CRKT Folts S.P.E.W


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dayhiker
November 17, 2012, 03:43 PM
I don't buy knives very often anymore. Since I have my bases covered with a multitool,SAK,4" fixed for outdoors stuff, and a decent one-hand-opener for when I feel the need to carry one.

Today though the UPS man stopped at my house. I had a "new knife itch" that needed scratching and as usual when that happens I treated myself to an inexpensive knife.

The Alan Folts designed Small Pocket Everyday Wharncliffe. It has a 3" blade (Wharncliffe of course) and a 3.25" handle with removable G10 scales. Cute little guy in my eyes.

http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/h340/dayhiker1968/Photo-0004.jpg

It is of course made in China and the price reflects that. Much less expensive than a real Folts. The steel is 5CR15MoV heat treated to between 55-57 Rockwell. I've never used this steel type, so I'll have to see how it holds up. The edge is hollow ground. Mr Folts designed this as an addition to his Minimalist, more suited for everyday use. However that isn't what I bought it for. It will see use as a light duty carry knife, my SAK will do the heavy lifting as usual. And also as a ,hopefully never used as such, last ditch get off me knife.

Out of the box it came with a hair shaving edge...Like I said I'll have to see how long that will last.

http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/h340/dayhiker1968/Photo-0006.jpg

At only 3oz with a decent neck(comes with paracord)/pocket/horizontal/vertical/IWB belt loop sheath system (molded plastic) it is easy to hide and carry. I set mine up for IWB. Hides well under a t-shirt.

http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/h340/dayhiker1968/Photo-0001512x640.jpg

http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/h340/dayhiker1968/Photo-00031.jpg

The knife is a 3-finger knife, and comes with a small lanyard for your pinkie to grasp. My hands run a small size so I can get a 4 finger grip so I might cut off the lanyard. Depends if it bothers me during carry.

http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/h340/dayhiker1968/Photo-0007640x512.jpg

So far today it has done well with light cutting tasks. The tip does worry me some as it seems it might be fragile if overly stressed.But I didn't buy it to beat on, I have an F1 for that.

It is an inexpensive knife, but it seems that it might suit the purpose that I bought it for. And who knows, if the design suits my needs, and so far it has, I just might pick up a "real" Folts S.P.E.W.

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rcmodel
November 17, 2012, 09:11 PM
Great looking knife!!

I had never owned a knife with a Wharncliffe blade until I bought a Kershaw Leek three months ago.

I must say, it is like a scalpel or Exacto knife when it comes to fine detail work, or picking splinters and such.

Wouldn't make much of a screwdriver though! :what:

rc

Malodorousroadkill
November 18, 2012, 05:26 AM
It will not last long. The steel used is basically chinese 420. I had one but then sold it. Loved everything about it except the steel. I refuse to by CRKT anymore thus. A few more bucks in materials would have made this a great great production blade. The custom versions of this are sub-$200 on GP knives when they're in stock. http://www.gpknives.com/alanfoltsspewstonewashedandblastedblackg10.html

dayhiker
November 18, 2012, 01:04 PM
A few more bucks in materials would have made this a great great production blade.

I agree. Even the 8Cr13MoV Spyderco uses in its Byrd line would be better.

As it stands I am in love with the design. The build quality is OK. I don't really mind sharpening either, I find it relaxing.

For what I intend its use to be it will do till a Folts becomes available. I don't have a problem with spending the cash for one.My F1/sheath combo cost more than that.

Tirod
November 19, 2012, 06:25 AM
A few more bucks would have made it an expensive knife, probably double. If you want high carbon stainless and RC hardness five points higher, you have to expect that wonderful high abrasion resistant steel to be expensive to shape. It goes hand in hand.

I wasn't looking to get a $50 knife from CRKT when I bought a Folts Minimalist a few weeks ago. I'm well aware of their work and look into what steels are used before I buy. I didn't expect or even want an expensive knife with steel that would take much longer to sharpen. One drag across a steel box staple seems to dull them all, better a few strokes on a croc stick before work rather than a Sunday afternoon getting the edge back.

A box knife and package of 50 blades runs less than $35, and will do all the cutting needed to frame, side, wire, plumb, and roof a house. A high end steel knife would lose most of it's value trying, and take hours to keep sharp. You can tell a lot about a workman by his tools, and high cost low return tools aren't a good thing. I know, I've bought a few. I'm still trying to get them sharp again. Been there, done that.

Bring on the cheap knives.

Malodorousroadkill
November 19, 2012, 01:39 PM
Who said anything about expensive high end steels? 7Cr17MoV, 440A, 8Cr13MoV, AUS8A would have been acceptable steels for this knife and I doubt they'd have added ten dollars to the asking cost. I've found all of these to be utterly superior in edge taking and holding to 5Cr and require no more than a few passes on croc sticks themselves for a superior edge. 5Cr is an inferior steel for an edge.

If you need a something to frame, side, wire, plumb, and roof a house then by all means get your box cutter and its 50 disposable blades. But let us see how well it works when you need to cut up a potato, gut a fish, or baton a small log. No one has been talking about high end steel but you! The ones I and dayhiker mentioned are all dependable midrange steels.

There is nothing wrong with inexpensive knives so long as they work properly. A great example is my beloved Meyerco Wharning. Sub-$20, made of 7Cr, but one of the best EDC fixed blades I've found. It is a wiz in the kitchen, murder on boxes, wires, easy to sharp, and in SD situations it stands next to $100+ Spydercos. Hell, even the sheath is decent. it needs sharpening very regularly. 7Cr isn't even as good as AUS8, but it is still holding a better edge longer than a 5Cr blade.

