CRKT just released a surprise, exclusive variant of their Razelcliffe Compact model, called the Razelcliffe Compact Blackout. But the name belies the rather significant changes on offer here, as the Razelcliffe Compact Blackout gets promoted to a better blade steel and also benefits from a new weight-saving handle material.
The first Razelcliffe Compact headlined CRKT’s 2021 product preview. Product Previews are a CRKT tradition: sometime in the fall they reveal a handful of knives from the forthcoming batch of the new year’s products. Like all of CRKT’s knives, the Razelcliffe Compact was a collaboration model, produced in conjunction with Jon Graham as an affordable counterpart to his coveted custom pieces. It kept the unmistakable look and eponymous razel blade shape, which blends a chisel with two separate cutting edges. In terms of materials, the first Razelcliffe Compact did not deviate from the usual CRKT release, with full stainless steel scales and 8Cr13MoV blade steel.
As is SOP with these things, this new version retains all the dimensions of its stablemate – the changes here are all material ones. Most salient is the upgrade to D2 blade steel, which brings with it a significant performance boost over 8Cr13MoV, a budget steel we feel comfortable labeling as last gen at this point. As on the first Razecliffe Compact,CRKT gave the blade a blackwash coating which, while it served more of an aesthetic function on the 8Cr model, here helps to protect the semi-stainless D2 from potential rust or corrosion.
Another change with positive performance implications of its own is the new, resin-infused fiber front scale. Like similar synthetic materials (G-10, Micarta, et al.), it’s grippier than the steel scale it replaces, and lighter too; in fact, given that this new model is almost half an ounce lighter than the standard model (weighing 2.8 ounces), it could be argued that the resin scale is almost as big an upgrade as the D2.
This Razelcliffe Compact is yet another CRKT variant available exclusively from the company itself. Previous exclusives have included the D2 Piet, a limited preview run of the Phoenix, and a premium CEO Compact. Although it is an exclusive for the CRKT website, the Blackout is not a limited edition.
Knife in Featured Image: CRKT Razelcliffe Compact Blackout