CRKT’s Ken Onion Redemption Is A heavy-Duty Taskmaster.
Ken Onion is one of the rare custom knifemakers who have had an impact on the cutlery industry since the modern tactical era spawned in the early 1990s. His assisted opening mechanism took the tactical genre by storm and is still red hot. While the talented maker is best known for his folders, Onion designs a mean fixed-blade such as the Redemption model you see here, a factory collaboration with Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT).
Onion has long been a fan of the Filipino Bola blade, a drop-point style that flares wider toward the end. The Bola design excels on large knives where the added weight on the top half of the blade adds hellacious chopping power. The Redemption—15 inches in overall length with 9.5 of the total in the blade—is a survival knife posing as a monster, or vice versa. The knife’s full tang construction utilizes O1, a time proven high carbon non-stainless “tool steel” that’s been around since dirt. The back spine of the blade is ground for enhanced penetration and a black powder coat keeps oxidation in check. The Redemption has a curvaceous black G10 composite handle with fingergrooves for excellent purchase and an integral guard at the top for finger protection. To grip the Redemption’s 20.8 ounces (the steel is over a 1/4-inch thick) of weight is to know there are no large chores off limits. This is a bushwhacker, site clearer, shelter builder, butcherer, and more.
CRKT delivers the Redemption with a first class black nylon Molle sheath with a plastic insert to hold the knife tight, and further accoutered with leg straps and a pouch for a sharpening stone or folder. One major benefit of O1 steel is—unlike many of the modern day stainless steels—it can easily be sharpened in the wild, even using a smooth stone if necessary. At $300 suggested retail the Redemption will be worth every penny when it comes to putting its worth to task, and you’ll never have to say you’re sorry you didn’t bring a beast along to do a beast’s job!
By Pat Covert
KEN ONION REDEMPTION
18348 S.W. 126th Pl.
Tualatin, OR 97062
Blade Material: O1 high carbon steel
Blade Length: 9.5″
Overall Length: 15″
Weight: 20.8 ounces
Handle: Black G10
Carry: Nylon sheath/thermal plastic insert