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Knife Review: CRKT XOC

Posted by SD on Jul 9th 2020


Columbia River Knife and Tool, Inc. is an American knife company that was established in 1994. The company is currently based in Tualatin, Oregon. The founders of this company are Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer, who both previously worked or Kershaw Knives. This means that they know what they are doing when it comes to knives.

Their company did not really begin to get big until three years later, in 1997, at the Shot Show. This is when they introduced a small folder by Ed Halligan called the K.I.S.S knife. By the time the show was over, they had sold all of their product of this knife. In the end, they sold 5 times the original production numbers, which resulted in a tripling of production efforts.

CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of their most popular are the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff-Serrated edges. CRKT has collaborated with a wide variety of some of the best knife designers in the world, which is where their high-quality knives come from.

They produce anything from fixed blades, folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

CRKT says, “From day one, we put innovation and integrity first. We made a commitment to build knives and tools that would inspire and endure. We collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing we can give our customers is Confidence in Hand®.”

Today we will be talking about one of their newest knives, the XOC.

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Flavio Ikomo. When CRKT describes him and his knife styles, they say, “Some kids dream of being a ballplayer. Flavio wanted to be a knifemaker. In his adolescence, he worked on knives of the Japanese sword variety in his father’s shop. He has gone on to learn metallurgy, to work with Ken Onion, and to become a force for innovation. Flavio brought to market the revolutionary IKBS™ ball bearing pivot system (with Rick Lala), and evolved the classic locking liner with the ILS™ safety, exclusively available from CRKT® in the No Time Off™ knives.”

The Blade:

The blade on the XOC is made out of CTS XHP steel, which is hardened to a 60-62 HRC. This steel is a great option when you have a knife that is going to need a high-performance steel. This steel is what is known as an alloy, which is just a metal that has been mixed with other metals. This steel is specifically made up of carbon, silicon, nickel, vanadium, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, and iron.

For a stainless steel, it actually has a lot of carbon, which means that it is going to be hard, tough, as well as keep its look for long periods of time. However, the harder the steel gets, the more brittle it is going to be. With this one, we do have a pretty good balance between hardness and toughness, which does allow the blade to take on the toughest of tasks. Just know that the steel might begin to chip in the most extreme of situations.

  • High carbon stainless steel.
  • Keep its look for long periods of time.
  • Pretty low maintenance.
  • Good balance between hardness and toughness.
  • Reliable and great for high performance knives such as the XOC.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This is the most common blade finish that you are going to find in the industry. It gives the blade a very classic look, which you know will never go out of style. The finish is created when the blade is sanded in one direction repeatedly with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The fine abrasive that is most commonly used is a very fine sandpaper. This shows off the bevels of the blade, while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel incredibly well.

Some of the other benefits that the satin finish has is that it does help increase the corrosion resistance levels slightly. It also falls in the middle of the spectrum in terms of luster, which does mean that it will reduces some of the glares and reflections that you are going to come across.

  • Gives the blade a traditional look.
  • Shows off the fine lines of the steel.
  • Cuts down on some glares and reflections.
  • Increases corrosion resistance slightly

The blade is broad and wide. The spine of it is not a straight curve or angle, instead, it has a few hills and dips in it. The point is broad and lowered which is going to give you some serious strength, durability, and control. However, with the extra broad point comes the lack of ability to pierce with. Lastly, the belly is massive, which is going to make slicing a breeze.

  • Large, broad tip adds strength.
  • Lowered tip adds control.
  • Cannot pierce well with this.
  • Belly is massive.

The Handle:

The handle is made out of woven carbon fiber. This is a lightweight material, which is needed for how large this CRKT actually is. It is also durable, strong, and looks aesthetically pleasing because you can see the weave in it. Unfortunately, the carbon fiber can be brittle if subjected to extremely hard impacts.

  • Strong and durable.
  • Incredibly lightweight.

The handle has a deep finger groove that is elongated to nearly the butt of the handle. This is there for comfort as well as providing you wit a solid grip.

  • Comfortable handle so that you can perform what you want without worrying about slipping.

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is gold finished, which pops against the grey handle and does match the button on the handle used for the disengagement of the handle. It is a very large clip that has a slight curve to it. This will stay securely in your pocket all day. It is a single position clip, being attached on the traditional side of the handle for tip up carry only.

  • Large clip will help it stay in your pocket.
  • Gold finished clip pops against the gray handle.

