Gear Review: CRKT’s Padawan Frame Lock Folding Knife

Columbia River Knife & Tool has always had a great partnership with custom knifemakers to bring practical and affordable to the people, straight from the muse of some of the world’s best designers and makers. The Padawan, designed by Pedro Buzetti, is a great example of that.

 

The Padawan is a framelock design that uses a 3.01 drop point or wharncliffe blade of 14C28N stainless steel. It has a flipper opening mechanism that’s fast and smooth. Which you’d expect being that it rides on an IKBS ball bearing pivot designed by Flavio Ikoma, who just happens to be whom Pedro studied under. Thus the Padawan name. Just in case you aren’t a Star Wars nerd fan, a padawan is an apprentice to a Jedi, and has come to mean in common usage an untrained or inexperienced person. Pedro may have started that way, but his designs show that he is far from inexperienced now.

Overall length on the Padawan is just over 7 inches and it weighs just 3.10 ounces. The frame is stainless steel and you can choose from either a brown or black G10 insert that adds some texture and a pop of color to the otherwise brushed satin finish on the knife. The brown G10 version comes with the drop point blade while the black version has the wharnecliffe profile. A deep carry pocket clip is provided and set up for right hand, tip up carry.

I’ve had a Padawan since January and have rotated it through my EDC lineup. It’s a comfortable knife to use and very fast to open with the flipper and IKBS ball bearing pivot. Pennsylvania finally legalized automatic knives a year or so back but honestly, the Padawan is just as fast as any auto I have.

 

I have the brown version with drop point blade and it’s a good all-around utility knife. It does the usual EDC tasks that most of us do like cutting open Amazon boxes and boxes of gun parts. Ask my wife, much to her dismay I get a lot of packages. The Swedish 14C28N steel holds a good edge, and I’m familiar with it from other knives I own and have used. It’s not one of the boutique super steels, but it’s a solid choice and works well. It’s also a lot easier to sharpen than some of the boutique steels when the time comes. I haven’t had to put my Padawan back on a sharpening stone yet though, I’ve just touched it up now and then with a loaded leather strop. 14C29N responds nicely to the strop which keeps you from having to resharpen it fully very often.

 

The Padawan carries comfortably in both shorts and jeans pockets. The deep carry clip allows the knife to ride low and securely in the pocket, but doesn’t grab so tightly that it tears up your clothes or is hard to draw. I’m particular about clips and have plenty of knives I ended up not carrying because I didn’t like the clip or how they rode in my pocket. The Padawan isn’t one of those. It’s well designed, and I appreciate the satin finish on it too that doesn’t draw the eye to it any more than necessary.

If you’re looking for a sleek, modern folder with good materials and excellent design features, then Pedro Buzetti’s Padawan from CRKT is well worth a look. It has an MSRP of $75 although you can shave a touch off of that by looking at online retailers.

 

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