Review: CRKT Shizuka Noh Ken Knife
Major Pandemic 03.16.15
Previously, I reviewed the James Williams designed Shinbu and Hisshou short sword defensive knives and was wowed by their cutting ability. I have been a huge fan of his Heiho and Hissatsu folders so much so that a James Williams folder is almost always found in my pocket.
James Williams, as you may remember, is a world renowned sword practitioner and cutting expert. He is also actively involved in teaching Military special operations and government security professionals how handy an edged weapon can be in situations where firearms are not permitted. The request came back to James for smaller folding knives that still packed the powerful cutting characteristics of the larger fixed blade Hissatsu, Shinbu and Hisshou, Heiho, Hissatsu, and Otanashi folders, and the result is the Shizuka Noh Ken, which is a downsized Otanashi in a format that fits into most jurisdictional knife law requirements.
Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) was founded in 1994 by Rod Bremer in Oregon. By working in unison with the top knife designers around the world, CRKT delivers a broad line of innovative custom knife designs in affordable production knives and tools. The result is that the hottest custom designs are available to the consumer for daily use at affordable prices.
Fit, Finish, Feel, Features, and Functions
Like all the other CRKT James Williams folders, each model and size are exceptional quality, and I consider them best tactical knives in CRKT lineup. The Osoraku style blade, made famous by the 16th century Samurai warlord Takeda Shingen, is efficient and effective, with an amazing slashing cutting geometry. This knife’s blade size fits in between the larger 4” Hissatsu and 3” Heiho blade sizes at just over 3.6”, but is slimmer thanks to the G10 handles and deep carry clip style of the Otanashi.
Like all the other CRKT James William knives, the Otonashi features an AUS8 steel blade with a black corrosion resistant blade coating. Quality wise, this Shizuka Noh Ken is equal in quality to the Heiho and Otanashi and represents another top end offering from Williams and CRKT. Like the Supersize Otanashi, the Shizuka Noh Ken features a slim G10 handle and deep concealment reversible pocket clip.
The liner lock is backed up with CRKT’s LAWKS safety system like the other Williams CRKT knives. For this type of knife and the tactical nature of the design, I think a backup LAWKS lock safety is critical to ensure that you can secure the blade in a fixed position no matter how hard you are pushing the knife.
As much as the Otanashi was about size, the CRKT Shizuka Noh Ken is all about every day carry size and cutting capability. Compared to the nylon handles on the Hissatsu, the G10 handles on this knife are a huge look, feel, and slim profile upgrade for the hard core user in a size that can be carried each day. For the size of this knife, it is a very lightweight, slim, high performance cutter. Once again I am blown away at what Williams has delivered on yet another design based on a solid time tested blade design.
- Open Overall Length: 8.25 inches
- Closed Length: 4.55 inches
- Weight: 4.2 ounces
- Blade Length: 3.625 inches
- Thickness: 0.15 inches
- Material: AUS8A
- Blade: HRC57-59
- Finish: Black Corrosion Resistant Coating
- Grind: Flat
- Style: Modified Tanto
- Edge: Plain
- Handle Material: Front: G10, Back: 420J2 Stainless Steel
- Lock Type: Frame Lock
- Safety System: LAWKS
- Carry System: 2 Position Clip, Tip up Carry
- MSRP $140