Chris Reeve Knives Adds Nilte Folder to Web Store

Chris Reeve Knives (CRK) is expanding its online offerings with the first ever addition of a non-CRK produced knife, the Nilte Raggio, to its web store. The move generated discussion among fans, but CRK tells us the inclusion is part of a larger plan to widen the appeal and reach of their brand – which may eventually include less expensive offerings from CRK itself.

Massimo Fantoni, a close family friend of the Reeves, designed the Nilte Raggio. It is a sequel of sorts to the Nilte Quiete, utilizing the same design but lighter, more affordable handle material than the G-10 original. The Pure Back Lock mechanism reduces weight compared to a standard lock back mechanism, and the 2.9-inch bladed Raggio weighs only 2 oz. Although the knife released earlier this year in Europe and can be purchased through international dealers, CRK has become the first US-based distributor for the knife.

Many visit the web store to purchase replacement parts for their CRK knives, but Tim Reeve tells us that the storefront will continue to grow in the days to come. “I’ve got plans for all sorts of other stuff for the store.” He has no intentions to compete on the scale of a knife dealer, but envisions it as small-scale, curated selection of goods that can expand what CRK offers to its customers. “Not CRK co-branded, just cool products that we like,” he says. An initial batch of Raggios was put up for sale yesterday, and more could follow if they prove to be popular.

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The early response from CRK fans has run the gamut from complimentary to critical. Reeve says part of the pushback could lie with the company’s historical reputation. A $200 knife, although not produced or branded by CRK, seems like a serious shift for a company whose cheapest folder goes for $350. “I think people are trying to judge this knife from the CRK level,” Reeve says. “Is it the knife that’s going to save the world? No. But it’s a cool knife with a really interesting take on the lockback.”

Reeve also hinted that, although it’s still a ways off, there may come a time when we see a CRK knife with a more affordable price tag. “I’ve seen the need for an entry-level folder from us for a while now. I’ve got really good ideas for something from CRK that will be in the $200-$250 range.”

Knife featured in image: Nilte Raggio