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CRKT Could Eat Spyderco's and Benchmade's Lunches

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Sharperthansticks, May 8, 2019.

  1. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Agreed...cheer up a bit. It's just us, and we are nobody...really.
  2. Ourorboros


    Jan 23, 2017
    If CRKT upped their quality control and materials, their prices would go up. Probably to around the same price point as Spyderco and Benchmade. And Zero Tolerance, for that matter.
    Now CRKT is already selling the Crossbones for $70 street price, more than Dragonfly, less than the Delica & Endura. Of course this is also an AUS-8 blade.
    The BladeHQ Pilar was also $85 IIRC, for S35VN steel.
    At that price point they'd also be competing with Kizer, Ciivi, etc.

    If CRKT was selective about the designs they pick for their upgrades, maybe. Cool is fine for a budget knife - my methodone of knives. But as prices go up gimmicky goes out. That's just not CRKT's game plan. They sell stuff to play around with or sell in big box stores. Budget knives are their forte and they make bank. Look at it this way - who is richer, the president of McDonalds or the owners of high end restaurants?
    Even within their chosen price range, I think some companies with smaller product lines give better value and better steels - Ontario Rats, Honey Badger, Ruike, ESEE, Steel Will, etc.

    Personally I'd like it if every company had upgraded versions of their flagship & favored designs. But I don't see CRKT even trying. Maybe if they opened their own ZT line.
  3. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    CRKT and Boker are kind of similar, only Boker is a bit better. They make an absolute ton of designs, which is good as a whole for the industry and community. But they make so many knives that their production is fairly inconsistent and low quality, which also locks them into the lower-end market because buyers don't trust that they can execute on high-end production knives. Which is probably a deliberate business decision - to make their bread on blister pack knives sold in large quantities for the big market of people who want a knife that's a bit better than the $5 bucket on the local gas station counter but don't understand (yet) why anyone would pay $75, $150, $500, or $1,000 for a knife.
    tyyreaun likes this.
  4. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Some members here likely remember the CRKT of 20-25 yrs ago. Decent designs, decent quality, at decent prices (or so it seemed to me at the time). As prices in general started to rise, it seems that CRKT made the choice to embrace the budget side of their roots, and the quality declined. I only purchased a couple CRKT knives after 2001, and I was disappointed to the extent that I chose to go with other brands. In the past few years, I noticed a few CRKT knives that appealed to me; but I couldn't bring myself to take a chance on them.
    Maybe I've become a knife snob...
  5. goldie


    Feb 18, 2000
    I don't see any CRKT that can ever be as good as the Spyderco Military or Paramilitary,and look at all the blade steels and different handle colors and materials they have been offered in over the years.CRKT would lose its lunch over these 2 models alone.....
  6. sXePhenomenal

    sXePhenomenal Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 8, 2018
    Great post. I tend to agree with you more often than not.
    It’s a no from me on CRKT as I remember @Mo2 once said and it’s perfectly accurate. They are a company of vanity and marketing they do things to just say they did them they care little about performance and quality. Basically hipsters making knives for hipsters

    Honestly they can’t touch Spyderco or Benchmade no matter what they do. Hell they would have a tough time competing with just Kershaw
    I i
  7. dgaddis


    Dec 26, 2018
    The modern Corvette is one of the very best sports cars money can buy, at any price level. It's not as sexy as some of the Italians, but it has better performance than all of them - and it does it for a fraction of the price. Corvette has dominated the endurance race scene for over a decade now. And the top level ZR1 street car is just an absolute monster of a car. See this chart here and look at all the stuff it's beat.
    Lee D likes this.
  8. Cosmodragoon


    Jan 1, 2019
    You could say the same thing about Kershaw. Of course, Kershaw does offer some of their knives with better materials. It's not just the higher-end ZT stuff. You can get a Link or Dividend in S35VN or M390 for under a hundred bucks. They have some decent American-made knives in 14C28N. When it comes to the base models in 8Cr13Mov (or worse), I generally prefer Kershaw to CRKT. Is Kershaw eating anyone's lunch?

