CRKT Du Hoc, by Pat Cascio

Wicked! That one word, aptly describes the CRKT Du Hoc fixed blade knife. It it is made by Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT).  Most knives are designed to be used as everyday working tools, and they can double as a weapon for self-defense. However, make no mistake about it, the Du Hoc, designed by Austin McGlaun, in Columbus, Georgia – is purely a combat blade – in my humble opinion. It was designed specifically as a combat fixed blade knife. It is modeled after the Karambit, a curved blade that was meant for combat or self-defense.

If you have never heard of Pointe Du Hoc, it is worth your time to read up on this deadly battle in WWII – it was one of the targets during D Day – and it was one of the toughest areas to attack – mainly because it was about 100-feet above the beach. Our Rangers were assigned the task of scaling this cliff, using ropes and ladders, and it was a costly battle. However, if you leave military tactics to the military, and a good plan, we always prevail – just give us the wind under our wings and the tools and men to get the job done – and we’ll do it.

Many WWII movies showed how tough the fight was, for our Army Rangers to get up this cliff, and then battle the deeply entrenched Germans who held that position. Next time you see a WWII movie, that involved the Normandy beach invasion, you’ll more than likely see scenes of our Rangers and their fight to scale this heavily defended cliff and the heavy loss of life.

With the above in mind, Austin McGlaun, designed the Du Hoc, in memory of his late uncle, who was awarded the Silver Start because of his heroism at Pointe Du Hoc. To be sure, it was no small task to under take this battle to start with, and to win the Silver Star – wow! Not many in the military have earned the Silver Star, and many who did, it was awarded posthumously.

With the help of custom knife maker Ryan Johnson of RMJ Tactical, the Du Hoc came to fruition. To be sure, this large Karambit fixed blade is mission inspired and it is an eye catcher when you pull it from its sheath, and the curved tip and large thumb ring on the handle – all I can say, once again is – wow! I’d like to mention that, many custom knife makers have taken new and upstart designers and makers, under their wing, and helped to bring their designs to the buying public. I worked with a couple custom knife makers over the years, and even though I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, those makers patiently tried their best to make a knife maker out of me! However, they did bring many of my designs to light by producing my designs.

Do some research on the Asian-inspired designed Karambit, and I think you’ll be more than a little impressed with the design. I’ve owned and tested quite a few Karambit’s over the years, however, most were either folders, or fixed blade knives, with blades about 2 – 2.5 inches in length. Don’t let the small blade length fool you, they are deadly, absolutely deadly little knives when used for self-defense purposes. Without going into gory details, too much, they are designed to rip through the throat area of an attacker to finish the fight. However, they can also be used to rip and tear through muscle and tendons in the arms and hands – as stated at the beginning, these are wicked blades – no matter how long the blade is.

CRKT Du HocThe blade on the Du Hoc is slightly over 5-inches in length – however it looks longer because it is curved. The edge of the blade is plain – no serrations needed. When this blade grabs some flesh, it directs it into the flesh and whatever is under it, and it tears and rips like you wouldn’t believe. The blade is made out of SK5 Carbon Steel – however it is black powder coated to help protect it from the elements – rust. So, it’s a good idea to just keep a light coat of some kind of oil or my favorite is Barricade, that I used on guns, a light coat is all that is needed to help repel rain and the elements. I keep several cans on-hand at all times – even my stainless steel firearms and knives are treated to a light coating of Barricade.

Yes, stainless steel can rust, it just stains-less. I learned a hard lesson, when I lived on the Oregon Coast, if I didn’t take my firearms and knives out, at least once a month or more often to inspect them, and wipe them down with some oil or other protectorate, they would rust in very short order – even stainless steel guns and knives. One of my many chores, when I worked for the late, great Col. Applegate, was maintaining his vast gun and knife collection – he had more than 850 firearms in his collection and each month, I’d wipe down every single gun so they wouldn’t rust. The job was monumental to say the least.

