Custom knifemaker Alan Folts began his career crafting art knives in the mid-1990’s. He won awards for his edgy visions. Of late, Mr. Folts has been collaborating with Columbia River Knife and Tool to make production versions of two of his custom designs. The S.P.E.W., or Small Pocket Everyday Wharncliffe, is one.
CRKT S.P.E.W. is a full tang fixed blade knife knife with a 3″ Wharncliffe cutting edge that is hollow ground. Knife steel is 5CR15MoV at 55-57 RHC. The finish is an even bead blast. Steel thickness is 0.10″, which tapers to a thin point.
I love the look and feel of the black and red G-10 slabs. They have a pleasant contour and are textured to stick to your fingers. These attributes are important for a downsized handle. The recessed pin at the butt anchors a lanyard. CRKT provides a short braided nylon lanyard, which gives some additional purchase for those of you with over-sized paws.
Of course, I went about the property finding things to test against the 5CR15MoV. Ultimately, I learned that the Wharncliffe blade shape is aggressive at cutting certain things like boxes and rope, but a bit lacking for kitchen duty where belly is needed to prepare meats and veggies. The steel maintained decent sharpness, and fortunately it is also easy to touch up or re-sharpen. Nothing I threw at the cutting edge chipped it.
My S.P.E.W. came boxed with a glass filled nylon sheath, add-on belt loop which mounts in several positions, and a length of black paracord for neck carry (ill advised, get ball chain). The knife snaps securely into the sheath. The belt loop gives some variations for hitching on the S.P.E.W. Thumb pressure on the top curve of the nylon sheath will detach it from the knife, which is good for pocket carry. I would thread the paracord around two opposing sets of eyelets to snug the sheath onto my belt rather than employ the included loop, but that’s just my suggestion.
On my recent trip to New York City, the S.P.E.W. became my daily utility EDC. In NYC, the carry of a small concealed fixed blade should not get you into trouble. At 6.25″ overall and 4.1 oz. for blade and sheath, the Folts knife was a light passenger in my 5.11 covert khaki cargo pants or jeans. The photo below is the S.P.E.W. on a railroad tie at the High Line Park, which is a great linear greenspace built on the old elevated freight rail lines on Manhattan’s West Side.
The CRKT S.P.E.W. is true to the original, as you can see from the maker’s cool circuit board custom above. Offshore construction accounts for a $25.00 on-line retail price. If you want a comfortable and useful small fixed blade that goes in your dungarees, then one look at this Folts concept may make you want to S.P.E.W. Heh, heh, heh.