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CRKT Squid II Review: Simply the Best CRKT Knife Ever

CRKT Squid II Review(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)
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Exceptional materials at a remarkably low price — you’d be daft not to look at the CRKT Squid II.

CRKT has been innovating in the knife market for decades. Its two mainstay knives, the KISS and the M16, are loaded with innovation. This, coupled with the brand’s partnerships with custom makers and entry-level prices, has allowed CRKT to thrive in recent years.

But CRKT has never been a company known for flawless fit and finish, or top-shelf materials. Generally, something has to give to get a knife to market. But with the release of its second iteration, the Burnley Squid II, CRKT has a knife that can hang with the best-made blades in the production market.

If the label were scrubbed away and someone handed me the Squid II and told me it was made by Chris Reeve Knives or Rick Hinderer, I wouldn’t bat an eye.

CRKT Squid II Review

CRKT Squid II - testing
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

Squid II Specs

  • Steel: M390
  • Grind: Partial flat grind
  • Lock: Liner lock
  • Blade length: 2.68 in.
  • Handle length: 4.25 in.
  • OAL: 6.97 in.
  • Weight: 4.80 oz.
  • Price: Starting at $185
  • Country of origin: Italy

Design and Features

CRKT Squid II - Blade
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

The Squid II is a medium-size knife that is exceptionally overbuilt, much like a Hinderer XM-18. It has a thick blade, thick liners covered by shadowboxes, and a contoured green canvas micarta.

There is a backspacer that doubles as a lanyard loop made of thick bronzed titanium, and a bronzed titanium pivot collar as well.

CRKT Squid II - clip
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

The knife opens either via thumb studs or a flipper. It sports a deep carry over-the-top clip, the grind is perfect, and the flipping action is as good as you will find.

The CRKT Squid II is an absolutely superb modern folder in the “Little Big Knife” style popularized by Spyderco. It stacks up exceedingly well against knives like the Spyderco Techno II, Medford Micro Praetorian, and the Hinderer Half-Track.

All of these knives are robust and heavy — the opposite of something like the Benchmade Bugout. But they can handle hard use with aplomb and provide top-shelf in-hand confidence.

CRKT Squid II - handle
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

The Squid II is also something of a knife nerd treat — the classic Burnley design works well with the long-favored green canvas micarta with the touches of bronze.

Minor Issues

The lock disengagement area is a bit weird and the design is heavy, something endemic to these kinds of designs, but it is still a truly superb design.

I would also not mind a hollow grind, there is plenty of material, but that is a nitpick as the knife slices, instead of splits, an apple.

CRKT Squid II: Conclusion

At $300 or $400, this knife would be very competitive. At $185 it laps the field, putting the $265 Techno II, the $425 Halftrack, and the $670 (!) Micro Praetorian to shame.

Simply put, in the current market, a knife with this caliber of materials and fit and finish could sell for twice without a thought. At $185, this knife is a hell of a value.

This is the best knife CRKT has ever made, one of the best values on the market, and an exceptional EDC. There real drawback here is the run size — there are only 500 made. Highly recommended.

Check Price at CRKT

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