Look, I've invented a new knife category - Strat-Tac knives. Sounds great, doesn't it? These are not just tactical knives, but ones used with a clear strategy in mind. You see, strategy is the science or art of getting the better of the challenge at hand; the method of conducting operations, especially by the aid of manoeuvring. The tactical aspect refers to the actual manoeuvres and the skill by which they can be carried out. Too technical?
Well, how far do you want to go? Cutlery manufacturers dream up all sorts of catch-lines and names to capture the attention of knife users and collectors in the marketplace.
Sometimes, as in the case of tactical knives, they become accepted as a new, distinctly different knife category - introducing Columbia River Knife & Tools :: CRKT Knives & Tools.
The question concerning what constitutes strategic and tactical in bladeware reared its head recently while I was combing through my collection of miscellaneous knives. I came across the US-made Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) model M16-04 that was marked NTBS (not to be sold), the mark I put on things that are in some way personally significant.
The unused knife formed part of a collection of survival-style knives for the serious recreational user accumulated by a person whom I came to know quite well, mainly via the telephone. Ross had suffered ill health for a long time and, sadly, he lost the fight to survive early last year. He lived a frugal existence and kept very much to himself and when Ross died he left just three phone numbers. One of them was mine.
His cousin, a caring woman, contacted me to convey the sad tidings and asked that I take the collection off the family's hands. Given my connection with Ross, I appreciated the opportunity of doing one last thing for him.
The collection was not large, but contained top quality items. She gratefully accepted the deal I offered and insisted that I select one item as a memento. I chose the M16-04.
CRKT knives are among the most sought after in the world by discerning users of bladeware. They are highly functional and look great. And why wouldn't they be? CRKT engages the services of many of the best known custom knifemakers to advance the designs of every model in their comprehensive range. Such is the presentation and rapidly growing reputation of practical CRKT knives, that they are also considered to be collectable commodities by speculative knife buyers, who view CRKT products as an investment.
And the company continues to introduce new models that keep the collectors interested.
The Strat-Tac folder that passed from Ross to me does have a strategic quality. That is, the design and construction of the M16-04 gives this edged tool the capacity to efficiently carry out tough tasks ordinarily beyond the call of a regular heavy-duty folding knife.
Designed by US-knifemaker Kit Carson, the M16-04 has the necessary elements of tactical manoeuvrability factored into its compact design - it's economically contoured and user friendly. The broad blade in a tanto configuration is made from AU8 stainless and has a non-reflective fine bead-blast finish. The blade has a piercing point and three edge facilities, the chisel-edged point and plain main edge with a partial serration option.
The all-metal folder has handle scales of hard anodised charcoal-grey aluminium with rounded edges. A thumb-stud on the blade and side-lock provides for single-hand opening and closing of the blade and a clip enables the knife to be safely attached to a belt or pocket. The M16-04 is 13.5cm closed. A smaller version is available.
View All CRKT models: View All Available Columbia River Knife & Tool Products
Trauma happens. If it does, you'll be glad El Santo is your partner. Michael Martinez, of New Mexico, has forever created revolutionary blades that fit the needs of those in tactical settings. The next evolution was born when a trauma surgeon came to him with an idea for a better tool for life-or-death situations.
The El Santo emergency trauma shears features a variety of cutting tools. A removable and replaceable ripping blade has a series of micro-Veff Serrations that enables you to tear through corded leather, nylon or belts. Lengthened shear blades with a tapered porpoise nose slip under clothing and provide increased leverage so you can cut the most important thing-time.
The ribbed utility grip handle is economically designed to be an ambidextrous trauma shear with equal cutting and ripping ability. Close the handle around your belt and secure the blade lock. Carry with confidence.