CRKT Upgrades Steel and Sheath on Alan Folts Biwa

Thing have been busy over at CRKT HQ lately. The Tualatin, Oregon-based company has been churning out a string of new models, expansions, and limited releases over the last few months, with another one dropping today. This time it’s a fixed blade, the Alan Folts-designed Biwa, that’s getting a new look – and new steel to go along with it.

The Biwa released last year, part of the class of ’21. It was a compact, bird and trout-style full tang fixed blade designed to bring high functionality to a low price point. Its 3.02-inch blade was made from 8Cr13MoV, its scales were two-tone G-10, and it came with a thermoplastic sheath. The Biwa was of particular interest to those who followed Folts’s other CRKT collabs, most notably the Minimalist series – it was bigger, yes, but also had a refined, classic style that made it stand out from those popular previous releases, with their more aggressive and modern lines.

The Biwa Black also comes with a leather sheath instead of the standard thermoplastic one

Which brings us to the Biwa Black. As the name implies (and as any image of the knife confirms), the Biwa Black swaps out the two-tone scales of the original for a pair of black fiber-infused resin ones. But, unlike the Xolotl Black that CRKT released last week, this variation is not just a cosmetic one: the blade steel is upgraded to 12C27N, which still keeps the price reasonable but brings the performance up a notch over 8Cr13MoV. Finally, the sheath is also upgraded to a full grain leather number, which dovetails with the generally homespun, rustic feel of the Biwa Black.

As mentioned above, CRKT has been chugging along lately. The Biwa Black follows on the heels of several other surprise drops from CRKT, including two runs of the Squid II, a revision of the well-loved Lucas Burnley classic. The Biwa is actually dropping alongside a new all-black version of the Ritual, another Alan Folts design (this one is just a cosmetic variation, however).

Like those Squid II drops, the Biwa Black is a limited release. It’s up now on CRKT’s website and with selected dealers.

Knife in Featured Image: CRKT Biwa Black

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