In my own preferences for a pocket knife, I’ve tended to go towards something a bit more compact. However, there are cases where a beefier blade might be preferred (say, in the outdoors), or maybe you just like the heft of a larger knife. Whatever the reason, when we had a chance to review one with a Damascus-pattern blade, we couldn’t say no. That’s how we ended up spending some time with the CJRB Crag Damascus Pocket Knife
As you can see from that photo above, the CJRB Crag Damascus Pocket Knife is a hefty knife. It definitely fills the hand when you pull it from your pocket, which means you’ve got plenty to hold on to once you deploy the blade. Out of the box, the blade was decently sharp. If I owned the knife, I would have put it through my sharpening stones. As it was just a loaner, I simply ran it on my honing steel (the same I have in my kitchen) and it resulted in a good edge.
To deploy the blade on the CJRB Crag Damascus Pocket Knife, you’ve got a small stud at the back of the knife to flip it open. No spring assistance, just the bearings inside the handle (not sure what those are, we did not disassemble the knife). It had a decent action, but here again, some of your preferred knife lubricant would definitely help out.
In terms of carrying, you’ve got a basic steel clip that results in a fairly deep pocket carry, which I tend to prefer. The way things are drilled on the handle, it looks like you can also put the clip on the other side if that’s what you prefer. Either way, it still results in a blade-up carry. Speaking of the handle, this is made of carbon fiber. What tripped me up was just how smooth things were. The lightness felt right, and the look was definitely there. I’ve no reason to doubt the brand, it was just something that popped out at me during the loan period.
The other big material here on the CJRB Crag Damascus Pocket Knife is of course that Damascus-pattern blade. They don’t call out the actual steel used here (though the specs list out a blade hardness). One thing I’m leery about is when brands claim they’re using Damascus-process steel. I know that is an expensive process, and generally results in a more-expensive knife in the end.
What seems to be tell-tale for me (and I could be wrong, feel free to let us know below) is that the pattering doesn’t “squish” down as it gets down to the cutting edge. That’s something I’m used to seeing on my Shun chef’s knife, which is currently my only direct experience with a blade made in that sort of a process. There may be a different process here, but given the relatively affordable price, my suspicion here is that this is more of an etched pattern that was applied to more basic steel blade.
Then again, that could be neither here nor there. Sure, in history, Damascus blades were prized for their sharpness and longevity, but we’re not even entirely certain today how those were made. So, with the CJRB Crag Damascus Pocket Knife, it’s really more of a story about the looks of the knife. And between the Damascus pattern on the blade and the carbon fiber weave of the scales (and yes, it is very much a blade-heavy knife when deployed), this is an eye-catching one. If you want to add this mini cleaver to your carry, they’re currently on sale for $89.99 (from $119.99) direct from artisancutlery.net