A couple of weeks ago I did a post announcing the new Ken Onion designed Hootenanny by CRKT. I was intrigued by this blend of a drop-point hunter in an EDC-style package. Most larger (3.25″+) folders i tend to come across are have more of a tactical bias to them in terms of blade shape and appearance. With the Hootenanny, Ken Onion has bucked this trend, instead hearkening back to more traditional camp knives.
The good folks at CRKT were kind enough to send one to me for testing when I called and inquired. It arrived Wednesday, and it has been residing on my hip ever since. At least when I am vertical and wearing pockets.
In fact, I think the sweeping serpentine lines of the knife as well as the deep belly of the blade look an awful lot like the traditional Candian Belt Knife. The blade looks and feels like it would be a very good small game knife.
Of the folders I have used and reviewed, the Hootenany is most similar in size and niche to the Cold Steel Mackinac Hunter. Obviously, the Mackinac is a clip point, reminiscent of a Buck 110, though truthfully I prefer a drop point for both wood and animal processing. Breasting out a limit of doves excepted – nothing beats the Buck for that.
I have a favorable initial impression of the Hootenanny. It comes from CRKT extremely sharp and its serpentine shape is comfortable in the hand. The fit and finish are good and appropriate for the price point ($70) of the knife. The IKBS bearing is smooth, and the blade is firm with almost no wobble.
It is a flipper, but unassisted. This is not much of an issue, however if you are flipping the blade “up”, it will sometimes fail to lock into place. User-error for sure, but something to be mindful of if you are used to a spring assist.
Carry wise you are stuck with tip up and right pocket. The clip is on the smallish side, but adequate. Any bigger and you begin to press into the palm of the right hand while in use. So an understandable choice. The Hootenanny is much more comfortable to carry than the Mackinac, being smaller, slightly thinner, and considerably lighter in weight. It is at the upper limit of what I want to pocket carry, but mind you I usually carry a Leek, Native, or Mini-Grip. Take my opinion with a grain of salt. I like smaller knives, and the Hootenanny is not too big for me.
I will be putting the Hootenanny through our usual battery of tests. I will try to come up with a few more oddball ones as well. Perhaps another groundhog will appear in my yard and need to be liquidated. It would be interesting to test a drop versus a clip point of similar size in a skinning shoot-out. What else of a practical nature would you like to see us do with the Hootenanny in the course of testing? Anything blatantly impractical that you would like to see?
You can read more technical details on the Hootenanny or pick up your own at the CRKT Online Store.