Under review today is the very unique Septimo folder by Green Beret, Jeremy Valdez. This one is more than a little unique in design and intended purpose!
My First Knife
I’m not exactly sure when I was given my first knife, but it would have been when I was about five or six years old. It was a two part set containing a Bowie-type fixed blade knife and a small hatchet. I longed for this set. And when my grandmother and grandfather who raised me had enough S&H green stamps (anyone remember those?), my grandfather went to the redemption center and got me that set. Needless to say, to a small boy, that knife and hatchet set would have allowed me to go to war, explore the wilderness, or survive anything. Never mind the fact that neither the knife or hatchet would cut warm butter; they were mine!
I suppose today, if you gave a five or six year old child a knife and hatchet set, someone would be sure to call children and family services on your parents and your kids would probably be placed in a foster home, because they’d think your parents were teaching you how to kill people. My, my, my how the times have changed and not for the better. It’s too bad!
Knives with Something Different or Unique About Each Design
I’ve officially been writing about knives and firearms for more than 25 years now and maybe even a bit longer. I’m often asked how do I continue to write about knives, as they are all the same aren’t they? Well, in a manner of speaking, “yes”. However, with each new design I test and write about, there is a little something different or unique about each design. Yes, all knives are designed for one particular purpose, which is to cut something.
The knife, in one form or another, is designed to cut. If it doesn’t do that with aplumb, I have no use for it. I look at the blade shape and what is the main purpose of the blade design. I look at the handle and handle scales, with the same thought in mind, and also the overall design of the knife and how it feels in my hand. So, there are several things I keep in mind when reviewing a knife for an article, or for my own personal use.
Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT)
I received the new 2018 catalog from Columbia River Knife & Tool, shortly before the SHOT show, and I always spend several hours, looking at the new designs. Some years I might request a dozen of the new designs and some years just a handful of new designs. I can’t promise an article will be written about each knife sample, but I give it my best shot when requesting samples for testing.
One particular folding knife, the Septimo from the mind of Green Beret, Jeremy Valdez, really caught my attention with its 3.622-inch long tanto-style blade, with the now famous Veff serration, and it only has one serration on the blade. I thought that a bit different, so requested a sample to see what this knife was all about.
The blade steel is 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, a pretty decent steel that helps make the knife affordable. It holds an edge a good long time and is easy to re-sharpen, too. The blade is Black Oxide coated for a tactical look. Weight of the Septimo is 4.7 oz. The handle material is 6061 T6 Aluminum with inlays of Thermoplastic rubber. A locking liner secures the blade when open, and a semi-oval hole in the blade can be used for opening it one-handed, or you can use the flipper for an even faster opening of the blade.
There’s a lanyard ring on the top butt of the handle, too. The knife came shaving sharp out of the box. I like the grooves on the bottom of the handle for a sure placement of your fingers, CNC’d perfectly for a great grip on the knife. We also have a reversible pocket clip, for right or left pocket carry with the blade tip in the up position.
The Septimo Name
Jeremy Valdez gave his folder the name “Septimo”, which means “seventh” in Spanish. He was with the 7th Special Forces group, so it’s a tribute to his unit. During one of his deployments to Afghanistan, Valdez was involved in a helicopter crash. He helped remove injured soldiers from his chopper, and he used a small pocket knife he had to help extract those injured soldiers; however, the blade failed. Valdez knew had could come up with a better knife design. Thus, we now have access to his Septimo folder.
The tanto blade design is one of the best, in my humble opinion, for all manner of cutting and stabbing chores, and the Veff serration, the lone serration on the bottom rear of the knife, is there to help you cut through seat belts and other similar material. It’s an outstanding design idea on this knife, and the Veff serrations are well-known for being aggressive and getting the job done.
Forged By War Foundation/ CRKT
When you have a chance, check out the “Forged By War” foundation that CRKT started. You’ll find it on their website, and you’ll see what kind of a company CRKT really is. They care about our military personnel.
CRKT Quality Tests
I’ve toured CRKT a number of times, and each knife is tested for quality before being boxed and shipped out. This knife is made overseas (save the hate mail) and is perfectly fitted. I’ve watched the CRKT employees testing each knife, and one of the tests is opening the blade and adjusting the tension, and then they hit the blade, cutting edge up, on a work bench a couple of times to make sure the locking liner keeps the blade locked open. That’s very nice, indeed.
In all the years testing and writing about CRKT products, especially their folders, I’ve only had a couple of the samples that came my way where I needed to adjust the tension on the blade. In these cases, usually it was a bit too tight and it takes all of 30 seconds to adjust it to my liking. So, the nice folks at CRKT do a great job inspecting each and every knife before they are shipped out.
Okay, I have to admit that when I first opened the box that the Septimo came in and I handled the knife for a few minutes, I was kind of “ho-hum” to it as a first impression. There was nothing special here, I thought to myself; it’s just another tanto blade folder. But it pains me when I have to admit I’m wrong. But I was. As I started to take a closer look at the Septimo, it began to grow on me, fast.
The design is clean. It has nothing it doesn’t need, and I love the finger grooves on the handle. My fingers just naturally fit perfectly in the grooves. The handle itself with the aluminum scales and the rubber inserts is a nice touch, too. The locking liner worked perfectly.
As usual, the CRKT knife is well-made and hand inspected before being boxed up and shipped out, but how did it perform in my testing? Well, I carried the knife for a week and did my usual cutting tests, including slashing blackberry vines and cutting all manner of rope, and it was used in the kitchen too.
How the Knife Performed
The knife performed every task I asked of it without any problems. I like the Septimo so much that it is my truck knife. My wife is always trying to find a knife in her purse to cut open a box or package, and she asks for one of my knives, which are secured in my front pant pockets. In order to reach them while in the truck, I’d have to unbuckle my seat belt, which is not happening. (It’s not happening in Oregon, as I don’t need the fine.) So, the Septimo is my official truck knife that is easy to reach and use.
Of course, one of the tasks, well, the main task of any knife is cutting, and the Septimo worked as expected. And in all my testing and use, I’ve yet to have to re-sharpen the blade. However, when the time comes, I know it will only take a few swipes on the croc stix to bring it back to shaving sharp and ready for use. And, keep in mind, that a knife, any knife, can also be used as a last-ditch self-defense weapon.
The Septimo really grew on me, and it has a full retail of only $59.99. Also, if you shop around on the ‘net or the big box stores, you’ll find CRKT products usually deeply discounted. My own OC3 double-edge fighting knife that CRKT produces for me is on sale right now, too. So, be sure to check around for the best prices on CRKT products. They are an outstanding buy!