Columbia River Knife and Tool, CRKT, company is an American company known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. This company was established in 1994 and is currently based in Tualatin, Oregon. It was founded by Paul Gillespie and Rod Bremer. Both of these individuals were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. The company did to truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show when the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife was introduced. 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. They sold 4-5 times original production numbers resulting in a tripling of production efforts.
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, Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff-Serrated edges. The Outburst is the company’s proprietary mechanism for their assisted-opening knives. These knives are standard pivot joint liner lock or frame lock folding knife. Inside the knife there is a spring tab that catches the tang of the blade as it is manually opened. Once the blade reaches thirty degrees, the spring takes over and quickly snaps the knife open.
The Lock Back Safety mechanism, also invented by Ron Lake, is similar in faction to the LAWKS mechanism. It is a lock back folder with a switch that can prevent the locking bar form depressed. Inside the handle there is a small rod with a flange near the butt of the handle. The other end is connected to a switch near the pivot end. When the switch is pulled back the lock functions as a regular lock back. When the switch is closed the flange on the rod slides under tip of the locking bar at the butt end. This prevents the depressing of the bar and the blade from unlocking. When the knife is closed the system functions the same way to lock it closed or allow it to open.
CRKT operates on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand and it is these collaborations with these designers in the world that help them get there. It is with these collaborations that they pull out the game-changing designs.
Today, we are going to be going over the Drip Tighe Spring Assist knife.
The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. This is an upper mid-range steel that originates from China and is comparable to AUS-8 but containing slightly higher carbon content. You typically get great value for money with this steel and good manufacturers have mastered the heat treatment process to bring out the best qualities in it. With quality heat treatments, the steel will be able to retain for a long time the sharpness of the cutting edge and will have very good corrosion resistance. This is a popular budge brand of knife steel and at its low cost demonstrates very worthy characteristics of cutting. Knives made out of this steel will keep sharpening well and at the same time, they are easy to sharpen, and have highly aggressive cuts on soft materials. Many popular manufacturers often use this steel in their products. This steel is well balanced with regard to strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. Many features made the 8Cr13MoV steel suitable for production of non-expensive tourist and urban knives with good average performance. As a note: don’t bother with anything less than 8Cr in this series—7Cr and less isn’t worth your time or money, lacking the carbon necessary to hold an edge even during mild use.
This blade has been finished with a satin finish. The satin finish is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted, which is matte, and mirror polish, which is a high gloss. This is the most popular blade finish on production knife blades, it shows fin buffing liens with two directional finishes that better display the bevels of a blade. This finish is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. It does have decent corrosion resistance, but less than polish or mirror finished knives. To create this blade finish, you sand the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive, which is generally a sandpaper. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks. A nice satin finish takes time and can increase the cost of the knife, but it does give you one of the most traditional looks that you can get.
The blade on the CRKT Drip Tighe knife is a drop point blade shape. This is a great option if you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can really stand up to anything. A drop point is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. To from the shape of the blade, the back edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating 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 a very popular option on tactical and survival knives. And because the tip on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. It is this lowered, controllable point that makes it easier to avoid accidently nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the last benefits of this blades shape is that a drop point blade features a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. One of the only real disadvantages of the drop point blade is that it does sport a relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. You should keep in mind that it is this broad tip that provides you with point strength that you could not find on a clip point knife.
This blade does sport a plain edge. The plain blade is one continuous sharp edge and is the most traditional edge option that you can find. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of suing a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes. A plain edge cuts cleanly.
The handle is the most unique part of this knife. It sports a very unique pattern that almost looks like paint runs/drips across the middle of the handle. The handle is made out of carbon fiber and G-10. Carbon fiber is when thin strands of carbon have been tightly woven and then set in resin. This material is a crazy strong, yet lightweight material that is also rather expensive. While it is strong, it is far from indestructible and suffers from being brittle. As an analogy, think of the carbon fiber as a bunch of straws that are stuck together. In one direction, it is super strong, but it will start to break apart when stressed in other directions. Because its brittle it can crack if subjected to sharp impacts. Due to the way in which the carbon “weave” reflects light you can achieve some nice looking results in a knife handle. Production of carbon fiber handles is a labor intensive process, though, so it tends to be found only on the higher end knives.
G-10 is a grade of Garolite that tis a laminate composite made of fiberglass. IT has very similar properties to carbon fiber, yet it can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. The manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass clothe and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. This material is extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and strong. In fact, G-10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger than Micarta. While it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process used in FRN handles.
On the butt of the handle, there is an attachment that contains a lanyard hole. The handle is a mixture of light grey, dark grey, and darker grey. The handle of the knife has a curves pine to fit in your palm well. On the bottom of the handle, there are two long grooves, which help provide you with a very comfortable and secure grip, even in the toughest of situations. There is a very slight finger guard to help protect your fingers during use.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The handle is satin finished and skeletonized. The clip is kept in place by two small screws on the attachment at the butt of the handle. All of the hardware on this knife is silver, matching the blade.
This knife is a spring assisted knife that uses the Outburst assisted opening mechanism. The Outburst assisted opening mechanism is lighting fast and ridiculously easy to use. To use this mechanism, you manually open the blade up to 30 degrees and the patented Outburst assisted opening mechanism springs the knife fully open so that you’re good to go. The powerful spring also holds the blade securely closed when not in use. On many of the CRKT knife models, they have equipped the Outburst system with their locking and actuation systems like Fire Safe for a new level of ease of operation, as well as security.
There is a thumb stud attached to this blade. This is arguably one of the most common one-handed opening feature. The stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward—you grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open.
The blade on the CRKT Drip Tighe measures in at 3.1 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.2 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 7.3 inches long. This knife does weigh in at 4.2 ounces.
Inspiration comes in many different forms and believe it or not, this knife was inspired by a stack of pancakes. The Drip Tighe is another Brian Tighe designed model that sports a liner lock design and each stainless steel blade is deployed quickly thanks to the Outburst™ assisted opening mechanism it houses. Additionally, grip security is no issue with the multi-layer outfit and the ribbed back spacer. 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 1190, features a woven carbon fiber partial layer atop a black G-10 partial layer, 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. The CRKT Drip Tighe Spring Assist knife is a game changer, so pick yours up today at BladeOps.