Bargain or Just Cheap? – CRKT Minimalist

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

Steel: 5Cr15MoV

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!

The above article may contain affiliate links.

2 Responses to Bargain or Just Cheap? – CRKT Minimalist

  1. woody721 July 2, 2018 at 11:12 #

    I put a Fomi Clip on the sheath and wear mine IWB when swimming or on the beach. Works great, swam at least 20 days in the Pacific Ocean and it’s only slightly tarnished from the salt. Great for slicing up fruit, gutting fish, and I suppose in a self-defense situation it would come in handy.

  2. Robert Perin July 13, 2018 at 18:46 #

    Greg, do you prefer it over the TDI knife?

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes