CRKT has been slowly and surely pushing into the high end of production knives.
It started with a win at Blade Show 2014 when the CRKT Hi Jinx won Overall Blade of the Year. Since then, the normal stream of budget-friendly blades coming out of CRKT has been dotted with some really nice knives — the XOC, the high-end Crossbones, and an M390 Homefront. The brand even released a double-bladed Brian Tighe design called the Buy Tighe.
Thus far, most of these blue-sky blades from CRKT upgrade earlier versions of different knives in CRKT’s evergreen lineup. But the $250 Hirin is different. This is a brand-new design by second-generation knifemaker Dew Hara (son of legendary Japanese custom maker Koji Hara).
In short: The Hirin is not the most practical knife but is a testament to what CRKT can do. In terms of impractical beauty, look at the dagger-ground cutout blade.
CRKT Hirin Review
The knife’s 3.4-inch M390 blade is a dagger (though only one side is sharpened). A cutout runs down the center of the blade.
The Hirin’s liner lock can be a bit hard to find given the symmetry of the handles. Not to mention the machining on the titanium handles is nothing short of staggering, with details and anodizing that rival some of the finest production knives in the world (it bears a striking resemblance to the Steelcraft Mini Bodega).
The flipping action is also exceptional, snapping open the blade with a silky feel.
While not the most practical knife in the world (cheese slicing and batoning are not on the menu for the Hirin), the Hirin is an impressive statement piece of what CRKT can do, embodying Dew Hara’s unique design language perfectly.
The high-end production market is full of impractical but beautiful designs — and the Hirin is one of the most striking, even in this rarified market niche. If you want a machining tour de force or an eye-grabbing design, this $250 blade is a great piece.
Just don’t think this is your next EDC.