TimboKhan
November 22, 2012, 04:39 PM
Inexpensive can be good. Cheap is always bad.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

Tirod
November 23, 2012, 01:23 PM
7Cr17MoV, 440A, 8Cr13MoV, AUS8A would have been acceptable steels for this knife and I doubt they'd have added ten dollars to the asking cost.

Actually, those steels would add about $10 to the cost. As I said, it's not only the price of the superior steel, you then add shipping it in bulk to the factory. China doesn't use those steels because they have similar ones in country and the final decision is about landed cost at the dock.

Then you have the added costs of either using up the grind wheels and abrasives more quickly, or the expense of buying and setting up higher grade ones. Add more acquisition costs, shipping, and now, shop time for set up.

The real issue boils down to cost - this is accountants territory, not knife fans turf. The CEO wants more profits either for his pocket or the owners. Regardless, it's what he's measured by, and where his raise comes from. An incremental difference in edge life is an easy tradeoff when the final price would get jacked up into another category of buyer. Then the competition gets tougher, and carving a niche in that area harder - you need a higher price to compensate for less sales. After all, there are so many others to choose from.

If a higher grade of steel is wanted, look to the original design source - Folts sells his handmade versions for over $100. Steel and its shaping are not a additive cost stair step, they are geometrically increasing. That understanding comes from those of us who have actually worked in production of materials, in factories, and retail. We know where are markups are coming from. We have the diplomas not only from institutions of higher learning, but also the Universal School of Hard Knocks.

Yes, the cost of the steel itself might only be another dollar. But don't plan on it finally costing just that much by the time it's dropped into it's display box. No, not at all.

ApacheCoTodd
November 23, 2012, 04:26 PM
What an epically unfortunate name.

Looks like a great knife to leave on the workbench as a utility knife.

rcmodel
November 23, 2012, 05:44 PM
I used to be a steel snob too.

Not so much anymore.

D2 and the even higher dollar powdered steels are just dang hard to sharpen quickly, and don't cut any better, if as well, then an old carbon steel Marbles or Case.

Which you can bring back to shaving sharp with a couple licks on a crock stick or diamond butchers steel.

rc

dayhiker
November 23, 2012, 09:31 PM
What an epically unfortunate name.

I love the name. :)

I used to be a steel snob too.

Me too. This isn't too bad. But like I said I don't mind sharpening. I do it by hand on a stone while un-winding at the end of the day.

But this stuff ,in my eyes, is just slightly inferior to good old 1095 in edge retention after actual normal use.

Not really a big deal, with realistic expectations, still I am on the e-mail list for a Folts.....just because...:o

Malodorousroadkill
November 25, 2012, 06:02 PM
Actually, those steels would add about $10 to the cost. As I said, it's not only the price of the superior steel, you then add shipping it in bulk to the factory. China doesn't use those steels because they have similar ones in country and the final decision is about landed cost at the dock.

7Cr17MoV and 8Cr13MoV are Chinese steels.

That understanding comes from those of us who have actually worked in production of materials, in factories, and retail. We know where are markups are coming from. We have the diplomas not only from institutions of higher learning, but also the Universal School of Hard Knocks.

We need to learn a bit more about Chinese knife steels before we lecture the nonbeliever. Also, CRKT uses all those steels save 440A. Tooling and equipment are not an issue.

I understand how manufacturing works. CRKT chooses price point over quality. That is fine. They have a right to run the business how they see fit, but I also have a right to not give them any business and actively try to convince others to do the same. CRKT has a habit of making knives with subpar materials. End of story.

Tirod
November 27, 2012, 12:13 AM
Having trudged down the long and slippery slope of looking for a better steel, I saw them pop up along the way, 440C, then ATS34/154CM, then S30V. I found blade steel to be just one of the critical factors in cutting. The edge, thickness, and working curve all affect it. Having bought and used them, I discovered you get more value for the dollar having the edge, thickness, and curve FIRST. Alloy is just icing on the cake - and you can have too much icing. As the alloys advance, ease of sharpening exponentially decreases, to the point a high alloy knife needs to be professionally resharped. After all, it took expensive power tools and a skilled hand to get it there originally. I don't need that complication in my life.

Most knives that built America were made with simple high carbon steel, not exotic alloys. Something along the lines of plebeian L9 was the back bone of cutting utensils in America. Shiny stainless isn't really necessary anymore, which is why I buy simpler blades with Nitriding surface treatments.

It puts a better knife cheaper in your hand. The locker room measuring game of Is my Alloy better than yours? is pretty much the sales agenda of the knifemaker industry. If you drink that koolaid, you buy their product. They don't make money if you buy cheap steel - they farm that stuff out to third world countries. It's that easy.

Deciding for yourself what measuring stick to use is your business, I and many others choose for themselves by the criteria they decide is important. If you can't or don't want it "all" in a knife, dropping alloy usually gets you in the ballpark more quickly than any other. The "tool" still works, and does because it has the right shape. The alloy doesn't make it suddenly superior if the tool was all wrong to begin with. American made stainless folders of the 70's and 80's were exactly the motivation to move into something else. They were junk - it's funny the cheap Japanese knives practically given away as sales incentives in those days were far better.

It's quite possible to make the same comparison today.

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