CRKT Du HocBlade thickness on the Du Hoc is 0.202-inches – it’s thick. The knife alone weighs in at 9.3-oz, so its no light-weight. The handle material is good ol’ G10, which is super tough stuff. A glass-reinforced Nylon sheath keeps the Du Hoc safely in it, until needed – then a good tug of the handle pulls the blade right out. The sheath can be attached just about anywhere on your gear, too. Very nice, indeed!

I did some limited testing on the Du Hoc, like I do with every knife I write about – if I can’t have a sample in-hand to test, then I don’t write about it. At one point, a major knife company, hired a newbie fresh out of college, and he was going to show us all how it is done, when it came to PR – public relations. He refused to send out knife samples – instead, he wanted to send a color slide and a press release to us writers…we all pretty much told him what he could do with that information. Several months later, this young man, called me – literally begging me – to allow him to send me some knife samples for me to test for articles. Hmmmmm, go figure? His employment didn’t last long at that knife company. I will never – EVER – write an article about any product, without actually having a sample in my hands to test.

During my testing, I stacked heavy cardboard one layer on top of another, and proceeded to unleash the Du Hoc on it – using the blade as it would normally be used, and it ripped and tore through the cardboard to the depth I stacked it – and let’s be clear here, when I say it ripped through this material, that’s what I mean, it ripped the cardboard – nasty – just imagine what it would do to the human body?

Because of the curved design of the Du Hoc, it was difficult to cleanly cut through thick blackberry vines with one swipe. It wasn’t any problem cutting through rope and other material through – then again, this knife isn’t designed for everyday cutting tasks. It was designed for self-defense use – get that in your mind and remember it. We aren’t talking about dressing out big game – no even close. And we aren’t talking about cutting open boxes brought to me via FedEx, USP or USPS – although it could easily rip them open.

I don’t mind a mission-specific knife at all, I actually like the idea of a knife designed for combat or self-defense work. I probably wouldn’t elect to carry this knife if I were back in law enforcement, though. I can only imagine how that would look, if you used this deadly blade on a suspect who had disarmed you of your handgun – not a pretty picture in court, to be sure.

If you’re on active duty in the military – any military in the world – and your commanding officer allows you to carry your own knife, then I would sure think the Du Hoc would get the job done, if it came down to CQB, or taking out an enemy sentry, it’ll get the job done. Full-retail on the Du Hoc is only $135 and shop around the Internet and you will find it for a lot less. For example, I found it on Amazon.com for just under $86. This is one wicked blade, for very little money. This knife is made in Taiwan–Free China. Get one – that’s an order! You’ll be totally blown away with how “bad” this knife is. I understand that this mission specific knife is a hot-seller, so get your hands on one, ASAP! This one is a “must have” in your knife collection.




5 Comments

  1. Thanks for all you do in your write ups Pat. I appreciate you.

    I retired from 34 years of Active, Guard, and Reserve Army. One comment I share with all readers, is that we do not win Silver Stars. I fought with many in AFGN who deserved to awarded Silver Star medals but never were, and in fact some were never even awarded Bronze Star medals for Silver Star level actions.

    You can win competitions, but combat medals are what is awarded by those good senior leaders who do their job in officially recognizing hard service by subordinates. We don’t win them.

    Thanks Again and God Bless.

    W.F.
    (Who did win a fishing derby once. Junior Division.)

  2. Great review of a special type of knife. I carry a karambit daily and love that it not only slashes great, but also it punches deep holes in things easily when held in an icepick grip, just punching naturally,very fast and nasty. The reviewed model looks great and I want one!

  3. Good review!
    I notice it looks to be double-edged, while many karambits are single-edged: sharpened only on the inside of the “claw.” With a double edge, there are definitely more possibilities. Yes, it’s a specialized combat blade, but someone with a little training could make things very difficult for an attacker. Thank you for bring this knife to our attention. It looks like a good one!

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