Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) was founded by Rod Bremer in Tualatin, Oregon in 1994 as a manufacturer of knives, tools, and accessories. Today, CRKT offers a broad line of purpose-driven sport, work and professional knives and tools.
According to CRKT, their purpose is to provide useful improvements and entirely new product concepts that embrace company’s historic core values of quality, innovation, and value.
Thus, CRKT has employed some of the most innovative custom knife makers and designers in the industry to create their knife, tool and accessory products so that the hottest custom designs are made available to the consumer.
The CRKT Razel is a great example of such a product.
The CRKT Razel has an overall length of 12 1/4. It has a 7/14 chisel point blade with a hollow saber grind and satin finish made from 1/4 thick 9CR18MOV stainless steel hardened to 58-60 Rockwell.
The spine of the blade features a 3 3/4” serrated section that incorporates patented Veff™ serrations. In addition, the full tang handle has a bottle opener and a pointed steel glass breaker. The handle slabs are made from polished, resin impregnated fiber. Plus, the knife is supplied with a multi-position Kydex sheath.
The CRKT Razel was designed by John Graham and was intended to be a cross between a straight razor with the heft of a clever and a carpenter’s chisel. It includes a short, serrated section on the spine for cutting string, rope or tape. While this has got to be one of the strangest survival knives I have seen yet, I have to admit that the concept does have its merits.
In fact, I can’t think of a single rule that states that a survival knife has to have sharp point on the end instead of a sharp edge. However, the lack of a sweep on the tip does preclude the knife from being used as a skinning knife to remove the hide from harvested game animals.
On the other hand, the long, slightly curved, edge is perfect for carving and slicing and the slight, positive forward angle makes it a very effective chopping tool. Also, the hollow, saber grind on the edge provides an excellent combination of sharpness and toughness.
While I have never actually used a knife with a chisel point instead of a sharp point in the field, I very strongly suspect that if I were to have a couple of weeks in the woods with this knife, I could find a myriad of uses for the chisel point.
However, I have to admit that I don’t fully grasp the purpose of the Veff™ serrations on the spine since I don’t do a lot of string, rope or tape cutting when I am surviving off of the land but I suppose that there might be an unforeseen use for it.
In addition, the premium stainless steel 9Cr18MoV (which is very similar to 440C) is a good choice for a knife designed for heavy-duty outdoor use as either a chopping or prying tool since it contains 0.95% Carbon, 16.0% Chromium, 0.30% Manganese, 0.30% Molybdenum and 0.10% Nickel.
Also, I really like the shape of the handle and I suspect that the “polished, resin impregnated, fiber” slabs are either black Micarta or G10 and, while I can see why you might need a steel glass breaker point on the pommel if you are a bush pilot or a helicopter pilot, I simply cannot see myself using the built-in bottle opener to pop the top on my favorite microbrew in the middle of the wilderness unless someone has opened a new bar that I am unaware of.
So, even though I do think that the CRKT Razel has got to be one of the weirdest knives I have seen yet (and I have seen some weird ones,) I have to admit that it is an interesting concept that deserves some actual field testing before one offhandedly disparages the design.
On the other hand, the knife is certainly well constructed from high quality materials and, aside from its strange appearance, it should be an excellent tool like the others featured here, for the purpose of outdoor survival.