CRKT Beauty and The Beast, by Pat Cascio

I still remember when I was a mere lad, seeing Beauty and the Beast on television. It was, of course, a stage production. Still, I was pretty scared of “The Beast” in that production. Years later, we had a TV series with Linda Hamilton as “Beauty” and Ron Perlman as “The Beast”, and things weren’t so scary for me with that “Beast”. I must admit it; I watched the show for “Beauty” and not “The Beast”. It was a modern day version of the old fairy tale. There was another similar show on TV, but it didn’t last very long for some reason.

There are many things in life that we often compare to one another– big or small, tall or short, fat or skinny, or a real beauty and a real beast. To be sure, when doing a comparison of beauty and the beast, it may all be in the eye of the beholder. No two people see the same thing when actually looking at the same thing.

Back when I was a police officer and also doing private investigations work, I interviewed witnesses to a crime; no two people actually saw the same thing, even though they were looking at the same thing. I remember many years ago doing PI work, with much of it for criminal defense lawyers who were, of course, attempting to provide the best defense possible for their client. One such investigation I was doing, involved a murder case. There were ten eye witnesses to the murder. When I was done interviewing all of the witnesses, there wasn’t one who had actually seen the murder. However, the police reports said other wise. The lawyer’s client got off, even though I was sure he was guilty of the crime. I quit working for that PI firm shortly after that. I couldn’t do that sort of work any longer, knowing that the person was really guilty and through my honest efforts they got turned loose.

So, with the above in mind, this is my idea of two different knives from Columbia River Knife & Tool. I see one knife as a real “beauty” and one as a “beast”. Feel free to disagree with my assessment. First up is a real beauty from the mind of custom knife maker Brian Tigh. He is quite an artist. I don’t know if Brian even considers himself a knife maker; it might just be his venue for releasing the beautiful designs he has in his head, and he can best do this through steel, in the form of knives.


The Tigh Tac Two that Brian Tigh designed is a very attractive every day carry folding knife, with a flipper for fast opening of the blade and a button lock to keep the blade open. The model I received for testing has the Tanto-style blade, which is one of my favorites; however, the Tight Tac Two can be had in other blade shapes. Check out the website. This Tanto blade isn’t just any plain blade. No, it wouldn’t be a Brian Tigh design without some flair to it. Check out the pictures of it.

The Tigh Tact Two has a 3.324-inch long blade made out of 8Cr13Mov. I don’t know exactly what it is, other than it is a stainless steel blade with a nice satin finish on it. It’s very attractive. The handle is black glass reinforced nylon that is sculpted nicely and attractive. It’s a real Gent’s folder if you ask me. The knife only weighs 3.4 oz, so it is a light-weight but tough one. There is a pocket/clothing clip, but alas it only has one position for carry– in the right pants pocket, tip up.

The Beast

Next up from CKRT is the Buku folding knife, and this hummer is strong, very strong. The blade reminds me of the Kukri styl of fixed blade knife made famous by the Ghurkas– very tough military troops. The Buku is designed by custom knife maker Lucas Burnley from New Mexico, and he really did his homework on this design. To be fair, the knife really isn’t “ugly” in any sense. It’s just a brute of an every day folder, so that when you pull it out of your pocket people will go “wow” as soon as they see it. It actually looks much bigger than it is. Still, to my mind it is a “beast” of a folder!

The Buku has a 3.75-inch long blade made out of the same stainless steel as many of the CRKT folders– 8Cr13Mov. Again, not sure what it is, but it is tough, holds an edge a good long time, and is easy to re-sharpen. The handle is made out of 2Cr13 stainless steel, and both the blade and handle have a satin finish on them. The Buku weighs in at 7.7 ounces, so it is a beast in the weight department, but it’s not too heavy or too light for every day carry.

There is a frame lock to keep the blade locked open tight, and it is a beefy locking mechanism, too. The pocket/clothing clip allows deep pocket carry. Still, it is easy to draw the knife out of your pocket for use. The clip is only on one side. You can’t move it to a different position, and it allows for tip-up carry in your right front pocket. However, with practice, you can still carry and draw the knife from a left front pocket as well. The blade is opened using the thumb hole on the blade, which is pretty much oval in shape. The blade is easy enough to open with either hand. The blade is flat ground for a lot of strength, too.

So, that’s a quick look at two different folding knives meant for every day carry, but they are quite a bit different in many ways. I’m sure some readers will certainly disagree with my assessment on calling one knife a beauty and one a beast, but that’s the way I see them. To be sure, there is nothing wrong with either definition of these folders.

As to testing both blades, well they were both carried for two weeks in my right front pocket, and, no, not at the same time. Even the heavier “Beast” wasn’t noticeable in my pocket with the heavier weight compared to “Beauty.” I used both knives for all manner of cutting chores in the kitchen, from veggies to meat and everything in between. Regular readers will know that one of my tests is cutting down blackberry vines; they are super tough. If a knife won’t cut one of these vines completely in half with a single swipe, then the blade isn’t sharp enough for me. I had no problem with either the Beauty or the Beast; however, I was surprised, with the shorter blade on Beauty that it actually completely sliced through the blackberry vines. It did. The Beast had no problems at all; the Kukri-style blade just grabbed and sliced right through those vines.

Of course, as is my practice, I show knife samples around to folks at the local gun shop I haunt, and everyone loved both styles of folders. To be sure, several people, even some customers, commented on the “Beast”, saying it was, well, “a beast of a folder”. And, the Beauty everyone thought was very classy looking, and it is. When you pull out “Beauty”, everyone will think it is a custom, hand-made folder. It is just beautiful, no pun intended. On the other hand, when you pull out the “Beast” to cut through some heavy duty material, people will more than likely comment on what a “beast” of a folder you have there. No, I’m not kidding. It looks wicked!

Full retail on “Beauty” is only $59.99, and on the “Beast” it is only $69.99. If you shop around on the ‘net, you can find most CRKT products deeply discounted. These are great every day carry folders, and I’d be hard pressed to pick one over the other. Then again, choice is nice. I can carry one on one day and the other knife on another day. What’s not to like here?