It’s no secret that I’m fond of my pointies. I’m usually the go-to blade person around the office, in the labs, in the campsite or in the pool. Need someone to shoot out a spotlight? I’m not the guy. Need to butcher a pig or cut a birthday cake? I’m your guy. Airport security does NOT like me.
Review: CRKT Stiff KISS
This is the Columbia River Knife & Tool Stiff K.I.S.S. by Ed Halligan. Keeping to the principles of its name, this blade has been engineered to Keep It Super Simple. The blade is made of a single piece of 8CR13MoV stainless steel, reportedly hardened to Rockwell of between 55-57, and the entire piece is titanium nitride-coated for protection. It comes with a Zytel injection-molded sheath and belt adapter. Unfortunately, the Stiff KISS is no longer in production, although they can be picked up online, and CRKT offers a next generation of it, in the Sweet KISS.
The blade features the same tanto-tip and straight blade as the folding version, and the same serration patterns but with a considerably longer blade, following the same elegant lines. The handle is skeletonised and features two lanyard holes midway, and a third in the pommel end. I have added a paracord wrap which gives it some nice body and a good positive grip. I keep this blade in my car, along with my “bug-out-bag”. It goes camping, to picnics and on hikes with me. One of the things I especially like about it is how light it is in the hand.
Its slim cross-section is sufficient to ensure it’s able to cut and slice, and the back of it is flat like its smaller folding sibling, which gives it an even slighter profile. The blade is stiff even for its thickness, which I suspect is due to the steel and temper, but I wouldn’t want to use it as a pry bar. Best leave that to actual pry-bars, frankly. I have been able to punch holes in cans for drainage, however, and the finger notch and thumb-groves on the spine make for a very sturdy and secure grip even when wet. A nut affixed to the blade around the midline acts as the friction lock to keep the knife firmly in its Zytel sheath, as well as being a good rest point for the thumb during delicate cutting.
The sheath is well made, including a selection of lashing points both for cord and a pair of webbing-sized holes as another option. The final attachment option is the steel clip, which used to have an option for fitting at the bottom for a downwards draw but now appears to only attach at the middle, for an upwards draw.
I keep mine behind my sun visor, because of its slim lines, low weight, and utility. It sits out of sight, out of the way, and ready should I need it. The knife has cut and shared more than one roadside meal, it’s cut ropes, dispatched car-struck mortally wounded animals on occasion and generally been put to a variety of small but important tasks.
Want a pry bar? get a pry bar. Need to cut down a tree? Get an axe. Have sentry problems? This might well do the trick, but I’d leave that to the professional hard-men. Need a general-purpose knife? Get a Sweet KISS.