Thursday, January 5, 2012

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

Here is another piece of steel that I hold dear. Whilst a pocket folder is a great addition to my EDC, sometimes a fixed blade is the best tool for the job. As I've said, I'm strangely attracted to some brands, and tend to stick with them, and this is no exception. This is the (edit) COLUMBIA River Knife & Tool Stiff K.I.S.S. by Ed Halligan. Keeping to the principles of its name, this is a blade that has been engineered to Keep It Super Simple. The blade is made of a single piece of AUS6 steel which is reported to be hardened to Rockwell of between  55-57. It comes with a Zytel sheath and belt adapter.
 The blade features the same tanto-tip and straight blade as the folding version, and the same serration patterns but with a considerably longer blade, following the same elegant lines. The handle is skeletonised and features two lanyard holes midway, and a third in the pommel end. I have added a paracord wrap which gives it some nice body, and a good positive grip. I keep this blade in my car, along with my car "bug-out-bag". It goes camping with me, picnics and hiking. One of the things I especially like about it is how light it is in the hand.

This is no battle knife, it is fleet and slight.
The slim cross section is sufficient to ensure it is able to cut and slice, and the back of it is flat, as with its smaller folding sibling, which gives it an even slighter profile. The blade is stiff, even for its thickness, which I suspect is due to the steel and temper, but I wouldn't want to use it as a pry bar. Best leave that to actual pry-bars, frankly. I have been able to punch holes in cans for drainage however, and the finger notch, and thumb-groves on the spine make for a very sturdy and secure grip, even when wet. There is a nut affixed to the blade around the midline acts as the friction lock to keep the knife firmly in its Zytel sheath, as well as being a good rest point for the thumb during delicate cutting.
The sheath itself is also packed with features, including a selection of lashing points both for cord and a pair of webbing-sized holes as another option. The final attachment option is the steel clip, which can be fitted at either the bottom, for a downwards draw or at the middle, for an upwards draw. I have a length of kendo himo looped through mine. Between this and the belt loop I get a nice secure attachment to a variety of belts, bags and harnesses.

Unfortunately,  CRKT discontinued the Stiff K.I.S.S. a number of years ago, and whilst they are still available online, I am sorry to have heard that. This is a beautiful piece of steel, and as I've said, it comes out to play whenever I go adventuring. Rope, salami, packets, jugs or cybermats, this is a blade not to be left behind.


  1. its COLUMBIA River Knife & Tool not Colorado River Knife & Tool. lol.

  2. I have had one of these since they were first sold in Australia. Really wish I had bought a couple of them. A great knife to have. I have used it as a boot knife a few times. Now lives in my call out bag


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