Ed Van Hoy is a well-known Virginia custom knifemaker and instructor who has a flair for the dramatic and unusual. When his custom Snap Lock™ was given the "Most Innovative Knife Award" at the American Knifemakers' Guild Show, we knew we had to offer a production version, which was the original larger CRKT Snap Lock. It immediately won the Designer Knife award at the 2004 IWA show in Nuremberg, Germany, and was named "Overall Knife of the Year" at the 2004 Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia.
The next question was, "When can I get a smaller personal version?" Ultimately, we were able to create the Snap Lock 2 at 70% of the original size, resulting in a little gem with a 1.75" (44 mm) blade, weighing only 1.5 ounces (43 g).
When closed, the AUS 4 stainless steel wishbone frame is a 100% effective blade edge guard; when open, it is a minimal but very usable handle. The harder you grip the handle, the more it locks the blade in place, thanks to twelve positive locking surfaces between the frame and locking lugs, so it is a very safe and secure system.
Ed's cam locking system features two thumb wheels, for truly ambidextrous use. The pocket/money clip is removable. The blade can pivot a full 360 degrees with no clip, or 180 degrees with the stainless steel clip in place. Simply press the thumb wheel and rotate the blade. Opening and closing can be accomplished with one hand and is truly slick and quick.
The AUS 4 stainless steel blade itself has a subtle drop point shape, almost a Wharncliffe, and has a Razor-Sharp edge. Four lightening holes also add a decorative touch.
Blade, frame, and clip have a contemporary bead-blast finish.
It has been called a "far-out folder" but the more you handle and carry the Snap Lock, the more you realize it is one great work tool. All-steel construction means it is just about indestructible, and will last for years. The handle itself is likely the biggest "spring" ever devised for a knife-locking mechanism, so it will last for the life of the knife.
"The decisions of the jury were almost unanimous," stated Margaret Spindler, Chair of the IWA jury and consultant for the Knife Award. The jury commented, "Everything in one: gadget, ornament, utensil and money clip."
I first saw this knife on the thinkgeek.com website and bought it. it was the most intriguing knife I've ever owned. I carried it with me everywhere and accompanied me on my deployment. Unfortunately someone liked it even better than me and it didn't make it back home with me.