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Thread: CRKT Ken Onion Ripple

  1. #1

    Cool CRKT Ken Onion Ripple


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    I've been a long time Ken Onion fan - so I was very pleased to see at the CRKT (Columbia River Knife & Tool) stand at this year's Blade Show two new Onion designs (well OK ... 4). One was the Eros the larger version of which I have already reviewed (please see Review - CRKT Ken Onion Eros) - and I thought that was outstanding both in design and quality of materials and workmanship.

    The other design(s) was the Ripple - which obviously has some strong family resemblance to the Eros - but comes in stainless steel scales and also in two sizes -

    shown here in the two sizes and in the two colors available.

    The larger Ripple is also available with the combo partially serrated blade, the smaller Ripple 2 is only available in plain.

    The charcoal gray color is subtle and matte finish except for the raised and polished shiny ripple pattern. The blue has more of a metallic sheen and may at first sight seem a bit "flash" or even gaudy - but the color grew on me - now I think I prefer it over the gray.

    Size comparison:


    Closed:

    I have scaled all these pictures to display life-size on my PC monitor (96dpi) (Macs display at 72dpi so these would be 133% life size) either way there is a ruler scale in inches in all the pics so one can use that to measure.....

    Again these are flippers - what Ken Onion used to call "Unassisted-assists" - they open really well because of the ball-bearing race surrounding the pivot on both sides of the blade -
    called IKBS -

    as mentioned in the Eros review these ball-bearing are loose in their circular grooves - but I have been told they are pretty well held in place by the grease used. However I would still suggest extra care needs to be taken for any disassembly - especially any field stripping - personally I'd avoid that and wait til I get home, if at all possible.

    Due to the use of the IKBS - both versions flip open very smoothly with almost no chance of not opening fully to locked positions - smooth is the operative word - although they are both quick positive - there does not seem to be any harsh snap.

    On the Eros I couldn't stop opening the knife - so much so that I wore a dent in my index finger tip - with these Ripples it would have been the same - except I have learned to open these new Onion flippers by laying the index finger on the ribbing of the flipper - thus avoiding putting dent on my finger tip.

    The larger Ripple obviously has a larger flipper and I found I could use it like a trigger - ie: laying my finger across the ribbed part like pulling a trigger - this worked as well - except one has to make sure the blade opening is clear and not hindered by the base of the thumb, for this slight different hold and opening.

    I was really impressed with the Eros' fit and finish -
    how are these Ripples?

    Due to the IKBS the blades are really well centered in the scales -


    The Ripples are again Frame-Locks - one of the strongest and most reliable locks - and these locks both engage well on the tangs -


    Open frame design and nicely rounded edges on the spines and distal taper -


    Here's another pic of the knives open - showing the clip side -


    Marking on the knives:
    Larger Ripple ............................................ smaller Ripple 2

    The larger Ripple has a logo that looks like Ken Onion's own customs - except it does not say Hawaii -
    this is a first production knife, and later full productions should look like the logo of the smaller Ripple 2.

    I've reached the limit on the number of photos allowed and will continue in the next post.

    --
    Vincent

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    Last edited by UnknownVT; 07-15-2010 at 01:15 AM.

  2. #2

    Arrow

    A nice touch on the first production was the included instruction card:


    Again these as stated by Ken Onion and CRKT are both made in Taiwan -


    Because these are frame-locks for grins I took this pic:


    Then I remembered which knives these Ripples reminded me of -


    Closed -

    Very strong family resemblance.....

    Problem with size -
    I found the smaller Ripple 2 just a bit too small and the larger Ripple just a bit too big for me - ideally - the ideal (obviously) is in the middle - like the CRKT Ken Onion Eros

    - but this is a very minor quibble - I can easily live with either (and YMMV - depending on hand size) - but that seem to pose a bit of a quandary for me for which to carry as my away from home EDC (nice problem to have) - the smaller Ripple 2 looks more subtle and perhaps less intimidating to non-knife people - but in the end I decided on the larger Ripple just because it looks nicer (now to my eyes) and if I sense people might be worried about my knife - I'll not use the Ripple, but my SAK that I've EDC'd for over 18 years......

    Brochure:


    Disclosure - the first sample of the larger Ripple had play in the closed position only - it was probably due to an over large hole for the ball-bearing detent - so if one shook the knife in the direction of opening only - there would be a slight rattle - otherwise the knife was fine no play when locked open and still smooth - the only other time that I'd notice the play was when first laying my finger on the flipper there might be an initial give - almost like the first stage of a two-stage trigger.

