Final fall, I reviewed a small, under-the-radar folding knife from CIVIVI. Dubbed the P87, this compact flipper was among the many first mass-market choices by customized knifemaker and actuality TV star Kaila Cumings.
I used to be so impressed on the time that I closed the piece with these phrases: “Briefly, the P87 is one other win for CIVIVI. And if Cumings has any new blueprints on the horizon, you possibly can guess we’ll be paying consideration.”
Properly, she did, and we have been. Solely this time, the designer has paired with the American-made division of Columbia River Knife & Device (CRKT) to deliver us a tiny slice of fixed-blade heaven: the brand new CRKT Bugsy.
Along with its curved 1095 carbon metal edge, sculpted Micarta handles, and intriguing ahead swedge, there’s an rising design language right here that’s as visually interesting as it’s sensible.
However $200 is a great distance from the $70 of the P87, USA-made or not. May Cumings’ first mass-market fastened blade match the accessibility and success of her preliminary folder? On behalf of GearJunkie (and because of a press pattern from CRKT), the brand new Bugsy and I spent every week attempting to reply this query.
Briefly: The CRKT Bugsy ($200) is an thrilling new providing from designer Kaila Cumings. Its wonderful development and long-bellied form make it one of the vital versatile small fastened blades I’ve examined. True, you gained’t have the ability to strike a hearth metal, and the price of American manufacturing takes its toll. However from its pure hand-feel to its grippy deal with and sheath, the Bugsy is a cushty, succesful companion that makes a strong case for its price ticket.
3.78″ (96.06 mm)
7.44″ (188.93 mm)
0.15″ (3.81 mm)
1095 carbon metal
Stonewash (Cerakote on serrated model)
4.3 oz. (121.9 g)
Leather-based (Kydex on serrated model)
Versatile blade form
Close to-perfect leather-based sheath
Gained’t strike a hearth metal
Jimping a bit aggressive with moist palms
Sheath can slide on skinny belts
CRKT Bugsy Fastened-Blade Knife Overview
For a instrument with lower than 7.5 inches of whole size, the Bugsy feels remarkably strong in hand. This owes, largely, to the thickness of its 0.15-inch blade inventory and the large slabs of the Micarta deal with. The finger grooves and large backbone present a pure touchdown place to your digits, locking all of those curved surfaces into your grip.
And as soon as it comes time to chop, the Bugsy is an absolute champ. Positive, it’s a bit large for tremendous slices of onions, however the tallness of the blade goes an extended method to smoothing the general efficiency. Via a number of food-prep periods, this knife was a strong companion.
CRKT states that the Bugsy’s 1095 metal blade is ideal for looking. This can be true, however the one butchery I put it by means of was a 4-pound beef chuck roast, which I can guarantee you was already useless.
But, given the knife’s excellent grip and the gradual curve of its stomach, I really feel as if the Bugsy would make a superb gutting and field-dressing companion.
Earlier than I acquired to the woods, I figured the Bugsy can be an sufficient woodworker. However I didn’t notice simply how eagerly its flat grind would chew into timber.
Carving, gentle batoning, and even an unsightly try at a feather stick went surprisingly effectively, cementing the knife’s position as a top quality total instrument. And with that beneficiant sharpening choil and toughness of its metal, its edge (as soon as dulled) ought to spring again to life with ease.
A Premium Sheath for a Premium Knife
There’s an unsung hero right here that deserves a number of phrases of credit score: the sheath. I don’t have numerous expertise with CRKT’s leather-based, however this low-hanging sheath is one among my new mass-market favorites.
The total-grain materials is thick, and the stitching is exact and excellent. I significantly benefit from the strong retention, which approaches the squeeze of most shaped polymers (such because the shaped Kydex discovered on the serrated model).
But one way or the other, the knife is straightforward to stow and draw with a single hand. If there’s a potential draw back right here, it could be the beneficiant house of the loop, which permits the knife to slip only a bit on the belt.
However total, I’m an enormous fan of this sheath. It’s all the pieces that, as an example, the ESEE JG3’s holster needs it may very well be.
Nitpicks and (a Lack of) Tough Edges
Getting again to the knife itself, there’s one factor the JG3 does that the Bugsy gained’t: draw sparks from a hearth metal.
You’d assume this is able to be nearly a given contemplating the high-carbon content material of its blade. However nope, the rounded higher edges are a bit too mild for hanging. Even when you’re not into lighting campfires this fashion, it additionally makes the backbone much less fitted to duties like bark scraping.
I think about this a considerably minor criticism, as its smoothness is mostly straightforward on the pad of your thumb.
I say “usually,” as a result of there may be an exception. Whereas making my means by means of a stew’s value of greens, I discovered the Bugsy’s jimping to be simply barely aggressive. This solely turns into obvious with the rinsing and handwashing of meals prep, as soon as the pores and skin in your hand begins to melt.
Nonetheless, by choking additional down, I used to be capable of finding an efficient and cozy grip.
Lastly, this knife is pricey; $200 is numerous money for lower than 4 inches of 1095 metal, even whether it is made within the U.S.
But there’s nothing I can level to that claims, “This knife doesn’t stay as much as its worth level.” It’s, the truth is, a well-executed instance of a rigorously thought-about design.
Conclusion: CRKT Bugsy Fastened-Blade Knife
Studying again over this assessment, I spotted that one thing noteworthy has taken place. A knife from CRKT, as soon as the butt of prejudicial business jokes, has in contrast favorably with a fan-favorite like ESEE.
A lot of this is because of Cumings’ considerate design, with the curves and measured thickness of the deal with, backbone, and edge. However the firm’s manufacturing may have messed this up, U.S.-based or not. As a substitute, the model pulled off the most effective small fastened blades I’ve seen this yr.
That doesn’t imply there’s nothing to shoot for, nevertheless. I’d wish to see future iterations of this knife benefit from the ahead swedge, maybe by sharpening it a bit. That means, customers would have a pointy stretch to scrape throughout tree bark and hearth steels.
However total, the CRKT Bugsy is an excellent, straightforward driving, and versatile (if barely dear) success.