The CRKT Squid is one of the most popular knives on the EDC market. Its diminutive size, friendly appearance, and reputation for toughness have earned it a loyal following among enthusiasts of all walks. Such is CRKT’s confidence in the Squid that they graciously agreed to send one our way for testing. We wore it for a little more than a week, measuring our expectations for the knife against the reality. Here’s what we found.
While researching this particular piece of gear, we were surprised to find that the knife was designed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just a few hours from our home base. Per CRKT’s website, designer Lucas Burnley fashioned the Squid in the vein of a compact pistol. The idea was to create a blade that was “small in size and big on ability.” In that, we feel he succeeded.
Like many compact handguns, the design of the Squid is deceptively simple. Its stainless steel handle gives way to a 8Cr13MoV blade, with a plain edge swelling gracefully from its drop point. The blade is tall, nearly an inch, and features friction grooves atop its 2.25” length. These allow for excellent thumb placement and, indeed, the overall grip experience is a good one. This is especially surprising considering the Squid’s full-metal construction and stubby measurements. A quick note here: While both CRKT’s website and the knife’s Amazon description list its overall length at 4.49”, our tester stretched to over 5.5”. We suspect this is an error on the websites rather than a production flaw, as Smokey Mountain Knife Works appears to list the correct length.
All sites, however, agree on weight. The Squid’s stonewashed steel construction makes itself known on the scale, registering some 3.4 ounces in overall heft. Far from being a nuisance, this heaviness inspires confidence when wielding the knife. This feeling is further solidified by the beefy framelock, which snaps into place just below the excellent (but non reversible) pocket clip. There are a few rough edges around the lock, so watch your fingers while securing the blade.
True to its namesake, the Squid is slightly ovoid in shape. Initially, we’d worried that this would make it difficult to carry in the watch pocket of a pair of jeans. No such trouble – CRKT’s designer has hit the sweet spot with this one, allowing it to tuck effortlessly into position with plenty of room remaining for a pen or flashlight.
In truth, we’re impressed with the thoughtful design of the Squid. Mr. Burnley has managed to assemble a knife with solid construction, quality materials, and good grip all wrapped up in a compact package. Consider us fans.
4.5 stars out of 5
While it may be designed in the spirit of a handgun, we don’t see the Squid as a tactical knife. Take the opening mechanism, for instance. The ambidextrous thumb stud is perfectly placed, making one-handed opening a snap. But whether due to the blade weight or the overall balance of the knife, we found it impossible to snap or flip the knife open in a rapid manner. Each time we tried, our thumb wound up dangerously close to the actual cutting surface. We suspect this is due to the short overall length of the blade, which may not give us the required leverage.
We offer this explanation not as a knock on the Squid, but rather to demonstrate its non-tactical nature. So it’s not made for the battlefield, despite the combat overtones found in its product description. Where, then, is the Squid’s natural habitat? Everywhere else, we’d say.
As discussed under Form, the Squid is a bruiser. On the jobsite, it slices through rope, cardboard, and other materials with ease. Despite its sub-3” length, the blade’s long cutting belly allows it to tackle tasks usually relegated to larger tools. Its strong grip provides a great measure of security when opening packages, and its robust framelock inspires confidence even under substantial pressure. Retrieving and stowing the knife is simple, thanks to its prominent pocket clip. And while it may not feature the quick-draw capabilities of some other knives, its oversized thumb studs make it easy to open, even while wearing work gloves.
While we may disagree with CRKT’s tactically oriented marketing, we applaud them for producing such a solid knife at an easily price point. Taken for what it is, the Squid does no wrong.
5 stars out of 5
Before the arrival of the Squid, we generally EDC’d slightly more expensive knives like the Ontario RAT 2. While we still love the RAT, this little knife from CRKT quickly made itself at home in our rotation. Its small size, strong blade, and friendly appearance have made it a favorite here at Journeywind Junk. There’s something compelling about its blend of form and function that makes us grin.
So, it’s fun to carry. But how long will it last? Given the quality of its materials and simplicity of its mechanism, we feel that the CRKT Squid will prove to be one of the most durable knives in our collection. Each aspect of its construction feels solid in the hand, inspiring confidence at every turn. CRKT also offers a Lifetime Limited Warranty on the Squid. We’ll take that as a strong vote of confidence from the manufacturer.
5 stars out of 5
The Squid represents one of the best bargains we’ve seen in the world of EDC knives. With its all-metal construction, 8Cr13MoV blade, and utilitarian design, it’s a knife that punches far above its weight class. Around $16, it’s a very attractive option. On sale for $13, it’s a no brainer. Even if you already have a standard knife for EDC (as we did), the Squid offers a lot of value for a relatively small investment.
5 stars out of 5
Where to Buy
Amazon (Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars over 290 customer reviews as of 11/22/16)