Welcome to Bargain or Just Cheap? This series will review budget friendly knives for a variety of uses in a short format. All of the knives will cost less than $50 (in most cases, much less) and will be purchased out of my own pocket. I’ll buy them, carry them, and use them in an attempt to determine if the knife is a bargain or just cheap.
The CRKT Minimalist is based on the original, custom Alan Folts designed Minimalist. This popular compact fixed blade can be found for less than $30 and it is extremely easy to carry… but is it a Bargain or Just Cheap?
Handle: Micarta slabs
Blade Length: 2″
Overall Length: 4.875″
Weight: 1.2 ounces
Sheath: Injection Molded Plastic
Observations from Use
I’ll spill the beans right up front. The Minimalist is a Bargain, not just cheap. It doesn’t have the latest super steel. It doesn’t have the cache of a custom knife. But still, it’s a great knife in part because its small and well designed.
The Minimalist is small – truly small – which makes it very easy to carry. Whether you carry it on your belt, as a neck knife, or in your pocket, the Minimalist is small enough to forget it’s there. It can be carried on your belt as a compact self-defense knife or even attached to something like a Raven Concealment Pocket Shield.
Everybody hates knife handles with finger grooves… until they try a CRKT Minimalist. In most cases, finger grooves are an annoyance but in the case of the Minimalist, they are the key to how a knife with such a small handle manages to lock into the user’s hand. That is really the genius of this Alan Folts design.
The Minimalist is ground from .10″ thick steel stock and has a relatively high hollow grind, especially on the wharncliffe style blade that I prefer. It is an extremely aggressive cutter thanks to this thin stock and good geometry.
The sheath is injection molded but it would pass for real heat molded kydex at a glance. It is actually a decent sheath that retains the knife well and allows a full grip on the knife handle.
Bargain or Just Cheap?
Like I said, it’s a bargain. The Minimalist is a great little knife if you want a small utility blade to EDC. It’s an affordable, compact defensive fixed blade. It’s just a great knife all around.
I am using Amazon as the price base line for this series. All knives were purchased by me from Amazon: CRKT Minimalist
Our goal is to represent knives for a variety of uses from EDC, to outdoor, to tactical knives. Do you have a favorite affordable knife? Let us know about it in the comments!
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