Somehow this slipped by me when it hit the market, but it has been less than 3 months from the release so I am going with it. CRKT has teamed-up once again with Ken Onion to design a new frame-lock folder, the Hootenanny.
According to CRKT, Ken designed this knife to be a cross between hunting/birding knives and an EDC folder. The hollow ground drop-point blade is a very versatile shape and at least on first glance seems to be a good choice for the knife’s concept.
The knife features the IKBS pivot system. There are ball bearings in the oversized pivot, leading to smooth operation and increased strength. The handles are glass reinforced nylon, and has an attractive faux-carbon fiber pattern.
The knife features a 3.34″ 8Cr13MoV modified drop-point. While this is an imported knife, made from Chinese steel, 8Cr13MoV is among the highest quality steel of said origin. It is used extensively in Kershaws and Spydercos as well, and is highly regarded.
The above photo is from the ZviSoft Knife Steel app. If you are a knife guy and unfamiliar with this, you really should check it out. It makes order and sense of the alphabet soup that is modern knife metallurgy.
We have discussed Chinese knives extensively at TTAK. My personal opinion is that I am bothered EDC’ing a blade that is not USA, European, or Japanese. That being said, the business model of CRKT is built around bringing high-quality knives made by big-name designers at a price point that is affordable to the average end-user.
This is another “Pick-Two” situation: USA made, cutting edge design, and affordable price. CRKT picks the latter two, and has build a reputation of quality. I have owned and tested many of their offerings, and I believe that the Ken Onion designed CRKT Halfachance Machete is among the most well designed and made edged tools I have ever owned.
Given my vocation, this is a knife that I should definitely try to test. I am going to drop a line to CRKT to see if I can get my hands on one. It retails for $69 at the CRKT WebStore.
One last detail about the knife, and a question for you all. One facebook comment about the knife is the lack of an ambidextrous pocket clip. I personally am ambidextrous, I write left handed, and do detailed knife work with my left had. Howevre, I carry right pocket, and typically deploy my EDC in my right hand initially.
I personally don’t like when knives have varying options for tip up/down carry, or right and left pocket. There are unused holes in the knife handle, and changing always seems to mess with a knife’s aesthetic. The worst is when you go to tip-up on my Leek. The gap for the frame lock gets exposed when you move the clip, and I think it ruins the classy look and lines of the knife. What say you?