(Mostly) New from CRKT: Ken Onion Hootenanny


CRKT’s new Ken Onion folder – The Hootenanny


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?



  1. Jon says:

    That looks like a reasonable field folder, not so sure for EDC. Of course my opinion as just expressed and a buck twenty-nine will get me a cup of coffee at QT all over town. I do however like being able to carry tip up, and change the position of the clip. Generally, I will set it up so that I carry tip up with the on the right side of the knife, and carry it in my front left pocket. I’ve found that arrangement to be best when I have my pistol on my right side, as it allows me access to my blade with either hand and my pistol doesn’t get in the way. I also tend to carry a multi-tool (99 times out of 100 its a Leatherman), and a slip joint type pocket knife as well. Any knife with a clip must be a one hand opener, ironically though the speed of opening the blade isn’t that important, nor is being able to open with either hand.

    Sorry for the rant, keep up the good work here.

  2. sean says:

    I was literally just looking at this knife online. I discovered it a few days ago, and saw that it was a new release, and for all things considered….Blade steel, design, materials used, and price…i think that im definitely going to pick one up.

    1. If you get your hands on one before we do, please give us a review.

  3. cmeat says:

    i’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
    i had to look at my leek to notice the extra holes (which are tiny) and to understand what you meant by exposing the lock. that would be ugly.
    on my eraser the optional mounting point(s) are molded into the handle and ugly as hell. great blade, way too chunky to daily carry (city).
    i think the deep carry clip is more important than up/ down unless you have a true tactical concern. producing a deployable edge one handed is the goal for me.

    1. When the clip is reversed, the knife looks awful IMHO

  4. I_Like_Pie says:

    Looks a lot like the Kershaw Scrambler…another great knife with similar specs that you can pick up for around $30.

    I really like that 8Cr13MoV steel. It holds an edge well and is at a price point where I can use my knife as a knife as opposed to treating it like a faberge egg.

  5. MrPotatoHead says:

    There’s no reason for this knife to not be ambidextrous. I don’t care about aesthetics in a $70 knife. Function over form. If I want something pretty, designed for one hand only, I’ll buy a custom knife. It doesn’t cost that much to add a mounting point on both sides of the knife. CRKT claims there isn’t a large enough market to offer the option of mounting a clip for left hand/pocket carry. Yet they’ll offer the option on some of James Williams’ folding knives. Personally, I think they’re underestimating the market for ambidextrous carry.

  6. Jonathan says:

    I don’t know that I agree that you can only have two knife traits, at least to a point. The Kershaw Ken Onion knives (Scallion, Leek, Shallot, etc.) seem to deliver all three. US made, good design, and a good price, especially when purchased from Amazon.

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(Mostly) New from CRKT: Ken Onion Hootenanny

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