A Pocket Knife for Blade Nerds: CRKT Attaboy Review
A collection of small touches and thoughtful design choices will only be truly appreciated by the most avid cutters.
The CRKT Attaboy is a strange knife. Not in a manufacturing sense, or even functional. But as I took the review sample out of its box, this weird fog of existential uncertainty came out along with the packaging.
Knives are simple tools, designed to separate one piece of material from another. So why did this one have to be so complicated and weird?
The answer, when I glanced at my phone, was looking straight at me into the front camera – the Attaboy is a knife for nerds.
Designed by Flavio Ikoma, this particular model is touted as putting “everything you need for everyday carry in one ultra-compact bag. folding knife which weighs only 3.5 ounces.
I spent several weeks testing this thesis, from trips in the woods to afternoons filled with chores. And in the end, it warmed every half of my nerdy, practical heart.
In short: With its exciting feature set and thoughtful design, the CRKT Attaboy is a capable performer. But while it’s certainly useful for the general public, it looks like a knife for collectors and enthusiasts. The blade steel could be better, but utility and the hustle factor win out.
CRKT Attaboy Knife: Review
Structurally, the Attaboy is an interesting beast. Its chubby grips and no-frills backspacer almost make it look like something out of the mid-2010s. The partial grip scales also represent an odd bit of retro-futurism.
But once you press that tab on its bow, this little time machine jumps to the present.
The Attaboy represents my first experience with an assisted front pinball machine. It’s a system that takes a few deployments to master, but once you master it, the action becomes slightly addictive. Firm pressure on the well-textured tab is enough to send the knife’s 2.73 inches of D2 steel into place.
I’m a sucker for a good sheepsfoot blade, and the Attaboy delivers. During his stay, I learned to treat him almost like an assisted box cutter. But instead of the uncomfortable all-metal chassis of your typical utility tool, CRKT’s 3.8 inches of glass-reinforced nylon provide a natural feel with multiple grip options.
I’m also a big fan of its chamfered edges, especially at the top of the blade. There are also two separate jimping patches, each providing a nice texture for your thumb.
Finally, there is the Deadbolt lock. This push-button configuration (combined with the IKBS ball bearing system in the swivel) offers a unique entertainment experience.
To close this knife, all you have to do is press down on the oversized bullseye screw and the blade will drop halfway closed. You then take it the rest of the way with your hand, pant leg, or whatever you choose. Sounds weird, I know, but trust me, it’s kinda fun.
As much as I appreciate sheeps foot, the stock it uses is a bit thick at 0.13 inches. It’s perfectly capable of opening packages and cutting through harder materials, but be aware that you won’t get thin slices from an onion.
This girth issue carries over to the knife as a whole. Despite CRKT’s claim that the Attaboy is “ultra-compact”, it actually takes up quite a bit of space. Here it is at the center of several other popular knives.
Although the knife is certainly not massive (6.5 inches in total), it does not exactly disappear in the pocket. It rolls very well and the deep carry clip is well positioned. But in cargo shorts or lightweight pants, you can feel this one slapping against your thigh — your right, that is, because there’s no flip-clip option for left-handers.
Also, you may need to apply some Loctite to the pivot screw/lock knob combination. After a few hundred openings and closings, mine managed to come off almost completely.
Finally, $99 seems a little steep for the D2 Steel. It is a solid performer in CRKT’s other applications, such as the exceptional XM Squid. But this knife sells for $47, less than half the Attaboy.
That being said, my tester’s blade held up well in wet conditions and showed no staining issues. But Civivi and a few other companies are doing great things with more advanced steels in the $100 range, and CRKT could learn a thing or two here.
The more I think about it, the more CRKT Attaboy looks like a knife designed for blade nerds. They (and I really mean “we”) will appreciate the subtle things, like the double jimping and Art Deco curves of the handle ladders.
We also like the quick actions and novelty of things like the front flippers and button locks. Your average knife user can learn to love these things, of course. But I don’t think those are the kind of features that would entice them to take an Attaboy off the shelf.
Still, it’s a wonderfully strong blade. So much so that it naturally ended up in my pocket almost every day of his stay. I like the durable, utilitarian approach, and the snap of its lock is semi-addictive.
If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, you could do a lot worse than the Attaboy.
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