CRKT Knife Reviews from a Woman's Perspective

So I've finally done it!  I finally took the time to play with the pile of knives from CRKT that Shooting Resources has in inventory.  I am covering pocket knives, everyday carry (EDC), some strictly utility and even tactical knives.  I am representing the female perspective, so hopefully, this article will prove helpful for the average female looking for the perfect carry knife, whether mostly for everyday use or maybe self defense.   Of course, some knives I do feel would be better for a man to handle or for a woman looking for something more substantial, so don't ignore me gentlemen!  This info could be useful to you as well!

 So let's start with the Shrimp by Gerry McGinnis.  This is a very small and simple, but sturdy, pocket knife with a traditional opening.  It is only 2.5 inches long when folded with a 1.75 inch blade, so it fits nicely in even a snug pocket, with not much bulk.  It also has a clip on the back and a fold-out key chain loop for carrying.  This knife really is made for the ladies.  There is a black version, but most of the colors are super cute and girly: metallic pink, metallic orange, metallic purple and stainless silver.  Unlike most traditional pocket knives, this one does have frame lock closing, meaning a mechanism blocks the blade from closing until pressed.  I like this knife for its light weight (1.9 ounces) and low cost ($19.99), but it is only practical for small usage.


      Another traditional easy-open folding pocket knife is the Slip K.I.S.S. by Ed Halligan.  This lightweight (only 1 ounce for the small version) and skinny stainless steel knife comes in two sizes.  The larger of the two is 6 inches in length open and 3.5 inches folded.  The smaller version, the Slip K.I.S.S. 2, is 5.25 inches open and 3.1 inches closed.  Both sport a pretty hologram looking handle with anthracite or multicolor composite trim along the backside.  This knife has no clip or frame lock closer and runs $19.99 and $16.99, respectively.  It is sharp and good for a standard carry for everyday jobs, but not favorable for self-defense ladies, as it doesn't open quickly.  


      The next step up is the K.I.S.S.  ASSist, also by Ed Halligan.  This medium-sized blade will cost you $59.99, but for good reason.  For this review, I used the Tonto blade style, which to me is a more intimidating looking knife.  The newest versions come in a straight razor edge or a combination serrated (good for shredding) edge.  They have the same dimensions, though, being 6.75 inches open and 3.875 inches closed.  The blade itself is 2.75 inches and super sharp, so this knife could be used for self-defense.  Especially since it opens with an assist spring, meaning you simply press a button on the blade and nudge it outward so that it continues to open by itself.  It isn't the quickest to open of the knives I will be reviewing in this article and does require a bit of pressure to push open, which makes for a secure closer (so it won't open in your pocket by being jostled).  Another neat feature that I love is the non-standard frame lock.  Some frame locks are a little difficult to press in order to refold the knife, but this one is super easy and cool!  Just press a tiny little button and viola, it will fold.  The handle has a hologram look to it as well, but is a little heavier (2.5 ounces) than the previous two and wider than I personally like, so it may be a better fit for a man or a woman looking for a more substantial knife.  Still, I like it.


      The next up is my absolute favorite!  The special edition titanium Eros by Ken Onion.  This is a medium sized plain edge super-lightweight knife (only 1.4 ounces) and super thin as well!  It fits into tight pockets with no bulk or a small purse.  The knife is only 4 inches closed and the blade is 3 inches and extremely sharp, so it is practical as an EDC or for personal safety.  The bearing system allows for smooth, quick opening with a flick of the wrist, which let's face it, if you need it in a hurry, is a good thing.  The only downside is, it did open slightly on me once when in my purse, but that may be because I have too much crap in there to get stuck in the handle.   It has a thin pocket clip and an easy close frame lock.  This knife is pricey at $200, but worth it.  The stainless steel version is the Ripple, which makes it more affordable at $125, but also slightly longer (1/2 inch open) and heavier (2.9 ounces).  The handle is just slightly thicker and also comes in a pretty light blue shade.  It has the same quick opening bearing system and sharp blade, but available in the plain edge or combo serrated edge.  


      The Vertex is more of a medium sized utility knife, not designed for self-defense.  This is a good all around sturdy EDC plain edge blade with spring assisted opening.  I find this one easier to push open and therefore quick.  It weighs in at 3.3 ounces, so not too heavy and is 7.25 inches open and 4 inches closed, so easy to carry in a purse or pocket, if you don't mind a little bulk.  It does have a belt clip and a frame lock for safety.  It will run you $49.99.



      The Carson M4-02(W) is another medium sized utility folding knife.  Although it has spring assisted opening for left or right-handed individuals, there is no push button, so it is not as quick to open.  I found the frame lock to be stiff (so a little hard to close), but that could loosen over time.  It cuts well and is a sturdy knife for EDC, but not suited for self-defense.  As with most knives, it does have a belt clip.  This knife also weighs 3.3 ounces and is 7 inches open and 3.75 inches closed.  The blade is a little wider than the Vertex, but they are otherwise similar in size.  The W version has a secondary locking system to keep the knife in the open position until you wish to close it.  The Carson will cost you $69.99, so for that reason and because it was easier for me to open, I prefer the Vertex.


