Blades and Knives

CRKT Fossil Folding Knife

Columbia River Knife and Tool is a respected name in the knife world, while Flavoi Ikoma is a world-renowned knife designer and custom knife maker. The two collaborated to give you a way to buy an Ikoma design at a fair price. Ikoma’s Fossil knife is a combination of mechanical function and excellent geometry, along with an inimitable style. The name, appearance and thing are ancient steel. There is nothing more primordial than a sharp edge.

The Fossil has a wow factor that is difficult to argue against.

We have come a long way since the first broken stone, although our remotest ancestors would have appreciated the Fossil.  While it has a certain edgy look, the Fossil knife does not look like something Fred Flintstone would carry; rather, it is a formidable blade someone like Kull the Conqueror would use. The knife manages to exude an ancient look while maintaining an absolutely modern design. The end result is a unique design well worth its surprisingly modest price.

The blade and its serrated cutting surface leave little to be desired.

While the lines of the knife are appealing to Ikoma fans, the sheer utility and workmanship are appealing on a different level. Ikoma has a reputation for balancing mechanical function with eye-catching style and design. There is more to it than that, and,when using the knife, the essentials of cutting efficiently come to light. The geometry is such that it presents the knife edge in an efficient way for cutting chores, draw cutting being the most obvious utility function. For cutting, slashing and other defense chores, the Fossil is an impressive folder.

Personal defense is a legitimate function of an edged tool, and there are times and places when you cannot carry a firearm, even times when a firearm is less than appropriate. The Fossil is a good choice for all-around use. It is a versatile knife with more than a little eye appeal.

Features of the CRKT Fossil

The Fossil is a solid knife with much to recommend; it is as solid, rugged and reliable as a folding knife may be. A folding knife is a balance between being light weight and the carry efficiency and strength. Whenever introducing a mechanism into knife design, there is a chance of failure. The Fossil is as strong as any knife in the same size and weight class.

The CRKT Fossil with a focus on the locking mechanism,
The lock has plenty of meat where steel meets steel.

The Fossil is a frame-lock folder with a solid locking mechanism. The liner lock, originally invented by Michael Walker, uses part of the knife liner where the handles attach to lock the blade. Simple, elegant and very strong, the liner lock has become popular. The frame lock builds on the liner although, in the opinion of many of us, takes the liner lock to a higher step in strength.

The differences between the liner lock and frame lock are simple. The frame lock uses the handle itself to make up a sturdy lock, similar to a piece of spring-steel butting into the blade. The frame lock is thicker than a liner lock. The liner lock springs into action when the knife opens and butts into the blade, locking it open. Frame locks are strong with plenty of steel-on-steel contact. The Fossil weighs just more than 6 ounces, as heavy as I like to go in a pocket folder. The 3.6-inch blade folds for a total package of about 8.9 inches when closed. The knife is exceptional for its price, and I enjoy it very much.

The hollow grind is high enough and seems to offer good edge retention. Plus, pocket carry is not a chore with the well-designed pocket clip. The handles are the single most eye-catching feature of the knife. And the handles, well, they are not easy to describe. The handles are stainless steel and hammered into form. I would say that the Fossil is the best $100 art knife I have seen.

Finding Balance is Important

A big, capable folder the Fossil has a lot going for it.

In using a folding knife, the balance between too large/too heavy and too light for real work is the trick. I do not wish to carry a veritable folding Bowie; I do want enough knife to do whatever job comes up. You cannot plan for the unforeseen, although good gear will get your fat out of the fire. The Fossil fits the pocket well; it does  not disappear; it is not light as a feather, and it balances well.

With a few practice runs, I found myself getting faster at using the Fossil. The knife’s geometry means you can draw and grasp the knife with your fingers wound about midway in the hand, use your thumb to quickly open the knife, then snap your wrist to lock the knife blade in place.

After living with the Fossil daily for several weeks, I find it a knife without any flies on it. It is a little heavy for everyday carry, yet not as heavy as a true tactical folder.

In short, it is in that happy medium of a good compromise and ideal for many uses.

Have you given the CRKT Fossil a try? Are you planning to? Share in the comments section.

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (4)

  1. As a Police Officer, I’ve always carried a good folding knife as a back-up/tool for many situations. The CRKT m-16 was my choice as a tough, reliable, no nonsense, best knife for the money.

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