Meet the designers who have worked hand-in-hand with CRKT to translate their creative and innovative designs into affordable production knives and tools.
Columbia River Knife & Tool® (CRKT®)
is exceptionally proud to introduce the leading knifemakers, inventors and industrial designers who work with us in product development. They are among the most respected craftsmen and artists in our industry. We work to carry out their creative and innovative designs to the highest quality standards possible, enabling you to own, use, and collect innovative production knives and tools, many of which approach the quality of custom products. You'll see most of our designer friends at the CRKT booths at major trade shows. We invite you to meet them, ask questions and exchange ideas. They take great pride in their custom and CRKT production work, and they look forward to visiting with you. Thanks to them, there is a remarkable range of designs in this catalog, with many more to follow in the future. We strive to offer the best-built affordable production knives and tools in the industry. We hope you agree that we are meeting that goal. Here's an introduction to our growing lineup of designer friends.
Select a Designer
Jim Hammond was the first knifemaker
to work with CRKT, beginning in 1994.
His designs for CRKT folders set new
standards of construction for production
Ed Halligan "Big Daddy K.I.S.S." was the
second noted knifemaker to work with CRKT.
After 37 years as an aircraft technician with
Delta Airlines, he founded Halligan Knives.
Kit Carson of Vine Grove, Kentucky, is a
retired professional soldier, rising to the level
of Sergeant Major. He has made knives for
30 years and has been a full-time knifemaker
Pat and Wes Crawford
Pat Crawford and his son Wes are
recognized as leading practitioners of the
bladesmith's craft. Their company, Crawford
Knives, is located in West Memphis,
Russ Kommer of Fargo, North Dakota,
has been a commercial hunting guide
since 1980. He started making knives
when one of his hunter clients brought
a custom knife and dressed an entire
moose without sharpening it.
Brian Tighe is a Canadian "Renaissance
man": tool and die maker, photographer
and extraordinary custom knifemaker
and CRKT knife designer.
Ron Lake is a custom knifemaker in Eugene,
Oregon. He joined the Knifemakers'
Guild in 1971, and has been a full time
knifemaker since 1972. He has received
Barry Gallagher is a custom knifemaker
whose workshop is in Lewistown,
Montana. He began making knives
part-time in 1993 for local sportsmen and
Allen Elishewitz is a world-renowned
custom knifemaker, whose studio is in
Canyon Lake, Texas. His work has been
featured in many magazine articles and
Ed Van Hoy
Ed Van Hoy has been making custom
knives since 1975, specializing in folding
and fixed blade Damascus designs.
His home and studio are in Abingdon,
James Williams is a former U.S. Army
officer with over 45 years of experience
in numerous martial arts disciplines.
He knows cutlery as President of Bugei
A.G. Russell has been deeply involved
in the knife industry for over forty years.
A.G. was the first member of the Knife
Digest Cutlery Hall of Fame.
Launce Barber is dedicated to discovering
great design ideas by using the most fundamental
tool we all share in commonour
Tom Stokes is an experienced product
designer and mechanical engineer from the
University of Virginia who has worked in the
aerospace industry for over 20 years.
Tom Veff developed a love of knives at an
early age. The son of an Army First Sergeant,
he traveled extensively and always sought
out knife shops wherever his father was stationed.
James McGowan of Toronto, Ontario,
Canada, is an avid outdoorsman and
Toronto Firefighter. He says, "I rely on
Tom Krein is a full-time knifemaker with
a shop in Gentry, Arkansas. He says, "By
the time I was a teenager I knew I wanted
to make my own knives."
Jon Graham of Cleveland, Tennessee, was born to a father who had an appreciation for knives, and at a young age he was taught the importance of a good knife.
Boyd Ashworth is a custom knifemaker
whose workshop is located in Powder
Springs, Georgia. He is a Journeymansmith
with The American Bladesmith Society.
Terry Renner is an artist and mechanical
designer who previously designed and
constructed tooling and fixtures for the
bicycle industry for thirty years.
Doug Ritter is an internationally acknowledged
authority on survival equipment.
He founded and publishes the renowned
Equipped To Survive web site (www.
Gerry McGinnis is a student in business
at North Carolina State University, who, at
age 20, is the youngest knife designer to
appear in this catalog. He started making
knives when he was 15.
Alan Folts of Greenville, North Carolina,
has been making knives since 1992. During
his college career he entered knives in
Art Shows, winning "Best of Show" and
Frank Centofante, one of the pioneers of the custom knife movement, passed away in September, 2009, too soon to see his CRKT Tribute lockback line become a production reality.
Glenn Klecker is an award-winning knife and tool designer who lives in Silverton, Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Liong Mah is a designer working in New York City. He says, "As a kid my uncle would give me pocket knives and I would see what I could change to improve the design.
Raleigh Tabor says, As the son of an Air Force Lt. Col., I traveled most of my life. In Wyoming, where we were stationed during my teens, I learned to enjoy the outdoors and the challenge of hunting and fishing. When my father...
Ken Onion - "Though I have been a devout knife collector since childhood, collecting mostly production knives and anything else I could find, I was unaware of the custom knife industry until 1989 when...
Flavio Ikoma is a Brazilian knife designer who says, Since I was a kid, my life was influenced by blades, mainly the Japanese style swords and knives. My first knives were made of bamboo. In my adolescence I started to work...
MJ Lerch is a custom knife designer who has been encouraged by the knife making community to pursue her design interests. She receives her inspiration from the spontaneous flow of nature.
Ray Kirk received his Mastersmith rating in the American Bladesmith Society in 2005. He has been making and designing knives since 1989.
Steve made his first knife in high school, but got serious with the craft in 1982, and joined the Knifemaker's Guild in 1984.
Ryan Johnson (Chattanooga, TN) is president and primary designer at RMJ Tactical, LLC, whose Tomahawks have become a mainstay in the special operations community.
When you ask Lucas what drew him to the knife world as a teenager he'll tell you it was stories of survival, off path adventures with his father and a healthy dose of action movies.
Ever since he was a kid, if Ken needed a knife he just made one. His first one was built from a saw blade at the kitchen table using a vise, files and sandpaper.
What happens when you cross art and mechanics? You get something that looks like Matthew Lerch.