      The next five knives I will talk about are all EDC knives with tactical implications, meaning these really are suited for self-defense.  Personally, being a woman, I would rather carry a knife for safety that I can use for everyday chores if needed as opposed to the other way around.  Now because the Eros is so sharp and easy to open, I still find it great for protection for a woman who wants a thin, small knife.  That being said, these next knives are more substantial and definitely better for a man or woman who doesn't mind a little more bulk.  First, I played with the Hissatsu Folder by James Williams.  This is an extremely sharp medium sized  and sturdy knife, but fairly narrow for easy handling.  It is a little heavier at 5.8 ounces.  It is assisted spring opening and requires a little more force to push it open than some, but opens quickly when the spring engages.  This knife has a 2-position belt clip and has the traditional frame lock, but also has a secondary blade lock that can be manually engaged to further ensure the knife is kept in the open position.  It costs $99.99 and is 8.75 inches open and 5 inches closed, with a 3.875 inch blade.  My husband loves this knife as his EDC, but for women, it may be a bit bulky for tight jeans pockets.  However, as a carry knife for self-defense, very good for women.


      My favorite in this category is the M16-10KZ Tanto by Kit Carson.  Not only is it a little cheaper at $49.99, but it is small, lightweight at 2.3 ounces, and thin -good for those tight pockets as an EDC.  The blade is a combination of razor-sharp straight and triple-point serrated edges (which means maximum damage done when needed).  The frame is small and makes this knife easy to conceal and handle for women.  It is 7.125 inches open and 4 inches closed, with a 3 inch blade.  Most importantly, it is assisted spring opening and opens quickly and easily.  The traditional frame lock is also supported with a secondary safety lock.  As with most knives today, it has a belt or pocket clip along the back.  I highly recommend this knife as an EDC for women looking for a personal safety knife, as it is large enough to be effective, but small enough to conceal.


      Next we have the McGinnis Notorious, a large, but medium weight (5 ounces), assisted spring opening knife.  While the blade is pretty wide, the handle is narrow and easy to hold.  The traditional frame lock is easy to press, but I do find the the knife difficult to open, despite the spring.  Sometimes the initial push on these assisted spring knives is stiff, and this one is.  The blade is very sharp and is a combo serrated-razor edge.  It runs $69.99 and would be good for a man's EDC, but I find it a little too big for me.  It is 8 inches open, 4.5 inches closed, with a 3.5 inch blade.  Again, the handle is narrow, so some women may like it for a personal safety EDC, but definitely not for the petite of hand.



      The My Tighe by Brian Tighe is another medium weight (5.6 ounces) option, but a bit more expensive at $89.99.  I prefer this knife to the previous one simply due to the fact that I found it to be much easier to open.  It has the assisted spring mechanism as well, but the initial push does not require so much pressure and opens quickly, always a plus for me.  Unfortunately, I find it a little big as well.  It has a medium sized handle and a large razor edged blade (3.625 inches), opening up to 8.125 inches and 4.5 inches closed.  The frame lock is easy to press and the belt clip allows for easy carrying, but for pocket concealment, I find it too big for the ladies.  I would recommend this knife for men as an EDC, or perhaps for the purse-carrying woman.


      Another concealment option is to carry a knife in a neck sheath to be worn under the shirt, such as the Minimalist Tanto by Alan Folts.  The sheath itself is only a half ounce and is very slender, so can be concealed under most ladies' shirts, except maybe those really tight t-shirts!  The blade is small at 2.125 inches, but will do the job for self-defense due to that tanto-style blade as well as most small utility jobs.  The knife is 5.13 inches long and does not fold.  It weighs only 1.6 ounces, so honestly I forget I'm wearing it after a while.  The 3 finger handle is easy to hold and thin, but doesn't lack in sturdiness.  The best thing?  It only costs $29.99.


     Finally, I have three strictly utility knives to review.  These are not for self-defense and will probably not be of interest to the average woman, but for those of you who want a knife that will do many jobs, check these out.  They are a cross between a chisel and a razor, or razel.  The first is the Stubby Razel by Jon Graham, a fairly small utility knife at 5.88 inches.  It only weighs 3.9 ounces and the blade itself is 2.15 inches.  This knife does not fold and requires a sheath to carry (only 1 ounce in weight).  It is lightweight with a very sturdy, but small-framed handle, so it is truly good for ladies or teens that want a utility or survival knife that will cut anything.  And I do mean anything- this blade has a long straight razor edge for most cutting, a small razor edge for prying or scraping, a 90 degree point for slicing, a serrated back for thumb grip or shredding and even a glass break at the tip of the handle.  Seriously cool and the cheapest at $99.99.


      The second razel is the Ringed Razel, a little larger and heavier at 5.5 ounces, with a 3 inch blade.  The main difference in this knife is the ring located at the end of the handle, which allows for pinky finger stability or as a way to carry the knife in its sheath (weighing only 1.4 ounces).  The total knife length is 7.5 inches and allows for bigger jobs than the Stubby.  It's cost is $119.99.


      There are many of these razels available, but the last one in our inventory is the Folding Razel, also by Jon Graham.  As implied, this razel does fold and therefore does not need a sheath to carry.  The knife is 8 inches open and 4.75 inches closed, with a 3.13 inch blade.  The 2 position clip allows for easy carrying and the knife comes in two options, the plain edge or the combination plain and serrated edged blade.  The frame lock is easy to press and this knife also has a secondary manual lock to keep the blade open.  There is no spring assist on this knife, as in a traditional pocket knife, but the movement is fluid and easy.  The handle is a large frame and the knife weighs 6.1 ounces.  It will cost you $59.99.


            So there we go!  This concludes my review of knives from a female perspective!  Again, my favorites are definitely the Eros by Ken Onion (for its light weight, quick and easy opening, sharp blade and thinness) and the M16-10KZ Tanto by Kit Carson for the same reasons.  The Tanto is the more economical of the two and is definitely made with tactical application in mind, but I do love that Eros!