Columbia River Knife & Tool CRKT Tool


When it comes to multi-tools, the CRKT Tool from Columbia River Knife & Tool has some unique features that should help it find its way under the tree or into a few stockings this year. And while it appears to be designed for working with various small fasteners, it’s still not out of place in the outdoors.

Flat blade and phillips screwdrivers pop out of the middle of the tool with a click on the round button. This makes one hand use of either of these quite easy. An adapter and nine bits are included that turns the phillips into a driver, although the amount of torque you can apply is limited. One side of the tool has a cutout for bolt heads from 5mm up to 9/16, the other side from 1/4 inch to 1/2. Because the depth of these plates is so shallow, you can’t tighten nuts, only bolt heads. But both sides open bottles too, which is a plus. There are holes that go all the way through for stripping wire from 16 up to 10 gauge. The knife blade needs to be partially folded in to cut the housing, which takes a light touch and a bit of practice.

All this makes the CRKT Tool sound like it’s made for light electrical and electronic work, which it can be. But the sharp knife blade and an aggressive saw blade make it just as handy for outdoor use, and both have thumb studs for one-hand opening. We loaned the CRKT Tool out to some of our testers, and had them use it for daily tasks. That included the usual box opening, rope and twine cutting, PC repairs, and of course, at least one overnight camping trip. All the tools and blades worked well, as long as they were used within their limits. It’s fine for a computer case and similar electrical work, but we don’t recommend it for bicycle repair. The allen bits may be the right size, but again, proper torque may be an issue.

Columbia River Knife & Tool CRKT Tool
Columbia River Knife & Tool CRKT Tool

This would not be my first choice for hiking or backpacking, but if your day job involves lots of small fasteners, and stripping wires, then you may find it just right to take with you car camping, or for a weekend at the cabin too. We liked the sheath with its back pocket for the extra bits, which can be left at home when not needed. If you don’t wear a belt, the CRKT Tool has a pocket clip for deep carry. With so many different tools out there, it’s nice to see one that covers very specific needs, yet still appeal to a lot of users.

– Brian

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the CRKT Tool for free from Columbia River Knife & Tool in consideration for review publication.

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