They’re Also Back with a New Designer and a Ken Onion Update
We’re getting six new folders and a rugged fixed blade from CRKT right out of the gate this year. They all have the kind of unique styling and ingenious designing that the company has become famous for fostering, but they’re also continuing their trend into the premium side of the knife industry with a high-end version of the Homefront and some super-steel automatics.
The US Made Knives
Brace yourself for some high prices. CRKT is swinging big with this drop. We didn’t hear specifically who’s making the US-based designs, but we haven’t seen any reason to think they didn’t slate Hogue again.
The Michaca is an automatic folder with a scale release and a 3.3 inch Magnacut drop-point blade designed by Phillip Booth (an artist turned knifemaker after an ill-fated studio fire) who named the knife for his hometown of Ithaca, MI. It also features G10 scales and a deep-carry clip.
From the same designer, but on a much less threatening end of the spectrum, the Minnow features a 1.7 inch Magnacut sheepsfoot blade, with a classy handle combo of linen Micarta scales and steel bolsters. It also has a more traditional button release. At a total length of 4.5 inches, the Minnow has a much wider legal-wandering range.
Premium Update on the Homefront
It’s the Homefront Compact, and besides taking the blade from 3.5 inches to just under 3 inches, they’ve decked out Ken Onion’s design with S35VN steel. Otherwise, it’s a fully manual flipper with G10 scales and a black DLC blade coating.
The Forebear is a classic-style two-bladed slipjoint knife designed by Darriel Caston, the electrical designer who came out with the MinimalX for CRKT at Blade Show West 2023. Both blades are wharncliffe in Sandvik 12C27 steel with nail-nick opening. Specifications are a little spotty on this but the larger blade is 2.3 inches and the smaller one is just about an inch. Scales are black and red G10.
Pedro Buzetti brings us this timely reference in the shape of a frame lock flipper with a 3.1 inch blade in Sandvik 14C28N steel with a hollow grind. The handle is stainless steel with a G10 overlay (available in black or brown) that doubles as a stop for the lock bar.
This is Buzetti’s first design on the market, which is part of the reason for the name. He apprenticed under Flavio Ikoma, a knife maker widely regarded as a master in the industry (he’s the designer of the Deadbolt lock seen on a lot of CRKT knives). So the name of the Padawan is in honor of Buzetti’s training under Ikoma.
The Persian Assisted is a slim assisted flipper with a 3.4 inch upswept blade in D2 steel, and GRN handle scales with a deep-carry pocket clip. This comes from designer Richard Rogers, the man behind the CRKT CEO, so the slim lines of the Persian shouldn’t be a surprise. But the pronounced belly is a little different from what we’ve seen in his CRKT designs thus far.
On the hyper-practical side, we get the Bear Claw. a fixed blade with a severe inward curve, Veff serrations, and a thermoplastic sheath featuring a clip for easy fastening. The materials don’t exactly sing “premium” with GFN handle scales and AUS-8 blade steel, but the intent of the design lies firmly in rough outdoor situations. Designer Russ Kommer clearly had rescue-style rope cutting in mind when he drew the lines for this.
All knives are available from the usual vendors and CRKT’s website as of January 9th.