CRKT Redemption: Gambling On Several Firsts

CRKT Redemption: Gambling On Several Firsts

CRKT’s first MagnaCut blade and Ken Onion’s first crossbar lock the maker looks to come up aces.

As always, Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) is innovating—and releasing its innovations—at a mind-boggling clip. The latest up for the Oregon-based company is a USA-made collaboration with another well-known knife concern, made with some top-notch material. It’s also a looker to boot.

Meet the Redemption, a sleek folder developed in conjunction with Hogue Knives and based on the legendary designer Ken Onion’s Deadman’s Hand custom. As a side note, the Onion’s custom takes its name from the cards Wild Bill Hickock supposedly held when shot—aces and eights. Living up to its inspiration and its own moniker, the Redemption has an Old-West gambler’s feel to its lines and profile.

Yet, made with cutting-edge steel—the first time CRKT has utilized CPM MagnaCut for a blade—it’s up on the times and offers contemporary performance. For those who might not know, MagnaCut is among the hottest blade steels, with exceptional toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. To boot, its microstructure also makes edge management easy.

Redemption Mechanics

Another inaugural of the Redemption is its locking mechanism—at least for Onion. Hard to believe, but this is the first time the prolific designer has incorporated a crossbar lock into one of his creations. But it does broaden the knife’s appeal, not only offering silky-smooth deployment of the spear-point blade and a strong lockup but also making it ambidextrous. For the nimble and quick of hand, it opens the potential of fast deployment with a flick of the wrist.

Blade Points

In addition to using top-shelf steel, the CRKT Redemption has an interesting blade design. Stiletto-like, the 4.06-inch blade should prove a piercing pro, particularly with its fine tip. Nevertheless, the knife has enough edge for general cutting tasks and at .15-inches thick should have enough backbone to handle semi-rugged jobs, if your opportunities for perforation are limited. Overall, it is very reminiscent of the Deadman’s Hand’s blade, however, the CRKT knife has a stonewashed finish, whereas the custom had a high polish.

CRKT Redemption Folder

Handle Design

Not dead nuts, but the shape of the Redemption’s handle suggests a coffin handle—more so with the stainless-steel bolsters setting off the dark scale. To this end, CRKT has opted for G10 with nice texturing to it, giving the knife a measure of all-weather aptitude. The pocket clip is engineered for deep carry and is reversible, furthering the knife’s appeal to righties and lefties.

Final Cut

Clocking in with a $225 MSRP, the CRKT Redemption teeters on the premium end of the production knife price scale. But given the name behind its design, the materials the company has chosen and the fact it’s domestically made, it is by no means out of bounds. And given the knife is based on an Onion classic and has a wicked throwback look, it’s more than likely to catch the attention of more than one knife aficionado.

CRKT Redemption Specs
Blade Length: 4.06″
Edge: Plain
Steel: CPM® MagnaCut
Finish: Stonewash
Thickness: .15”
Overall Length: 9.19”
Closed Length: 5.10”
Weight: 4.9 oz.
Handle: G10 w/ Stainless Steel Bolster
Style: Folding Knife w/ Crossbar Lock
Retail Price: $225

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  1. Unfortunately hogue really dropped the ball on QC. I’ve ordered two of these both of them had serious bevel issues with one side being centered the other one being off-centered by a quarter inch or more. I’m not alone there are several other people that have had similar issues with the grind on this knife in fact CRKT is only releasing limited numbers of this knife due to the QC issues it’s a great night but they need to start inspecting their product before they ship it


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