Thursday, August 17, 2006


Another addition to my beginner's knife collection arrived today. This time it's yet another Columbia River Knife and Tool product- a KISS SST. That acronym stands for "Keep It Simple Stupid" and "Short Stubby Thing". Well, CRKT claim that KISS means "Super Simple" but I think I'll go with the British military version instead.

It is indeed a short, very simply constructed folder. The blade is two and a quarter inches long, quite thick and chisel ground (sharpened on only one side) so that when folded the edge will not cut even though it sits exposed. The blade itself is a curious sort of hook-nose shape called a Wharncliffe blade. It means that it had a very sharp point, as I found out when I needed to cut open a box. There's also a clip, recommended for use as a money clip but which I use to hang it on my jeans; the knife is small enough that it fits in the key/coin pocket very neatly.

For such a small item, the SST feels quite sturdy and solid in the hand. It appears to be (like all the CRKT products I have) very well made and finished. Though smaller than my K-AT Hawk, it actually feels a little heavier in the hand; I wasn't expecting that at all and it gives me a bit of extra confidence in the design. Unlike the other knives in the KISS range, the SST doesn't have a hole for a keychain attachment, which might be a drawback for some. Not me, it just means I get to order another knife!

If you're looking for a small, compact knife for everyday use, the KISS SST would seem to be the ticket. It's small, simple, solid and sharp. Although it's intended (for me) as an every day knife, since it arrived I've begun to think that it might be a useful addition to a small survival kit too. The main "bulk" of the knife comes from the bulging clip- if that could be either flattened or removed then the SST would take up very little room at all. And it would certainly be better quality than most of the knives packed into pre-made kits. That's something I'll maybe experiment with at a later date.

One last point- the SST cannot be opened left handed without some digital acrobatics. The nature of the design means that it has to be a right handed opener (and CRKT seem to have no plans to make left-handed versions of any of the KISS knives). I'm a southpaw myself and I don't see any problem with this. This is not the sort of knife that you'll need to deploy rapidly in a "tactical" situation with one hand. I'm content enough to one hand open it with my right hand- if you need to have it in your left hand to open it, you'll have to either use two-hands or do a heck of a lot of practice. Keep some plasters around if that's the course you take because it seems to be just asking for a nasty cut.


John said...

I had a similar one from Gerber:

I can't seem to keep a pocket knife; I can't tell you how many I've lost. Last year I lost a Beretta Trident VG10 during he Hurricane Rita evacuation. Now I tend to pay around $35.00 for a knife figuring that is the most i am willing to lose, since I know I will lose the knife.

Enjoy your knife, it looks like a good one.

Jay.Mac said...

I was actually considering the Gerber for a while but I found the SST for too tempting a price.

I was put off before because I usually would check out a site called Heinnie Haynes in the UK, one of the biggest knife sellers here from what I can tell- that was until I discovered that their pricing is outrageous. Really over the top. I got my SST for less than half what they sell it for.

I haven't had any of the CRKT knives for long enough to test their durability but they come with a lifetime guarantee and they are very reasonably priced- worth checking out if you're ever after a replacement.

Bag said...

I've a few knives. I have been collecting them for years but not at a rapid rate. One thing that interested me is when you said it had a sharp point as you found when you went to open a box. I've never used any of my knives for things like that. I've a folder I always carry and a swiss army knife my, swiss owned, firm gave us all as a thank you in the late 80s. I've used that for everything, including box opening, since then. Best freebie I every had from any firm.