Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) showed off its new Minimalist Black Drop Point knife at the SHOT Show this year. Considered a utility knife by the company, the Minimalist makes a lot of sense as a deep cover, self-defense tool carried in the oft-ignored neck knife position.
As you know, the BlueSheepdog Crew are big fans of CRKT knives and tools as they provide excellent service at a very affordable price point. We’ve purchased, carried, tested and used a great number of the company’s products. While there may be better knives in certain categories, those knives frequently offer only marginal improvements while costing significantly more money. Trust us – we own some of those as well. For the money, the CRKT brand tends to represent one of the best values on the market.
However, we remain committed to sifting through the new arrivals and critically evaluate every product shown as a police or self-defense tool. We know our knife reviews are relied on by many of you, and we take your trust in us seriously. With that in mind, the new Minimalist is a knife that has a lot of merit as an emergency self-defense knife. Let’s take a look.
Minimalist Black Drop Point Knife
CRKT’s manufacturing of knives and other tools started in 1994. Since then, the company established itself as one of America’s best-known knife makers. The company has done this through a collaborative effort of master knife makers from across the country and beyond. Their offerings show a commitment to innovation, with a foundation on practical applications.
The Minimalist Drop Point knife is the latest addition to a series of Minimalist knives created for CRKT by Alan Folts out of Melbourne, Florida. Folts has more than 20 years of experience designing, making, and instructing others in the art and craft of knife making. His emphasis for the Minimalist series has been to provide an excellent, compact knife capable of cutting just about anything the user needs.
The minimalist knives are designed for very compact, and concealable carry, yet have a tough blade and G10 grips to provide the user with a variety of uses. Coming with three enlarged finger grooves on the narrow handle, and a braided paracord extension at the butt of the knife, the Minimalist knives are designed for the first three fingers to grab the handle, while the fourth finger wraps around the paracord.
Typically I would not advocate a short-handled knife for police work, however, the addition of the paracord and the generally small size of the Minimalist should not cause a grip problem for specific purposes. The overall design provides several carry options I believe would be suited to patrol or special duty police work. More on those later.
The blade comes with a moderate serration along the spine of the blade from the back of the blade to the first part of the grip. This is for added grip texture where the thumb is intended to be placed during use.
The G10 handles are proven to be extremely durable scales, that will endure the elements, and many other cases of abuse heavy use can bring. The G10 grips are attached to the full tang blade by two TORX head screws on each side. The black handles match the black stonewashed blade and black glass-reinforced nylon sheath.
- Blade Material: 5Cr15Mov
- Blade Style: Fixed
- Blade-HRC: 55-57
- Finish: Black Stonewash
- Grind: Hollow
- Handle Material: G10
- Overall Knife Length: 5.221 inches
- Knife Weight: 1.7 ounces
- Blade Length: 2.16 inches
- Blade Thickness: 0.105 inches
- Carry System: Glass-Reinforced Nylon Sheath
- Sheath Weight: 0.6 ounces
- Available: now
- MSRP: $39.99 (On sale at Amazon for much less.)
The drop point version of the Minimalist might be the most popular choice, but CRKT offers the knife with several other blade types including a Wharncliffe, Bowie, Tanto and Keramin.
All of these blade designs carry the same list price.
Earlier I mentioned there are some law enforcement applications for the Minimalist series of knives. First, most officers carry a knife on-duty as dual self-defense and multi-purpose tool. That being said, the Minimalist knives are so compact that they could easily be mounted behind existing duty gear on the belt, on the lanyard around the neck and behind the duty shirt, or tied into the laces of a boot.
All of these options provide an officer a rather quick way to access the knife and places that will not draw unnecessary attention to the knife’s location either. The Minimalist is more of a self-defense knife in very close quarters situations. Fighting on the ground, or being entangled with a violent, armed or dangerous suspect, could be situations where primary and secondary weapons are unavailable or have been ineffective. The Minimalist could be a great back-up blade for that time when everything else has gone wrong.
However, the small nature of the Minimalist knives could also make them great for cutting rope, scraping off fraudulent license tab stickers, cutting into suspected illegal drug packages, or other simple cutting jobs that don’t really require a large knife to complete. The Minimalist is compact but manageable, and it’s very lightweight could be a great benefit as well.
CRKT puts the full retail value of these knives at $39.99, but you can get them for a lot less by clicking here. If you are interested in reading more about the uses of knives in law enforcement, make sure you read Randall’s series starting here.