Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) has built its reputation and name on its high-quality, affordable knives. Not only are CRKT’s knives affordable, but the company has been a leader in forging collaborations with well-known custom knife makers.
CRKT’s new Wild Weasel benefits from just such a combination of mass production and custom detail. Designed by Pat and Wes Crawford, the Wild Weasel series of knives is made in the U.S.A. and built from the ground up for hard use.
The Wild Weasel knife breaks new ground with its Tailwind assisted opening technology. The Tailwind‘s spring/cam design holds the blade securely closed; but once the blade is opened about 30 degrees it “whips” open and locks securely. The Tailwind system is one of the fastest assisted openers I have seen.
While the Tailwind system is a new innovation, the rest of the Wild Weasel is indicative of the trusted CRKT and Crawford names. From its 154 CM stainless blade to its 410 stainless pocket clip, the Wild Weasel knife is a tool for use.
Many knife blades are sharp. The blade of the Wild Weasel is designed for strength and yet still sharp enough to cut an apple or tomato. The blade is hollow ground, retaining its thickness for 80 percent of the blade, and its drop point design has a false back edge for penetration. To ensure your thumb doesn’t slip down the spine, the base of the blade is serrated.
The leading edge of the blade is just as unique as the spine. It is machined with a belly and a recurve to give a longer cutting surface. This recurve also gives better control when cutting an item. The blade is offered with a plain Razor Sharp edge or Razor Sharp Edge with Triple Point serrations to meet your needs.
While the blade is the heart of a knife and does the work, if the frame and lock are not sturdy the blade is useless. To ensure the Wild Weasel is strong, 4160 stainless liners are secured under 6061 hard grey anodized aluminum. This combination ensures a light weight and strong corrosion-resistant frame and grip. So well machined are the frame and grip that you’ll struggle to feel their seams.
The frame of the Wild Weasel has a finger groove and palm inlet machined into it. The finger groove and palm groove fit folks with small hands or those with hands like Shaq. While this design already provides good grip, CRKT went one step further and inlaid Santoprene inserts. This thermo polymer is tough and resistant to most harsh chemicals encountered on duty and remains pliable over a wide range of temperatures and climatic conditions.
A quality knife is only useful if it is at hand when you need it. CRKT ensures your Wild Weasel will stay put by not neglecting the pocket clip. Like the liner, the clip is 410 stainless, and from what I have seen is pretty much indestructible. Yes, if you work at it the clip will break, but it would take some persistence. CRKT drills and taps both grip panels to make the clip adjustable, which is a nice touch.
Overall, I found the CRKT Wild Weasel to be a good knife. The Tailwind system snaps the knife open when needed and safely secures the blade closed. The knife is small enough to carry all the time but still large enough to tackle most tasks required of a knife while on duty. If you are looking for a high-quality, affordable knife, check out the Wild Weasel.
Scott Smith is a disabled veteran who served as an active-duty Army MP and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard as a security policeman.