CRKT FOSSIL Folding Pocket Knife Review
“A Prehistoric Wonder”
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn compensation if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you. -Koda Moon
Once upon a time, millions of years ago, dinosaurs roamed the Earth. They occupied the very same space you do now. You breathe the air they breathed. But that was then, and this is now.
Back then, some of the Dinosaurs were docile, timid creatures. Many kept to themselves and spent their days eating plants and shrubs.
Others, however, weren’t so peaceful. Others were cold, calculating, and viscous killing machines that would rip you to shreds like the walking piece of meat you are. Nature really is the most brutal serial killer that ever existed on this Earth…
Eventually, the reign of the dinosaurs came to an end in a grand and spectacular fashion- a mass extinction. The only thing they left behind that proved they were even here was, that’s right… fossils.
Today, we hunt for these Prehistoric fossils with archaeological digs and hang up our findings for display in museum exhibits.
As it turns out, you don’t have to go to a museum to see a fossil. CRKT knives did a little digging themselves, and now, they have their own fossil.
“Hey, is that a rare T-Rex fossil leg?” “Nope, FOSSIL ARM.” … *Ba Dum Tss* ……… *crickets*
Oh common, I had to tell at least one terrible joke in this review. Glad we got that out of the way. Anywho, without further ado, it’s REVIEW TIME, BABY!
The CRKT fossil is a large, uniquely designed EDC knife with a hammered-in stainless steel handle, multicolored G-10 overlays and a fine blade made of 8Cr13Mov steel.
The Fossil is the brain child of Brazilian genius and knife designer, Flavio Ikoma. In a nutshell, this everyday carry knife is a modern, playful, and artistic spin on something that looks like it was dug up straight out of the Jurassic period.
WHO IS THIS KNIFE FOR?
While this might look like a fancy collector’s knife, it’s actually perfectly suitable for anyone looking for a high value, hard-working and practical EDC knife.
Before I waste your time, however, I’ll be frank: If a “small conventional spring-assisted knife” is your style, this knife is not for you… However…
If you like larger EDC knives that are smooth on the deployment and have a great deal of style and personality, this knife might be right up your alley.
The Fossil is definitely a knife that creates some serious “knife lust.” A lot of people might write this one off as an artsy fartsy designer knife, but it’s so much more than that.
Look, I’m a practical guy, and I like practical knives. Nothing makes me tip my hat further than that knife that can actually get the job done well, and I normally don’t like a lot of fluff or flash. Having said that, I’m also a die hard fan of art.
To my surprise, after having everyday carried this knife for a considerable amount of time, I’ve found myself thoroughly impressed with the CRKT Fossil as well as Flavio Ikoma, its designer.
With a hyper-smooth IKBS bearing deployment and a price point that seems almost unfair to CRKT, the Fossil is a highly recommended choice. As I always say, this knife’s not perfect, and no knife is (…yet) but this one brings a hell of a lot to the table.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the pivot system on this knife alone makes it worth its weight in gold.
That features aside, the overall design is spectacular, the handle is surprisingly ergonomic and the blade is beautifully unique as well as a proficient slicer.
Because of all these factors, the Fossil is absolutely a winner in my book…
Yeah, this knife’s a little big for me to carry EDC on a daily basis, but it’s a fun knife to have around the house and to bring on camping trips. Truth be told, it’s also just a great showcase knife in general…
If you’ve got this thing sitting on your coffee table and friends come over for lunch, this thing’s inevitably going to start a funny conversation. Plus, as I’ve said, I’m a sucker for all things art, and this knife is definitely a work of art.
It’s not the MOST practical knife, but sometimes practical is boring. You know what I mean? I have enough overly-practical knives in my collection already, so I found this knife to a breath of fresh air.
Guys, no joke… If you took a T-rex and transformed it into a pocket knife, this is exactly what I imagine it would look like… It really is a creative take on art in knife form.
The aesthetics of this knife blew me away the first time I saw it. Its hammered-steel look was unlike anything I’d ever seen on a pocket knife, and I was dying to learn more about it.
Before I go any further, I wanna address the elephant in the room… The first thing you’ll notice about this knife is its size. Oh yeah, it’s a big boy.
I mean,It’s not SO big that it couldn’t be considered an EDC, but it is certainly big enough to turn some people off to the idea of everyday carrying this knife.
