The new Avant is quite literally a fresh new innovative design from knifemaker Eric Ochs and CRKT. Highlighted with carbon fiber scales and bronze-accented hardware, the Avant certainly couples sophistication and simplicity in a single package. Each stainless steel blade is effortlessly deployed with a spine flipper tab, or integrated thumb disk, and the fluid action can be attributed to the IKBS™ ball bearing pivot system that uses lubed ball bearings instead of a traditional spring. From the beginning, CRKT has been driven by a single purpose: to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to today's market. This model features carbon fiber handles in a black woven texture, a spear point style blade in a satin finish and the reversible pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option.
- Blade Length: 3.175"
- Overall Length: 7.485"
- Blade Material: 8Cr14MoV Stainless Steel
- Blade Finish: Satin
- Handle Length: 4.31"
- Handle Material: Carbon Fiber
- Weight: 5.4 oz.
The CRKT Avant
CRKT has been a reliable American company since 1994. Over the past two decades, they have developed a fantastic reputation based on their knife designs, the selection of knives that they offer, and the quality of those knives. CRKT puts innovations and integrity first, because they want to be known for building products that can inspire and endure. They have been working with integrity since the very beginning. This means that they build products that are can perform reliably whether you are using it for work, fishing and hunting, tactical, survival, or any other need.
Working with integrity also means that CRKT will deal with their customers honestly, letting you know that they respect and cherish you. They also want to put innovations first, and to do that, they try to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to market. To achieve this purpose, CRKT has collaborated with many of the world’s best knife designers and the best knife makers. Out of these collaborations have been born some of the most innovative and ground breaking technological advancements that are in the knife community. Some of these innovations include the Automated Liner Safety System, the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System, and the OutBurst Assist Opening Mechanism.
CRKT believes that everybody should be able to afford a high quality knife. To keep costs low, CRKT uses the most advanced manufacturing equipment to develop their knives efficiently, but still with fantastic quality. CRKT believes that these high quality knives should help build confidence in the users, guaranteeing that they are able complete the task at hand. CRKT believes that if a knife isn’t up to your standards, then that knife isn’t up to CRKT’s standards.
One of their 2019 releases is called the Avant and is what we’re talking about today.
The man behind the knife is Eric Ochs. In CRKT’s bio, they say, “Eric Ochs grew up with the Oregon backwoods constantly knocking at his door. In a way, his fate was sealed when his father gifted him his first knife when he was just six years old. Since then, he’s hard pressed to remember a day without one in his pocket. This self-taught talent is still inspired to this day by the pursuit of adventure in the Pacific Northwest’s rugged terrain from the top of the North Cascades to the lazy, meandering rivers at their feet.”
The blade on this is made out of 8Cr14MoV steel. This steel belongs to a Chinese line of steel that has become pretty popular in the United States lately. This is a budget steel, so you are going to get what you pay for. However, as far as budget steels go, 8Cr14MoV steel does have high amounts of value. This steel is going to be tough enough to get the job done. It is also going to be strong enough to get the job done. The edge is not going to last as long as many would like, but when it does need to be sharpened, it’s a breeze to manage. This is because it is a softer steel. For the most part, the steel is not going to excel at anything; it’s just going to give you enough to get the job done.
That being said, this steel is crazy corrosion and stain resistant. This will help cut down on maintenance time some. The biggest thing that this steel can offer is the incredibly cheap cost. It reduces the cost of the overall knife considerably.
- Gives enough toughness, strength, and edge retention to get the job done.
- Easy to sharpen.
- Highly stain resistant.
- Very cheap to keep the overall cost of the Fire Spark down.
The blade has been finished satin. This is the most common blade finish that you are going to come across in the cutlery industry. This is because it gives the blade a classic look and is not too hard to create. The manufacturer just has to repeatedly sand the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. This abrasive is normally a very fine sandpaper. This works to showcase the bevels of the blade as well as showcasing the fine lines of the steel, which is where the classic look comes from. The blade is not too reflective or too matte, it is just right for not stealing the show, but for still looking fantastic.
- Satin finish creates a traditional look on the blade.
- Falls in the middle in terms of luster.
The blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape, which is known to be a good hybrid blade shape. The spine and the belly of the knife follow the same curves, which does create more of a dagger style blade. The blade has a spine that extends straight off the handle to about 2/3rd of the way up the blade. At this point, it curves down toward the point. On the belly, you get the same curve. This does produce a lowered point, which is going to give you better control. It also creates a medium-sized belly, which is going to allow you to better slice with it. The point is right in the middle of being broad and fine, which means that you will be able to pierce with this and you will be able to rely on the strength. That is why it is considered a hybrid blade: it gives you a little bit of every advantage. This does mean that it is not going to excel at any of those things, but you stand a fighting chance in more than just one scenario.
