Do you know anything about Art Deco? Good, because neither do I. And if there aren’t any experts in the room, I feel comfortable saying that the CEO Microflipper ($60) reminds me of the movement’s visual style. The angles, the waved pattern, and the slightly architectural shape — these elements brought this particular pocket knife to my attention.
But like Art Deco itself, the original CEO knife has been around for a while. Designer Richard Rodgers has produced multiple iterations of this design, with its practical, budget-friendly aesthetic. But this latest version, CRKT said, is the smallest and lightest, combining “refined style and ultimate convenience. It may be small, but it’s a serious contender for any job.”
2023 looks to be a strong year for the folks at Columbia River, and the CEO Microflipper seems like a fitting introduction to its catalog full of goodies. So, let’s ditch the highbrow corporate speak and scale this tiny skyscraper.
CRKT CEO Microflipper Knife Review
- Blade length 2.21" (56.18 mm)
- Blade thickness 0.09" (2.18 mm)
- Blade steel 12C27 Sandvik
- Overall length 5.50" (139.70 mm)
- Closed length 3.25" (82.58 mm)
- Weight 1.70 oz. (48.19 g)
- Handle material Aluminum
- Locking mechanism Liner Lock
Strengths and Shape
The CEO’s sheepsfoot/tanto-style blade is a hit. It’s almost evocative of an old straight razor, which aligns with its chosen steel. Though 12C27 is a bit of an older alloy (the precursor to 14C28N and AEB-L), it has a long history of use in disposable razor blades.
The metal boasts solid corrosion resistance, easy sharpening, and respectable toughness. And thanks to the thinness of its edge, it glides easily through carrots and cardboard alike.
On the deployment front, the titular Microflipper does a surprisingly good job. Blades of this size aren’t exactly known for their snappy actions, but more often than not, the CEO rockets into place with a solid click.
Like a pitch meeting before the board, not every rollout is perfect. But for the majority of the time, its action is on point. Speaking of which, check out that pivot mechanism — IKBS ball bearings on a knife this size, and for only $60? It’s amazing how far the industry has come.
Also, I’m a big fan of the handle. My tester came with blue aluminum sides and silver accents, though you can reverse the palate if so desired while netting an upswept tip for your blade. The coloration is wonderful, and the waves in its texture are well-done. And that’s good — with a knife this size, you’ll need all the grip you can get.
A final, thoughtful touch can be found at the rear of the knife. The flat base of the CEO allows for the pocket clip to be switched from right- to left-handed carry with the turn of a single screw.
It also offers a deep ride, perfectly suited for its low-profile aesthetic.
You’ll notice I labeled the flipping action as “surprisingly good.” And it is, given the diminutive blade.
But while a strong detent can build up the force for a solid deploy, it won’t help you when it comes to stowage. In short, the CEO Microflipper is not a knife for drop-shut enthusiasts.
The blade simply doesn’t have the weight to swing down on its own, even when given a shake. Closure with the index finger will be your best bet once your thumb is out of the edge’s path.
Then there’s the unlocking process itself. While the liner lock is solid, disengaging the leaf spring requires that you reach into the narrow space between the scales.
I understand why a cutout wasn’t included in the shape of the handle, as it would break up the CEO’s clean lines. But it’s a minor annoyance and worth a passing mention.
Conclusion: CRKT CEO Microflipper Knife Review
When I saw this knife in CRKT’s 2023 catalog, I figured it for an exercise in aesthetic. But after handling and using my tester, I found it to be capable as well. The CEO Microflipper has a lot of things going for it, from its colorful siding to the classical sculpture of its blade.
In the end, there’s something here that amounts to more than the sum of its $60 parts. Richard Rodgers’ design language is as visually interesting as it is functional, from the smooth silhouette to the waves etched in its sides.
I nitpicked the lack of a lockbar cutout, sure. But I agree with the man behind the blueprint. In this case, opting for a consistent visual was probably the right call.
The CEO is just so darn interesting and, for $60, you can put its practical art deco in your pocket.