Crescent has launched 3 new folding knives, which they say deliver jobsite performance with style.
The new folding knives all break the mold, with very different styling compared to most of the “EDC-style” and folding knives I have seen from tool brands before.
Crescent – a ToolGuyd sponsor – sent over all 3 for testing and review. I was optimistic from the start, even before official details were available.
The Crescent knives did not disappoint!
From left to right, we have the:
- Low Profile Pocket Knife (CPK258FL)
- Compact Folding Utility Knife (CTKCF)
- Hybrid EDC Folding Utility Knife (CTKFHEDC)
I like ALL of the new Crescent knives. The low-profile flipper knife and compact folding utility knife are both nice sizes for lighter carry, and the “Hybrid EDC” utility knife is a fresh departure from my usual go-to’s.
All three feature deep-carry pocket clips.
Crescent Low Profile Pocket Knife
The new flipper-style low profile knife is my favorite so far.
Tool brands’ EDC-style folding pocket knives are usually very different from this one, such as with aggressive tanto-style blade, unidentified blade steel alloys, and partial serrations.
This one has a plain edge knife blade, a pocket knife-standard drop point blade profile, D2 blade steel, ball bearing pivot, and what looks to be a satin stonewash finish.
The handle’s inner edges are gently eased, the frame lock has perfect travel, it’s effortless to open and close, there’s no lock-rock, the blade is perfectly centered.
THIS IS A CRESCENT KNIFE?!!
In no uncertain terms, I am impressed.
The blade length is about 2-5/8″. The handle might be on the small size for some users, but is fitting for a pocket knife that’s marketed as being low-profile.
The knife handle measures just over 3-5/8″ when closed.
D2 is a great steel for tool use – it’s tough and has great wear resistance.
Crescent clearly did their homework, and produced a fantastic EDC-style folding knife.
This is the kind of knife to carry when you might need a knife for light to medium cutting tasks and don’t want a bulky utility knife in your pocket.
Crescent Compact Folding Utility Knife
The new Crescent compact folding utility knife is compact, but not clumsy as I was afraid of.
It’s described as ultra-thin, but it feels substantial, in a good way.
I did have a little bit of trouble with blade changes, but I got the hang of it quickly. It takes a little longer than with my usual go-to utility knives, but not more than a few seconds.
More important to me is that I feel comfortable changing its blade. I cannot say the same about other smaller-sized utility knives, where I feel like I’m a minor misstep way from having to get stitches.
Being gentle on the blade lock helps with blade insertion and removal.
I have been opening this knife with two hands.
You can open it with one hand. There’s a large ridge on the back-end of the blade (you can see this in the image of all the knives’ pocket clips above), allowing the blade holder to be pushed away from the handle before being wrist-flicked open. I don’t advise this.
This is the most compact utility knife in my kit, and there’s not much between this and the larger folding utility knives you can find at home centers.
Its ergonomics are different compared to larger utility knives. This is going to be great for times and places where I want a smaller utility knife. For you? That’s something you’ll need to think about.
Please let me know if you want specific size comparisons!
Crescent Hybrid Folding Utility Knife
This one is described as a hybrid knife, as it has a flipper-style deployment mechanism with standard replaceable utility knife blade.
It’s easy to open, and has a liner lock closure. Blade changes are easy and intuitive.
The handle is longer than is needed to house the blade holder or cutting edge when closed. I don’t know if this was by design necessity, but felt it gave the knife a full-size handle with multiple hand-grip positions.
Referring to Crescent’s sales sheet, they say it has an ergonomic handle. They add:
Our knives are designed for improved control and grip for the jobsite with improved ergonomics.
It has a deep-carry pocket clip, easy flipper-style opening mechanism, quick blade changes, and comfortable handle.
I think that some users are going to love the ergonomic handle, but not everyone. Frankly, I’m “take it or leave it” with this one, although I think Crescent did a good job differentiating it from all of very many other folders on the market today.
Personally, I prefer more compact folding utility knives and full-size angled-grip utility knives. The only way to learn one’s preferences is to try different styles. It’s good to have options.
Which Would You Buy?
Everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to folding knives and utility knives.
For me, I love the low-profile knife the best. I’d love to see one with a 3″ blade size in addition to the one they already have out.
The compact folding utility knife has a comfortable design. Some might see it and call it clunky, but I have used enough smaller and EDC-style utility knives to know that you cannot remove material without significant compromises. I like this one.
I am less certain about the Hybrid utility knife, but I have no major objections. If it’s in my kit, I’ll use it. If I give it away, I probably won’t miss it. But again, everyone has different preferences. This might be the best utility knife for you.
Which would you buy?
Although it’s not new, Crescent also sent along their CPK325C folding utility knife, and I am shocked at how much I like it.
Compared to the low-profile knife discussed above, this one is larger and engineered with different blade steel and handle materials.
It’s smooth to open and close, and has a good deep-pocket clip.
This is the best one-size-fits-most mainstream folding knife I’ve ever seen from a tool brand before, and one of the best “cheap” folding knives I have ever used.