- This hybrid blade shape prepares you for a wide variety of different tasks.
The handle is made out of black weaved carbon fiber. This is a generic term that refers to thin strands f carbon that have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. This material is incredibly strong and lightweight. However, it is also expensive, because it does take a lot of manual labor to weave this together.
This material is strong, but it is not nearly indestructible. This is because all of the fibers are arranged in a single direction. This means that it is going to break apart when stressed in any other direction than that direction. However, in that direction, it is going to be incredibly strong. This material is brittle, which does mean that it may crack if subjected to a hard or sharp impact.
However, because it is woven in such intricate ways, the carbon is going to reflect in nice ways, which does add a unique aesthetic to the handle.
- Carbon fiber is strong.
- Carbon fiber is lightweight.
- Carbon fiber has a nice aesthetic to it.
- Carbon fiber is expensive.
- Carbon fiber can be brittle.
The handle shape is actually very simple, although the weave and the bronzed hardware makes it look elegant. The spine is curved from the blade to the butt. The butt is small and slightly squared off. There is a very slight finger guard that is enhanced by the flipper when the knife is opened. The belly is simple as well: after the finger guard, the belly curves p and then goes straight to about ¾ of the way up the handle. At this point, it angles up toward the butt. The handle is simple, but it is going to be comfortable for long term use. You are also going to have a solid grip on the handle, which is going to make it easier to take on those tougher tasks because you don’t have to worry about the handle slipping.
- Handle is elegant and simple.
- There is a finger guard for protection, with the flipper mechanism enhancing the finger guard.
- This is going to be a safe knife to use because of the design.
- The belly is straight, but will be comfortable.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is designed as a single position pocket clip. It is attached on the traditional side of the handle for tip up carry only. It is a bronze color, which does match the rest of the hardware. This is not a deep carry clip, but it should stay pretty securely inside of your pocket.
The clip is slightly skeletonized, which does cut down on weight. This is important on the Avant, since it is a heavier knife.
- Clip is bronzed, like the rest of the hardware on the knife
- Clip is not dep carry, but it should stay pretty securely in your pocket.
- Clip is slightly skeletonized to cut down on weight.
- Clip is not ambidextrous, it is single position.
- Traditional side of the handle.
- Tip up only.
The Avant has been equipped with the IKBS ball bearing pivot system as well as a thumb disk. CRKT describes the IKBS system by saying, “Designer Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala invented this system that sets lubed ball bearings into the folding knife pivot. The result is rapid blade deployment that is smooth and fast. Go ahead, set a flipping land speed record.” The good thing about the IKBS system is that it is going to be reliable and durable. Plus, it allows your knife to function almost like an automatic knife without actually being an automatic knife.
- Makes deployment quick and smooth.
The thumb disk is located right above where you would find a thumb stud. The advantages of a disk over a stud is that it offers more area, which means that it is going to be easier to access. You can also access it from either side of the handle, which does make it ambidextrous friendly. Other than that, it is almost exactly like what you would get out of a thumb stud: easy to use, easy to get the hang of, and lets you open the knife with just one hand.
- Thumb disk is easy to use, easy to access.
- Thumb disk is ambidextrous friendly.
There is also a flipper to assist you in opening the knife. The flipper is easy to use after a few test runs. It is also safe to use because it does not put your fingers in the path of the blade when you open the knife.
The blade on the Avant measures in at 3.175 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.143 inches. The handle and closed length measures in at 4.312 inches long, which makes the overall length of the knife 7.5 inches long. This is a heavier knife, weighing in at 5.4 ounces.
When CRKT is talking about this new knife, they say, “Easy to carry. Built for hard use. The experienced eye can take one look at a knife and instantly recognize the work of a master. The dead giveaway: simplicity. With its clean lines, subtle bronze details, and highly-ergonomic build, the Avant™ everyday carry folding knife asserts its position at the top of the pack.
When he’s not creating, Designer Eric Ochs likes to take in the views of his Oregon backyard from over 8,000’. He’s climbed a handful of PNW volcanic peaks and channeled the power of perseverance from these missions into his hardworking designs. The proof is in the flipper opening and the fast, smooth IKBS™ that uses lubed ball bearings in the pivot to deploy the blade at lightning speed. It’s also built with a thumb disk for a more deliberate, manual open. Once it’s deployed, the locking liner adds a solid layer of safety without compromising on ease of one-handed closing capability. The woven carbon fiber handles are compact and solid in the hand and the practical satin-finished spear point blade thrives from the front country to the back. To polish the look, Ochs gave it a bronze pocket clip and pivot detail, earning it serious style points.
Backcountry utility and frontcountry style converge to create the Avant™.”