The Perfect Bugout Knife – The CRKT Parascale

By Dr. Jim and Mary Clary

Illustration courtesy of Columbia River Knife & Tool, Inc.

This knife is a true outdoor / survivalist knife. T.J. Schwarz has succeeded in producing a knife that everyone who ventures into the bush should have. This knife will have your back! That being said, now it is time for us to explain our reasons and provide you with some facts about this truly remarkable blade.

The credit for the innovative Deadbolt's design goes to Flavio Ikoma from Brazil who spent several years working to perfect the lock. This design utilizes steel bolts which interlock with the blade and liners when deployed to yield maximum strength. That is an understatement, as it is impossible to close the knife when open without physically destroying the knife. The button at the pivot point on the handle permits a simple disengagement of the blade. And, your fingers never cross the blade during  disengagement – a significant safety feature. Add in the IKBS ball bearing pivot system which makes the “flipper” for blade deployment smooth and fast, and you have a truly remarkable design.

However, Schwarz didn't stop there, he crafted a 3.2” drop point out of D2 steel. Because one does not hear about D2 steel very often, we will provide a brief description. Prior to finding a home in high-end knives, the primary use of this steel was for making stamping dies that cut steel pieces out of other softer steels. Due to the process by which D2 is made, there can be significant variations from lot to lot.

“It varies from good to extraordinary, depending on the production lot of steel, the way the steel is heat-treated, and the way the blade edge is beveled and finished.” (Michael S. Black, Knives Illustrated, 2016)

What this means for knife makers is that their D2 blades will hold their edges better and longer than most other steels (up to 10 times), which makes for a superb survivalist knife. However, it will take more effort to resharpen when the time comes. In our opinion, the D2 blades on the Parascale are extraordinary.

The glass reinforced nylon handle is paracord-wrapped which provides an excellent grip in wet or dry conditions. “If you’re wondering why you’ve never seen a paracord-wrapped folder before, it’s because you probably haven’t—unlike a frame lock or liner lock, the Deadbolt® only impacts the pivot, making the Parascale™ a highly useful outdoor folding companion.”

Parascale specifications

  • Blade Length: 3.191? (81.05 mm)

  • Blade Edge: Plain Edge

  • Blade Steel: D2

  • Blade Finish: Satin

  • Blade Thickness: 0.134? (3.4 mm)

  • Overall Length: 7.875? (200.03 mm)

  • Closed Length: 4.682? (118.92 mm)

  • Weight: 5.0 oz. (141.75g)

  • Handle: Glass Reinforced Nylon

  • Style: Folding Knife w/Deadbolt Lock

This knife is both a survivalist and bushcraft blade. It has what it takes to allow one to survive in the wilderness as well as being refined to add a bit of comfort. With an MSRP of $129.99, it is a bargain – especially for a blade that has your back in the backcountry.

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Copyright 2022 by Jim and Mary Clary and/or All rights reserved.