Thursday, May 17, 2012

CRKT Folts Minimalist Review

No, I don't work for CRKT, and I certainly don't get their knives free.  Although if any CRKT personnel happen by, I would certainly be willing to volunteer to run tests and post reviews for them.  For now, I just have a weakness for some of their designs, and I have found them to be good carry tools.

When they say "Minimalist" they are not kidding. 

The blade comes in multiple configurations, including a clip-point called a "Bowie" which is really stretching the term.  I chose this one because I was looking for a utility knife rather than a defensive blade.  In a desperate situation it would function as a slashing edge.

Despite its miniscule dimensions, the knife is quite comfortable to use in food cleaning and preparation.  I have used it to clean and cut up radishes, onions, and strawberries from our garden.  It would certainly skin a squirrel and dress quail, doves, or panfish, though filets are obviously beyond it  Mostly, though, it is a good backup that can be conveniently kept on one's person at all times.

There are three ways that I carry the Minimalist.  First, of course, is with the cord looped over my head.  This is a nice, handy carry when cleaning vegetables, cutting string to tie up tomatoes and similar applications.  I'll be staying in a hotel for a few days in the near future, and the Folts will be worn as a neck knife most of the time, including in bed.  I will be careful not to annoy my wife in certain situations.

The knife also comes with a belt clip that can be attached to the sheath with a couple of Allen screws.  The arrangement can be varied depending on the user's handedness and gear setup.  So you could hang it upside down off a Molle strap or whatever.  On a belt out in the field, the Minimalist just disappears.  It is a good choice for reducing weight and bulk when backpacking, hiking, hunting or working outside.

The third options is to simply drop the sheathed Minimalist into a front pants pocket or a pocket on cargo pants.  Even in dress pants, especially without the neck cord, the Folts carries discreetly. 

I have no complaints about the blade steel, and I really like the flat grind.  The Micarta grip is attractive and well-designed.  I am surprised at how much pressure I can get on the blade which has a relative thick and heavily grooved spine. By the way, the little lanyard is good for more than decoration or pulling the knife out of your pocket.  I drop it between my pinkie and ring finger to make my grip on the knife more secure.

I have had the Minimalist for a while now.  It is relatively easy to sharpen, maintains the edge well, and functions as designed.  I think I paid around $20 for it, and I would say that it was a worthy investment.


  1. I just bought the Minimalist last month. It's not my first CRKT knife, but it is my first wharncliffe, and my first Minimalist. All my belts are too wide for the belt loop, but I have been carrying it around my neck with a cord lock. I've also noticed the sheath, without cord, tucks very neatly into a variety of slim pockets on my gear pouches. In that configuration, it's an excellent survival type knife. Useful blade. Razor sharp, too.

    Don't discount the blade geometry in self defense. If you needed to hurt someone, you could stab into a slash (stab the assailant, and then slash through their skin). Rest assured, a few inches of a gash like that, and no sane attacker is going to want to get close to you again.

    I also love the weight and balance of this knife. You can forget it's around your neck, even wearing it all day. The lanyard on the end of the handle can provide a very secure grip, even in my big hands. I like that the handle scales can be removed, too. That is a very nice touch for an inexpensive utility cutter, because food particles and grime could get in there.

  2. It's a nice little knife. I had it with me yesterday, and I had picked up a bucket of my apples. I used the Minimalist to cut them up for a pie or fried apples -- which ever way my wife decides to go. Despite wearing large or extra-large gloves, the Minimalist was quite comfortable to use for the thirty minutes or so that it took me to peel, clean, and slice them up.

    What I do sometimes is wrap the cord around the sheath, tuck the end under and just stick it in my pocket. I often do that when I'm wearing my trunks around the house.

    You're right about the sharpness. The flat grind is easy to maintain and easy to get shaving sharp.