There have been some legendary grindmasters in the knife world: D.E. Henry, Walter Brend, Bob Dozier, and Bob Loveless, to name a few. All made their names from a reputation of capably honing steel to an amazing edge. Of the current generation of makers, the man most likely to join their vaunted ranks is Tom Krein.
Known for his own knives and regrind of other knives (the “Krein Regrind”), his knives are masterworks of function. The TK-3, also known as the Whitetail, is Tom’s take on the drop point hunter, a pattern popularized by Bob Loveless.
In short: The Krein TK-3 is simply a modern classic that proved excellent for a huge number of tasks.
Krein TK-3 Whitetail Fixed Blade
- Steel D2
- Grind Hollow grind
- Lock N/A, fixed blade
- Blade length 3.125"
- OAL 7.25"
- Weight 3.6 oz.
- Price Starting at $325
- Country of origin USA
- Stunningly well made
- Perfect grind
- Excellent sheath
- Limited availability
Krein TK-3 Whitetail Review
The TK-3 is a handmade knife released in small batches on Krein’s Facebook page and through a few larger custom knife purveyors (like Arizona Custom Knives). The knife is a midsize fixed blade that is, given its name, designed as a hunting knife.
The handle on the review sample is green micarta with red felt liners, much like the classic configuration of the Loveless Drop Point Hunter. The sheath is a 1/16-inch kydex sheath with a Tec-Loc, allowing for a variety of carry positions.
The sheath has excellent retention and allows for blind retrieval and one-handed returns.
The D2, one of Tom’s favorite steels, is expertly heat-treated and very finely ground.
Function Over Form
There are fancier knives in the world, but nothing functions better than a Krein. I have handled a few of his knives, including the wonderful Alpha folder, and they have all been true joys.
The TK-3, however, stands out even among his elite offerings. This is a knife that simply loves being used.
The finish on the micarta handle feels wonderful, smooth to the touch without any of the “tackiness” of most micarta. But it still provides enough grip to lock in your hand.
The grind is simply superb, among the finest I have seen, and as a result, the knife plows through material.
Krein TK-3 Whitetail: Conclusion
I used the TK-3 as an around-the-yard chore knife, and it did everything brilliantly — popping off branches, fire prep, and recycling tasks.
Basically, if it is too mucky or dirty for a folder, I used the TK-3 and it never let me down. The sheath is probably the most unsung part of the knife, but it too evinces the touch of a master. You will not find a better sheath anywhere.
Only limited availability holds back this instant classic. Highly recommended.