The Tactical Knife Your Kitchen Needs: CRKT ‘Clever Girl’ Kukri Review

“What did I get myself into? was my immediate reaction when I first wielded the CRKT Clever Girl Kukri.

Shaking it in my kitchen, I thought about life choices who had put in my possession not one, but two of these blades. A week earlier, after checking out the specs on CRKT’s website, I reached out to see if they’d be interested in a review.

Then, due to a FedEx error, I received a second copy of the same knife. So I stood there, double-wielding behind my counter, figuring out ways to put this pair of blades to the test.

Two weeks and a few abuse sessions later, I think I finally understood these weird and interesting tools.

(Photo / Josh Wussow)

CRKT Clever Girl Kukri Review

The elephant in the room

First, let’s talk about the T word – “tactical”- which gives me a problem. More often than not, this is marketing jargon aimed at buyers who view knives as weapons rather than practical, real tools. It annoys me because when I walk towards the woods or the yard, I try to work, not to play soldier.

But this blade gets a bit of a pass. Why? Because the designer, Austin McGlaun, actually served in the military. According to the CRKT’s website, McGlaun was “inspired to find new ways to tackle the laborious tasks of the camp” while stationed at Fort Polk.

This is part of the company’s Forged by War program, the excellent of which I have previously reviewed. CRKT Siwi.

The blade

CRKT Clever Girl Kukri - blade
(Photo / Josh Wussow)

This is the second fixed blade iteration of the Clever girl. While the original is a simpler knife, the KukriThe graceful curve adds 3+ inches and more than doubles the weight. In total, this knife measures 13.25 inches and measures 14.2 ounces.

The blade itself is made of SK-5 steel, known for its toughness. It will also retain an advantage, with a slightly longer life than the high carbon 1095.

Still, rust resistance isn’t exactly the SK-5’s strong suit. This is where CRKT’s black powder coating comes in. Through abuse of wood cutting and household chores, it has managed to protect the blades from any noticeable damage.

Transport and ergonomics

Clever Girl Kukri - handle
(Photo / Josh Wussow)

Now on to the handle. The user interface is made up of two plates of hardened G10, sandwiched on either side of the full tang. These provide a solid grip and are generally comfortable in the hand. They are also water resistant and more suited to accidental impacts than something like leather or wood.

Nevertheless, I would recommend combining the Smart girl Kukri with gloves. Due to the rigid nature of the material, the shock of your strikes will reverberate through your hand and arm.

Even with the benefit of a little padding, I developed a blood blister by peeling a few small branches from felled tree branches. (However, I’m hesitant to blame the knife too much, as I was trying things that it might not be suitable for.)

But we will come back to that. First of all, a few words about the sheath. This is a glass reinforced nylon case, with an integrated belt loop and a drawstring option for drop leg carrying. The top of its case is open, allowing you to slide the blade almost diagonally.

Drawing is easy, but putting it back on the hip requires a bit of practice. Overall, however, it’s a solid system.

CRKT Clever Girl Kukri review

By definition, a kukri is meant to have an impact. This is why I was somewhat perplexed at the limitations of this knife when decaying the yard debris. While the Smart girl Kukri is bigger than his brothers and sisters, its lack of weight is visible compared to similar blades of this style.

I was able to split multiple limbs, but a few more ounces or inches would have made the process a lot easier. Make no mistake, the Clever Girl will run through small branches and sticks. But if you’re tackling something that’s larger than your thumb, you’re going to stick with it for a bit.

Clever Girl Kukri - test
(Photo / Josh Wussow)

But what surprised me the most was the absolute mastery of this knife in the kitchen. With a blade nearly a fifth of an inch thick, you’d expect it to destroy vegetables instead of slicing them.

But, due to the height of its bevel, I was able to slice thin slices of onions and mushrooms so naturally it was almost scary. In fact, I laughed as I prepared my supper. Damn, the Clever girl does a better job with meal prep than most folding knives I’ve used.

It was here that the knife’s multi-role ability finally shone.

CRKT Clever Girl Kukri: Conclusion

In the end, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so surprised by a knife. The Clever girl is not the heaviest kukri in the world, so it will be relegated to small and medium-sized brushes. But once you’re done messing up the yard, he’ll be more than ready to make a meal – you know, just wash him first.

As a fan of versatile tools, I can certainly respect what CRKT and designer Austin McGlaun have done here. If your interest lies at the intersection of survival cooking and wild cooking, the Smart girl Kukri can be a welcome companion at a crossroads.

Check the price at CRKT


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