The Mechanism:

The XOC has been equipped with a multitude of different things. This is a flipper knife, so that means that it has been equipped with a flipper. However, it has also been equipped with a thumb stud, and a smaller finger window. This means that you will be able to open the XOC in the way that you want—because they offer any option. Also, it has been equipped with the Deadbolt lock innovation.

The flipper is a piece of the blade metal that extends out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. The user can pull back on this extension, which will help flip the knife out of the handle and lock into place. The flipper on this knife is skinnier than your average flipper as well as being larger. Once the knife is opened, the flipper is set into place to work as a finger guard. Many people are fans of the flipper because it does not get in the way once the knife is opened, because it does protrude out of the blade, like a thumb stud does. People also love the flipper because it is an ambidextrous opening mechanism. The last reason that people love the flipper mechanism is for safety reasons. Unlike a thumb stud, the flipper keeps your fingers out of the path of the blade when you are opening and closing this knife. This means that you won’t have to worry about slicing your fingers when you are opening your knife. However, the flipper does take a few practices to get used to using this mechanism.

  • Flipper allows you to open the knife with just one hand.
  • Flipper is easy to get the hang of.
  • Flipper is one of the safer ways to deploy a blade.
  • Flipper adds an extra element of safety by acting as a finger guard when the knife is opened.
  • The flipper is ambidextrous because it can be accessed on either side of the knife.
  • Flipper is harder to use than the thumb stud.

The thumb stud is the most common one handed opening mechanisms. It is a small stud that protrudes off face of the blade. This stud is there so that you can push against it, which will swing the knife open and lock it into place. This is one of the easiest one-handed opening mechanisms to use. However, it is not the safest. When you use the stud to swing the knife open, it does put your fingers in the path of the blade, which can be dangerous. Also, some people do not love that it extends off the face of the blade, because they feel that it gets in the way when they are trying to use it.

  • Incredibly easy to use and get the hang of.
  • Not the safest opening mechanism.
  • Not ambidextrous.

The finger window has been around since around the 1980s. The hole was popularized by Spyderco, but over the years, plenty of other brands and designers have equipped their knives with the finger window or thumb hole. This opening mechanism really does work. Just like a thumb stud, a thumb hole is a similar opening mechanism, but instead of a stud, it’s a lost. By its very design, the mechanism is ambidextrous. Plus, it doesn’t protrude from the blade, which means that it isn’t going to get in the way once the knife is opened. While the finger window is longer and more oval than a thumb hole, they do work in the same ways. The finger window on the XOC is more oval, but it does taper toward the point of the knife, which is a design that is not commonly seen. It definitely adds a different aesthetic to the knife.

  • Ambidextrous.
  • Can be accessed from either side.
  • Slightly smaller than your typical finger window, which does make it slightly harder to get a grip on it.

The last thing that the XOC sports is the Deadbolt lock innovation. This innovation provides incredible strength and is easy to use. CRKT explains how this works by saying, “Steel bolts interlock with the blade when it’s deployed to yield outrageous strength. A prominent button sits at the pivot point for simple, intuitive disengagement without fingers crossing the path of the blade.” This means that it is going to be reliable and you don’t have to worry about your fingers getting nicked throughout the opening process. Overall, the Deadbolt is a solid way to lock up your blade.

  • Safe.
  • Reliable.
  • Durable.

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.258 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.181 inches long. The handle on this measures in at 6.25 inches long, which creates a whopping knife of 10.375 inches long. The XOC is an absolute beast. This knife weighs in at 11 ounces, which is definitely on the much heavier side of things.


When CRKT is discussing their new release, the XOC, they say, “Overkill? Yup. For designer Flavio Ikoma, bigger is better. He brings this conviction to life in the colossally overbuilt, limited edition XOC™ /shock/ folding knife. It’s among the first in the world to house Deadbolt™, the mechanism that proves awesome strength doesn’t have to come at the compromise of simplicity and usability.

For years, Flavio Ikoma of Presidente Prudente, Brazil toiled over the mechanism that was to become Deadbolt. Finally, it’s perfected: steel bolts interlock with the CTS-XHP carpenter steel blade when it’s deployed to yield outrageous strength. A prominent button sits at the pivot point on the burly titanium handle for simple disengagement.

As a finishing detail, Flavio added a discreet torx screw in the handle for deployment customization. Modify the blade detent for an easier or more powerful flip that’s all yours.

The overbuilt XOC™ is a showpiece with powerful capabilities.”

Shop all CRKT knives here.