I believe that CRKT (Columbia River Knife & Tool) set the trend going, in collaborating with custom knife makers. Many of the designs that they are producing, are the result of collaborations. And, without those wonderful collaborations, the knife buying public wouldn’t have access to some fantastic knife designs, at reasonable prices. We all can’t afford to purchase every custom knife we see – they are expensive, and oftentimes, there is a waiting lists. In some cases those waiting lists are several years long, with some makers. After all, they can only produce so many knives per year. So, we owe CRKT a big “thank you” for bringing some of these designs to us.
Most CRKT are manufactured in Taiwan, and most readers probably don’t know that CRKT actually owns one of the factories, where many of their products are made, and they lease another factory. To ensure that products are made to their strict specifications, one of the executives from CRKT travels to Taiwan to make sure things are being done right – and they spend several weeks at a time there. So, its not like their knives are being produced blindly, they hold everyone accountable to make sure only the best products with very close tolerances are made for their customers.
In the past, I’ve connected CRKT with some pretty outstanding custom knife makers, and as a result, they did collaborations with those folks, more than a few times. Although I never got rewarded in print, for this, I did get a thank you from the folks at CRKT. I also made some suggestions to CRKT, in the past, on some of their designs, to make them more in line with certain customers. To wit, their M-16 line of knives. I saw some of the first prototypes, and suggested that they make the handle materials in different colors, red for firefighters, blue for law enforcement, green for the military, etc. And, it took CRKT a couple years to bring this out, but they did, and the knife handle color variations were good sellers.
There seems to be no end to the different knife designs, especially when it comes to folders. You’d think that, we experienced just about every type of design you can imagine, but I think we’ll see more to come. An executive at a large knife company here in Oregon once told me that a really good knife design has about a three year life on the market, and then people tire of it, or it goes out of fashion for some reason. So, at times, you might only see a particular knife design on the market for a year or two, and then it is discontinued. Other times, you might see a knife design, that seems to have no shelf-life, and has been being produced for 50 years or longer.
I’ve really tried, to come up with a new or different locking mechanism for folding knives, And just when I think there’s nothing new under the sun, some custom maker comes out with a slightly different way to lock a folding knife’s blade open, and they get rich. Today, we’re looking at the CRKT Seismic folder. It was designed by Flavio Ikoma who lives in Brazil. He brings us his “Deadbolt” innovation for adding another layer of keeping a folding knife’s blade locked open.
The Seismic has a blade that is 3.969-inches in length, just under 4-inches. Notably, a lot of states and locales have restrictions on carrying a concealed folding knife, with a blade longer than 4-inches long. So this knife is legal there. The blade is made out of 1.4116 stainless steel, and I was not familiar with this steel, but more on this shortly. The blade has a nice satin finish – and you can also have it in a black powder-coated version, with Veff serrations. The handle material is good ol’ G10, super tough stuff, and was, at one time, the domain of custom knife makers because it was so expensive to produce. However, due to the demand for this material it is now widely used by many commercial knife companies, and that’s good for the consumer. This new folder only weighs in at 6.3-oz, but it feels much lighter – you soon forget it is in your pocket, securely clipped there via the pocket clip. The pocket clip is reversible for right or left pocket carry.
CRKT uses a blade flipper or dual thumb studs to open this slick folder. The flipper uses the IKBS ball bearing system to help deploy the blade, and it is super-smooth. I don’t see myself using the thumb studs to open the blade, when the flipper is faster and easier to use.
Deadbolt Blade Lock
Flavio Ikoma, designed what he calls the “Deadbolt” to lock the blade open – rock solid. You don’t even know this locking mechanism is there, until you go to close the blade. First thing I did was reach for the locking bar in the handle – oops, not there. Then I looked for the lock back lock – hmmm, not there, either. So, I had to check out the CRKT web site to figure out how to unlock and close the blade. The Deadbolt is actually where the blade’s pivot pin is, you simply press in on it, and it unlocks the blade, so you can close it.
I like the upswept blade design, it actually seems like you have more cutting surface than the length of the blade itself. The blade came extremely sharp out of the box, and I like the overall look and feel of the design itself – it feels good in the hand. During all of my cutting tests over a week of carrying this folder, it never failed me – and my one test, that I’m sure everyone is tired of reading about, is cutting blackberry vines in half, with one swipe of the blade – the Seismic had no problems. I like that the blade didn’t chip, lots of lesser stainless steel blades tend to chip when striking something, so it seems like a decent steel for this blade.
The is a reason this knife was only carried for a week, at some point along the line I misplaced it or lost it – and I really liked this folder a lot! It’s not the first knife I’ve lost, and it won’t be the last one. I probably appear to lose more knives than the average guy, and that’s not true. Its just that, I get a lot of knives passing through my hands for testing – and I mean a lot of knives – and I sometimes misplace them – once in a while, one will show up after I’ve mowed the grass in my big front yard – it survived the elements and getting run over – but not hit – by the mower’s blades.
About My Office…
Once in a while, I make a very feeble attempt to cleaning my little home office up, and sure enough, I’ll find a long missing knife or some other product. I have a computer desk, that is covered in paperwork, two filing cabinets that are covered in samples and paperwork, a gun cleaning table, that never sees a gun cleaned on it, because it is so cluttered, and I have a huge workbench, but I haven’t seen the top of it in years. Not to mention a bookshelf full of books that will never be read again, and of course, survival foods all over my office. So, once in a while a product I’m testing will get misplaced in my office – somewhere.
The Seismic is a top of the line folder from CRKT, they are known for producing cutlery at affordable prices, and you can always find them deeply discounted on the Internet and in stores. The Seismic has a retail price of $150. However, at this writing, CRKT is out of stock – as this dandy folder is proving to be very popular with the knife-buying public. So, be sure to search online for the best deals on this one. You’ll like the way it feels in your hand, and the way it performs. This is one of the top of the line folders from CRKT, and it’s well worth every cent. Shop around and see if you can find one in-stock, and at a discounted price. You’ll really like this one – a lot!