CRKT: Best knives for the money

7
Columbia River Knife & Tool Model M60 "Special Operations."  Photo by Carla Varisco-Williams

Columbia River Knife & Tool Model M60 “Special Operations.”
Photo by Carla Varisco-Williams

Columbia River Knife & Tool began making knives in 1994. The Oregon-based company was formed by two former Kershaw staffers.

They hit their stride a few years later at the SHOT Show, when they introduced their KISS knife – Keep It Super Simple.

The first time I got my hands on a CRKT product was in 2003, while I was working as an investigative reporter on St. Thomas, USVI.

I’d received some threats, which come with the job. Peter Burlingame gave me a CRKT M21. I’ve carried it faithfully for 10 years with zero complaints.

Since then I’ve purchase around a dozen CRKT models. None have ever failed.

I’ve carried knives professionally for 30 years: Gerbers, an Emerson Specwar, a Randall “Attack,” a variety of autos and other models that cost far more than any CRKT product.

In my opinion, Columbia River Knife & Tool offers the best value for the money. The amount of knife you get far exceeds its cost.

One of the things that sets the firm apart is their collaboration with some of the country’s best knife makers and designers: Pat Crawford, Allen Elishewitz and James Williams, a former Army officer and police trainer who designed my favorite CRKT knife, the Hissatsu.

Columbia River Knife & Tool Hissatsu, fixed blade and folding.  Photo by Carla Varisco-Williams

Columbia River Knife & Tool Hissatsu, fixed blade and folding.
Photo by Carla Varisco-Williams

Williams drew upon his sword making and martial arts background to create the Hissatsu, which CRKT cautions is “intended for us only by trained law enforcement and military tactical team professionals.

I own fixed blade and folding models. They’re fearsome weapons – something you realize about two seconds after you heft one.

Columbia River Knife & Tool Special Forces and M21.  Photo by Carla Varisco-Williams

Columbia River Knife & Tool Special Forces and M21.
Photo by Carla Varisco-Williams

CRKT makes a model for any need, tactical knives, skinners, hunting knives, multi-tools and a host of accessories.

Some of their detractors have pointed out that while the knives are designed here, they’re made overseas. I don’t care. The firm’s quality control is sound. They’re products have never let me down.

Share.

About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Best knives for the money | The Gun Feed

  2. Rick Gutierrez on

    I own many different brands but only collect one, CRKT.
    carry one for a couple weeks, treat it responsibly, keep the edge honed and you will be convinced that CRKT is the best production knife company out there no matter where they are made. Great mix of innovation, quality and value make them my favorite brand to carry and collect.

  3. James Williams on

    Lee,

    Thank you for the nice comments about my knives. CRKT has been a great company to work with and I am fortunate to be able to do so.

    Sincerely,

    James

  4. Pingback: The Sportsman's Guide: No knives for Sarasota - The Gun Writer

Leave A Reply