    If anything, the real threat is coming from the recent Renaissance in Chinese budget knives. There are exciting things happening in the sub-$100 range. Companies (or sub-brands) such as Civivi, Tangram, Ruike, and even Ganzo are offering some incredible quality now in the sub-$50 range.
    DocJD and Nick Dunham like this.
  9. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    Just saw a post on Reddit about there being a typo on CRKT's $750 XOC. Visited their website and yep, the blade says "CTS-HXP." o_O

    That sort of mistake seems relevant to this discussion.
  10. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    Nah. Even if they stepped up the quality and materials, CRKT has no brand identity whatsoever. Regardless of if it's in-house or a collaboration I know pretty much what I'm going to get from a Spyderco, Benchmade or Kershaw/ZT. Even if you could guarantee the build quality and materials the designs are all over the place.
    craytab, orangejoe35 and Mo2 like this.
  11. kniferbro


    Jan 22, 2011
  12. Gravy

    Gravy Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2014
    I’ve read enough bad stuff about CRKT to steer me away from them for good. If anything their reputation has gotten worse over my 5ish years in this hobby.

    That being said, some of the stuff they make could be pretty sweet if it was given the “ZT treatment” - great f&f, high end steels, and so on. Though I realize how unrealistic that is
  13. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary Gold Member

    Jan 12, 2013
    This is a bit like saying “if CRKT was a completely different company they could compete with competent manufacturers”

    CRKT buys cool designs and assembles them with mid-to-low quality control and materials. They’re a vanity brand - they’re all about the spectacle. I’d be surprised if any of their premium steel knives had decent heat treatments.

    They’re the knife-guy version of MTECH.
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
    WadeWilson, evltcat, craytab and 6 others like this.
  14. Dfunk1210


    Apr 7, 2015
    CRKT is the result of what you have to do to make money. Sell out. Like Gerber before them and what Kershaw has been trying to do for the last 5 years. Hundreds of low priced, China made knives sold at big box stores to people that don’t know anything about knives other than a visible name brand. Its the formula for big money. And once in awhile they have to come out with an expensive knife to compete with SOG’s strategy of using high prices to make those same people think its a good knife. All this said, they do sometimes come out with a great design. Unfortunately, its not made for any of us.

    Edit: I’d just like to add, I just hope these companies headed down this road know that there’s no coming back no matter how great a knife company they once were. Once you sell out, your reputation with the knife community is gone and, like the comments in this thread indicate, you’re not getting it back.
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  15. GronK

    GronK Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 1, 2001
    . . . and if yer papa grew boobs he'd be yer mama.

    Seriously, CRKT is doing just fine as near as I can tell. I suspect they sell more knives than most if not all the top quality brands. Also, they're a good gateway knife for future aficionados. My early production Kaspers, a Polkowski FB and big Crawford folder (in aus-8 if memory serves) got me started on this hobby and are still the most ergonomic knives I own.
  16. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    OP here.

    I have many Spydercos, 1 ZT (because, while I respect ZT, their stuff usually doesn't appeal to me), several Benchmades, a couple of We's, an Olamic 247 (that I "designed" and purchased directly from Olamic; "sorry" for the pic link, but I can't help but show off that knife when I get the chance), several Massdrop Ferrum Forge offerings, and more. I also have the following from CRKT:
    • Pilar in S35VN
    • Large Pilar in D2 (with black DLC)
    • Ruger LCK
    • Caligo
    I like all of these CRKT knives, and they appear to be well built with good fit and finish and solid lockup, though of course none but the Pilar has an upper-tier steel. The one CRKT knife I purchased that I didn't like was the Crossbones, because the liner lock was too sharp for my taste. I guess I'm in the minority in that I've been quite pleased with almost all of my CRKT purchases.
  17. Cscotttsss

    Cscotttsss Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 3, 2015
    Lol, is this April 1st?
    Mo2 likes this.
  18. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    rahful mayo
  19. cbrstar

    cbrstar Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2015
    A M-21 was my first knife when I got into knives and it served me well for many years. But I feel like the quality has got worse and not better.
    I bought my nephews a M21 each for Christmas (They were on sale) and compared to mine they almost felt like knock offs! Mine was made in Taiwan and there's are made in China. I just couldn't believe the difference.
    jux t likes this.
  20. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Lol i haven't seen this on the pilars. And upper tier steel? It's not good if the heat treatment is under par. So, thats debatable.

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