The Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) company is one of America’s best-known knife makers. With a cadre of professional knife and tool makers on staff, the company has solidified its mark in the market of the edged weapon. One of its newest offerings is the Hootenanny; a very nice folding knife designed by famed knife maker Ken Onion.
I’ve enjoyed knives since my early years in Boy Scouts, but it wasn’t until joining the police force that I have really come to appreciate a good piece of steel. I have knives from several of the major knife manufacturers, but I have really come to appreciate the offerings from CRKT. I think the CRKT M16, and M21 series knives, especially those with Veff Serrations, are outstanding duty carry knives.
What is the Hootenanny?
The Hootenanny uses the heralded IKBS ball bearing pivot system to ensure a smooth-as-glass function when opening or closing the blade. In addition, the Hootenanny has an enlarged pivot making the action even more smooth and easier in performance.
The drop point blade design has superior strength to the top of the unique lines. The razor edge is becoming popular again after a long run of partially serrated blade knives. A high-quality blade, sharpened correctly, is all a user needs to accomplish even the toughest cuts.
Like many assisted-opening knives, the Hootenanny has a protruding tip on the base of the blade that extends through the open handle when the blade is closed. This tip is easily flipped with the pointer finger, initiating the IKBS ball bearing pivot to easily complete the opening cycle to locking point.
The glass-reinforced nylon handle has subtle indentations to provide a gripping surface while reducing wear on clothing and hands from some rougher textured materials like G10. The Hootenanny has a slide locking bar that sits under tension and moves into place when the blade is at the extended open position.
In addition, the spine of the blade has a grooved texture area, specifically designed for extra traction by the forefinger or thumb during precise cutting or more difficult cutting situations (see video). There are additional grooves on the bottom of the blade’s base for additional grip support.
The Hootenanny handle combines the attractive look of the glass-reinforced nylon material, with a nicely designed partial steel exposure towards the top. The exposed steel has simple machined grooves adding to the overall attractive profile of the knife.
- Overall Length – 7.94 inches
- Closed Length – 4.59 inches
- Weight – 4.8 ounces
- Blade Length – 3.34 inches
- Blade Thickness – 0.13 inches
- Blade Material – 8Cr13MoV
- Blade – HRC 58-60
- Finish – Satin
- Grind – Hollow
- Style – Drop Point
- Edge – Plain Razor
- Handle Material – Glass-reinforced Nylon
- Liner Material – 2CR13
- Lock Type – Locking Liner
- Carry System – one Position Clip (tip-up)
- MSRP – $69.99 (it is MUCH more affordable on Amazon)
Ken Onion’s Contributions to Knife Making
Ken is a life-long knife enthusiast that designed and made his first knife in 1991. That first successful venture has led to a career of innovative designs and knife making patents. You may be unaware, but it was Ken Onion that designed, made, and patented the very first “assisted opening” knife back in 1996, opening one of the most popular categories of folding knives on the market today.
The “assisted opening” knives were a perfect middle ground between the much harder to open manual designs that were the prevalent folder design for decades and the often highly restricted automatic opening knives that were often classified as switchblades. The “assisted opening” knives created a tool that could easily be deployed one-handed, a great benefit for emergency or self-defense needs.
The Police Duty Knife
The BlueSheepDog Crew obviously spends a lot of our time on the more common police firearms and equipment, so it should be no surprise to occasionally see an article on knives. Every patrol officer should have a good knife readily available to them for use in the field.
There are numerous purposes and reasons to carry a knife on duty, but here are some of the highlights:
- Opening boxes of flares or other supplies
- Removing fraudulent license plate or registration stickers
- Cutting fingerprint tape
- Cutting seat belts during emergencies
- Removing clothing to prepare for trauma care
- And ultimately, a last-ditch self-defense weapon.
These are just a few of the potential uses of a knife while in the performance of duty. The BlueSheepDog Crew highly recommends that offers carry a knife while on duty, and like any piece of equipment used in the field – choose the best to meet your needs and budget. The CRKT Hootenanny may just be the knife for you and your duty needs.