CRKT Tecpatl Knife by Michael Rodriguez from the Forged by War Collection

By Dr. Jim and Mary Clary

CRKT Tecpatl by Michael Rodriguez from the CRK Forged By War Collection
Illustration courtesy of Columbia River Knife & Tool, Inc.

The Tecpatl fixed blade push dagger was designed by Michael R. Rodriguez, a combat veteran who served 21 years in the United States Army and retired as a Green Beret. More than once, Michael wished that it had existed while he was serving overseas.

One holds the blade of this unusually shaped dagger with the index finger through the hole and the middle and ring fingers through the open part, while the rest of the hand, as a closed fist, stabilizes it. The handle design is what they refer to as the "sugar skull." I would have never known that, except for Mary; it is a southwest Hispanic thing. Not much utility here, it is a weapon used with a punching motion.

When you hold the Tecpatl in your hand this way, it is so ergonomically designed, that it is hard to tell where your anatomy ends and the blade begins. Michael R. Rodriguez of Fayetteville, North Carolina (originally from Las Cruces, NM) designed the Tecpatl as a part of the CRKT Forged by War program. His conviction: "a good combat fighter relies on instinct; a great fighter understands the importance of an ergonomically flawless weapon."

The blade of this powerful knife features a black powder finish for corrosion resistance. The laser markings on the sugar skull are a reflection of Michael's heritage, as well as a chronicle of his own personal story. Being a native of New Mexico with an extensive western heritage, Mary feels a special connection to this knife. It is a foregone conclusion that this is one blade that I will not get back.

Close examination reveal the horns, the Crusader's Cross and the Office of Strategic Services Symbol. The engraved 7 above the blade recognizes the 7th Special Forces Group with which Michael served. Above the 7, the arrow is reminiscent of the crossed arrows of the Special Forces. The three lightning bolts honor the Green Berets and their shoulder patch.

Michael's Tecpatl was designed to also honor the traditional Aztec obsidian close-quarter knife used by the Aztec Jaguar warriors. Although you may not find yourself in combat with Aztecs, the Tecpatl is intended as a last-resort self-defense weapon. The Tecpati is supplied with a Kydex sheath into which it snaps securely, without the need for a restraining strap that might slow an emergency draw.


  • Model Number: 2261
  • Designer: Michael R. Rodriguez
  • Blade Length: 3.375" (85.73 mm)
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Thickness: 0.203" (5.16 mm)
  • Blade Finish: Black powder coat
  • Blade Steel (and Handle): SK5 Carbon Steel
  • Hardness: 53-55 HRC
  • Overall Length: 5.813" (147.65 mm)
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Included: Kydex sheath with a MOLLE compatible gear clip
  • 2017 MSRP: $89.99

In 2013, Ryan Johnson of RMJ Tactical, designer of elite military and tactical tomahawks, approached CRKT with the news that he had been working with a few combat veterans that had returned from war with varying degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To help work through their challenges, they have been designing and forging steel into custom tools. Drawing from their experience earned in combat situations, they have been creating tools they wished they had available to them in the battlefield.

"CRKT cares deeply about our returning veterans and we saw a way to give back to the community that created them. These are mission ready tools, designed by veterans, with 10% of the CRKT net profits of the program donated to the veterans' charity of choice."

You can view all of the other FBW tools on the CRKT website:

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Copyright 2017 by Jim and Mary Clary and/or All rights reserved.