Survival-Pax Blog: Product Review - CRKT Ultima

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Product Review - CRKT Ultima

One of the more interesting products that we sell is the Ultima, by Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT). In this review we will be taking a closer look at this intriguing knife. Designed by Michael Martinez, this knife has a really unique design. A tactical fixed blade by nature, it is intended for use by those who would require a strong, functional knife to defend his/her life and it offers many features that would help in that job.

The very functional 7" Ultima by Columbia River Knife and Tool.
On first glance the grip of the Ultima looks really strange. It's unlike any other knife grip on the market, and it may be even off-putting to some. However, after a few more seconds of analyzing and wondering, it becomes apparent why Martinez designed the grips in the way that he did. Starting with the form of the grip, the curves are molded in a way to match the contours of the human hand as much as possible, either in a forward (blade above your thumb, "normal" grip) or a reverse grip (blade "upside down"). The knife really does have to be held to feel the difference that the natural contours really make.

A detailed view of the Ultima's "ooze grooves" and handle design.
Moving on to the the grooves in the handle, called "ooze grooves" by CRKT, these were also designed with functionality in mind. The polymer handle has deep grooves, to aid in grip during moments where the user's hands may be covered in water, mud, snow, or even blood. To further aid in grip, the handle panels overlap the top and the bottom of the Ultima's grip, giving a 360 degree contact with your hand. The handle on the Ultima was designed to offer the maximum grip and comfort in all situations, very important for a knife that your life may depend on.

The Ultima's blade is a Tanto design for blade strength, piercing and slashing power. The blade has adequate belly for slicing, but has a nice, sharp point for piercing. In a defensive role, this blade shape would excel. The blade steel that CRKT chose for this knife is 1.4116 Stainless, a steel with adequate rust resistance and good edge retention. At the price point that the Ultima sells for, the steel will perform the tasks it was designed to perform well.

The Ultima's MOLLE capable sheath.
For strength, the Ultima incorporates a full-tang design, meaning that the knife is made of one solid piece of steel, from the butt of the handle to the tip of the blade. Past the bottom of the handle, there is a built-in pry tip. As is often the case, in an emergency, a knife is often used as a pry bar, causing damage to the blade edge. The Ultima takes care of that problem, enabling the user to use the built-in pry tip when prying open doors, boxes, etc.

The Ultima's sheath is very functional. Made of strong cordura nylon, this sheath is combines quality and functionality. It can be attached to military MOLLE webbing, offering many different carry options. The sheath can also be attached to a belt, utilizing the included leg strap and paracord to secure the blade to the thigh, allowing for what is know as a drop-leg carry option. The front of the sheath also has a pocket which can be used to carry a folding knife, multi-tool, knife sharpener or other accessory.

The Ultima comes in both a 5" and a 7" version, both being very functional. Reasons for using the smaller version of the knife would be size and weight limits. With the sheath, the 5" Ultima is almost 3 ounces lighter than the 7" version. When you are counting every ounce, the smaller and lighter version of the Ultima might be the more appropriate choice.

So, in conclusion, take a second look at the CRKT Ultima if you have the chance. It's definitely a blade not worth passing up if you are in the market of a strong, functional and well-designed tactical fixed blade.

Take care guys!

Simon - Survival-Pax Team Member

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