    However when I contacted CRKT and explained this - they were very accommodating - and sent me another Ripple without any quibbling
    - and the new sample I received was just as nicely finished and did not have any play when closed - I have just put this down to the first production samples.

    Need I say any more than the Ripples are my choice(s) for my current EDC?

    --
    Vincent

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    Last edited by UnknownVT; 07-15-2010 at 09:52 AM. Reason: added image of brochure

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Thanks for such a thorough and great review Vincent !!
    KenOnion

  4. #4

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by KenOnion View Post
    Thanks for such a thorough and great review Vincent !!
    WoW! thanks Ken ...
    ....now I know how Moses felt

    Some pics I found on the web of real Ken Onion Ripples -


    comparison pics (photos by imp on BladeForums)-



    The first pic's scales look different from these latter two - so was the first titanium and the other all steel?

    I also found a photo that had the real Ken Onion Ripple straight on flat (from a photo by danlberry on BladeForums) -
    so I did a bit of editing and scaling and pasted it to my image making a composite for another comparison of sorts -
    the lighting direction is different but what the heck -

    all these photos have been scalesd so that they show life-size on my PC monitor (@ 96dpi) (Macs are 72dpi so should show about 133%) there is a ruler scale in inches in my composite so one can measure the knives.....

    Another version of the CRKT brochure also found on the web -


    --
    Vincent

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    Last edited by UnknownVT; 07-15-2010 at 10:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Great review and awesome knives, are these for sale or on dealers shelves yet??

  6. #6

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by d762nato View Post
    are these for sale or on dealers shelves yet??
    Many thanks for the kind comment.

    I believe the CRKT Ken Onion Ripples have been available for quite a while now - even before I was aware of them - when I saw them for the first time at the Blade Show this year (June/4) - one of the earlier availability was from AG Russell

    - doing a froogle (google product) search - appears to show lots of vendors with stock.

    --
    Vincent

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  7. #7

  8. #8
    Knives are for cutting. How does it cut and how well does it hold an edge? How does the steel compare with steels like VG10 or 154CM?

  9. #9

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by arty View Post
    Knives are for cutting. How does it cut and how well does it hold an edge? How does the steel compare with steels like VG10 or 154CM?
    Oh dUH! I didn't know that -
    thanks for telling me LoL!

    The Ripples cut heavier material very well.

    For more delicate cutting the Eros is better (eg: it's astounding in opening envelopes - this may seem laughingly mundane and boring - but that's what an EDC is for - I am not in a combat zone and normally do ordinary everyday things).

    The steel is Japanese Acuto+ which Ken Onion said (ref) is an enhanced 440C (440C has been for years a "premium" steel - chosen by many knifemakers) - I have also seen others say it's similar to VG10 (ref) - so it looks like the upper end of stainless steels.

    However there is a caveat - I use and like Victorinox Swiss Army Knife steel a lot - its "INOX" steel is poo-poohed a lot, as it is never that hard at about 56-7RC - but it takes a very fine edge (I don't even have to use very acute angles - about 22deg per side ~ 45 deg total) - but it seems to out cut most of my other knives - so it may also the the geometry.

    Basically the Ripples cut well and the Japanese Acuto+ steel seems like a good one by reputation.

    --
    Vincent

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  10. #10
    According to the Victorinox website, their knives are RC55-56, and this is pretty soft. If the Acuto+ is as good as 440C with cryo heat treat, it will be good stuff.
    I hope that someone chimes in here about edge retention.
    For me, the Ripple 2 looks interesting.

  11. #11
    Ken actually has a Youtube video about the ripple. Done by the CRKTChannel.
    This way you can see/hear him explain the knife.

    Last edited by 2brothers; 08-14-2010 at 11:24 PM.

  12. #12

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by 2brothers View Post
    Ken actually has a Youtube video about the ripple. Done by the CRKTChannel.
    This way you can see/hear him explain the knife.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaxE-kMjHSE
    Thank you so much for posting that link - very interesting.

    However I seem to have a problem with the video's aspect ratio -
    the video seems to be squashed vertically -
    so when Ken shows the Ripple held horizontally it's kind of squashed together.

    I have tried all 3 resolutions 360p, 480p and 240p they all seem to do this.

    Do others see this as well?

    --
    Vincent

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  13. #13
    I embedded it to see if plays correctly.

  14. #14

    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by 2brothers View Post
    I embedded it to see if plays correctly.
    It's still squashed makes Ken look slimmer -
    and when the Ripple is held horizontally it looks shorter and fatter.

    --
    Vincent

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  15. #15

    Arrow

    The original video was 16:9 and the video aspect ratio on YouTube is 4:3 - so everything is squished together.

