade shape won’t hesitate when it’s time to get down to business. So minimal, it’s as at home in your pocket as your money clip, and it’s just as useful.
Jesper Voxnaes was inspired by traditional fixed blades like the Puukko and Telemark while designing the Vizzle™ in his shop in Loegstrup, Denmark. It mirrors the sleek, clean lines so common among Scandinavian knife designs while still remaining capable enough to come up against whatever it may find. The hollow-ground blade is deployed from the sleek stainless steel handle with a swift, smooth action thanks to the IKBS™ ball bearing pivot system. The stonewashed handle is punctuated with a radar-looking circular pocket for both aesthetics and to help your grip. Don’t worry, we won’t tell if you wipe it clean on your Sunday bests before tucking it away in your pocket. The Vizzle™ pairs best with dry whiskey, fresh air, and a little adventure.”
Pick your brand new Vizzle up today at BladeOps.