Columbia River Knife & Tool’s Natural series brings the quality and appearance of good custom blades to the price range more of us can afford. Designed by Pat Crawford, an Arkansas knife maker from West Memphis, the Natural 2 7080M represents one of CRKT recent efforts to raise the bar for production knives.
The Natural 2 with a 3-1/4 inch plain-edged blade of 8Cr13MoV high carbon stainless steel is sized for day-to-day use instead of the field and folds to a convenient 4-3/8 inches. With Pat Crawford’s Marauder clip point blade style, the knife suits utility tasks as well as being a good choice for dressing out small fish and game. This smaller version of the Natural also has the extra-strong frame construction that qualifies these folders as frame-locks, not liner-locks. With deep finger choils and a dropped heel, the hefty handle isn’t likely to slip from your hand.
Adding to the full dress appearance of the Natural 2 is the engine-turning or jeweling patterns cut into the bolster and the stainless steel pocket clip. Filework — a touch usually seen on custom knives — decorates the back spacer of the handle. Important corners have not been cut to save money, but less expensive materials have been used compared to Crawford’s custom models. Stainless steel bolster and dark wood-grain Micarta handle scales give the knife an expensive look without taking a chunk from your budget.
In practical terms, you’ll appreciate the Outburst assisted-opening system as much as the fine appearance of the knife. Usable with either right or left hand, the Outburst spring-assist takes over after thumb pressure pushes the blade slightly open. The Outburst packs enough power to snap the blade open and locked for immediate use.
See the CRKT Natural for a larger knife in a similar style.