Crescent has new utility knives coming out soon. Official information isn’t available yet, but there seems to be enough in retail listings to get a good sense of what these knives offer.
First up, the Crescent hybrid folding utility knife, model CTKFHEDC, shown above.
This is described as a hybrid utility knife as it “combines the ergonomics of a pocket knife with the blade-changing functionality of a utility knife.”
I would be cautious about this one. It has a flipper mechanism, which is interesting, but the user experience can vary greatly depending on the balance and pivot.
For instance, I have a Benchmade flipper knife, and it’s absolutely terrible, with the blade always stopping halfway unless I flick my wrist.
Ah, but Crescent’s product listing also says this:
ball bearing assisted design provides continuous smooth deployment even after heavy use
That’s exactly what I would think a design like this needs. I try to steer away from assisted openers for EDC, but a spring assistance mechanism and ball bearing pivot could contribute to a good user experience here. We’ll have to see.
Note: A reader (thank you N. Berg!) made a point that Crescent might be straying from standard language, and that they mean to say the knife is assisted, but not an assisted-opening knife. Whether it’s an assisted opener or “assisted” remains to be seen.
Crescent also describes the knife as having an EDC-style handle, and deep-style pocket clip.
Next up, Crescent also has a “low profile” pocket knife, CPK258FL, with frame lock, 3.25″ blade, and deep-style pocket clip.
Its blade is made from D2 steel, which is a tough tool steel well-suited to “endure heavy use and various conditions found on jobsites.”
This knife also has a ball bearing assisted-opening design*.
*See the above note about ambiguity behind the “assisted” language.
I’m okay with assisted openers in workshop settings, and would be comfortable in jobsite settings. I tend to avoid them for casual EDC, as law enforcement interpretation can vary, leading me to prefer fully manually-opening knives. I have heard of too many occurrences where assisted openers are confused for automatic knives.
Crescent’s “EDC” (everyday carry) marketing language might just be on-point.
It looks like they made a lot of good choices regarding the knife’s design, but as with the flipper utility knife, this can only be determined with a hands-on assessment and time.
In the image above, the knife looks to have “late lock up.” If the steel blade wears into the handle material, which I assume is aluminum (they don’t say), the lockbar might eventually hit the inner side of the handle and potentially loosen things up.
This would be concerning for a premium folding knife, but 1) this is not premium-priced, and 2) the image is likely of a pre-production prototype.
Crescent’s other folding knives look decent as everyday hard-use folders that I wouldn’t care about abusing, but their styles never really appealed to me. This one’s different.
I have used Crescent utility and folding knives before, and I might have bought one or two for testing purposes, but this looks to be the first one I might actually buy for personal use.
It’s hard to tell from a couple of marketing images, but it looks like Crescent has stepped up their game.
Their prior folding knives and utility knives were perfectly serviceable, but these designs seem elevated above that. Their other designs are competitive, these – to me – are compelling. They’re the first Crescent knives I’ll go out of my way to look for.