At 6.1 ounces, the overall weight is more than most of my other EDC knives, but strangely this one doesn’t strike me as particularly heavy in hand. I suppose it’s so well balanced that it masks the actual weight.
Blade Length: 3.96″ (100.58 mm)
Blade Edge: Plain
Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
Blade Finish: Satin
Blade Thickness: 0.15″ (3.81 mm)
Closed Length: 4.95″ (125.73 mm)
Weight: 6.1 oz
Handle: Stainless Steel w/G10 Overlay
Locking Mechanism: Frame Lock
Overall Length: 8.88″ (225.55 mm)
The Fossil sports an impressive hollow-grind drop point blade with a swedge and an elongated thumb hole.
First off, the blade is made from 8Cr13Mov steel.
This is obviously not the most impressive steel, but it’s absolutely fine for EDC purposes. It won’t hold an edge like a more premium steel will, but it gets the job done and that’s what that really matters.
One of my favorite characteristics of 8Cr13 is how extremely easy it is to sharpen. That’s convenient not only for beginner’s, but for knife heads at any level, really.
You can get 8Cr13Mov blades razor sharp in such a short period of time, something that just isn’t possible with super steels. It’s so easy to sharpen that I could do it with both my hands tied behind my back!
Of course, as I’ve said, the tradeoff with softer steels like this one is that they don’t hold an edge as long as more premium steels do.
After using this blade for quite a few heavy-duty cutting tasks however, I’ve found that CRKT’s heat treat of this blade is pretty phenomenal. The steel has held up well in the face of knife torture.
With regards to shape, there is a lot of belly on this blade. That’s a handy feature, considering most EDC tasks require some sort of slicing, and we know nothing slices better than a blade with a big ol’ fat belly.
I’ll get more into the cutting performance of this blade later on. Stay tuned
The handle is made from a 2Cr13Mov stainless steel frame and layered G-10 scales.
It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that stainless steel is one of the most durable handle materials, but the trade-off is that it’s heavy.
I think it’s worth it in this case though, as I’ve dropped this knife more times than I can count and it’s still fully intact and tight on the pivot.
Every time I show someone this knife, their reaction is always the same…
They instantly want to touch it and rub their grubby little fingers all over it. With a handle like that though, can I really blame them? It looks like a 65 million year old aged fossil! I would want to touch it too!
Fun fact: The multi-colored G-10 scales were supposedly inspired by alligator skin. That would make sense, considering they are layered and heavily textured.
Aesthetically it makes for a super cool fossilized effect, but it goes beyond eye candy aesthetics. With regard to practicality, the texture provides a lot of friction and lets you get a solid no-slip grip.
There is also nice deep index finger choil that really lets you grip into it. The flipper is big enough that, once deployed, it doubles as a shielding finger guard, so your fingers aren’t gonna slip forward and get cut on the blade.
To put this bluntly, you are either going to love this pocket clip or hate it… let’s find out which side of the spectrum you fall on.
Personally, I think it is pretty cool. I find it to be genuinely unique in that it’s raised up and suspended by two pillars. Plus, the funky shape of the clip looks pretty wicked.
The style of clip just agrees so well with the overall aesthetics of the knife. I find it’s a breath of fresh air from your typical old, boring and repeatedly-done pocket clips.
As far as the basic functionality of the clip, it’s not great, but it’s not terrible either…
The amount of tension is fine, but I found that it snags on my pants from time to time, perhaps because of the shape. I guess having perfect aesthetics AND functionality is too much to ask for
One unfortunate fact about this clip is that it’s tip-up right hand only.
I understand that this can be a severely limiting feature for some, and while I wouldn’t normally defend this, I do have to point out that this is a one of a kind clip that has special requirements.
I can see how putting a four-way clip on this knife would just be too impractical and far out of the way in terms of the design… With the inclusion of the pillars, the clip is simply too complicated to make it 4-way reversible.
It just made more sense for Ikoma to design this knife with a single position clip. It’s unfortunate that it had to be that way, but I get why they did it… Sorry lefties.
Regarding deployment, this may not be the fastest or most aggressive deploying knife, but I cannot deny that this thing is one hell of a silky smooth opener.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the CRKT Fossil is one of the smoothest deploying knives I have EVER used…
It uses an IKBS ball bearing system around the pivot area, which allows this knife to reach a whole other level of smoothness and frictionless rotation.
It’s funny that even though this is a manually opening knife, it does not feel like one. It almost feels like there’s some kind of spring assist- but there isn’t… that’s how smooth the deployment is.
