CRKT Tool – Backcountry Skier’s Ultimate Multi-Tool?


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  
The ultimate backcountry skiers tool? The CRKT Tool basking in glory. Weights respectively are  tool alone - 150 grams or 5.3 oz Tool & driver bits - 212grams or 7.5 oz

The ultimate backcountry skier's tool? The CRKT Tool basking in glory. Weights respectively are: CRKT Tool alone - 150 grams or 5.3 oz; CRKT Tool & driver bits - 212 grams or 7.5 oz.

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.

The wire can pass completely through the tool so you can strip to any length. I had better results from the tool compared to a store bought wire stripper.

A wire can pass completely through the tool so you can strip to any length. I had better results with the CRKT than a conventional wire stripper.

The included wire stripper uses four holes labeled for 16, 14, 12, and 10 AWG wire. To strip a wire, you open the knife blade, insert the wire in the proper hole, and close the knife blade partially so that it presses on the insulation. Pressing down lightly on the blade you rotate the wire to cut around the insulation.

The wire stripper uses four holes labeled for 16, 14, 12, and 10 AWG wire. To strip a wire, open the knife blade, insert the wire in the proper hole, and close the knife blade partially so that it presses on the insulation. Pressing down lightly on the blade, rotate the wire to cut around the insulation.

The tool features a shallow depth integrated box wrench on both belt and non-belt clip sides. MM in 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and standard in 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, and 9/16 respectively. The wrench worked without much difficulty on the Wildsnow Willys but slippage on worn bolts is extremely likely with such a shallow wrench depth.

The CRKT Tool features a shallow depth integrated box wrench on both belt and non-belt clip sides. MM in 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and standard in 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, and 9/16 respectively. The wrench worked without much difficulty on the Wildsnow Willys but slippage on worn bolts is likely with such a shallow wrench depth.

Included in the holster is a bit holder which can accommodate, in the above photo, a size 3 driver for binding duty. Wire stripping sizes are clearly visible.

Included in the holster is a bit holder which can accommodate a size 3 driver for binding duty. Wire stripping sizes are clearly visible.

No problem torquing binding fittings even with a lengthy extension.

No problem torquing binding fittings even with a lengthy extension.

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.

Comments

9 Responses to “CRKT Tool – Backcountry Skier’s Ultimate Multi-Tool?”

  1. bfly October 17th, 2012 10:25 am

    FWIW, I have been very happy with my Doc Allen’s VersaTool. I threw a few 1/4″ sockets in the carrying case as well. This gives me everything I need to work on my gear in the BC. I carry a proper knife that I can open and close with my gloves on. I’ve never been a big fan of multi-tool knives.

  2. Joe October 17th, 2012 3:15 pm

    Bfly I do agree the Versatool is a probably where CRKT looked for design inspiration.

    Need to get my hands on one for a comparison.

  3. altis October 18th, 2012 3:54 am

    For me:
    CK Tools 6-in-1 tool set with custom bits – incl #3 pozi (86g/3.0oz)
    Victorinox Mountaineers penknife that includes blade and scissors (82g/2.9oz)

  4. Jason October 18th, 2012 3:41 pm

    FTW! I’m sold. Great light tool to replace my old gerber.

  5. Caleb October 20th, 2012 9:01 am

    Also, old hard drives are full of powerful magnets for magnetizing or attachement or whatever.

  6. Postle December 31st, 2012 12:17 pm

    These hold some promise for minimalist bit drivers

    http://www.fixitsticks.com

  7. Sebastien August 20th, 2013 8:49 pm

    This is definitely a tool I should take in consideration for my comparison table.
    Thanks for the sharing! and nice video by the way :)

  8. researching September 17th, 2013 7:42 am

    @Jason – I have an old Gerber too, not sure this will replace it though…

  9. Scott March 17th, 2014 11:06 pm

    Great review and video! Thanks for the post!

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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