CRKT Deviation Review – “Form Follows Function”

The Deviation is one of the most beautiful knife designs I have ever seen – coming from an architectural background, I feel it would be quite at home in the Museum of Modern Art. Now let’s see if ”Form truly follows function.”

This Terry Renner design debuted in 2015 as an EDC knife. It displays a beautiful two-tone satin and mirrored finish on a hollow ground tanto blade with an unsharpened swedge. The frame and the scales are stainless steel and the scales are a blue Ti-Nitrate finish.

The knife has a radical asymmetric shape but despite that it feels more ergonomic than many similar sized knives on the market. The knife is a flipper and the IKBS ball bearing system allows the blade to open fluidly.

The Deviation incorporates a strong liner-lock which is attached to the frame. Normally a knife with metal scales can be slippery, however the silver cross-bands and shape of the asymmetric handle keep it firmly in the hand. There is a deep-set pocket-clip which is tip-up carry either right or left.

The Pocket Clip:
I found it rather difficult to draw the knife out of my pocket using the traditional thumb (on the inside of the pocket) and forefinger (on the clip) method. However when I placed my thumb and forefinger on the narrow front and rear areas, the knife came out smoothly.

I don’t know what was on Mr. Renner’s mind when he designed this knife, but obviously this is not a simple utility knife but a full-fledged gentleman’s self-defense EDC.

I’ve seen several reviews of this knife and IMO they are off-base. The two main criticisms are the weight and the narrow cutting edge. The knife is not a lightweight, it’s nearly 6 oz. however as a defensive knife, it’s important to carry some weight, especially when thrusting. A lighter knife could easily pop out of the hand while thrusting.

The other complaint is that the cutting edge is narrow and it has been reported it doesn’t cut well. However who expects a narrow tanto blade to be a cutter? For a defensive blade it’s ideal, the preference of course is to stab not cut.

The handle is perfect for power grips, perhaps this was an unintentional result of the design but…

This knife was made for the “Power-Grip.” That’s when all the fingers wrap completely around the handle. The two middle fingers act as posts, as the forefinger and pinky close and press inwards — finally the thumb caps around to enforce the full strength of the grip. In the reverse grip, the blade out configuration works best.

There is a thumb ramp on top of the blade and also an additional flat extension where you can place your thumb, however my advice (contrary to custom) is not to place your thumb on it, since you can severely hurt your fingers and/or hand if your hand slides forward.

When opening the knife, a finger guard appears (Fig. B) this prevents the hand from sliding forward too much. If you strike a hard object the finger-guard will prevent the blade from closing on your finger (Fig. A) the guard may still take out soft tissue if it closes but the blade will not slice off your finger, as is possible with many other knives.

It’s a Functional Work of Art
I have shown the knife in public, to people who generally shy away from knives and the overwhelming impression was always “It’s a beautiful tool to cut things with,” it was never thought of as a aggressive knife, not scary in the least.

All in all this is a great defensive EDC knife. Yes it is weighty, you won’t carry it in your shirt pocket, however the weight contributes to the functionality. The knife also fits well in the hand unless you are a gorilla.

The price is well worth it and you can still get it for less through on the Internet.

Type of Knife: Gentleman’s Defensive Knife
Metal: All stainless steel
Blade Type: Tanto Blade
Blade Length: 3.1” Blade
Closed Length: 4.5”
Open Length: 7.36”
Weight: 5.9 oz.
List Price: $65

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