No more previews: the full CRKT 2022 release catalog has been added to the company’s website this weekend. As is usual with the company, the new releases are all collaborations. In terms of roles, there is everything from slipjoints to plus-size tactical folders, backup fixed blades to bartending tools. Material choices are pretty much what we expected, but there seems to be more D2 in among the 2022 class, which is never a bad thing.
CRKT has lavished two new series on the Kit Carson-designed M16, their first real flagship and a knife that helped usher in the flipper-dominated production market of today. The new DB series really packs in the features: the Deadbolt locking mechanism, assisted-opening action, D2 blade steel, and IKBS pivot. A supplementary stainless steel series, meanwhile, has full stainless steel scales front and back, and comes outfitted with a frame lock. The steel on these models is 12C27N, which serves as a nice stainless counterpoint to the semi-stainless tool steel on the DB models.
Both of these series include three models: the -02, -03, and -04. The -02 is the smallest, with a 3-inch tanto blade; the -03 falls in the middle size-wise at 3.56 inches; and -04 is the big daddy with a 3.86-inch blade length, once again with a tanto shape.
Ken Onion’s assisted opening mechanism is all over the CRKT 2022 catalog, but the Facet is the only brand new design from Hawaii’s head knifemaking honcho. It’s got a 3.37-inch reverse tanto blade, fired out with an assisted flipper tab and made from D2 steel.
We’re all familiar with the CRKT Squid, a tiny tank from Lucas Burnley that is a staple of the budget folder scene. As far as we can tell, the Squid XM doesn’t have anything to do with satellite radio; it just bumps up the blade length to 2.96 inches, earning itself the “extra medium” designation from the CRKT crew. D2 steel and an assisted opening flipper deployment round out the changes here.
New from the prolific Liong Mah is the Mah-Hawk. This one slots nicely into the same extra medium role as the Squid XM, with an angled, 3.19-inch wharncliffe blade. The FRN scales have a textured pattern on them, and the pocket clip, with its ball bearing pinch point, echoes the sort premium flourish we see on the knives Mah releases in his own private high-end production label.
This fixed blade from Darrin Sirois (creator of the CRKT Siwi and Rasp) is the latest knife to join the Forged by War line. It has a 4.37-inch recurve blade that looks ready for rough and tumble usage, made from suitably durable SK-5 carbon steel, with a thick powder coat on top to help with corrosion.
Alan Folts Twofer
Custom maker Alan Folts’s Minimalist fixed blade series is another mainstay in CRKT’s lineup. 2022 will see the line expand with a new Katana model, which has a mean-looking compound-ground tanto blade shape. But Folts also contributed the S.P.E.C., companion to his S.P.E.W. model, albeit with a cleaver blade shape instead of a wharnie.
Also worth noting is that the Fawkes, a folder CRKT released in a limited D2 variant last October, will be entering the full production line with 1.4116 steel and the option for a total blackout color scheme.
The CEO Compact also made its first appearance ahead of the full 2022 catalog, as a website exclusive. The exclusive had carbon fiber scales and S35VN steel, but this standard line version comes with GRN scales and a 1.4116 blade.
This one might look a bit familiar: it’s a smaller sequel to the Otanashi no Ken, a James Williams design that has been kicking around for a while. Williams’s Inazuma is only smaller in relative terms, as its tanto blade measures 3.68 inches long – and like the DB M16s, it has a Deadbolt lock, assisted opening, D2 steel, and an IKBS pivot.
Russ Kommer Folder and Fixie
Custom maker Russ Kommer drew up two new CRKT models this year. The Curfew grafts his classy, traditional-flavored custom style onto a modern flipper design. The 3.1-inch drop point blade is made from 8Cr13MoV and narrows to a very fine tip – so we see this one as a gent’s folder or light-to-medium duty EDC. The black bolster is made from aluminum, while the scale beneath is ivory G-10.
Compared to the urbane Curfew, the Catchall is a monster. This outdoors fixed blade has a beefy 5.51-inch modified sheepsfoot blade, and it comes paired to a ridged handle that locks the fingers in for hard work. The blade steel here is once again 8Cr13MoV.
James Williams Fixed Blades
In addition to the folding Inazuma, Williams came up with two fixed blade designs for CRKT this year. The SDN is a highly compact backup knife with an unusual bracketed handle design, while the HZ6 is inspired by the Japanese hira-zukuri sword. With a 6.5-inch blade length, it’s still in the “knife” rather than “sword” category for us, but does look spec’d for self-defense. Both of these Williams designs are made with 1.4116 blade steel.
The name might be a mouthful, but the appeal of Eric Ochs’s Delineation’s is easy to see. This is an all-stainless CRKT EDC in the vein of knives like the Drifter and the original Squid, with a 2.96-inch wharncliffe blade. It secures with a frame lock and comes with a deep carry pocket clip.
Richard Rogers Slipjoint and Flipper
Richard Rogers’s Venandi is a mid-size slipjoint jack knife, with red/black G-10 scales that give it a look reminiscent of the Tribute, a CRKT knife from way back. The clip blade measures 3.14 inches and is made from 8Cr13MoV, but despite the modern materials, Rogers did add in a shield inlay like you would see on the knives the Venandi takes inspiration from.
Rogers’s Seis, on the other hand, is thoroughly modern, with an assist-powered flipper tab, pocket clip, slick, slim profile, and two-part handle scales made from GRN. It’s a bit larger than the Venandi, with a 3.32-inch drop point blade made from 1.4116 stainless.
Ripsnort II and Triple Play
Phillip Booth returned to his Ripsnort model this year. The Ripsnort II has the same bulbous cleaver blade shape as its predecessor, albeit scaled up just a tad here to 3.48 inches. The flipper tab is gone, replaced by a thumb stud, and the handle has been redesigned – although it still has the same faux bolster look of its predecessor.
Booth is also the man behind the Triple Play, a quirky little multifunctional slipjoint with 2.51-inch main blade, a smaller foil knife on the other end, and a corkscrew and bottle opener in between.
Knife in Featured Image: CRKT Mah-Hawk