CRKT Ripsnort, by Pat Cascio

I like knives, all kinds of knives, big or small, or everything in the middle…even “ugly” knives are a sight to behold if you ask me. However, I’m not sure where the CRKT Ripsnort comes into the play. To be sure, it is a big knife – well, mostly big…and some would say its an ugly knife – I’m not sure where this fits into my idea of ugly – maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

I’ve been covering CRKT products since their second year in business, and one thing for certain is, they produce a wide variety of knives – something for everyone. And, they are having their knives produced at very affordable price points. Please note that the knife under review is produced in mainland China for CRKT. Over the years, I’m sure I’ve tested literally hundreds of CRKT knives, and was never disappointed with any of them. However, this time around, I’m a little puzzled by the Ripsnort. No doubt about it, it’s an outstanding design, and one that will have a lot of utility purposes. Still, I’m not sure about this one.

I can usually be caught carrying two folding pocket knives on my person, one in each of the front pockets of my cargo pants. And, when I reach for a folder, I don’t always reach for the one in my right front pocket – just depends on things. I have a lot of keys in my left front pocket, so it is already crowded in there. So, big knives don’t always fit neatly in that left front pocket.

So, with that in mind, I placed the rather large Ripsnort in my right front pocket, and the other thinner, smaller folder in my left front pocket. Still, the Ripsnort took up a lot of room in my right front pocket, but not a deal-breaker at all.

The specs on the Ripsnort are as follows: Blade length is 3.25-inches long – yeah, it doesn’t sound “big” to many readers. However, the blade and the entire knife is wide – beefy, to say the least. Takes a lot of room in a pocket. It is only available with a plain edge – no serrations. The blade of the main Ripsnort model is 8Cr13MoV steel – a pretty nice stainless steel, that doesn’t cost a lot, yet it holds an edge a good long time, and is easy to re-sharpen. One of my past editors at a knife magazine once told me that a knife can’t both hold an edge a long time, and be easy to re-sharpen – he was wrong! Overall length of this folder is 7.75-inches, when opened and closed 4.47-inches – still doesn’t sound “that” big, does it? The entire package weighs in at 5.80-ounces. That still doesn’t sound too big, or too heavy.

Here’s where some differences come into play, the entire set-up is wide, very wide. The blade has a cleaver or “sheepsfoot” shape to it – so it is wide from top to bottom. When folded, it just takes up a lot of room in a pants pocket and makes it difficult to reach whatever it is you are looking for, in the bottom of your pocket.

The blade has a nice satin finish to it – very attractive, to say the least. The blade is held open via a liner lock, so it’s strong. The handle material is made out of Polyoxymethylene (POM) and it is really strong stuff…the knife was thrown and abused in my testing, yet the handle material didn’t break – got scuffed-up a little but, then again, this wasn’t designed as a throwing knife. Nor, is this knife designed to be a “stabbing” weapon – there is no point, per se on the end of the blade…the sharpened portion of the blade is a straight edge – almost like a straight razor. The top of the blade, drops down bringing it to the sharpened edge – see the pictures – it is easier to see, than explain. Yet, this folder could be used as a weapon of last resort – if you’re trained in knife fighting, and much of that involves slashing moves – not stabbing.

From the CRKT website: “Sometimes you need a thin-as-a-razor, low-profile companion for fine-tuned tasks. This is not one of those knives.” That pretty well sums it up if you ask me. Still, when is all said and done, the Ripsnort is a wicked-looking folder, on one hand, and on the other, it doesn’t appear to be a deadly “fighting” knife either. See, what I mean? It is hard to describe this folder in definitive terms.

You can either use the flipper to open the blade, or I’ve found it quicker to “flick” the blade open – the large, heavy blade easily opens without much effort and locks open solidly, too. And, when opened, the flipper also acts as a finger guard.

The knifemaker/designer is Philip Booth, who grew up watching his father work in a tool and die shop, and he has since made a real name for himself for his own shop, designing and making all manner of folders, with drop point blades. Booth decided to tear-up the blueprints and make something totally different with the Ripsnort. BTW, you can also have the Ripsnort with a D2 tool steel blade, for a few bucks more – I like D2.

I showed my sample Ripsnort to a lot of folks, and every last one of them, were like me – they just didn’t know what to make of this cleaver-style blade design. Yet, everyone loved the way the knife felt in the hand, and how easy it handled all kinds of cutting tasks. No one said they didn’t like the blade – just that it was so much different than you are used to seeing on a pocket knife. That’s a good thing.

My Tests

The Ripsnort, came hair-popping sharp, right out of the box, and it stayed that way, through several weeks of almost daily use – never needed to touch-up the blade – however, at the end of my testing, I ran the blade over a set of croc-stix to just touch up the blade and bring it back to factory sharp, and it only took a minute or two.

In my testing, I did use the knife around the kitchen for some tasks, but other tasks just didn’t work out for me – like cutting meat – I needed a longer blade, and one with a tip on it – not a blunt tip – then again, I didn’t think it would work for meat cutting. The same goes for cutting some veggies, some were easier to slice than others. However, when it came to cutting open some boxes, especially boxes that had Nylon strapping around them, the Ripsnort really shined – no effort at all.

When I moved outside for some testing, the Ripsnort, really gained my attention. Without any effort at all, it cleanly sliced through thick blackberry vines, with a single swipe of the blade – nice, very nice. Slicing cardboard boxes into smaller pieces – for the trash can, was no problem. However, when it came to my stabbing test, into stacked cardboard, the Ripsnort fell short – because there really isn’t a “pointed” blade.

Something I don’t do much of any longer is just sitting around on the front deck, and whittling – just taking some wood and shaving it – to pass the time of day. Used to do this, when I was a kid, with my grandfather – we’d spend hours and hours, just making a pile of wood shavings. Kids today, and even most adults are in too much of a hurry, to just sit back, relax and make a pile of wood shavings – sure, it serves no purpose, but it is fun and relaxing and something one can do with their kids or grandkids – just to pass the time of day and spend time with them – much needed time. However, everyone is busy on their computers or cell phones, or just playing video games to relax. Their loss!

I did some cutting on some yellow poly rope, and the Ripsnort cut like the rope wasn’t even there – gotta get some more poly rope for future testing. If you’ve ever tried to cut wet rope, then you know how difficult that can be – and cutting poly rope is similar to cutting wet rope – if your knife will cut through it, then it will cut through wet rope.

I don’t use folding knives for prying or as a screwdriver like many people do – and they end up breaking the tip off their knives – and send them back to the factory – complaining, and their complaint falls on deaf ears – knives are not meant to be used as prybars or screwdrivers – remember that. And, keep this in mind too, a sharp knife is a safer knife, you don’t have to force it when cutting – when dull, you have to apply a lot more pressure to cut something. So, keep your knives sharp at all times.

The Ripsnort grew on me, during my testing. I’m still not sure how to classify it, but it is one heck of a folding knife that will get most of your cutting chores done. And, you should see the look on folks’ faces when you open the blade….something to behold Full retail is $74.99 for the stainless model and a little more for the D2 blade steel. Shop around and you’ll find the Ripsnort for much less, on the ‘net.