Knife Review: CRKT Plain-Edge Bear Claw

This is a discussion on Knife Review: CRKT Plain-Edge Bear Claw within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I got a CRKT Bear Claw a while ago from Top Glock . I ordered it on a Friday and I got it the next ...

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Thread: Knife Review: CRKT Plain-Edge Bear Claw

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Knife Review: CRKT Plain-Edge Bear Claw

    I got a CRKT Bear Claw a while ago from Top Glock. I ordered it on a Friday and I got it the next Friday. One week with a nice, "It's been shipped so you can get your happy dance ready..." e-mail/invoice so I can't complain about the service from them.

    The blade itself is typical CRKT quality. It has a nice beefy tang at .13 inch thick, it is tough enough for real use, the edge has a nice and sharp hooked edge to it that comes to a sharp point, the blade and tang are bead blasted so they will be harder to see in low light vs a straight stainless blade, and the Zytel handles are very comfortable in my average palmed-long fingered mitts. The index finger hole is big enough for my friend's gi-huge-ic finger to fit into for those with Sasquatch hands, so pretty much anyone should be able to use this blade effectively. Great quality for the price, but don't expect anything really Gucci here.

    The Zytel sheath it comes with is kind of wonky because it holds the knife in place really dang well, but if you mount it so the clip is on the bottom set of mounting holes and hooked under your belt with the handle up, it comes free of the sheath pretty well instead of yanking the sheath-covered blade off of your belt. I tilt it slightly to the right at around 10:30 on my belt so I can crossdraw with my dominant right hand or draw it trailing blade with my left hand in an emergency without it getting in the way of my double magazine holder on my left hip at 3 o'clock. It does the job Ok for a free sheath (everyone's favorite price), but I will be hitting up Aircop Custom Carry for a sheath more to my liking in the near future (thanks for the great gear site and curses for making me want to spend more money there, Mercop).

    The handle of the Bear Claw is small enough around that you can still grab with the knife-holding hand if you need to. Probably not an issue for most folks but if you want to keep it handy and still climb around or do rescue-type stuff, it's there for you. A saber grip with your thumb on the handy-dandy ribbed spot on the back of the spine for this purpose will line up your joints, your bones, and the knife straight to your elbow pretty near perfectly. Pretty dang neat, you ask me. Trailing blade, however, feels rather clumsy with the optimized grip curve. I can't advise it with this blade.

    I'll freely admit that I'm a saber grip kind of guy. I like any extra range I can get when it comes to sharp and/or pointy bits (even if it's just a couple of inches) and since it turns out that I use a basic "grip 'em and rip 'em" cutting technique...this little hummer will make one heck of a SD blade that melds perfectly with my personal technique. The natural grip angle combined with the obvious default aligned joints means that you can easily do any hammer blow/axe hand/karate chop-type techniques you might have picked up with minimal modification. Open hand matching blade techniques? I like it. I like it a lot. Add wrist extension exercises like I've done for years and you can pop out some really nice jabs now and again despite the blade curve to keep things lively.

    All things said and done, this is the best $35 I've spent on SD equipment in quite some time. It won't fit everyone's individual style but if you want an inexpensive short-blade SD cutting blade with excellent retention and a great grip, I think you'll be very hard pressed to match the quality you see with the CRKT Bear Claw for the same price.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    The bear claw is a great knife for the price. I prefer the Emerson La Griffe though. I refer to it as the J Frame of the knife world. Another great choice around the same size but in a folder is the Boker Subclaw. I really like them for women for SD. Here is a review I did- George

    MODERN COMBATIVE SYSTEMS - Boker Subclaw

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    I would have been interested in checking out the La Griffe, but the added price, the slightly shorter blade, and the potential for not being as comfortable in the hand due to the lack of grips made me go this direction instead. I've been impressed with CRKT quality for the price in the past so I knew for a fact that I wouldn't get burned.
    I will be checking out the potential for cord-wrapping the Bear Claw before too long here just to see if it's viable. I'll put up an add-on once I do it.
    The SubClaw looks good but I'm not interested in folders as a SD blade for the reasons mentioned in the GG/BG and blades thread. The idea of drawing it and porkchopping the presentation vs. grip it and rip it ease of use is too much of a risk to go for a folder for SD, IMO.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    The subclaw is a back up and best. Check out the La Griffe when you get a chance, they are worth the money. Not to mention the Bear Claw sheath sucks.- George

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