Knife blarg

So since I’m looking for new knives, while I was running some errands this morning I stopped into a Sports Authority to see what they had.

They had a couple CRKT knives. That “Carson Flipper” feature is pretty nifty, mostly because it becomes some degree of a hand guard against slipping. That interests me.

There are many flavors of CRKT knives, but I recall the two I looked at were one flavor of a M21 and another of an M16.

The M21 was much bigger than I expected. It seemed almost too big. The length, the width (of the handle), big! I’m not sure how much it would lend to discrete carry, but it all depends on where you’re wearing it and what clothing you wear it with. That said, I did like having that larger handle in my hands. I’ve got larger hands so having the larger frame in my hand was more substantial. Using the pin to deploy the blade was a little awkward due to the pin being almost flush and touching the frame, but I think with practice that could be overcome.

The flipper feature is kinda nifty, and I can see how, with practice, it can become a fast and quick deployment motion. That said, I’m a little torn on it. It’s a special motion that no other knife has, so if muscle memory kicked in on a different knife that means failed deployment; given the size of this knife I might have to switch to a different knife (e.g. Delica) if I needed to carry something smaller thus keeping the same deployment motion is desired. As well, a few attempts at flipping didn’t extend the blade 100% and engage the lock. Speaking of the lock, I found the mechanism interesting. It’s not just a liner lock but there’s a little pin/bar involved as well to keep the liner lock from collapsing. Interesting thing, but it also feels like more little widgets to break or go wrong. If the liner lock notion has this weakness, might it be better to pick another lock mechanism instead of jury-rigging a problematic one? I’m not sure. I’ve always been partial to lock-backs since I grew up on Buck knives, so old curmudgeon me is just having to expand horizons. Back to the flipper, I can also see how the flipper can bump and snag on external things while the knife is in your pocket and partially deploy the blade… not sure I like that.

That all said, the M21 didn’t seem all that bad. Yes I’d have to learn the knife, from dealing with tip-down carry, to the deployment mechanism (I can see Wife quickly growing tired of me flicking the knife open and closed all day long), to how to disengage the lock and close the knife. It also didn’t have a tanto blade, but that’s not a total deal-breaker. I did like the size, the heft, and the deployed blade with the flipper acting as a guard did seem like it could help with hand slippage (I could only experiment with that so much with the sales guy standing over me and him not wondering what the heck I was doing). I’m not sure I’d get the M21, but it certainly has helped me refine my search.

I wasn’t able to fondle the M16 as it was in a blister pack, but the size seemed comparable to the Spyderco Delica. That was really all I needed to consider there. What I’m getting from my reactions to things is I in fact do want a larger knife. So while that M21 might have come across as “too big” it may actually be just the right amount of big.

The CRKT knives seem to be well-regarded and aren’t too expensive, but I’m thinking they’re not going to fit my bill. Still, checking a couple out in person did help me refine my search criteria a bit. Need to find some folks in town that sell Benchmade knives to do some comparison.

8 thoughts on “Knife blarg

  1. The best knife I’ve ever owned and the one I still have on me is the Benchmade Griptilian with a D2 tool steel blade. While the Griptilian can be had just about anywhere I believe the one with a D2 hard tool steel blade is still a Cabela’s exclusive. The D2 blade is VERY hard and dense but still not too brittle. Its the only half-serrated blade that has still remained useful after several years of sharpening. Sharpening takes a bit more time and effort (honestly, my own honing can’t hold a candle to the skill of the guys over at Knife Sharpest on Burnet who will render a razor’s edge in <5 minutes for $3 that lasts 3-4 months) but it holds an edge longer than any other blade I've owned.

    • Some time ago I actually thought about ditching my Delicas for Mini Griptilians but never got around to pulling the trigger on making the switch.

      Certainly the Benchmade’s are next on my list to check out. I’ll be visiting whatever local stores (probably Red’s, McBride’s, Cabela’s, GT Distributors) and seeing what I can fondle.

  2. What I currently carry, and cannot recommend enough, a Kershaw RAM:

    I wrote up a few reviews of it over on my webpage, but it basically boils down to a very solid knife that can be opened (via a similar flipper mechanism as the M-series CRKT knives – and, really, I love flipper knives now that I have had a few) and closed with one hand (via the Hawk Lock system, a proprietary one, but a surprisingly simple one as well), by your offhand (once you practice enough), and with an almost completely reversible clip. The blade’s DLC is basically unscratchable, the edge holds quite well, the length is about what I require for most purposes, and its mass and girth are effectively unnoticeable in my back pocket.

    Price is fairly reasonable, and the company is American (though not all of their knives are, any more).

    And I liked mine well enough to buy another one after my old one walked off at Dollywood. I guess that has to say something ;).

    • While I wouldn’t want pretty grips like you added, yes that model looks like it has potential.

      How is it with stabbing motions? in terms of your hands sliding up onto the blade (should the stab not go as smoothly as you hope, or your grip isn’t rock-solid… all possible things in a self-defense situation).

      Also, can the clip be put on the other side of the handle? I see it’s tip-up, I’d just want it on the other side.

      Hrm… this posting made me seek out the Kershaw website. I discover their ZT line. Hrm….. those look VERY promising.

      • I have not tried shanking anything yet, but given that it has two distinct choils underneath the blade, and significant jimping along the blade’s spine, I do not think losing your grip would be a significant problem, as long as your initial hold engages those points. It would require a full wrap-around grip – no dilettante work here – but those features, combined with the original sandpaper-like G10 scales, and you should be fine.

        The clip can be flipped to the other side, and the other side allows for both tip-up and tip-down. The Hawk Lock pretty solidly holds things wherever you want, though.

        As for Zero Tolerance, there is only one word involved: want. Could never afford, but those knives look like they could chip down mountains.

        • I’m starting to give some serious thought to the ZT line… .a bit expensive, but they are looking like they have what I need.

          Don’t know. Still looking around.

  3. I carry a Kershaw Leek as my front pocket clip on knife. Strictly utility, but I could stab someone if I needed to, I guess. 🙂

    Some of the Zero Tolerance line are actually bigger than they seem in the pictures, so I’d highly recommend visiting a dealer that has the ones you’re interested in, and checking them out in person.

    Last summer Kershaw did a summer factory sale, just like the ones they do right after Thanksgiving. If they do another summer sale this year, I’ll drop you a line. They sell cosmetic seconds and overruns for lots off their regular prices… And the factory is nearby for me (20 miles per Google maps), so I wouldn’t mind picking something up for you, if they have what you’re interested in…

    • I managed to find some videos online showing the ZT’s with perspective… like in someone’s hand. Yes, they are big. But I’m a bit torn on if I want that. I don’t want too big, but a little bigger than a Delica gives a bit more something in the hand, which I would like. It’s a tough balancing act. Unfortunately it seems there’s only one place in the area that MIGHT have them in stock, but they’re quite a ways away from me. 😦

      Thanx for the sale offer. Drop me a line.

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