Despite all the custom knives and high end steel at BLADE Show 2016, one of the things I most wanted to check out was the new Homefront by CRKT and Ken Onion. The knife is built on Ken’s new Fieldstrip mechanism, allowing it to be taken apart for cleaning without any tools. It is also just the first of many new knife models that will have this feature. Details and video from the BLADE Show floor after the jump…
It isn’t often that a new mechanism comes out that offers something unique, and as you can hear me say at the tail end of the vid, Fieldstrip is pretty darn cool. It works by securing the scales and blade together at two points, via a locking lever at the pivot, and a thumb screw at the opposite end.
Taking the knife apart and putting it back together is a cinch, and the thumbscrew should be easy to actuate even if you are wearing gloves. I didn’t check to see if there was any blade play, but the knife felt solid after reassembly, flipping nicely still.
Even without the underlying Fieldstrip tech, I think the Homefront is a attractive design. I like the anodized bronze scales (hooray for “not black!”), and the the faux-bayonet lug makes a nice flipper and finger guard. The deep carry clip is also a plus. The AUS-8 blade may not be the latest supersteel, but it is one of my favorite user steels and it fits the theme of easy maintenance on the Homefront.
I’m eager to see how this new Ken Onion design will perform over time, and find out how well Fieldstrip holds up under prolonged use. I’ve reached out to our contacts at CRKT about acquiring a test sample. Initial quantities will be limited, so we may not be able to get one for a while, but we will do our best!
If you are a fan of the Fieldstrip idea, but not of this particular knife, you are in luck. I attended a lecture on Saturday that included CRKT representative Rod Bremer and custom designer Brian Tighe, who has several of his designs licensed to CRKT for production versions. Bremer referred to the Homefront as a “platform knife,” and confirmed that several of their designers, including Tighe, have been given access to the platform and are developing knives around it. Brian’s upcoming design should be among the first new models to be released in the Fieldstrip line.
What do you think of this new mechanism? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.