Most of the year we’ve got the throttle fully punched. It takes our full team working—at what sometimes feels like mach speed—to bring our newest line of knives and tools to life. To you. Every day we show up feeling proud of what we do. But no moment better illustrates this than when we get to step back and show you what we’ve been up to.

This year, when we stand back and look at what we’ve created together with our designers, we see a lineup stacked with unique, daring and specialized designs. We see our unrelenting commitment to innovation.

From his shop in Kaneohe, Hawaii, Ken Onion has released some of the most innovative and well-loved knives in the industry. 2021 proves to be another game-changer, as two more innovations join the CRKT lineup: Field Strip Gen II and Assisted Opening.

Field Strip Gen II

“For years I thought about a way to come up with a knife that you could take apart easily with no tools,” said Ken Onion [on his original Field Strip innovation]. This idea came into fruition with the Homefront™; and it took the knife community by storm, winning Most Innovative Design at Blade Show. 

Alongside Ken Onion, we have raised the bar on ourselves with Field Strip Gen II. This retooling of an already innovative design is poised to forever alter knife performance in the toughest, grittiest conditions imaginable.

“This is the next evolution of Ken’s Field Strip,” says Doug Flagg, VP of Marketing & Innovation. “We improved the mechanism by adding IKBS™ to it for super smooth operation and made the whole process of taking the knife apart and putting back together easier.”

Whereas the original Field Strip technology required the user to push a lever and rotate a wheel at the pivot point of the knife, Field Strip Gen II simplifies the process by completely eliminating the rear wheel rotation. A cleaner, more intuitive order of operations completely reinvents the concept of in-the-field knife maintenance. 

See Field Strip Gen II in action in the 2021 Bona Fide™ lineup and the Cottidae™.

How Field Strip Gen II Works

Slide the lever up to disassemble, easily releasing the knife into three components. Place the blade between the two handles in the closed position and slide the lever down to reassemble.

Assisted Opening

Also making its debut into the 2021 lineup is Assisted Opening. Ken Onion toiled over technology that would deploy a blade at super high speeds while still remaining legal to carry in most everyday situations. Assisted Opening was his answer.

“When Ken showed me his innovation over 20 years ago, my jaw dropped,” says Flagg, “Ken would not tell me how it worked. I thought it was magic!”

“Over the years,” Onion says, “I can’t tell you how many letters and emails I have gotten from people telling me Assisted Opening has saved their lives or gotten them out of a bad situation.” Thanks to Onion’s smart design, an internal spring keeps the blade snugly closed when it’s in your pocket, preventing unintentional opening. Then, in-hand, when you push the thumb stud or press on the flipper, part way through the rotation the mechanism activates and completes the deployment at high speeds.

Assisted Opening has become known within the industry as more than a powerful innovation; it has become the most popular and widely respected mechanism of its kind.

Experience Assisted Opening for yourself, available in ten models from the 2021 lineup.

How Assisted Opening Works

It's held securely closed in your pocket, but initiate the deployment, and part way through the rotation the blade swings open at impressive speed for simple, powerful, one-handed opening.

Keep an eye out for both innovations and a full lineup of new knives from Ken Onion and a number of other CRKT® designers in our 2021 release.