It is shockingly good for a knife with a $20 price tag.
They’re all decent looking, but I’d be hard pressed to replace my fastback utility blades.
Right?! Same. A Gerber paraframe and/or a Milwaukee Fastback are both as good or better than these. At least there’s options, that never hurts.
This post seems so shill-y though…. “The Crescent knives did not disappoint!” Knowing that the knives were free and Crescent sponsors the site, I didn’t expect unbiased honesty but sheesh. These are average fare.
These are not average fare at all, not for a construction-focused tool brand. Average for tool brands have tanto-pointed blades, partial serrations, and black coatings.
You didn’t hear about the previous Crescent knife samples I received, which was about the same time as the last prolonged sponsorship.
“Free tools” can also be a chore or burden to integrate into my tool kit for testing. These were a pleasure.
Speaking frankly, these surpassed even my optimistic expectations. In the absence of a sponsored arrangement here, I would have been much more energetic in my recommendations.
I don’t agree. The “low profile” knife, based on it’s specs, seems like a remarkably good buy – especially for a new product release.
D2 steel is about as good as it gets for budget knives – it’s hardness and edge-retention is higher than anything else you’re likely to find even if you spent 3x as much (i.e. you spend $80 and the best blades you’ll find are mostly still D2). Most “tool company” knives don’t even bother to tell you what blade steel was used – which means it’s likely 3cr, 440a, etc – material with decent toughness but poor edge retention.
If you ignore the “tool company” options and just look at good buys in pocket knives under $35, most of those options will be Aus-8, 8cr13mov, 420HC, etc. D2 usually starts above $40 – and there’s lots of good stuff at $50.
The best competitor that comes to mind is the Ka-Bar Dozier in D2. It’s ~$40 but a bit larger. It’s a lockback with Zytel handles. Great knife for the money, but this new Crescent looks like it could offer genuine competition.
The Crescent is a frame lock with stainless steel handle scales – should be plenty tough. It’s also a flipper with bearings, whereas the Ka-bar has a thumb stud that uses the Zytel handle surface instead of washers or bearings and requires a more deliberate opening action. The lockback is also more of a two-handed closing design (though you can manage it one-handed).
This Crescent doesn’t just look like a good knife for a “tool company”, it seems like a good buy period.
I agree…..the flipper looks like a great knife. Reminds me of the Milwaukee Hardline flippers which also have D2 steel. Great edge retention but a little harder to sharpen. Just don’t let them get really dull! For under $30, you can’t go wrong with this Crescent.
Stuart, Jared, Joatman… thanks guys!
Stuart, I didn’t mean to come across so critical. Maybe I had an off day, but sometimes text misses tone and whatnot. I visit once a week or so to binge the catchup, more page views this time of year as work slows down and the deals start poppin. I appreciate the constructive disagreement and the discussion… Stay warm fellas.
Thank you, I appreciate it!
But – never apologize for questioning a content creator’s motives or speaking your mind. =)
I’d rather you phrase things exactly as you did, than keep it inside and think it privately, as it gives me the opportunity to explain.
I walked away from a deal recently, and as painful as it seemed, the arrangement failed my transparency test. Could I share my unadulterated opinions if readers asked questions in comments? Would those opinions significantly contradict the campaign goals? It was a bad arrangement, and I turned it down.
Absolutely express any doubts, concerns, or disapprovals you might have!! It is much appreciated.
Yes, sometimes I take comments or criticisms a little personally, but I appreciate it all nonetheless – except perhaps when phrased too crudely – and wouldn’t want anyone to hold back.
Your (readers/commentors) caring enough to comment or ask – and in such a manner – and my caring enough to answer creates an extremely important and effective way of keeping me in check.
I like to think I always make the right decisions, but there are times when knowing I have to answer to all of you makes it easier.
I’d probably get the compact utility one. I am a fan of utility blade k over for sec and that looks like a very compact one. I have a Gerber that I like the size of,but it requires a screwdriver to turn or change the blade. I am keeping an eye out for the most compact version I can find that has a tool less blade change feature. Crescents version looks both compact and sturdy. Will be watching for it to appear on shelves.
You might look at the Workpro. Super slender and compact. Tool-less blade change. The opening action is a little tight, but for a knife to stash in the car, it’s fine. Cheap too.
These do all look like good options- the Gerber EAB finally has some strong competition. I’d probably go for the Hybrid EDC Folding Utility Knife myself, just since it’s the larger format that accepts a utility knife blade. I’d be curious how the flipper and liner lock work with thicker gloves, or just gloves at all.
It seems like Crescent is doing good things that get my attention, but I just can’t find things that are a good match for me. I like the innovation happening in their space, though. Thanks for the update!
It looked promising at first, but the off-center, tip-down, non-deep-carry pocket clip is disappointing. I love that the EAB only prints as a knife to other people who carry one. Maybe you could replace it with one on the two screws at the base of the handle though.
