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This is a review base don the Jk crooked Creek, designed by a JK Customer and friend, CBwoods on baldeforums. My pictures are coming out "huge" so apologies to anyone who has trouble with loading the thread.
I've been trying to come up with a title, seems like Crooked Creek should lend itself to a clever title, something like "Crook stole heart and through my wallet in the Creek!" only, you know, actually clever. While i might not have come up with a good title I did end up with a very good impression of The JK Crooked Creek. But first, the details:
JK Crooked Creek, 11" Overall, 3/32" thick 01 carbon steel, with a 6" blade.
This one has Black Cavas Micarta with a flat grind and satin finish.
As you can see I'm not the first person to get. there hands on this knife and it already has a nice patina forming.
My first thought after unpacking it was that I wanted one. The balance point of this knife (just at the end of the first pin) is absolutely perfect, in that it feels like it rests in your hand and your never fighting it. It's simply comfortable as all get out. This surprised me for 2 reasons.
1. I don't tend to like knives over 7" long.
Here it is next to my current "big" knife, which is only 8 1/2" long.
2. I really didn't like it in the pictures I'd seen, I "got it" I see the function and purpose of the design and appreciate team, but it's not for me. the handle just didn't look like my kind of thing either. But holding it, I didn't just "get it" I knew I had to "get one" (see what I did there?)
This posed some problems because I don't see the point in wining a knife with no use for it. That's just me, (I also can't just have a knife worth this much for the sake of it, but I'm working on justifying that ;))
I have hawks and axes for anything a bigger knife might be sued for and CBwoods had designs this as a butcher/camp knife. I don't do much butchering, either.
So I decided to hijack the passaround little, other reviews, like HERE have already done a fine job of detailing the specs and showing how good it is at cutting meat. I'd rather see if it can take over any of the chores I might use it for.
I break down cardboard boxes (enough of them come in with the groceries) to get our firs going. It might not be the best but it cuts back on the trash and it works so I do it. I have a smaller hatchet i use to make wood chips to aid the process and a thinner fixed blade to cut the boxes into more manageable pieces.
I used the Crooked Creek instead in both instances.
have to say it worked very well doing these chores.
Like I say I don't do much in the kitchen but i do mash potatoes, could the crooked Creek be my potato peeler?
As you might guess it was a little awkward as a paring knife but it was worth it to enjoy the edge make quick work of the tatters.
One thing that did surprise me though is that it was also awkward in slicing veggies. I cut like this with my normal kitchen knives but where this is designed for butchering I found it difficult to get a rhythm going because the handle bends down and so my knuckles kept hitting the cutting board.
But i adjusted and once again felt the thrill of this super thing fine edge go to work.
Things you shouldn't do with a 3/32" knife
As you can see we're having a bit of weather here at the moment. But I was determined to see if I couldn't cut through some heavier stuff with this thin butcher knife. I asked cbwoods to be safe and he said I could batten away through tree stumps for all I cared, the only worry he had was that the rounded spin would eat up any baton I tried to use too quickly...fair point.
So instead I decided to cut up some frozen branches in my yard.
Easy enough. In fact these were just snapping in half, it's really cold here guys :p. Time to go up to about 3/4" diameters.
No problems yet. 2". As much as I know and trust JK steel I was worried I may ding the edge of this passaround knife due to go on to people beyond after me, but Cbwoods had been very confident and I think he was justified.
Without the weight of a true chopper (it's 3/32" thick remember!) it did take me about 5 minutes and 30 or so swings to get through it. But it did work.
no, really it did
I tested the edge right afterwards and it was still just as silky
I'd need a lanyard hole for something to secure my grip with and some more weight to it for this to be it's job idly, but I did like finding yet more confidence the heat treat and edge.
At this point the weather got the best of me, I was digging myself and my mother in law out most days and the water stopped coming out the tap. In the end I passed the Crooked Creek on rather then hold up the passaround. However, I was left with the deep impression that I like and will own a Crooked Creek in the future. It taught me a lot about what I "want" in a knife and not to rule one out just because it doesn't fit my "typical" wants.
However since I don't butcher a lot of game, I'm not sure the crooked Creek is for me as if. While it did everything I asked of it, and did it well, all the time feeling wonderful in my hand, I was pushing it to places it wasn't meant to go and so there was always a little something not right.
If you are someone how does process a lot of meat, this things perfect, and such a sweet edge! If your a bigger knife guy then me, this will fit into your wheel house just fine. But for me I think I'd rather up it's size to 1/8" or 3/16" and have ti as a heavier knife so i could whack away at a few things when I didn't want to use or carry an axe or hawk.
Luckily John will do that just as easily, so i have heavier version of this knife on order :D. I can't wait
In short, this knife is so well designed and so well made that if you don't have a reason to own one, you will find one.
Thanks anyone who stuck with me till the end there ;)
Peter , yes, I stuck it out to the end. Thanks so much for posting that. It looks like quite a knife and yes perhaps a bit light for a chopper. But it did still work so can't take that away.
I also prefer fixed blades to be smaller than 7 inches. Sometimes if they are heavy its a lot to hold on to if you are processing for a time. But that being said there are a boat load of 7 inch knives out there, or longer than 7, so someone is buying.
Never before heard of CB Woods and would love to more about him. Is he a Full Time Maker? Does he do his own forging or heat treat? What part of this great country does he come from?
thanks for sticking with it Steven, sorry for the confusion to, CBwoods is a JK Customer , JK Knives ("Your design or mine") made this knife top to bottom. But customers often send there own knife designs (cut out of cardboard) to JK knives to be made and that is what this one is, a customer designed JK Knife.
Well I stuck it out to the end also and enjoyed it as well!! I am very happy I did! I did not know that JK has a spot for those folks that want their own design. How very cool that this customer made a cardboard knife that became a reality. While a little large for me it is easy to see it could be an extremely good knife to have outside with me walking around the mountain.
Great review, Peter!
I missed this when you posted it, but I am glad I finally found it. The Crooked Creek is a great knife and I have one on my counter in the kitchen as I type this. Cooper is a great designer, and I am lucky that he lives not too far from me. He is just in his mid 20's, so he has a lot of designs in him yet, and I am sure JK will be willing to make many more!