Over the past six months, I've become really down on CRKT knives. Actually it's the blades I don't like, not the rest of the knives.
In fact, I wrote them yesterday, not that I think they'll listen, but I had to find an outlet for my frustration.
First, their wretched chisel grind blades with bevels on the left side, which make them a bear for right-handers like me. Not long ago I went out and got some wood, then set out whittling just to see how well some of my knives cut. All of my V-grind knives cut like champs. No problems—nice, precise cuts. Even my "control" knife, a cheap Maxam, cut fairly well. My CRKT Desert Cruiser, however, was abominable. The wood kept sliding all over the bevel and I had to use sharper angles to bite into the wood. Fine for cutting out large chunks, but lousy for just stripping off bark. In fact, it was quite frustrating.
My other knives, Cold Steel Voyagers in 4- and 5-inch blades did a fine job of cutting everything, but then, they always have been fine cutters. They also sharpen practically by staring at them! My little Spyderco Native also did a great job. In fact, it's point made wood work quite easy in that it could easily dig out pits and knots in the wood. The Desert Cruiser, however, only did well when I shifted it to my left hand. I'm not a southpaw, but the knife did a fine job when I used it as a left-handed knife. When using it right-handed, the beveled portion of the blade would slide along the wood without ever biting into it, except using sharper angles.
Another thing I don't like about CRKT is that for all their chisel grind knives, you'd think CRKT's Slidesharp knife sharpener would work on their own knives, but nay, the little plastic guides are all designed for double-grind blades! Sharpening the CRKTs is easy enough, but one is better off just using a medium ceramic stone. The odd thing is, CRKT reps have told customers to sharpen their chisel grind knives as they would a double, or v-grind. I actually tried this to see what would happen and the knife's angles shifted so much that the blade became almost unusable.
I also had an old Winchester 1335 folder, which was about the second or third locking folder I ever owned. It has a heavy handle and a cheap "surgical stainless" blade with a chisel grind, but the grind was on the right side of the blade. When I used that knife to cut the same wood bark off the branches, it cut much easier and much more efficiently than my Desert Cruiser. To me it's obvious, having a chisel grind on the right side of the blade is better for right handers and having it on the left is better for southpaws.
My only other gripe with the knife is that the AUS8 steel used in CRKT's knives tend to be softer than that used by Cold Steel and others. I have an M21-04 CRKT that is one of my favorite knives. I also have three or four of their titanium knives, which are gorgeous, but have CG blades and bumpy serrations.
Has anyone else had similar issues with their CRKTs?
CRKT Desert Cruisers, gold and silver. Note the serrations
and the chisel grind blades. Imagine stripping bark from a
branch using your right hand to cut with.
This is the old Winchester 1335. The bevel is on
the right side of this knife, which was designed
The CRKT M21-04 is a great knife.