If you don’t believe a single knife could set a fledgling knife company on a positive trajectory for decades, you haven’t seen the latest Badass Knife of the Week.
Paul Gillespie and Rod Bremer founded Columbia River Knife & Tool back in 1994, but it wasn’t until the introduction of the CRKT K.I.S.S. that the company got its first major hit.
The K.I.S.S. is designed by the late Ed Halligan, who was only the second major knifemaker to work with the then relatively new brand. According to legend, the K.I.S.S. was introduced at the Shot Show in 1997. Within a few days of the show, a year’s worth of the knife had sold out.
So how could one knife help establish a new brand as one of the major knife companies around? It’s simple.
Standing for Keep It Super Simple, the K.I.S.S. revels in simplicity while eschewing all the bells and whistles found in many modern pocket knives. Instead of adding unnecessary features, the K.I.S.S. is a barebones folder with a lot to offer.
The original K.I.S.S. features a 2.25-inch modified tanto blade with a bead-blasted finish. The 3Cr13 stainless steel is more than adequate as material for the blade and stainless steel frame. That same frame also acts as a locking mechanism for the blade.
When closed, the blade is folded against the minimalist handle with such a precise fit you’ll wonder how they do it. Even though the blade is exposed, the design and seals of the frame allow you to carry it around without concern.
Along with a pocket clip that could double as a money clip, the K.I.S.S. is a knife that conforms to your needs. Despite being around for nearly 20 years, the philosophy of keeping it simple is as effective as ever.
For more information on this Badass Knife of the Week, check out the product page for the CRKT K.I.S.S.