Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review: CRKT K.I.S.S. knife

A number of years ago I decided that I needed a new pocket knife. I have had innumerate Swiss Army Knives, but since starting to carry a multitool, their functionality had been somewhat supplanted. I wanted something rugged and robust, yet compact and unobtrusive. There are some "don't carry knives" laws where I live, and I wanted to be within the scope of "lawful reason" for carrying a blade on my person.

This little guy fit the bill perfectly. Colorado River Knife & Tool's, Ed Halligan designed 420J2 stainless steel K.I.S.S. in "combination" style. This is a great knife, the tanto tip makes short work of any holes I've needed to punch in cans, bottles, leather, what-have-you and the frame-spring lock has never given me pause to worry about it failing and accidental self-amputation of a finger. 

Whats special about it?
I chose the "combination" blade, which gives a fair amount of real-estate to CRKT's Triple-Point serrations for cord and strap cutting, over the full-flat "razor" style edge, and have never regretted it. Both the tanto tip and remaining straight edge are just that, dead straight, which makes it a breeze to sharpen, a definite plus, as the overall cross-section of the knife is quite thick. Can make slicing lunch items a little uneven, but handles most tasks, salami, tomato and bubble-packed techno-goodie alike, with gusto.

The belt/money clip is a nice addition, and had held cash-and-cards for me a few times when I've been out and about, clipped it to my belt, pocket and LBE when out being adventurous. I call it my "climbing knife" because of its petite size and weight, the carabiner I fit through the retention hole and the ease of single-hand use when dangling in a tight spot.

I wrap mine up in a spare length of kendo himo which enables me to retain the knife if I have the need,  gives me some more attachment options. It also pads it whilst in my rib-pocket and gives me that extra reassurance that the blade wont slide open whilst I'm being adventurous. This is only a mild concern, as the naked blade lays flush to the frame, and its profile is very slick. 

At some stage I lost one of the little hex-screws on the clip, to no real detriment, and through an ill advised laboratory experiment at acid etch sharpening, acquired an odd stain to the blade (woops). My bad. I love this knife, and have taken long trips back to car-parks at airports to leave it in my car when I've had to go through security rather than give it up. 

As Ed Haligan and CRKT say, Keep It Super Simple.


  1. I too have had one of these for a while and find it write excellent, occasionally it has opened in my pocket to remind me it's there.

    I recently aquired some imperial hex keys, it now comes appear easily for cleaning.

  2. Exactly why I wrap mine up, the cording is tied to quick-release, but restricts that "open in your pocket" issue. Good call on the Imperial hex-keys, I'll have a look for some.


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