Thursday, January 12, 2012

CRKT Drifter Review

Every once and then, you will come across an EDC that you would want to use it as an EDC everyday. An EDC should be small enough, but not sacrifice cutting ergonomics or prying ability, and still hold it's edge well for that ever ready ability to slice or cut things up. I have been collecting CRKT knives for the past months and the collection just got bigger with the inclusion of the ever popular Drifter series.
From CRKT website here
I have read and seen this knife around on the internet and also on CRKT facebook and fan page. I have the impression that the knife is big, something that might not be too handy to carry around without the next person thinking that you will be robbing him of his life savings. Rest assured, the knife collecting hobby is not a lethal one. It is in appreciation of well made knives, in this case, production knives. Very rarely you will get something as reliable, or with good QC control - and the danger is not to know your knife well and end up with an imitation that might hurt you more than a plastic spoon.
To start the review, this baby is a handy 6.5 inches opened and only 3.6inches closed. It is high hollow grind which gives you a very sharp cutting edge suitable even to skin or to slice like a sushi knife. With blade material made from 8Cr14MoV which offers an AUS-8 characteristic, will give a high performance tip to compensate for the high hollow grind. The hardness was rated at HRC58-59, which is good actually. So, the worry that the edge would not hold well, might not be that true to an extend.
The handle is made from stainless steel with a single position clip attached to it. The finishing is grey and it gives a very casual look of this serious knife.
Fans of flipper on their EDC will have to be contented with the tried and tested thumb knob for opening. Not really an issue unless you wear thick gloves and can't feel the knob that is close to the handle body. The opening is positive with a nudge from the tip of the thumb to open the blade to 30 degrees and a wrist flick will ensure the blade to be fully opened and locked.
Unlike the other two CRKT that i have reviewed, the Drifter does not come with a secondary lock to turn the knife into a fixed blade. The blade locks out with a liner derived from the knife body which is sufficient as  this EDC are not meant for heavy duty prying or cutting with the sub-3 inches blade.
Body blade lock
The Drifter weigh only 90grams or 3.2ounces. Light enough to be left unnoticed in the pocket and ready when you needed it. For this review, i had the pleasure of two durians (King of Fruits) to be opened with just the Drifter. Traditionalist has been able to open the durians with just a spoon or a kitchen knife. That however, will take skills and understanding of the fruit to be able to find the grooves to be opened. For the uninitiated, you do not open a durian like the photo below.
How Not To Open A Durian Here
The Drifter was put through it's pace by myself, having the chance to use it for penetrating, cutting and prying the fruit's thorny skin open.
Goes in really easy 
And deep without much effort
Impressive feel to the small EDC that allowed me with very little effort to penetrate the weakest point of the durian. Mind you, i have previously used screwdriver and even a larger knife just to get the groove opened. Drifter definitely made the task way easier. Though the knife is small and shorter than the other knife i have, the ergonomic was well thought off. The knife sits pretty comfortably in my palm as the thumb groove at the top and the index finger recesses allow me to provide leverage to the prying action.
Sits nicely in the hand
In less than 2 minutes, i managed to pry open the Ang He variety of Durian and with a bit more of brute muscle force with both hands, the fruit was successfully opened and to be enjoyed. As the knife is stainless steel, washing it was not an issue and a quick shake to rid of excess water and a wipe down to reveal the shine of the blade returns the knife to it's original glean.
A piece of mass produced art, nevertheless
The Durian did not stand a chance - both with the Drifter, or my tummy. The fruits was eaten and polished off the seeds. Bring on the next fruit to be opened. The Drifter awaits the pleasure of prying it open again.


  1. Very well said. I have carried my CRKT Drifter for a little more than half a year now and it cuts cardboard down daily at work. This knife handles it like a more expensive knife and cutting cardboard is hard on blades. I love my CRKT Drifter.

  2. Bro..where did you get the CRKT? Here or online?


  3. Hello,
    thanks for the review, I was looking just for this kind of review - practical use of this nice knife. May I ask you, how well holds the Drifter its edge?

    And man, I just cried loud with envy, when I saw the Durians :D. I had the pleasure to eat this fruit just once in my life and I can´t forget that flavour and taste, it was incredible!

    Best wishes from Czech Republic!


  4. cool review thanks, just brought one (:

  5. Vladimir - the edge is superb. No problem so far. Glad you love the Durians!

    Anon - wohoo! One more owner of Drifter.

  6. Just got my Drifter in the mail yesterday. I was completely blown away by how better it looks (and feels) in person than it did on eBay. Great review, now I know for sure I made the right choice. Then again, I might also get the G10 version :)

    1. Charlie - you are lucky to (perhaps) live near where you can get these ( i assume in US of A). Where i am based, we take great risk in the postage and the items being delivered safely to us! :D

      Enjoy the Drifter, i know i am still loving it!