Having recently purchased my first CRKT knife I checked out their booth at SHOT Show this year. Although not a new product I was intrigued by the CRKT Ultima fixed blade knife. This fixed blade knife had a lot of new features that made it stand out compared to many other fixed blade knives and I wanted to know more.
CRKT ULTIMA DESIGN
The Ultima is a design by knife designer Michael Martinez. Part of the concept behind the Ultima was Michael’s experience in martial arts and edged-weapon training. Michael is quoted as saying, “In my edged weapons training, I kept noticing how many knives didn’t feel right, didn’t have a grip that gave both control and comfort in the four fundamental tactical grips.”
To answer that problem Martinez hired a group of medical specialists. The results are that the Ultima achieves 22 of 23 “ideal contact points”. The unique shape of the handle should immediately stand out to knife enthusiasts.
There are many uses for fixed blade knives in military, law enforcement, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. However, the Ultima seems to be focusing more to the tactical uses that founder Martinez used as his inspiration.
The handle has a unique design meant to mold into the user’s hands like no other knife. It is made of injection-molded black glass filled nylon scales. There are over 70 of these triangular shapes on the grip, and they’re separated by what CRKT calls “sipes” or “ooze grooves”. The Ultima’s handle is definitely designed with the intent that the user will have muddy, oily, wet, or bloody hands, and the intent of the nylon triangles and sipes is to help the user maintain their grip while allowing the foreign substance to flow away from the contact points.
After handling the Ultima I can definitely say that the texture is aggressive, but in a knife fight or heavy work that’s would seem to be an added confidence that the knife is not going to slip out of your hands. There are horizontal grooves under the finger tips for an added comfort in grip.
Martinez also realized that fixed-blade knife users expect the knife to have multiple functions, such as doubling as a pry bar. To answer that need, Martinez created a butt pry tip as an extension of the blade tang. The pry tip has a rounded tip to assist in lodging it into objects or areas needing prying.
There is also a lanyard hole in the butt of the handle. Although not specifically mentioned, the butt of the handle appears sturdy enough for striking purposes as well.
THE SERRATED BLADE
The Ultima is also different than traditional serrated blade knives. The Ultima uses patented “Veff Serrations”. These serrations were developed by another knife inventor, Tom Veff. Unlike most traditional serrations that are perpendicular to the blade, the Veff serrations are angled to about 50 degrees towards the handle.
According to the inventor, the angled serrations allow for a natural grip and movement groove of the blade for easier and cleaner cutting. The Veff serrations are also noticeably wider than traditional serrations, further assisting in the Ultima’s ability to cut through many difficult materials. The Veff Serrations take up the first 2 inches of blade from the handle and are rated razor sharp.
The blade is called a “modified Tanto” by CRKT. At first glance you might not catch that it is a Tanto blade, because the cut is more subtle than some Tanto edges. I really like the advancements of the Veff Serrations, and the sturdiness of the blade in general. I’ve always had an affection for Tanto edged blades so the Ultima is meeting all my needs and desires.
Take a look at this video, which explains the benefits of the Veff Serrations:
A knife this tough deserves a sheath to match it, and CRKT delivers. The Ultima comes with a high-strength nylon fabric and glass-filled nylon sheath. This comes with a custom injected molded liner for sturdiness and ease of placement and withdrawal. In addition to the area for the Ultima, the sheath has a pocket on the front with a “Fastex” clip buckle for carrying a variety of multi-tools or sharpeners. The back of the sheath is slotted to allow attachment to Molle gear.
The sheath has four paracord grommets on each side and comes with a length of 550 paracord. The sheath is attached to a belt by two snap belt loops on the top. The dual belt loops are adjustable for custom fit using Velcro.
- Overall Length – 10.039 inches
- Weight – 8.4 ounces
- Blade Length – 4.95 inches, full-tang blade
- Thickness – 0.18 inches
- Material – 1.4116 steel Blade-HRC – 55-57
- Finish – Black Titanium Nitride
- Grind – Hollow
- Style – Modifed Tanto
- Edge – Veff Serrations
- Handle Material – Injection Molded Glass Filled Nylon
- MSRP $129.99 (note: Street price is much lower. Click here to see the CRKT Ultima for less than $65.)
Aaron is a sergeant with a midwestern police department, where he serves as a trainer, supervisor and SWAT sniper. In addition to his broad tactical knowledge, Aaron has experience in DUI, DRE and undercover narcotics investigations.