first published on December 3, 2020 by Josh Brooks[mashshare]
There is an entire world of every day carry pocket knives on the market. As it stands today, you could easily find a different knife to carry every day of the year, without ever carrying the same knife twice. So, when I received the CRKT Desert Kasper folder in the latest Gear Pack, I initially wasn’t super excited. I have more than a dozen pocket knives, and this was one more to add to the collection of knives that don’t see much every day use. Then, I opened the box.
If you’re at all familiar with CRKT knives, then you already know what I’m talking about. There’s something about holding a Columbia River Knife and Tool company product in your hands that makes you feel good. While this is only a simple $30 pocket knife, I’m going to explain to you here why it’s such an impressive tool, and why it may be getting added into my EDC rotation when I need a larger pocket knife.
Unless you’ve been living in a shoebox, or you’re brand new to the EDC scene, you know who CRKT is. For the past 20+ years, they have been producing some of the best quality knife and tool products on the market. They were founded in 1994 over in Oregon, and since their company’s inception they have been pushing the bar forward. In the past, they have worked with some of the top knife designers to produce visually amazing and technically superior products.
Some of CRKT’s best design features include the AutoLAWKS™ safety system, the IKBS™ Ball Bearing Pivot System, and the OutBurst® assist opening mechanism. On top of these three systems, they also currently own fifteen other key patents within the industry of knife making. Overall, CRKT is one of the few knife makers in the industry we would place in the top tier. It doesn’t matter what mission you have for your knife, if it was made by CRKT, it can handle it.
The CRKT Desert Kasper is a knife designed with CQB in mind. Like any knife however, it fills the role for a number of chores the average person could run into. The desert version of this knife comes with a coyote tan handle and matching blade that looks really slick. Also, the handle features finger grooves of a Kasper design. The blade itself has ambidextrous thumb studs designed to make it an easy open for lefties and righties alike.
CRKT’s Desert Kasper also features a nice pocket clip, and the patented CRKT AutoLAWKS system which enables the knife user to lock the blade. This locking mechanism allows the knife to be used as a pseudo fixed-blade knife very easily.
Let’s dig into the specifications a little bit before we get into my thoughts on the blade.
After getting this knife unwrapped from the box, and testing it a bit, I decided it would be a good idea to swap out my carry knife for a few weeks. You can’t really get a good feel for a carry knife until you’ve had it on your person for a few weeks, so that’s how I tested this knife.
For the most part, tasks included basic every day operations. For me, this includes opening boxes and packages while I’m at the office. At home, it’s occasionally used for minor house work or work in the garage cutting zip-ties, para-cord and the like. For the few weeks I’ve carried the knife so far, it’s held up just as well as some of my more expensive carry knives. Simultaneously, the knife also looks really slick, and comes out of the box sharp.
I think my favorite feature on this knife is the locking system. It features CRKT’s patented AutoLAWKS system, which allows the user to lock the blade out. This makes it very easy for the me to turn the knife into a pseudo fixed-blade knife, which has many advantages.
There’s only a few things I would say this knife lacks. and they’re easy fixes or non-issues. There is no real stippling to the outside handle of the knife, which leaves a little to be desired on the grip. This however is a quick fix. If you’ve ever stippled a Glock, then you already know. The second thing is subjective. The knife itself is a bit large. This may not be a negative to some. Myself, I’m not a massive fan of big pocket knives. That said however, this knife definitely has its place, and will find its way into my EDC rotation.
Overall, this knife is a steal. Having received it through one of my monthly subscription boxes, I’m very pleased with it. A quick search online also shows that the Desert Kasper can be found for under $20 in some places. At that price, I would buy this knife ten times over some of the more expensive knives I’ve owned in the past. While it does leave me a little wanting in the grip department, the AutoLAWKS system more than makes up for it. If you’re looking for an EDC knife on a tight budget, and want it to have a little size to it, you won’t regret picking this up.
That’s just the opinion of one independent reviewer. Let me know down in the comments if you’ve had any experience with the CRKT Desert Kasper, or any other CRKT knives. I absolutely try to to respond to every comment we get. Together as a community, we can come together to help each other make good buying decisions with our money. Until next time, I’ll see you guys out there.