Knife Review: CRKT Bamboozled


No Need For Confusion, CRKT’s Bamboozled Shows Itself A Competent Light-Duty EDC Option.

There are so many assisted-opening knives for sale today that to compare them all is a fool’s errand. However, when you come across a good one you know it pretty quickly. The new CRKT Bamboozled stands out from the pack thanks to its classy, sleek lines, quality construction for a casual EDC, and its incredibly fair price.

New for 2023, the Bamboozled comes in under $100 and feels worth a lot more. Designed by Ken Onion Jr, son of BLADE Cutlery Hall of Famer Ken Onion, his first knife for the company looks straightforward because it is. It’s simply an excellent light-duty EDC.

The proof? After a few weeks of using the Bamboozled, I realized I hadn’t picked up any of my other knives. It pushed some truly excellent blades into the bullpen, and I don’t see that changing for a long time. 

The CRKT Bamboozled: The Ergonomics

The first thing you notice about the knife is how nice it feels in your hand. That’s thanks to the G10 handle and stainless-steel bolster. It looks and feels clean right out of the box and even after a few months of use, it remains pleasurable to employ.

Aside from a tidy look, the ergonomics are there in the Bamboozled’s handle. The straight handle avoids any hot spots you might encounter, and fits a medium-sized hand relatively well. The G10 scale is well-textured, yet not overly aggressive. At once, this offers solid control over the knife on light tasks—even when wet—while avoiding the cheese-grater texturing found on some heavy-duty options.

As with many other CRKT models, the Bamboozled succeeds thanks to a good skeleton. The handle is great, and it’s made even better by the steel liner lock that secures the knife upon deployment. It’s easy to close one-handed although the ridges on the lock itself can dig a bit if you open and close several times in quick succession. I’ve tried for months to find a way to loosen the lock with hard use and it hasn’t budged an inch. 

You can open the knife easily one-handed thanks to the assisted-opening flipper. The flipper tab is well-placed, though it does take a touch of force to get it going. But be careful. Once the assist mechanism kicks in the blade fires out at high speed.

A Blade For Everyday 

The blade is made from D2 steel which holds an excellent edge (more on that later) and is known for its wear resistance. In short, it is a fairly common, yet solid choice for blades likely called into numerous roles.

In total, the Bamboozled is 7.81 inches long and has a blade of 3.34 inches in length. For the user, this means having a blade long enough to make somewhat sizable cuts and a handle long enough to keep a relaxed and secure hold while cutting. The handle’s sharp lines and small profile also work to keep you feeling relaxed while cutting as you can position your hand in a way that works for you instead of being forced into a certain grip by a more contoured and bulky handle. 

This is the knife that will serve you well around the house. I wouldn’t use this for something like prying open rusty or locked boxes, though. The blade is just .11 inches at its thickest point and tapers at the tip. It can flex with your fingers.Thanks to being under four ounces, and just 4.45 inches when folded, the knife is a great casual carry option that will easily fit into a pants or a jacket pocket.

Bamboozled Vs Paper 

CRKT Bamboozled cutting paper
The bamboozled cut through the paper blind with ease.

After losing some blinds to our lovable but rambunctious dog I needed to replace a busted one. I was able to get an inexpensive paper blind at a home improvement store, a great light-work test for the Bamboozled.

Nicely the Bamboozled made it through the thicker paper of the blinds–folded over a dozen times–without any frayed or torn edges. However, it took nearly a minute of intense sawing action to chew through using the entire length of the blade. So while I would call it a success I definitely would say the knife had its work cut out for it in this task. 

Bamboozled Vs Leather 

CRKT Bamboozled cutting leather
The 1/8-inch leather belt was no match for the folder.

Wishing to see how the Bamboozled fared against a more robust material, I pitted the blade against leather. An old belt proved the perfect foe.

Interestingly, the Bamboozled made easier work of the ⅛ inch leather than the blinds. A moderate sawing motion with the belly of the knife cut the belt into tidy strips with clean edges. Given I’d already put the blade to use on other tasks and the edge was no longer pristine, I was surprised with the results.

Bamboozled Vs Nylon Rope 

CRKT Bamboozled cutting rope
The nylon rope provided the stiffest test for the Bamboozled.

 A piece of ⅜-inch nylon rope was the most formidable challenger for the knife. It did cut through but it was a process. Push cuts were only good for getting the main length of the knife to bite in, but the ensuing pull cut made quick work of the rope. 

However, it was hard to get a pull cut to bite and one time it took two pushes to get the knife to chew into the rope. Additionally, the cuts weren’t as clean as the paper or the leather belt. A win for the Bamboozled, but we’ll call it a split decision rather than a unanimous victory.

Not Bamboozled By Everyday Chores

My wife and I welcomed our first child a month ago, providing ample opportunity to put the Bamboozled through everyday paces. Boxes, wrappers and packaging of every sort from stacks of diapers to new furniture needed opening–which meant the Bamboozled had a legion of practical work ahead, which let me see what the knife could do.

Its straight-back blade comes to a point that is excellent at piercing, which was a plus as it easily punctured the material. The knife also was great at cutting straight down cardboard of every thickness in clean, even lines.

Beyond the cardboard, the Bamboozled easily cut through tape without taking on much of a residue and it was able to cleanly cut through foam without peeling off bits. The foam, both thick and thin, was no match for the puncturing blade. 

Judging The CRKT Bamboozled

The D2 blade provides a strong edge that resists wear.

Overall, I really like this knife. It’s easy to use and comes at a great price. The edge is no joke and really does hold up against everyday usage quite well. 

This is a great piece for the small speed bumps that come up in day-to-day life in suburbia or the city. Have to downsize a mountain of cardboard boxes at the office after a bunch of new product is delivered? The Bamboozled will get the job done quickly. Just don’t ask too much from this knife. The Bamboozled is well made but it’s not a heavy-use utility knife. I wouldn’t want to baton wood with it, use it for prying, or use it as my main knife in the backwoods.  

What it does well it does exceptionally well; if you keep the knife in its wheelhouse it should serve you well for years. The $75 price point makes this an affordable, accessible knife that’s great for both knife lovers and someone looking to get their first blade. 

CRKT Bamboozled Knife Specs

Blade Length: 3.34 inches

Blade Edge: Plain

Blade Steel: D2

Blade Finish: Satin

Blade Thickness: .11 inches

Overall Length: 7.81 inches

Closed Length: 4.45 inches

Weight: 3.7 ounces

Handle: G10 with Stainless Steel Bolster

MSRP: $75

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