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Three new knives from CRKT

We ventured by the CRKT (Columbia River Knife and Tool) booth because they always have interesting new designs and 90% of the company's designers are custom knife makers, so it is a great spot to catch up with old friends from the knife circuit. 

They had three new folding pocket knife designs that piqued our interest: The Xolotl, M40 and BT Fighter.

Three new models from CRKT



The Xolotl (pronounced: show-low-tl) is a compact folder about as thin as a fountain pen. It is named after an ancient Aztec deity who transported souls to the afterlife and has a skeletal-like handle. Not skeletonized, but skeletal, the pattern on the G10 handle resembles a stylized ribcage. Adding to that, the clip is modeled after a sternum. 

Designed by Michael Rodriguez as a part of the Forged by War series, this knife is comfortable to carry in every day gear as it is on a MOLLE vest. It deploys with a neatly made lightning-fast flipper. The spear-point blade has a razor-sharp edge and a false edge.   

Rodriguez and his wife, Kelly Rodriguez, spent 21 years in the military and each rib on the G10 handle marks one year of serving their country. The strong butt end of the knife is an extra design detail as well as a very capable tool that allows the knife to be used as an impact weapon when closed.   

Blade Length:3.643″  

Blade Edge:Plain Edge 

Blade Steel:1.4116 

Blade Finish:Satin 

Blade Thickness:0.125″  

Overall Length:8.938″  

Closed Length:5.256″  

Weight:4 oz.  


MSRP: $99.99  



The M40 knife line is based on one of the late Kit Carson’s relatively unknown designs. Carson was famous for his M16 and M21 series of knives that he designed for CRKT 15 or so years ago.  

There are three variants of this knife. Each one has IKBS (Ikoma-Korth Bearing System) action for fast and smooth opening, the new incredibly strong Deadbolt lock and a glass-reinforced nylon and aluminum bolster handle that’s very durable. 

The M40-15 has Veff Serrations which are excellent for rope and fabric-slicing capabilities; the M40-03 has a classic plain edge and the M40-02 has a Tanto blade shape.  

Of the three the M40-15 war far and away our favorite. 

Blade Length:4″  

Blade Steel:1.4116 

Blade Finish:Bead Blast 

Blade Thickness: 0.163″  

Overall Length:9.93″  

Closed Length:5.34″  

Weight:6.2 oz.  


MSRP: M40-15 $119.99, M40-03 $109.99, M40-02 $109.99  



BT Fighter

Brian Tighe of Ridgefield, Ontario, is known for the brilliant contours, sculpted handles and dramatic curves he puts on his custom knives and this collaboration with CRKT is inspired by one of his custom design's known as the Tighe Fighter. 

A ball bearing pivot system deploys the blade smooth and fast and a button lock secures it in place. They incorporated a lanyard hole in the deep carry pocket clip and a grooved back spacer makes it feel at home in your hand. 


Blade Length:3.640″  

Blade Steel:8Cr13MoV 

Blade Finish:Stonewash 

Blade Thickness: 0.127″  

Overall Length:8.875″  

Closed Length:5.146″  

Weight:5.0 oz.  

Handle:Glass Reinforced Fiber Polyamide 

MSRP: $79.95 

A few words on the steel and serrations used in these knives 

The steel used in the Xolotl and the M40 series is known as 1.4116.  This is the same steel used in most Swiss Army knives. While it is definitely not our favorite, we rate it as a decent value, especially for folks who are getting into sharpening their own blades. Edge retention on it is not the greatest, but it can be sharpened in a manner of minutes. Apart from that it has excellent corrosion resistant properties and is a very durable steel. 

The BT Fighter is made from 8Cr13MoV. This is obviously a Chinese brand of steel that CRKT uses in a lot of designs. We find it very much like AUS-8 and it is very easy to sharpen. Of the two, we prefer 1.4116 for its toughness, corrosion resistance and ease of sharpening.  

Veff Serrations

Veff serrations were developed by Tom Veff, a professional knife sharpener out of Oregon. Unlike traditional serrations which are usually small scallops oriented at 90 degrees to the blade cutting edge; Veff serrations are wide and cut at about 50 degrees to the cutting edge.

 The resulting cutting points bite instantly and dig deep upon contact while the large surgically sharp valleys slice smoothly and effortlessly.  Unlike traditional serrations that tend to snag and stick while cutting rope and similar material, Veff-Serrations slice through cleanly and easily.   


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