Tools help separate man from animal, and some of the best are multitaskers, especially for carry where space or weight may be a consideration. Pocket folders are always good candidates for multitasking units, and for certain uses it often makes good sense to look for one that combines additional functions with cutting in the same-sized package. This is not referring to the pocket multi-tool concept, where a blade or two are added as secondary functions to the primary tool functions provided by screwdrivers, files, scissors, and saws, and the theme is more tool than cutter.
The idea is a lightweight folder whose main reason for being is to cut, with a package that features three or four additional handy and genuinely useful functions, all in the same general dimensions as other folders that can’t do anything but cut. If you’re going to carry a knife of this same approximate size, why not maximize the utility of the package? And that seems to be pretty much the thought behind SureFire’s Crank.
The Crank(y) Clipper
The basis of the Crank’s name is its ability to “crank” various screw heads and nuts, which is extremely ingenious and extremely useful as field-expedient tighteners for certain purposes such as these hunting applications.
SureFire, best known for its high-quality hand-held lights and weapon lasers for hard users, now shows six Steve Ryan designed blades on its website, and I think the Crank looks to be the most useful of the bunch. It took me awhile to figure out the name, but once the light did go on, it made perfect sense.
If you’re knowledgeable and need a dependable tool over the long run, you pay attention to the blade up front. Handle materials, configuration, size and lock are also important, but if you’re buying a blade to cut well and cut often, the blade’s material, grind, thickness and shape are factors to look at. Doesn’t matter how pretty a knife may be or how well it fits your hand, if you can’t count on it to cut when something needs cutting it should stay in the showcase.