CRKT Obake Fixed Blade Emergency Knife
New from CRKT (www.crkt.com) for 2014 is the Obake knife. It was designed by Lucas Burnley along the line of a Japanese Kwaiken. The 2014 MSRP for the Obake is $59.99, but online discount prices run as low as $40.
This is a full tang, fixed blade, emergency knife. The handle is wrapped katana-style with nylon cord, which provides a good grip even when wet. There is no guard to keep fingers from sliding forward onto the sharpened edge of the blade, nor is there any special provision for using the thumb of the cutting hand on the back of the blade for extra leverage.
The relatively long and narrow, straight back blade has a gentle curve to a fine point and the cutting edge extends almost all the way to the handle. It is finished with a gray titanium nitride finish and is acid etched to provide a unique pattern on each knife.
The Obake comes with a glass-filled nylon sheath that has a paracord lanyard. Knife retention is by friction provided by the molded shape of the sheath, which securely clamps the knife in place. The sheath has a couple of oval slots and three holes reinforced with metal grommets along its curved edge. It can be attached to a belt loop, via the paracord, or to a belt using the supplied belt carry system and hardware that attaches to the grommets on the sheath. However, the belt carry system does not accommodate wide belts.
This knife is designed intended primarily for emergency use. However, it can also be handy for everyday tasks around camp.
The blade steel is Chinese 8Cr14MoV. This is a value-priced, all-purpose steel with very good toughness and it is easily sharpened to a keen edge. It is similar in application to Japanese AUS8.
Based on our previous experience with this steel, it will take a razor sharp edge, but with use that edge disappears rapidly. As such, we would recommend this knife for casual or short term emergency use.
In a serious emergency requiring a knife, you might want a blade made from steel with better edge retention. 9Cr18MoV would be such a Chinese steel. Better yet would be Japanese AUS-10 or VG-10, or American 440C or 154CM blade steel.
The other problem we had with this knife was that, unlike most knives in its price class, it was not sharp on arrival. However, using Work Sharp's Ken Onion edition knife sharpener, we were able to easily give it a razor sharp edge. Always include a small whetstone in your emergency kit and know how to use it.
Copyright 2014 by Jim and Mary Clary and/or chuckhawks.com. All rights reserved.