Our Favorite New Knives from CRKT for 2021

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Innovative and affordable knives, interesting collaborations, and impressive showings with each passing season—few do it as well as Columbia River Knife and Tool. And this year is no different, as they kick off 2021 with a strong lineup of knives and tools to fit every budget while pushing the limits of style and functionality for EDC. We’ve picked out five of our favorite knives from their first drop of the year, with some fresh takes on old favorites and new tools and tech to look forward to for your next knife.

CEO Flipper

The CEO has made plenty of appearances on the site as a sleek gent’s knife option, but the super-slim profile sometimes meant that those with larger hands had difficulty deploying its blade via thumb stud. This new flipper option fixes that exact option without reinventing the wheel. Its 3.10“ 8Cr13MoV blade flies out fast on its IKBS ball bearing pivot, while a stainless steel liner lock keeps it in check before you’re ready to fold it back into its GRN handles. A new, slimmer pocket clip completes the compact ensemble.

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The Compano is not your regular carabiner, and comes as a collaboration with master machinist Mike Bond of Ti2 Designs. You can recognize his design DNA in the Compano’s heavy-duty stainless steel hardware and gate, but what sets the carabiner apart is its integrated 1.42“ 5Cr15MoV knife. It’s a simple, yet effective backup blade on an EDC essential, and with a finger hole and ergonomic design, offers plenty of utility and slice for the buck.

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Pilar III

The Pilar has long been a popular EDC series thanks to its affordability and utility as a compact sheepsfoot blade. Jesper Voxnaes did something different for this third iteration, stretching out the blade to a slicier 3“ spear point, and also bumping up its blade to D2 on this stonewashed variant. Like some of the Pilars that came before it, its handles are a combination of G-10 and a stainless steel framelock, with the lanyard hole moved to an accent backspacer for an extra bit of flair.

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Provoke Zap

Joe Caswell’s morphing karambit is one heck of a mechanical innovation, but its more expensive price tag is a tougher sell for most budgets. CRKT’s heard the market, and the Provoke Zap is their hi-vis answer. It slashes the price in half thanks to a more affordable use of Grivory (a high-impact plastic) and 1.4116 steel, but the combination of a neon green and blackout colorway and the same kinematic action still means a high-impact Provoke in your pocket.

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Last but not least is another Vox design that takes CRKT’s Field Strip technology to the next level. It’s a much more streamlined affair the second time around, with a flat lever on the show scale that lets you easily dismantle the Cottidae into three pieces for ease of cleaning and maintenance. The rest of the knife is designed for versatility: 2.625“ D2 drop point, lightweight aluminum handles, reversible pocket clip, and unique Vox touches like a flat finger choil and angular lines across the board.

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