One of the best things to happen in the knife industry over the past 10 years (give or take) is manufacturers teaming up with custom knife makers for new knife designs. The collaborations have resulted in great designs at prices a working man can afford. Look at the offerings from Spyderco, Benchmade, Kershaw and others and you’ll find a number of knives designed by talented custom makers.
Perhaps no other manufacturer has done more collaboration knives than Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT). The back of their 2010 catalog reveals a total of 31 knife designer profiles.
CRKT’s most recent designer collaboration is with Ken Onion. Ken designed the Speed Safe lock (used by Kershaw) as well as a number of Kershaw knives including the Leek, Spec Bump and Blur to name a few.
At the 2010 SHOT Show, CRKT introduced two new Onion designs: the Eros and Ripple. I’ll discuss the Eros today and leave the Ripple for another post.
The CRKT Eros is a titanium frame lock folder with a blade of Japanese Acuto+. Opening is via a non-assisted flipper with a ball bearing in the design for smoothness. Here are the full specs on the Eros:
“CRKT Eros with plain edge Acuto+ stainless steel blade. CNC machined slimline titanium frame with a bead blast finish. Frame lock model includes the IKBS ball bearing pivot. Uses the IKBS ball bearing system and a flipper for super smooth opening without the need for an assisted mechanism. Designed in collaboration with Ken Onion. Made in Taiwan.
Overall Length: 7.00″
Blade Length: 3.00″
Blade Thickness: 0.079″
Blade Material: Acuto+ Stainless
Lock: Frame Lock
Handle Material: Titanium
Weight: 1.40 oz.”
In design, the Eros looks much like an updated Leek – which is a good thing as the Leek is one of my favorite folders. The length of the blade and handle are nearly identical to the Leek. I do find the modified spear point blade shape on the Eros especially attractive and more appealing than the Leek in my opinion.
The Eros is listed at several online retailer sites for around $130. There is an identical Eros 2 with a 2″ blade and 3″ handle for a little under $100. Although priced on the high end for a knife imported from Taiwan, the Eros and Eros 2 are substantially less than other titanium frame locks. Add a winning Leek-like design and a promising blade steel and I think CRKT has a winner. The Eros has certainly made it to my wish list.