The Redemption, a big beast of a blade, is the latest creation from Columbia River Knife & Tool and the mind of well-known knife designer, Ken Onion. Onion is known for his flowing designs and contoured, ergonomic handles, and probably most notably his assisted-opening folding knives, of which he has designed several for CRKT. However he is definitely no stranger to tough, hardworking fixed-blades.
With an overall length of 15 inches, and 10 inches of cutting edge, the Redemption is a large knife. Large knives require large sheaths, and I like that CRKT took the opportunity here to make the utility pouch on the front of the sheath a good bit larger than average. Other features of the sheath include tie down points around the perimeter and up the back, a nylon webbing leg strap, and quick-adjust dual belt loops. The sheath also has dual retention mechanisms via an adjustable snap-closure retention strap, and a hard Kydex liner that the knife snaps into. The hand of draw can be changed by simply removing the binding post that secures the Kydex to the nylon with a Philips screwdriver and reversing the hard liner.
The heavily featured G10 handle is deeply contoured, but smooth to the touch, and has natural feel in the hand. The rounded surfaces feel very comfortable and yet still provide for a secure grip on the knife. Drawing the knife reveals a flowing, stylized, re-curved blade of 0.25-inch thick YK-30 steel. It has a somewhat leaf-shaped forend, has a sharply beveled spine, and very sharp drop point. The curves of the handle flow well into the curves of the blade and give the knife a very organic look. As is the norm with the CRKT knives I have handled, this blade boasts a very sharp edge.
Have To Eat
Knife sizes and geometries are varied in order to make them more functional in specific tasks, but when it comes down to it, all knives are made for cutting things. It just so happened that I was carrying the package with the knife in it into a room at the same time that I was bringing in the fixings for some pan fried pork tender loin and grilled vegetables that I had picked up for my evening meal. I enjoy cooking very much, so I always like testing knives in a kitchen even if it means – or perhaps more accurately especially if it means – taking the knife out of its comfort zone. This time there was the added attraction of cutting onions with an Onion.
Working mostly with the area of the blade between the tip and the swell, I first attacked the vegetables. Of course the mushrooms were no challenge at all, and a pound of baby portabellas was quickly sliced. Slicing the squashes nice and thin was easy enough, the mass, high grind, and sharp edge sliced through the soft material with little effort. Cutting the onion into eighths was no problem at all, just start at the top, push down and rock the blade. The knife sliced through the tender loin clean and easy with one push-pull motion, and maintaining consistent slices was a breeze.