Argus was the name of the 100 eyed servant of Hera in Greek mythology. His most notable task was to guard lo, the nymph disguised as a white heifer, from Zeus. Zeus had been working with lo to establish a new order among the gods. Hera, Zeus’ wife, tried to alleviate that by having Argus tie her to a sacred olive tree and guard her. Okay, so the Greek gods may prove that Jerry Springer has a serious lack of imagination, but how does that tie into the CRKT Argus Black?
Argus’ defining role was that of security guard. In fact, he makes a guest appearance in the Percy Jackson series of young adult books as the camp’s security guard. The CRKT Argus Black can certainly make a claim as your own personal security EDC. The CRKT Argus Black and it’s brother, the Argus, are designed by Matthew Lerch. They’re very similar in design to the CRKT Cobia, which impressed us as a smaller EDC.
One of the points that we made about the Cobia, was that we wished it were a little larger design to fit our hands better. Matthew Lerch pretty much did exactly that with the CRKT Argus Black. It has a more full feel in your hand that makes this drop point folder solid for EDC tasks, but also as a defensive carry.
CRKT Argus Black Features
On the business end of the CRKT Argus Black, you get a drop point blade. Whether for EDC tasks or defensive carry, this plain edge style is an excellent blend of slicing and piercing characteristics. It features a flat grind on the AUS 8 steel that carries a 57-58 HRC hardness rating. For its finish, the CRKT Argus Black has a black corrosion resistant coating that ends up being a $10 upcharge over the Argus.
The frame on the CRKT Argus Black is made from 6160 aluminum. This may deter some folks who are looking for a purely defensive carry EDC. However, the design does offer convenient positioning for your fingers that improve the grip. It’s still not as secure as a G10 overlay, but it works well for a knife that has primary duties as an EDC.
Built into the frame is a liner lock. Like other liner and frame lock knives, a simple push with your thumb releases the deployed blade to return to it’s safely folded position.
Carry and Deployment
Outside the frame, the clip has just one tip down carry position just like we saw in the Cobia. CRKT’s FireSafe safety mechanism works to keep the blade from deploying in your pocket. This is realized on the thumb disk sitting on the CRKT Argus Black’s blade. Normally, I’m not a fan of the thumb disk. I feel that it takes away from a sleeker look that you get with a thumb stud. However, I really like that CRKT used it as a way to include a built in safety system. For that reason, I’ll take it on the Argus.
Left handed user may groan about the thumb wheel. It requires a right handed opening because of the FireSafe mechanism. Right handed users have a small complaint as well. The single position clip means that when you pull the knife out of your right pocket, you need to flip it in your hand to position it for deployment. The alternative is to carry it in your left pocket and reach across your body so that it comes out ready to deploy.
Deployment is a wonderful experience thanks to CRKT’s Outburst spring assisted opening. To overcome the the FireSafe mechanism, push the thumb disk to rotate it. Once it pushes the liner lock slightly, it will unlock to allow the Outburst mechanism to quickly deploy the blade.
The thumb disk isn’t the safety mechanism itself. That function lies in liner. The liner has a very subtle stud on it that slips into a complementary notch on the blade in the closed position. What the thumb disk actually does is push the liner out of the way to release the safety. This is slightly slower than a spring assist without a safety. I don’t mind it at all though. The peace of mind that comes from knowing it won’t deploy accidentally in my pocket or the hand of one of my 8 year olds is worth the extra fraction of a second.
CRKT Argus Black Specifications
- Closed Length: 4.56″
- Open Length: 8.13″
- Blade Length: 3.55″
- Blade Material: AUS 8 (57-58 HRC)
- Grind: Flat
- Finish: Black Corrosion Resistance
- Style: Drop Point
- Edge: Plain
- Handle Material: 6061 aluminum
- Deployment: Outburst Spring Assisted with FireSafe Safety
- Weight: 4.2 ounces
- Clip Positions: 1, Tip Down
- Price: $140
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
There have been some complaints about the original Argus’ design centered around the thumb wheel and deployment. These varied from being tight at first to causing blisters on the thumb. I’ve been working with this knife and deployed it dozens of times just in the process of writing this. While it can be a little rough on your thumb at first, I found that once I was used to the mechanism, it was not a problem that I experienced.
I love the black finish on the CRKT Argus Black. It makes for a more discrete EDC over what a flashy polished aluminum would offer. I always carry a knife, but that doesn’t mean I want to advertise it. I know there will be some people that completely disagree with me on the defensive carry potential of this knife. Spring assisted opening, a drop point blade, and a tactical look/feel gives me more confidence defensively than my favorite EDC, the CRKT Fossil. Yes, the aluminum handle does mean that it’s not going to be my go to for defensive carry situations. It does work for me as a secondary application after EDC though.