CRKT Razel Review

A Razor-Inspired Fixed Blade Knife That Pays Homage to an Innovator

There are not many fixed-blade razors. We’ll get into why that is in a bit. But the CRKT Razel comes really close. While this isn’t a knife I’d want to shave with, it is a razor-inspired fixed blade that holds really close to the old-school face-shaving tools that inspired the design.

And it’s a chisel, too. Don’t let that confuse you. And don’t forget it, either, if you do try to use the Razel as a shaving tool. Get this in some tight spaces, and that chisel edge on the front of the blade will do some damage.

The Razel makes a decent camping knife.
The CRKT Razel is not a razor or a chisel, though it draws inspiration from both.

CRKT picked up this design from Jon Graham, a mechanic from Tennessee, who took his respect for knives as tools and built a new form of visually striking, hard working blades that cemented his place as a genuine innovator.

Graham passed in 2022, but CRKT is keeping his memory alive in their interpretation of his designs. And if you’re looking for a wild EDC fixed blade that is as distinctive as it is functional, this may be the knife for you.


Blade Length2.97″ (75.54 mm)
Blade EdgePlain
Blade SteelD2
Blade FinishSatin
Blade Thickness0.17″ (4.32 mm)
Weight4.20 oz. (119.07 g)
HandleResin Infused Fiber
StyleFixed Blade Knife w/Sheath
Sheath MaterialThermoplastic
Sheath Weight1.20 oz. (34.02g)


The Razel is a small knife that punches above its weight
The chisel is a useful addition absent on most other designs
The handle feels nimble in the hand


The sheath on the Razel is great, but the clip could hold more tightly

Is the Razel a Razor?

the raze-like Rael has some similarities to a razer, but it is more of a knife.
The Razel takes elements of tool design and adds some finishing touches that make it aesthetically compelling, too.

No. Razors typically have incredibly thin blades. Their hollow grinds have steep convex hollows that end abruptly on thick spines—all of which makes stopping them much easier as that spine acts as an angle guide for the edge.

The Razel, though, has the look down. The blade is thick by pocketknife standards, and is decently thick for a fixed blade. It has the robust feel that gives it weight and balance in the hand—something that’s completely absent from a razor.

And the long flat cutting edge with its deep hollow grind is great for slicing.

Is it a Chisel?

The CRKT Razel is technically not a chisel, because it has four bevels.
The Razel has a chisel tip, but not a true chisel grind. Still, the blade cuts well on this front edge.

Most chisels have a single bevel. This one has four. And, as chisels go, the bevels are fascinating. Consider how chisels are uniform in their width all the way to the bevel that becomes the cutting edge. The Razel is thicker near the spine, and hollow ground, so the edge has a varying degree of thickness as it approaches the cutting edge. In the sharpened edge of the blade’s corner, the chisel has a super thin edge.

The CRKT Razel moves through wood in a way that a chisel might not.
The Razel isn’t long. While this compact design makes it ideal for pocket carry, it is just barely long enough for use as a camp knife.

And this profile is mirrored on both sides of the blade. In effect, this can act like a chisel. The blade has a right angle. But it doesn’t cut with the same fluidity of motion that a chisel does. And the mass behind the edge (more at the spine, less at the edge) means that the knife will move through wood in a way that a typical chisel might not.

So the chisel isn’t a chisel. The Razel isn’t pretending that it is. This is a second cutting edge, and one that is highly effective, and one inspired by a chisel. It is both a chisel homage and a razor homage all wrapped up for more utilitarian purposes.

The handle on the Razel

The Razel handle is curvy and comfortable.
The ergonomics of the Razel’s handle, though, are superb. The knife fits well in the hand and feels very nimble.

Utilitarian, yes, but aesthetically compelling, too. The handle appears to be a denim micarta—or something close, lined with red spacers. In the resin, there is clearly a fabric showing through, but it is sanded—maybe to a 400 grit finish—before the buffing wheel.

At the butt end, the full-tang extends beyond the handle scales, providing a small striking surface. It is far from a hammer, but still useful. Between the blade and the butt are some curves that would’ve made Marilyn Monroe jealous.

The handle of the CRKT Razel is fairly ergonomic.
Jimping on the spine allows for solid downward pressure on the blade, and makes this squared off tip even more effective.

The look, here, again is iconic. The micarta has an exceptional feel, but would look rather pedestrian without the liners. That little bit of bling can really dress up the way a knife looks.

Sheaths make or break a knife design

The CRKT Razel ships with a well designed Kydex sheath.
The sheath is excellent. While I’m not a fan of the clip, it does ride well in a pocket.

The EDC fixed blade is a tool that spends 99.9% of its life in a sheath. Many leather sheaths conform to the pocket a bit and hold firm while sticking, a bit, because of the friction between leather and fabric.

Kydex, on the other hand, can be slick and rigid. The sheath on this Razel is rigid and formed so that it snaps closed around the handle in a way that holds the knife securely in place. So far, so good. Great, even, as getting the knife in and out is intuitive, predictable, and easy—three things that I can’t say for all sheaths.

The pocket clip on the CRKT Razel works, but it is not ideal.
The bright stainless clip catches the eye–but this isn’t a design that’s meant to be fully concealed in the pocket.

But the clip isn’t ideal. The stainless design has positive spring pressure, but not quite enough to really grab and hold the sheath in a pocket as you pull. Even when I was wearing jeans with a wide seam, the sheath would pop free from my pocket as I tried to pull the knife.

Removing the Razel and its sheath from the pocket can be done one handed, but removing it from the sheath requires two hands.
When I pull the Razel, the sheath comes with it–at least part of the way. The thumb can push the sheath free, so it still can be drawn with one hand.

The issue, as I see it, is in the way the clip bends back in toward the sheath. There’s a graceful curve to the steel where it comes back into contact with the sheath itself. Like many pocketknife clips, this one is designed to release smoothly, but the clip needs to stay in place—more like a holster—and would benefit from a sharp angle or an undercut J shape rather than the smooth bump that’s here.

If you are wearing it in-waist-band, the clip will fit well over a narrow belt and provide more bite. In practical usage, I had to pull the knife in its sheath out, then take off the sheath—making this a two-handed design.

This doesn’t prevent the Razel from working as an EDC design, but it would add a step between the draw and any immediate needs and this may well be a concern for those looking for an EDC blade that can handle self-defense as well as it handles opening boxes.


The CRKT Razel is a functional fixed blade pocket knife that needs a better pocket clip.
The Razel really does move the standard design of the EDC fixed blade in a completely new direction. It works really well and has such a distinctive look.

Is two handed bad? Hardly. Many of the folders I carry daily still require two hands to open. The added step, both in the opening and closing, simply slows it down a touch. Nothing more.

And there is a fix. The Razel’s sheath has many holes. While these could be used for the addition of an aftermarket clip, they might also be used to attach a tether that could loop around a belt or belt loop. That way, when you draw the knife, the sheath will come out only as far as the tether before the knife pops free.

The Razel has infinite potential. One of the first additions I’d make to the sheath will be a new clip. 

If you are looking for a more conventioal fixed blade pocket knife, check out the Boker Barlow Burnely.

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Avatar of David Higginbotham

David is a writer and editor with a uniquely mixed background as an English professor and a backcountry guide. Somewhere back there he got a PhD in Creative Writing and an MFA in Poetry either before or during his time professionally showing people around the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and if we’re being totally honest, we’re still trying to figure out why he’s willing to write for us.

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