The CRKT CEO Compact Carbon Fiber is an upgrade from the original CEO in steel and size.

If you’re like me, you carry a knife (or more) everywhere you go. But the problem typically lies with formal occasions. You want a knife that will perform well but will fit your attire, without pulling your dress slacks down. This can be a hard row to hoe. With this said, the CRKT CEO Compact Carbon Fiber with S35VN answers the call.

CRKT CEO Compact Carbon Fiber

The CEO is not a new design in itself. In fact, the CEO hit markets in 2019 with a 3.35-inch blade. Although the original was sleek and presented a very businesslike aesthetic, the new Compact Carbon Fiber offers a smaller footprint. For example, the original has a closed length of 4.35 inches. While the Compact comes in almost an inch shorter, at 3.57 inches closed. This makes a difference in dress slacks.

Clean lines and beautiful aesthetics are the hallmarks of the CEO Compact.

Similarly, like the original, the Compact features a high saber grind that meets up with a full-length swedge. However, the Compact upgrades the blade steel from AUS 8 to S35VN. S35VN is known for its balance between toughness, hardness, and corrosion resistance. In addition, the thin .09-inch blade stock gives the Compact an extremely keen edge.

Another benefit of the Compact over the original is its 2.62-inch drop point blade. The under 3-inch blade length makes the Compact legal in most jurisdictions, and acceptable in almost any social setting. The blade is actuated via a flipper and rides to full lockup on the IKBS pivot. Although the action is very smooth, I’ve noticed that the depth of the detent requires a lot of pressure to eject the blade. Once open, the Compact stays firmly in lockup via the steel liner lock.

Another noticeable upgrade is the carbon fiber handle scales, which replace the glass-reinforced nylon of the original. Not only does it improve the overall look, but the material is strong and lightweight. Likewise, improving on the overall aesthetics is the copper anodization on the steel liners, giving it a classy look. Finally, the reversable, deep carry, tip-up only pocket clip features a black coating and virtually disappears with black dress slacks.

The Compact features a deep carry, tip-up only steel pocket clip.


Although the Compact is not a hard use daily utility knife, if you are going to carry knives at all, they should perform. Because of this, I opted for tests that would be more typical to a smaller knife and office environment. However, I wouldn’t shy away from putting it up to slightly harder use. But it would need to be commensurate with the blade length.

Although the Compact is not at risk of being designated a letter opener, opening mail is typical for any home or office environment. With that said, manilla envelopes circulate the office like air. So, I started by slicing a manilla envelope multiple times to test the sharpness. Even though the envelope is double-ply (both sides of the envelope) it cut clean, long strips.

I got long, clean slices on this manilla envelope with no issues or tearing.

Next, I don’t know that I have ever had to cut leather in the office, but I felt it was a good representation of any thick material. So, I took some heavy-duty leather I have laying around and was able to cleanly slice off multiple strips.

The CRKT CEO Compact Carbon Fiber cut this heavy-duty leather with no snagging or tearing.

Then, I moved on to a test I like of edge geometry, with a phone book corner slice. Although the edge is very keen, and the blade stock is thin, I wasn’t able to just push through the corner. I had to make slicing motions to get through it. However, I attribute this more to the size of the handle and not being able to get a lot of leverage on it.

Although I had to slice through, the CRKT CEO Compact Carbon Fiber got all the way through the phone book.

For a couple of final tests, I sliced up some paracord and was able to get really clean cuts all around. Then, because knife reviewing is such strenuous work, I sliced up a little snack of cheese, venison sausage, and grapes. Everything sliced very cleanly and was delicious.

Slicing paracord is no issue for the CRKT CEO Compact Carbon Fiber.
After all of my testing I was able to cleanly slice up a nice snack, with the CRKT CEO Compact Carbon Fiber.

Straight to the Point

Although the original CRKT CEO was a sleek design that fits into an office environment, the Compact Carbon Fiber excels. Its small design and classy aesthetics fit any attire and is legal in most every jurisdiction. Not to mention, people will not freak out when you pull it out to open one of those manilla envelopes that’s always circulating the office.

Although the upgrade in materials, namely the steel, brings the price up, the Compact Carbon Fiber more than earns its keep. From its stylish form to diminutive functionality, the Compact Carbon Fiber from CRKT is just what the CEO ordered.

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The Compact is small enough to be legal in most jurisdictions.

CRKT CEO Compact Carbon Fiber

Blade Material: S35VN
Blade Length: 2.62 inches
Closed Length: 3.57 inches
Overall Length: 6.19 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.09 inch
Blade Finish: Satin
Handle Material: Carbon Fiber
Weight: 1.70 ounces
Handle Thickness: 0.477 inch
MSRP: $115.00

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