    I read up about changing the aspect ration on FLV files (typical YouTube video files) -

    How to Change a Flash Video Aspect | eHow.com

    I tried Riva FLV Encoder and in the Movie Size box instead of using the drop down dimensions offered, I hard typed in the 16:9 aspect ratio - since I used the lowest quality video as an example of 240p (= 320x240) I typed in 426x240 (which is 240p in 16:9 aspect ratio - the more common WQVGA resolution is 432x240 - so might want to use that instead? -
    note: the numbers have to even - so if the calculation gives an odd number just choose the nearest even)
    (16:9 for 360p is 640x360, and 480p is 854x480)
    and it worked fine (even with my hard typed-in and non-standard resolution) giving me back the correct aspect ratio for the video at 16:9 -

    I've uploaded it to a file sharing site MediaFire so anyone can look at it (7.5Mb) - a FLV player is needed this is the most popular - FLV Player

    The modified FLV file at MediaFire - download link -

    In folder FLV
    file Ken Onion talks about RippleF.flv


    EDIT to ADD -

    The conversion of the 240p video using Riva FLV converter was really easy -
    but when I tried the 480p FLV it just would not work saying there was an error - I then tried the Koyote Soft: Free FLV Converter and that only had fixed aspect ratios I was not able to select or set 854x480 (the closest was
    720x480 which still improves the viewing somewhat) -

    I then tried eRightsoft: SUPER - it was more complex - but in the end when I did figure out things it did convert the 480p to 854x480 to give the correct aspect ratio - the file ended up a bit smaller and visually it looked somewhat worse quality)

    Just in case someone wants to try SUPER (and haven't fallen alseep....)
    the vital Video setting was:


    Note: I set the bitrate at 720 kbps as that's the bitrate of the original 480p version of the YouTube FLV.
    However perhaps it may give slightly better quality using a bitrate of 960kbps (as that would accommodate for the "increase" in video frame resolution from 640x480 to 854x480)

    --
    Vincent

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    Last edited by UnknownVT; 08-16-2010 at 11:05 AM. Reason: more on video conversion

  16. #16
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    Fantastic review, awesome knives!

    i'm not sure why, but Böker's (Germany) own catalog also lists a few non-Böker knives, including CRKT and - you guessed it, the Ripples (they used 1st prod. for their catalog)!

    FWIW, they sell for €125 / 115 respectively...

    ---
    Traveller - Geneve * Melbourne * Miami * Wien

  17. #17

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Travelller View Post
    FWIW, they sell for €125 / 115 respectively...
    Thank you for the kind words -

    I take it that those are the catalog prices?
    so they are a kind of MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price)?

    Are discount "street" prices easily available in Europe?

    In the USA we can do a "Froogle" google product (price) search or use sites like PriceGrabber.com -
    the UK has Kelkoo.co.uk, dealtime.co.uk and I noticed that there is actually a google.co.uk/products.

    I just found: streetprices.com/Europe.p which appears to be able to search by European country - haven't tried it though.....

    Of course price searching is kind of moot if the only place the CRKT Ripple is available is from that catalog........
    (but I wonder if places like Amazon will ship to Europe/overseas?)

    --
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnknownVT View Post
    I take it that those are the catalog prices?
    so they are a kind of MSRP ... Are discount "street" prices easily available in Europe?
    No, not really. If you pay cash (at a local dealer) you can get it 10% cheaper, but that's about it.

    FYI only, I can order a product from Amazon DE (Germany), Amazon UK as well as Amazon U.S. while the latter is usually cheaper regardless of FX rate, the Customs office will nail you with the 20% EU VAT (value-added taxes, aka sales tax) and sometimes even Customs "fees" of anywhwere from 10~16%.

    So we have to do the math before ordering

  19. #19

    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by Travelller View Post
    No, not really. If you pay cash (at a local dealer) you can get it 10% cheaper, but that's about it.

    FYI only, I can order a product from Amazon DE (Germany), Amazon UK as well as Amazon U.S. while the latter is usually cheaper regardless of FX rate, the Customs office will nail you with the 20% EU VAT (value-added taxes, aka sales tax) and sometimes even Customs "fees" of anywhwere from 10~16%.

    So we have to do the math before ordering
    Ouch! prices in Europe do seem much higher than the street prices in the US -
    The full sized Ripple can be as low priced as about US$65
    and the smaller Ripple 2 can be as low as US$60
    those are less than half the prices you showed from that catalog

    --
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnknownVT View Post
    Ouch! prices in Europe do seem much higher than the street prices in the US...
    Yep, they certainly are...

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