A few months ago at the summer OR trade show I was on the hunt for the ultimate multi-tool. Lo and behold, around a corner was a sign “The new CRKT Tool.” To be the ultimate for backcountry skiing, the multi has to do everything and then some (especially operate as a strong and functional screwdriver). This looked to fit the bill.
Two famous knife makers Ed Van Hoy and Tom Stokes collaborated on the CRKT Tool. Ed Van Hoy is a multi-award winning knifemaker from Virginia with a career that has spanned more than 30 years. His wife, Tanya, helps with production of their own line of fixed blade knives and leather sheaths as well as contributing to CRKT on several knives including the award winning K.I.S.S. knife. Stamascus Knife Works Respectively Tom Stokes, mechanical engineer, aided in design with his 20 plus years in the aerospace industry and rapid prototyping. His recent work can be seen in conceptualizing, designing, and engineering of CRKT’s newest multi-tool line.
CRKT Tool is burly and sturdy. All appliances lock open using liner locks. When closed, dimensions are 4″ long, 1″ wide and .75″ thick. It has a 2″ fine edged (non-serrated), modified sheep’s foot style blade with a slight belly to the edge.
The saw has 2.25″ of cutting edge on a 2.75″ total blade length, which does not clean easily when sawing branches. The length of the knife and saw blades are a bit of a disappointment considering the size and weight of the tool.
Both the straight and Phillips screwdrivers spring open and lock solidly in a “T-driver” handle configuration. The driver shafts are 1.5″ long and will get to shallowly recessed screws. I had a tendency to release the screwdriver when I needed the Phillips. Labeling would have helped here.
A magnetic bit holder slips over the Phillips screwdriver and allows for the use of the 9 included hex driver bits. The included drivers are hex 3, 4 and 5, flat 3, 5 and 7, Phillips 1 and 2 bits plus the magnetic holder are included in a rubber holder than fits in the rear of the included nylon case which uses velcro closures. The bits are NOT magnetized themselves. I fixed this by magnetizing each bit as well as using a size 3 driver for adjusting bindings on the go. The tool does not come with the star bits needed for it’s own disassembly.
For those unfamiliar with how to magnetize steel here is a quick video of the process. You do not need to go out and buy a $5 magnetizer gadget. When in a bind even an old speaker driver or electric toothbrush magnet will work.
Obviously no tool can supply the answer to what one needs when he envisions the ultimate fix-it utility. At the end of the day, the CRKT Tool is a great little multi-tool that is glove usable while packing a lot of versatility in a small package for under $50 bucks.
The search continues for a tool that includes a spork and levitation device. The CRKT Tool reviewed here will be available soon, meanwhile, see other CRKT blades and tools here.