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Unbeatable EDC Knife Value: CRKT Padawan Review

Great attention to details, good materials, and excellent utility let the CRKT Padawan punch way above its price class.
CRKT Padawan knife review
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Very rarely do I let the engineering side of my professional life take over when I test a knife. But with CRKT’s latest frame lock folder, I had to make an exception. This is due to both the form and function of the knife and the decisions made in design and production.

Take, for instance, the decision to polish and round the spine and back of the blade. Or the decision to have two differently shaped Micarta scales. Both of these are examples of a heightened level of attention to detail not commonly found on a knife that retails for $75. I’m not sure if you would find these things on a $150 knife.

In terms of function, the choice to make the body of the knife out of stainless steel and the blade from 14C28N, again aren’t customary for an affordable knife. I think this would be a great time for me to bring up the fact that I think 14C28N is going to be a wicked popular steel this year, if not the popular steel for this year. It’s not new. This stainless steel has been around for quite a while, but I’ve seen it come up a lot, so far, this year.

All in all, the Padawan leaves me wondering if CRKT plans on making any money off of it at all. You’re getting much more than what you pay for with this fancy flipper. And I haven’t even told you about how well it performs yet.

In short: This knife is wild. Considering the form, functionality, and materials used in the knife, the Padawan from CRKT is easily a $150 knife being sold for $75. I was wholly impressed. Use it, abuse it, and make it your forever EDC.

CRKT Padawan Knife


  • OAL 7.13”
  • Blade length 3.01”
  • Blade steel 14C28N
  • Blade shape Drop point
  • Grind Flat
  • Hardness 58-60 HRC
  • Lock type Liner lock
  • Carry Deep carry, right hand, tip up
  • Weight 3.1 oz.
  • Price $75


  • Attention to detail
  • Price
  • 14C28N steel
  • Blade shape


  • You can’t use a ferro rod on a polished blade spine
  • Pocket clip can get hung up in your pocket

CRKT Padawan Review

Design & Features

CRKT Padawan handle and lock
(Photo/Sean McCoy)

Pedro Buzetti, who studied under Flavio Ikoma, designed the Padawan as his first knife for CRKT. If you’re not entirely sure who Flavio Ikoma is, he’s a well-accomplished knifemaker who is widely known for his IKBS ball-bearing pivot system. If you’re not entirely sure who Pedro Buzetti is, if he keeps designing knives like this one — you will.

A majority of the Padawan is composed of stainless steel. The ergonomic body is stainless, as well as that fat-bellied drop point blade, which is made from 14C28N. 14C28N is an affordable stainless steel known for its corrosion resistance and edge retention. Accenting the Padawan are two brown Micarta handle scales with a matching Micarta backspacer.

The pocket clip close up; (photo/Nick LeFort)

It’s no surprise that the Padawan has the Ikoma IKBS ball-bearing pivot system. This makes the flipper mechanism silky smooth and the liner lock strong and dependable.

Wrapping things up is a deep carry pocket clip so you can store the Padawan deep in your pocket. Its slim, flowing profile allows the knife to virtually disappear when you’re carrying it.

First Impressions

CRKT Padawan review
(Photo/Sean McCoy)

If knives like the Padawan are what we should expect from Pedro Buzetti, he’s going to be impressing us with each release. CRKT has a penchant for picking some great knifemakers out of the crowd. Last year, the CRKT team introduced us to Darriel Caston, whose unique and appealing approach to knife design instantly caught fire for the brand. Buzetti’s design approach is complementary to Caston’s, so I see the Padawan being a big hit.

As far as the knife itself — well, it’s a head-scratcher. The level of detail on this knife equates to much more than $75, in my professional opinion. Extra time was spent on design, sourcing, and machining. That’s all showcased in the flowing ergonomics, materials, and balance, thus making the Padawan a real steal.

I think the big appeal to me is the contrast between the slenderness of the handle and the fatness of the blade. The handle is designed to fit every hand shape, comfortably. But the blade looks like it’s been shrunk down from a sword featured in “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

Its spine sweeps up high and its belly hangs down low. That’s a lot of blade real estate, which means that the Padawan is up to get down to work.

Out in the Field

The Padawan is a great EDC. At just over 7 inches in length with a 3-inch blade, the knife is well-balanced. Paired with the handle ergonomics, you can get a lot of different tasks done without struggling or putting any strain on your paw. The shape of the blade aids in this as well.

I love a good drop point because they’re universal and good at everything. But a big belly on a drop point blade opens the user up to more opportunities. You can trim tinder and spread jelly. You can pierce and drill. The Padawan has been a true joy.

CRKT Padawan blade
The Padawan has a big-bellied drop-point blade; (photo/Sean McCoy)

So, what did I use it for? Well, I didn’t take it out on any adventures in particular. But I did take it everywhere. The Padawan was my EDC for 3 weeks and in that time I lived that EDC life with it.

The one exception was out in the yard in a snowstorm. I had to cut through some cold, frozen twine that had been lashed to a post probably a century ago. The knife performed so well that the twine popped and cut away from the post with ease.

It’s also really good at slicing hot dogs.

14C28N, fresh from the factory, is scalpel-sharp. Now, a month later, it’s sharp enough to filet the skin off your thumb. For my first knife of 2024, the Padawan has been a real joy.

CRKT Padawan: Conclusion

Overall, I am impressed with the form and function of the Padawan. I’m still befuddled as to why they put so much into the knife and are only charging folks $75, but that just makes it more desirable as far as I am concerned.

I’m also happy to see 14C28N being used in a market sodden with boutique steel. If I am being honest, it’s part of why the price is where it’s at. 14C28N has never been an expensive steel, because it’s generally passed over for expensive steels.

But, with that being said, this steel is a prime example that expensive isn’t necessarily synonymous with being the best. I would take this steel over some of the buzzword steels out there any day.

Kudos to Pedro Buzetti. If you plan on making more knives like the Padawan, I’ll gladly test and review them. But I’d also just be happy with carrying them around whenever a good use case presents itself.

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