CRKT Fossil Review: Perfectly Preserved

PTR Review
  • Deployment 9.5
  • Balance 9.0
  • Ergonomic Feel 9.5
  • Value 9.5

I'm thoroughly impressed with the Fossil from CRKT and Flavio Ikoma. The fact that they're having trouble keeping them in stock suggests that others are just as excited about it. With a design that looks great, smooth IKBS bearing deployment, and a price point that is almost too good to be true, the Fossil comes highly recommended.

Overall Score 9.4 (out of 10)

The conversation went something like this: “Hey, a package arrived for you. I wasn’t aware that you took a side job as a dragon slayer.” That brought a smile to my face since I knew the only thing that could possibly inspire that kind of reaction was the CRKT Fossil folder. While you’ll find the CRKT Fossil listed under the company’s EDC line, the design is much more like a hand crafted knife that should be reserved for special occasions. In fact, it is Brazilian knife maker Flavio Ikoma’s design which he did in indeed hand craft before CRKT made the decision to make it a production model.

At first glance, the handle of the CRKT Fossil is reminiscent of alligator skin in appearance. Ikoma says that it is actually inspired by crocodile skin and in my opinion, the name “Fossil” is a great reference to that ancient creature. For a pocket folder, the Fossil has a really nice weight to it. At 6.1 ounces, it’s heavy enough to feel solid in your hand, but not to the point of being a burden to carry in your pocket.

CRKT Fossil Handle Texture

While it is tempting to just stare at the design of this knife, it’s not going to function in the closed position. You’re likely going to get distracted again when you open the blade though. The CRKT Fossil features an IKBS bearing system and flipper for an opening that CRKT describes as “silky smooth”. While I’d agree with that sentiment, I don’t think it does full justice to the ease of deployment.

The weight of the blade is greater than my other EDC knives, but it doesn’t throw off the balance. It does, however, work beautifully with the bearing to open in a fashion that will leave you deploying it over and over again until you realize people have been staring at you. We pulled out a spring assisted knife just to compare the opening characteristics and the CRKT Fossil was almost as fast and just as smooth.

Blade Focus

With the blade deployed , you’ll notice that the handle slips into an ergonomic position in your hand very easily. The belt clip features a finger guide that helps with that. A large curve in the handle for your forefinger (or pinky in the reverse position) really helps you secure the knife in your grip. Subtle contours that are almost hidden visually because of the handle texture help keep your other fingers in place. Even though the handle doesn’t allow your fingers to rest anywhere that they want, the real genius of the grip design is that this knife feels just as comfortable holding it in the reverse position as it does in a forward position.

Handle Contours

CRKT Fossil Grip and Blade

One of the things that I am always concerned about with a knife is it’s grip. Sweaty hands and a slippery handle never work out well. As it turns out, Ikoma shares the same concern, and even though the handle is a 2Cr13 steel with a G10 overlay, the texture and contours work wonderfully with your hand to prevent slipping. The locking mechanism is a frame lock and secures the blade open with no wobble.

As for the blade, you have a couple of options – a plain edge or Veff Serrated edge. Personally, I love the look of the Veff Serrations, but for the reality of my day to day needs, the plain edge is better suited to me. The blade is a drop point style with a hollow grind made from 8Cr13MoV steel which rates a 58-59 on the HRC scale, making it near the top of CRKT Fossil’s blades in terms of hardness. That means that the blade should hold its sharpened edge for quite a bit longer than softer steels. The plain edge features a satin finish while the Veff Serrated version has a black EDP finish. In terms of out-of-the-box sharpness, the Fossil is very sharp, sharper than I keep my other EDC knives even after an evening of preparing them for the work week.

Blade Options

CRKT Fossil Review Conclusion

There’s not much to complain about this knife. The only thing that some knife users may have an issue with is that while the clip can be removed, it is a single position clip, so you’ll be carrying the Fossil in a tip up position if you use it.

Overall, the CRKT Fossil hit this one out of the park. The design is gorgeous for those that enjoy a good looking knife. The materials ensure a long lasting grind when sharpened. The grip feels solid in both a forward and reverse position. With a price point under $100 for all three version of the Fossil ($89.99 Plain Edge 5470, $99.99 Veff Serrated 5471K, and $79.99 Small 5460), it’s no wonder that CRKT is currently out of stock. One buyer even lamented that he didn’t purchase two of them.


Just as a side note, I like to do a lot of my writing at the local independent coffee shop (people at certain chains freak out when knives are involved). As I passed the Fossil around for the other guys to experience, every one of them had a smile on their face as each one got their chance with it. If there is a condition called “knife lust”, the Fossil definitely inspires it.


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