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CRKT LCBK Knife Review: Scalpel Precision, American Muscle

CRKT has launched two new American-made folders that have a crossbar-style lock mechanism. We put the CRKT LCBK to the test.

CRKT LCBK Knife(Photo/Nick LeFort)
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There’s no arguing that Benchmade’s Axis Lock is one of the strongest folding knife lock mechanisms, and now that it’s available for other knife manufacturers to use, there’s no arguing that they should.

And this month, CRKT launched two folders with this crossbar-style lock mechanism, the previously reviewed Definitive and the LCBK.

Designed by knifemaker Matthew Lerch, CRKT claims the LCBK is the first knife in its lineup with the Crossbar Lock, but seeing that it’s launching alongside the Definitive (designed by Lerch’s wife MJ), we’ll let them decide.

That said, both of these knives look very similar side by side, and they’re built from the same materials. But after spending some time with both the Definitive and the LCKB, I found the latter more practical, thanks to its smaller size and toned-down design.

CRKT LCBK Knife Review



  • OAL 8"
  • Blade Length 3.48"
  • Blade Steel 154CM
  • Blade Shape Drop Point
  • Grind Hollow
  • Hardness 60-61 HRC
  • Lock Type Crossbar
  • Carry Right Hand, Tip-up, Deep Carry
  • Weight 2.8 oz.

Design and Features

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

A classic combo, 154CM and G10 gained a lot of notoriety about a decade ago. But people’s tastes change over time, and things fall out of fashion.

So I am happy to welcome this combination back. In a sea of micarta and boutique steels, it’s nice to have something so practical, yet so effective.

As mentioned, this is one of two new knives from CRKT to feature its Crossbar Lock, but it’s worth highlighting again, as it really pushes the LCBK into the stratosphere in regards to what it can do (more on that below).

Being made in the USA and coming in at $215 is also quite nice.

In terms of size and form, at 8 inches — with a 3.48-inch blade — the LCBK is right in the sweet spot for what’s expected of a modern EDC folding knife.

It’s well-balanced, fits every hand type, and operates surgically. That last point derives from the weight-to-length ratio and the abilities of the 154CM bead-blasted drop point blade, hollow ground for long-term ease of use.

First Impressions

I received both the LCBK and the Definitive at the same time, and though the two comprise the same materials and some similar design features, the LCBK is more practical, albeit less lavishly styled.

By design, I assumed that the LCBK would be precise — a knife good for stabbing, slicing, and carving. It’s a slender blade with hard lines.

It carries a hollow ground drop point blade that sweeps up and meets at an aggressive tip. I could see myself holding the knife like a pen or a scalpel, but feel like it will hold up to years of abuse.

In the Field

CRKT LCBK closed
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

I’m always wary of really pointy knives standing the test of time with their tip intact. But when you stop and realize that the LCBK isn’t made to take the place of a bushcraft knife, but be more of a precision tool, then you begin to understand what to avoid to preserve that tip.

Case in point, you could hold the LCBK like a pen or pencil and “write” with it (make precision slices) in almost anything. It could come in handy for anything from drafting to hunting, as it’ll slice paper, meat, and hide with ease. That’s due in part to the shape of the blade but ultimately to the abilities of 154CM steel, which is scalpel-sharp from the factory.

Now, that will fade over time. This steel holds a great edge, but when it gets dull you’ll know it. Thankfully, it’s also easy to get that edge back, with a little time, love, and tenderness — and your favorite knife sharpener or stones.

CRKT LCBK Knife: Overall

I’m really impressed with the approach that CRKT took with the LCBK (and the Definitive). Being American-made usually drives the price of a knife like this through the roof.

But choosing a common over boutique steel — and keeping the build minimal by relying mostly on the scales for structure — allowed CRKT to keep the LCBK’s price down.

Don’t buy this knife if you’re looking for something you can take in the woods and baton kindling with. Buy it if you’re looking for a precision tool that can act as a practical solution for your everyday carry needs.

CRKT Definitive Review

CRKT 'Definitive' Crossbar Knife Review: Mythical Styling, Everyday Bad-Assery

With the Definitive, CRKT goes heavy metal, but without all the weight. Read more…

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