Saturday, February 20, 2016

Miscellany: CRKT Otanashi noh Ken review

Martial arts instructor James Williams has collaborated with CRKT on a number of knife designs, but the Otanashi noh Ken might be the most "martial" of them all. It's basically a folding, pocket-size osoraku zukuri tantō made for military and law enforcement use:

I like that the knife has a big 4-1/2" AUS 8 blade and a neutral handle that works with a variety of forward and reverse grips. You can't cheat physics, though - the placement of the thumbplate and the balance of the blade made it difficult to flick the knife open without wrist action. It's also not something you would ever use for mundane utility tasks - this is strictly a one-dimensional "tactical" knife, albeit a good one.

Despite its weight (more than 6 ounces) and length (over 10 inches unfolded), the Otanashi noh Ken is surprisingly easy to carry and conceal,.  Both the G10 scales and steel frame on the knife are thin, and the knife sits very low in the pocket thanks to a deep-carry tip-up clip that's reversible for left pocket use. The knife slides in and out of a pocket easily, and I imagine it would have no problem being clipped onto a soldier's LBE or other gear.

The Otanashi noh Ken uses CRKT's manual LAWKS safety system, a small pivoting bar intended to keep the framelock from accidentally disengaging. It doesn't really enhance the strength of the knife, but it doesn't hurt, I guess.

The Otanashi noh Ken is one of those knives that you'll enjoy owning and messing around with, but will probably never carry.  There are certainly worse ways to spend 80 bucks.


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