CRKT Ripple 2 Folding Knife

By Dr. Jim and Mary Clary

CRKT Ripple 2
Illustration courtesy of Columbia River Knife & Tool, Inc.

We received this knife four months ago for review. We suspected that it was going to be an excellent knife, having been designed by Ken Onion. The Ripple name comes from the curves and flowing lines that define the look of the handle. This 420J stainless steel, titanium nitride coated handle is extremely durable and ergonomically designed, making this folder as comfortable to hold as it is easy to use.

It is not awkward, bulky or poorly balanced, like so many pocket knives, and it is designed to permit easy opening with either hand. There is a pronounced finger guard and a thumb rest. Finally, a flipping folder that lefties can use comfortably. A pocket clip is provided for easy, secure carrying.

The hollow ground blade edge is gently curved for its full length, terminating in a drop point, a useful general purpose design. However, we still needed to test it in the field to make sure that the blade matched the handle in quality and functionality. With that in mind, we gave it to Carl Drake, our son-in-law, to test. Carl is harder on knives than most men. He carries his pocket knife everywhere he goes and uses it constantly for every imaginable chore.

During four months of testing, Carl skinned out a bobcat, cut poly twine binding hundreds of alfalfa bales on the farm, shaved the insulation from electrical wire when he wired our outbuilding and took it on multiple excursions into the mountains with our daughter. If he needed a knife, he used the Ripple 2.

We would like to point out that Carl is not exactly an unbiased tester. For years, his preferred pocket knife was a Kershaw, also designed by Ken. However, after four months with the Ripple 2, Carl informed us that it was now his primary pocket knife. He was impressed with the light weight, the strength of the frame-lock and the ease of which it flipped open, due to the IKBS system. The high hollow ground blade proved to be ideal when he skinned out the bobcat.

Carl stated that the edge retaining capability of this knife was as good as any knife he had ever used and better than most. This is saying a lot, because he is quite picky. To prove his point, he took out the Ripple 2 and filleted a playing card. Fillet a playing card? Give me a break! If we wanted to do something like that, it would be tough with a razor blade. However, Carl filleted that card like he was preparing sushi for dinner. That pretty much says it all with respect to the sharpness of the knife.

The Ripple 2 blade is made of Acuto 440 steel, which is a good all-purpose knife blade steel that is tough and holds an edge well. It not only holds its edge under regular use, but is easy to touch up with steel or re-sharpen with a fine whetstone.

Features and Specifications

  • Model number: K401GXP
  • Designed by: Ken Onion
  • Type: Flipper Pocket Knife with Ikoma Korth Bearing System (IKBS)
  • Blade type: Modified drop point, hollow ground
  • Blade length: 2.78 inches
  • Blade thickness: 0.1 inches
  • Blade material: Acuto 440 (HRC 57-58)
  • Lock type: Frame Lock
  • Carry system: 1 Position Clip
  • Edge: Plain
  • Handle: Stainless Steel, Titanium Nitride coated
  • Overall length: 5.56 inches
  • Closed length: 3.76 inches
  • Weight: 2.3 ounces
  • Country of origin: Taiwan
  • 2014 MSRP: $125.00

Is the Ripple 2 a bit expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Our only complaint is that CRKT only sent one for review and Carl will not give it back. He informed us that the Ripple 2 is his payment for the four months of testing. However, he has to sleep sometime!

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Copyright 2014, 2016 by Jim and Mary Clary and/or All rights reserved.