In terms of the actual deployment mechanisms, the Fossil opens with a flipper as well as an elongated thumbhole.
In my humble opinion, the flipper is the Fossil’s primary method of deployment, and the cutout is the secondary method. I never find myself using the thumbhole, but that’s just preference.
I find the thumbhole to be clunky and unnecessary. It much better serves as an aesthetic rather than providing any actual utilitarian purpose…
Don’t get me wrong, it CAN be used to deploy the blade, I just think it doesn’t do the IKBS system justice, unlike the finger flipper that produces pure blade opening magic.
As for design, the index flipper has some moderate jimping on it, making it very easy to grab onto with your finger. Luckily it’s not enough to cause any kind of hotspot on your finger, even after prolonged usage.
The Fossil uses a classic frame lock, and might I say that the lockup is rock solid. That came as no surprise considering frame locks in general are known for their brute strength.
The cool thing is, I have many CRKT’s, and I’ve come to know and trust their frame locks entirely. I know just how high they set the bar regarding the reliability and sturdiness of their locks.
You might be deceived at first and think that this knife sports a liner lock, but rest assured- it is definitely a frame lock. It only gives off the appearance of a liner lock because the frame is underneath the G-10 scales. That’s an easily overlooked detail snuck in by Ikoma.
When I first got the knife, there was the slightest amount of blade play. That was a little disappointing, I’m not gonna lie, but I tightened it up and haven’t had the blade wobble since. It’s been locked up tight as drum.
The handle may come across as slightly rough and abrasive in appearance, but it’s surprisingly smooth. I know, looking at that bony surface, who would have thought, right??
Regarding basic ergos, the feeling you get with this knife in your palm is fullness. Look at me… I have big sausage fingers and a fat hand, and I still would say this knife comfortably yet entirely fills up my palm. It’s a lot of knife, ya know?
Concerning hotspots, the pocket clip can potentially create a slight hotspot in your palm. The hotspot isn’t really obvious or even noticeable with light use, but it’s definitely perceptible when doing heavier-duty cutting tasks that require more pressure.
This big boy may look like a fossil, but its performance would say otherwise. It executes cutting tasks just as impressively as any other modern folders in its price bracket.
In evaluating this knife’s strengths, I’ve come to the conclusion that slicing is this knife’s forte. The blade came shaving sharp out of the box, and the slicing ability was superb right from jump street.
I’ve used this knife all kinds of different tasks… everything from meal prep, slicing boxes, carving sticks, cutting zip ties, ripping through aluminum cans, carving up car tires, and basically any other EDC tasks you can think of.
To my amazement (and against all my initial expectations), the Fossil carried out most of these chores quite pleasantly. It even managed to hold its own when I took it outdoors and used it for some carcass skinning.
Granted, it can’t pierce a buck skin with the finesse of a Buck 110, but once it’s in, this sucker can slice and dice…
I’m not gonna lie, when I first got this knife I ALSO made the negative assumption that this was an artsy knife that couldn’t survive “the vicissitudes of life”, so to speak. Turns out it was tougher than I thought. It kind of made me feel like a fool.
Extremely Smooth Deployment (Thanks to the IKBS Ball Bearing System)
Very Stylish Design
Good Slicing Ability
LEAST FAVORITE FEATURES
Pocket clip tip-up right hand carry only
I wouldn’t go as far to say this is the ABSOLUTE best performing knife for the price, but I would say it’s one of the coolest.
Above all, you have to be honest with yourself and reflect on what you’re really looking for in a knife…
If it’s streamlined efficiency, minimalistic design and speed-enhanced assisted deployment mechanisms you’re chasing, then let’s be real… this probably isn’t going to the be the right knife for you.
If, however, you’re more about chasing knives that are one-of-a-kind, nonconformist, unorthodox and imaginative, you’re DEFINITELY going to be more inclined to choose a knife like this.
Let’s be honest here, not everyone is the artistic type. Some people like cooky cutery, run of the mill designs that don’t deviate from the crowd- and that’s ok. We can’t all think like Andy Warhol, and I dare think we ought not.
In conclusion, this knife ultimately brings a great deal of tangible value to the table…
The deployment is buttery smooth, it has an eccentric personality, and it perfectly blends together 2 contrasting styles for a unique EDC experience: cold left-brained practicality and imaginative right-brained art.
In short, it’s stylish, bold, archaic-looking and hella fun to use.
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