As I’ve admitted previously, even though I carry a pocket knife most of the time, I am NOT an afficionado of high-end cutlery. When I whip out my knife, it’s usually to perform some unglamorous task: Trimming shims or shingles, opening boxes, carving the HomeFixated logo into restaurant table tops… just kidding. I actually have a branding iron for that. Anyhow, my knives tend to get dropped, nicked, spattered with paint, and otherwise abused, so I’m reluctant to invest too much in them. I still want a sturdy, reliable knife, though, one that can take some abuse, and still get the job done well. Crescent had me and other
cheapskates budget-minded users in mind when they designed the Crescent CPK350A Pocket Knife.
The natural anodized aluminum body on the Crescent CPK350A certainly ticks the “sturdy” box on my wish list. It feels rock solid, and has a good heft to it. When you flick the flipper, out pops a heavy-duty D2 steel harpoon blade, ready to tackle your EDC (every day carry) chores, mundane or otherwise. Take a peek at the official list of features and specs, and a very brief promo video from Crescent, then we’ll give you our cutting insights:
• Ergonomic handle optimizes hand and finger contact points to maximize fit, control, and user ergonomics
• Easy action flipper tab for easy blade deployment
• Harpoon blade design provides overall blade durability and extra leverage for a variety of cutting applications
• Liner lock mechanism provides secure locking of blade in open position and easy closing action
• Heavy-duty D2 steel blade provides excellent strength, edge retention, and overall product durability
• Smooth action heavy-duty ball bearing system provides quick and easy blade deployment for the life of the tool
• Heavy-duty anodized aluminum handle provides excellent strength to weight ratio for optimal performance
• Blade Length : 3.5
• Blade Finish : Stone Washed
• Handle Color : Silver
• Handle Length : 4.5 in
• Handle Material : Aluminum
• Overall Length : 8.5
• Weight (Catalog) : 0.451
• Warranty : Limited Lifetime
• Handle Style : Straight
• UPC : 037103339355
• Point Style : Harpoon
• Locking : Yes
• Spring : No
• Handed : Both
Getting To The Point
Liberating the Crescent CPK350A from its plastic and cardboard cocoon is only moderately difficult. It’s even easier with a good pocket knife.
Naturally, the first thing I did after digging it out was to close it, and then immediately flick it back open. With an index finger on the protruding nub, and a quick flick of the wrist, the blade swung smoothly out, thanks to its ball-bearing hub.
Once it’s deployed, the 3-1/2” blade is solidly locked in position by the liner lock mechanism. There was no play in the blade at all, and the liner lock sat squarely behind the blade.
Closing the blade was equally easy, even one-handed: Just nudge the lock mechanism over, and ease the blade shut.
Right out of the wrapper, that blade is nice and sharp. It had a smooth, evenly-ground edge, and ends in a super-sharp tip. The D2 steel blade is made to stand up to rugged use and is fairly easy to sharpen if you’re a bit TOO rugged with it.
The Crescent CPK350A Is An EDC Bargain – Especially For Us Losers
As I mentioned in a previous knife review, I have an unfortunate knack for losing my EDC knives. I believe it’s somehow connected with global climate change. In any event, my EDC knives are more appropriately known as CEDUILI (Carry Every Day Until I Lose It) knives. This propensity makes me reluctant to invest in high-end, expensive pocket knives.
The knife I referred to in the previous paragraph currently sells on Amazon for $120. I’d include a current pic…if I could find it. Current retail on the Crescent CPK350A at Ohio Power Tool is $28.99. If I lose this one, I’m ninety bucks ahead of the game. The composite handle version – the Crescent CP350C – is only $18.99. Heck – I could buy two, lose ‘em both, and be up $200!
As I also mentioned, even though I prefer not to spend a bundle, I still want a quality tool. The feature set on the Crescent CPK350A fills the bill. Weighing in at 5.8 oz., it isn’t the lightest pocket knife in my transitory arsenal. Its ergonomics are good, though, and the weight is a factor of its robust construction and gives the knife a good, solid heft.
Another nice feature – and one that may actually help us losers – is the sturdy clip. Positioned at the very end of the knife, it allows for deep-pocket carry. In other words, the knife fits completely into the pocket, but it’s easily accessible, right at the top. The clip holds the knife securely and works equally well for belt carry.
Lost Another One? Nuts…
After receiving the Crescent CPK350A, I used it for quite a while as my CEDUILI knife. As usual, the knife was used mostly for mundane tasks like cutting electrical tape and breaking down cardboard boxes. It also saw action slitting the wrapper on Romex cable, cutting 1-1/2” thick insulation board, trimming shims, etc.
After several months, suddenly it was nowhere to be found. I tried to think back on where I might have left (or lost) it, but had no clue – a not uncommon state of affairs for me. Resigned to having lost yet ANOTHER knife, I muttered a few choice words from my special DIY vocabulary. Luckily, frequent use keeps me from forgetting THOSE, at least. I then rummaged through the knife drawer for a replacement from my stash.
A month or so later, my wife asked me to grab a box of black walnuts off the back porch. We have two black walnut trees, and they are VERY prolific producers of walnuts. The process of actually getting to the meat of the walnuts is fairly labor-intensive. First, the husks must be removed, then the inner protective shell has to be washed, and then dried. Finally, the shells, which are very tough, need to be cracked open to get at the actual nut.
The box of nuts I brought in had been husked, washed, and dried, and was ready for the final crack ‘em open phase. When I opened the box, there on top of the hundred or so walnuts was my missing knife. My wife, who does most of the nut processing, had come across the knife as she was prepping to remove the husks. After discovering it worked perfectly for the task, she “mine-now”ed it, used it, and left it out with the walnuts.
Cleanup On Blade One…
When I found the knife, it hadn’t been cleaned and had splotches of hard, dark walnut poo on the blade. Luckily, there was almost no rust or corrosion, and the blade cleaned up nicely with steel wool.
The edge was still in great shape, it opened and closed smoothly, and the blade was still in perfect alignment. Sadly, my wife has claimed the knife as part of her walnut-battling arsenal. On the bright side, though, at least I didn’t lose it!
Is The CPK350A A-OK For Your EDC?
Not being a knife geek has its benefits. It saves me a lot of money upfront. I don’t have to learn a bunch of new jargon to cram into my leaky memory banks. Abusing my knife occasionally doesn’t bother me. And when I eventually lose it, I don’t waste a lot of time and energy being distraught; I just have a beer and order another budget blade.
If you’re not interested in metallurgy lessons and just need a well-made, sturdy, reliable pocket knife, the Crescent CPK350A is clearly worth a look. It ticks all those boxes, and for less than thirty bucks, you can’t beat it. Its composite-handled twin, at nineteen dollars, is a steal. Buy ‘em both, and use one to cut the other one out of its wrapper. Crescent backs both knives with a limited lifetime warranty; sadly, it doesn’t cover loss, so clip it in tight.