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Huh, I had no idea (or how I wound up EDCing a CRKT again: CRKT Ikoma Fossil)

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by sph3ric pyramid, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. sph3ric pyramid

    sph3ric pyramid

    Jul 24, 2002
    Been a while away, I haven't really kept up with new developments in the industry I guess I lost enthusiasm for a minute there, didn't seem to be much happening in terms of innovation in production folders, and I'd mostly casually browse the same old offerings in various B&M retailers, occasionally see what's new at the usual online retailers. I've owned a bunch of knives over the years and had pretty much settled with a few workhorses, couple Benchmades (940/930) few Spydercos (Ocelot/Waved Endura/Delica/Salt) and a Boker/Los Banos collab the Subcom framelock (bought multiple! Really liked this one) and an assortment of slipjoints with sentimental value, everything else I'd either given away or sold.

    Walked by the display at a Walmart one day and spotted a CRKT for $40, looked closer and saw 'Ikoma' on the packaging. I'd always wanted to try the bearing system but was never ready to drop the money on a custom/semi-custom and looked it over: flipper w/Ikoma IKBS, recurve/swedge w/thumbhole and framelock, G-10 scales and textured SS frame, and a clip design I hadn't seen from CRKT before.

    I figured it'd make a good beater and what the hell for $40 I'd get to check out the IKBS and that seemed good enough for my money, plus I hadn't made a new knife purchase in a good while, I wasn't really expecting much. I can barely recall the last CRKT I owned, might have been a Mirage? I always had issues with their linerlocks and didn't like the extra locking mechanism on the Carson collabs, but the lockup seemed good out of the two Fossils I had to choose from in the store still in the packaging.

    Out of the packaging, I was super impressed with the fit and finish: the grinds were even, blade came shaving sharp out the package, the texturing of scales and frame were fantastic, blade centered in the frame perfectly, the lockup was solid with plenty of room for wear, and with the pivot cranked down the ball detent held the blade solid and the flipper/IKBS worked as smooth as advertised. It's also a really comfortable knife to hold in every grip for me. Maybe I got lucky? Or maybe they're all like this, either way really impressive for $40.

    Downsides are the clip only carries tip-up right pocket (although I don't see the blade coming loose in the left pocket the ball detent is solid), and the two-screw clip comes loose occasionally, the clip sits on posts off the scales and makes it easier for it to catch on things but nothing some lock-tite can't fix. The Zytel spacer looks a lil out of place, might replace it with something eventually but it's perfectly functional and has matching grooves with the SS frame.

    It's a fun knife to play with and it feels and looks so *nice*, feels almost a shame to abuse it, but again, only 40bux. After using it a bit the edge retention of the 8Cr13MoV isn't the latest and greatest but it steels back to shaving sharp easily and a few passes with the white stones on a Sharpmaker brought the edge back fine after breaking down a bunch of cardboard boxes.

    I've since looked into various mass produced collabs with custom makers from CRKT/Boker/etc. and it's surprising how many (previously) high-end features are now accessible to just about anybody on a budget. These aren't just mimicking the designs of the originals and the fit and finish is on a level I never really expected (although a buddy had shown me a few chinese AXIS-lock knockoffs a few years back that had a remarkably high level of fit/finish for very little money). I'd give the Fossil a 10/10 I can't find anything to reasonably complain about, it'll stay in my pocket for a good while I think. Highly recommended, I think I'll prob pick up some more CRKT collabs down the line.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    J D Wijbenga likes this.
  2. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Thanks for the review. I agree, CRKT puts out some well made modern knives. I have a,CRKT Eros with the same bearing system, one of my favorite knives.
  3. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    I used to have the Ti Skeletonized Eros. Lost it, but I loved that knife. It was soooooo light with a fairly long blade. I miss that knife.

    I always thought the fossil looked nice. Unfortunately most of CRKTs stuff is iffy in my experience.

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