Snap-On teamed up with CRKT and Ken Onion to develop a shop knife that’s not afraid to get itself into applications that your nicer EDC’s would rather not find themselves in. The Snap-On Rave is built to work in a shop and be as tough as the pros that are also working there. We got a couple of these in, so I have the opportunity to work with our Managing Editor to get a broader perspective on this tough little tool box knife.
What’s the difference between an EDC and a shop or tool box knife? Your typical EDC is going to find itself opening boxes, cutting or slicing various light materials throughout the day, and likely having some defensive carry features. A shop knife gets to do the dirty work. It cleans corrosion away from battery terminals. It strips wire. It cuts boxes apart for recycling. It does the things that would make your wife cringe if she saw what you did to it. So what should we expect from Snap-On’s latest shop knife?
Snap-On Rave Materials and Build Quality
It starts with 1.4116 blade material that rates 55 – 57 on the HRC hardness scale. This isn’t one of the super steels, but it is known for its corrosion resistance. It’s a pretty tough blend, which is great for the shop. On the other hand, edge retention is not one of its strong suits, so know that you’ll have to sharpen it more often than the 8Cr13MoV that CRKT likes to use. There is a slight bit of play in the blade. It’s not enough to turn us off from using the Snap-On Rave, but it bears mentioning.
A glass filled nylon handle surrounds the liner lock. This offers an excellent gripping surface. Again, it’s not as pretty as a titanium or G10 handle, but you’ll have a secure grip. The rubber ridges also add to the security of the grip. CRKT and Snap-On do their best to make an attractive design out of the classic black and Snap-On red. We decided that the straight black and black with red ridges are our favorites, but this is simply preference.
Snap-On Rave Design and Performance
The Snap-On Rave is a brute of a knife. It’s a stubbier design that offers a really natural and comfortable three finger grip. Jimping on the spine is perfectly placed for your thumb to support the cut with a natural feel. It’s pretty clear that Ken Onion designed the Snap-On Rave with a natural, comfortable working grip in mind.
There’s no bearing system or spring assist on this knife, so it’s understandably a little tougher to deploy than other knives we’ve reviewed from CRKT. For a non-bearing system, it does quite well though. You’ll need just a slight wrist flick to help the deployment.
We found the flipper to be tough on our fingers. It’s a little short and seems to put more pressure on the forefinger than usual. If you constantly flip your knife open over and over again while talking on the phone or just as a habit, you’ll notice the flipper pretty quickly. The finish has worn out a little already on mine. It’s not as noticeable on Kenny’s model at this point. Considering we’ve only had the knives about a month, we’re little surprised to be showing bare metal there. I’m not too concerned about considering the corrosion resisting character of this steel blend.
The liner lock is a bit thinner than what we’re used to. It fully slides over on deployment, so there’s little risk of failure.
The blade is less than 2-1/2″ on the Snap-On Rave. You’ll be good to go in areas where blade length restrictions are in place. The stubby nature really helps get some leverage behind it for abusive tasks as well as getting it into some tight areas. There’s a slight amount of blade play, but it shouldn’t affect function.
The drop point design is great for slicing applications, stripping wire, cleaning out gunk, and other general purpose uses. It’s not going to be as good as a clip point for piercing, but it’s going to have a much stronger tip.
There’s only one tip-down clip position here. Since there’s really no defensive carry applications that the Snap-On Rave is designed for, this isn’t a big deal. The clip is deep carry, exposing very little of the knife. It’s strong enough that you won’t have to worry about it coming out accidentally. Unless you’re like Kenny. He has a habit of catching his EDC on wall edges and banisters, bending out the clip. It opens wide enough on the end to easily accommodate clipping on thicker work pants.
Snap-On Rave Specifications
- Overall Length: 5.93″
- Blade Length: 2.36″
- Weight: 3.7 ounces
- Blade Material: 1.4116 Stainless Steel
- HRC Hardness Rating: 55-57
- Finish: Black
- Grind: Flat
- Style: Drop Point
- Edge: Plain
- Deployment: Manual Flipper
- Handle Material: Glass Filled Nylon
- Locking Mechanism: Liner
- Clip Positions: 1, Tip Down
The Snap-On Rave from CRKT and Ken Onion makes a great little shop or tool box knife. There are some trade offs from what you expect in a typical EDC, but it’s a brute that is built to take some abuse. We love the natural feel in our hands of the design. Considering the applications it’s designed for, we really like the handle. The grip is secure and the clip holds solidly. The short, thick blade really lets us get some leverage behind what we’re cutting. Unless they’re going to price this between $30 and $40, it would be great to see a bearing system deployment and higher grade blade steel.
Kenny and I both have found a place in our tool boxes for the Snap-OnRave to live. If you’re looking for a typical every day carry to get light tasks done, you probably want to look at something else. If you’re looking for a tough, dedicated shop knife, the Snap-On Rave is a good option.
At this time, Snap-On has not returned our request for a retail price that you can expect to pay and their website isn’t showing the Rave. We’ll get the review updated just as soon as they do.