I’d like to try the compact folding utility knife, I don’t have anything similar and I’d be interested to see if it would be able to meet my day to day needs. Swapping in fresh blades is much easier (for me at least) than going down the rabbit hole of blade sharpening.
A D2 flipper on bearings for <$30? The low profile knife looks like a genuine good buy for a pocket knife. I definitely want to check it out! I like the deep carry clip too.
They all look bigger, heavier, and clunkier than I prefer but if forced to choose, I’d pick the compact utility.
Drop point blade, not tanto
I prefer angled full size when working a job. I find the fastback and other folding ones fun, when not in a rush and without gloves on. A small utility knife is hard to reach in my carpenter pants and slows me down.
I like the look and size of the hybrid, but need to be able to open and close the blade with one hand when working quickly or on a ladder.
My work edc is the Milwaukee drop point. The red handle makes it easier to find if I put it down and at the price, I don’t mind handing it to someone. It’s a beefy blade, but needs two hands to close.
Thanks for showing the bonus knife. I’m going to get it. I’ll also check out the low profile one, though I don’t usually like the look of a frame lock.
The Low Profile Pocket Knife seems a bit misnamed to me, I don’t really see how it’s “low profile”. There are no edge photographs in the article (which seems odd when size is being discussed) so I can only guess as to its thickness, but it looks fairly chunky, so I find the name confusing. It doesn’t look all that exciting, it looks like a rather generic gas station knife to me. Still, it seems very functional. It sounds like it functions well, and $27 for a ball-bearing D2 flipper is pretty nice, so while it may not be anything super fancy it sounds solid and the price is right.
I like the look of the “Compact Folding Utility Knife” a lot. I like the industrial design it also looks like it has a very comfortable grip for a knife that small. But I don’t think I’d ever carry it. I prefer a standard knife that doesn’t use replaceable blades for EDC. I do use utility knives for work but if I’m going to be working I want a full-size handle that’s comfortable to use.
The “Hybrid” seems like a fairly standard folding utility knife but with a flipper design. This is a more practical working knife than the above since it has a full-size grip.
I agree that the “low profile” knife isn’t the most visually appealing. The relief cuts help a bit, but the handle does kind of just look like a slab. A little color or some G10 scales would be cool – but it’s a framelock with a D2 blade for <$30. In that context I think it's a good compromise – lots of utility for your money even if there are much prettier options on the market.
I’ve got both the Gerber compact knives, and I always felt that they’d open when I didn’t want them to. And their blade changing is less than ideal, so I don’t use them.
Plain old Stanley’s get it done for me, but that Crescent compact knife might fill the gap the Gerbers leave, so I’ll keep an eye out.
Speaking of which, Milwaukee’s smaller knife (I’d say normal-but-smaller body type, non-flip) I’ve been wanting to get but I’ve never seen one except on line.
I agree with Stuart. Judging by their look and specs, they are better designed and have fewer gimmicks than typical tool-brand knives. The Hardline knives from Milwaukee are nice but are 2x or 3x more expensive.
D2 is superior to 440C in every way except corrosion resistance. A little care and a wipe with something like GlideCote should handle that. It’s superior to carbon steel in every way, at least for the user.
I personally would carry the Low Profile knife. I don’t like utility knives for EDC, maybe because I once had to dig a hole in the ground with a pocket knife (don’t ask.) My only quibble with it is that it’s hollow ground, and I prefer flat grinds, but that’s not a big deal.
Oh, another reason I don’t like utility knives for EDC is it’s hard to find stainless blades. My pants get sweaty and dirty, and I don’t want to pull out a knife and find it rusted and useless.
Honestly I wouldn’t buy either one, all I see are Stanley knives, same blades lol, nothing can replace my Leatherman Surge, these things are just child’s play….
I own a Surge too, and it’s a fantastic multi-tool. But I have yet to find any multi-tool knife that compares to a standalone knife, although the Skeletool comes closest.
Hi, yeah it’s a beast, my son has the Skeletool and it’s awesome but a little on the small side for me, I’ve had a few Gerber’s too and they were decent but since I’ve had the Surge I just can’t look at anything else, well for the time being anyway…
The low profile pocket knife would be my pick of the three. I am fairly happy with my Milwaukee utility knives, but I’m always a sucker for a new pocket knife.
(A)… this in the image of the all the knives’ pocket clips above), allowing the blade …
(B) …larger folding utility knive you can find at home centers.
Thank you! *fixed*
The standard pocket knife looks good and priced right for the abilities. I’d consider one.
I don’t like the folding utility blade knives I see no need for any of them.
What’s the pivot on the hybrid like? Very few folding utility blade knives have smoothed and properly machined mechanisms without grabby friction – the only two I’ve found that open without undue friction are from Fiskars and Klein.
Extremely smooth – there’s a ball bearing in the pivot.
The little compact one is stellar. Picked one up yesterday. A better to me EAb. The clip is deep carry and no need for tools for a blade change. But to each his own
Excellent EDC Knife