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Why I Love: The CRKT SQUID

Why I Love: The CRKT SQUID

If it not super obvious, I am a big fan of Lucas Burnley.  His custom work is impeccable and is prolific knife designer, but that is just the beginning.  He also innovated the Cypop, part bottle opener and part SFK, it upended the market and showed the potential for the category of non-knife tools. He has also collaborated with an all-star list of makers like Steel Flame, Jens Anso, Pat Pruitt, and many (many) more.  The real icing on this cake is that both Lucas and his wife Maddie are objectively good people.  Their annual toy drive, Cypops 4 Tots, has donated thousands of toys to the Marine Toys for Tots program through the generosity of their fans and collaborators. I really could go on for a while about this, but today I wanted to talk about the most accessible way to get into a Lucas Burnley design: the SQUID, by CRKT.

The Stat Line

(CRKT providing credit where credit is due)

 

The SQUID is a Lucas Burnley design, produced by CRKT.  The show side and the lock side are both made from stainless steel, and the spear point blade is made from 8Cr13MoV steel (similar to AUS8).  All that adds up to 3.5oz/100g, or about half the weight of the iPhone model available at the time of this writing.   I was surprised to see this, since it sounded really heavy for such a compact package, but it really does not feel heavy in hand and I have (more than once) sent mine through the washing machine still clipped to my pants.  The blade is 2.25 in/57.2mm long (using the AKTI method), manually opens without any form of automatic assistance, and locks into the frame.  This combination makes the SQUID an option, even in less knife-friendly states (we recommend knowing/checking the legislation in your area before you purchase any knife).

Carry-ability, Reliability, Performance

How does it perform? In a word, well.  This knife is small, light, and decidedly un-tactical and I am more likely to carry a SQUID in most situations because of that.  The clip is mounted as high up on the frame as possible, and features a looping bend allowing this knife to ride in a low vis, yet highly accessible way. 

(see what I mean?)

Since I carry this knife a lot, I have put it through a variety of urban-dwelling, office working EDC lover tasks.  I have literally never had a failure of this knife in any way.  I also strongly believe that this is the perfect knife for 99% of the things I am going to experience in my everyday life.  I really dig the dual thumb studs making it really easy to use with either hand (assuming you have the slightest dexterity in both hands).

(check right. check left.)

The only real drawback I can find is the same problem I have with pretty much anything labelled sub-compact (or whatever equivalent you can think of).  It is an excellent all-around knife, solves about 99% of my knife needs daily, but it will under perform in a larger scale project against something a little more purpose built for the task at hand.

The Custom vs The Production

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

(example of a custom Squid built by Lucas Burnley in 2011 and the CRKT production version)

So…what are the differences between the CRKT SQUID and a Burnley custom Squid?  Incredibly, there are very few visual changes that were made to bring this piece into production design wise. The overall silhouette remains the same, down to the pin and screw placement.  They both also utilize dual thumb studs to make opening easy with either hand.  From all of the images I have reviewed, it appears that the major visual differences are the pviot screw and the name on the show side of the knife.  Custom Squids use the Torq head on the show side, but the production version has it on the lock side.  The blade on the custom Squids are marked Burnley without text on the lock side and the CRKT versions are clearly marked CRKT and name the knife and designer on the lock side.  Variation is another tell tale sign of a custom Squid.  With pretty limited exceptions, the CRKT SQUID is available as two variants: a black stonewash and a steel stonewash finish.  The Burnley Squid is/was/will be a creative outlet for a talented person, so there are a lot of very cool variations with exotic handle materials, unique finishes, and premium blade steels in the market! Now, I am definitely not comparing the two knives, so much as I wanted everyone to know that it would appear that very few compromises were needed (design wise) to bring the Squid to the masses.

 

Final Takeaways

CRKT and Burnley have combined to make a truly great EDC knife.  I feel "Confidence in Hand" (h/t CRKT corporate motto) and I am not worried about this knife performing when I need it.  The price makes me willing to carry and use it.  I will always appreciate the hard work and flawless execution of a custom knife, but that same appreciate is what makes it difficult to carry and use that knife (I suppose this is the collector’s dilemma).  The Burnley motto is Work Hard Do Good, and this knife is an example of the success that comes from living that motto.  I respect the hell out of people who become huge successes without losing the special sauce that brought fans and admirers in the first place.  So, if you ever read this Lucas and Maddie, I respect the hell out of you and I love this design.
 
See you out there,
 
Paul
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