I recently received a SureFire Crank Utility Knife as a gift and felt it had some unique features that help it stand out from the pack.
My initial impression of the SureFire Crank was that it is feature filled and feels very nice in the hand. I immediately noticed it had a window punch on the butt for breaking windows. It has a ½” hexagonal opening to use as a wrench and slots cut in to that opening. (The slots had me a bit puzzled until I checked out the SureFire website and saw that the slots were for holding coins to use as a make shift flat head screwdriver.) The spine of the blade has a bottle opener near the guard for breaching your favorite beverage of choice. On top of the frame near the butt is a built-in cord/harness cutter. The pocket clip is held in place by three small Torx bit screws and orients the blade in a down position when in the pocket. The pocket clip has the frame sticking out the top of the pants pocket about 1” and is not reversible. Unfortunately, I also noticed that the pocket clip was slightly loose right out of the packaging causing lateral movement back & forth. The 3” blade has spring assisted opening and a liner lock is used to automatically lock and manually release the blade. Everything is held together with eight Torx screws, four on each side.
Additional research after I got home showed that the 3” blade is made from 154 CM Steel. What does a 154 CM Steel blade mean to the average Operator? Some consider 154 CM to be the best steel available for providing decent corrosion resistance and holding an edge on knives intended for heavy use. The SureFire Crank measures 4” when closed with a weight of 3.20 ounces. Open length measures 6.56”. A quick note for you so that you don’t damage the frame trying to torque a ½” bolt; it’s intended for light use as would be expected due to the aluminum frame.
The slots for using coins as a flat head screw driver can be a little tricky. It will handle quarters and nickels in the large slot. The small slot accommodates pennies and dimes. You need to use a finger to wedge the coin in to place so that it does not fall out. I used my index finger to apply pressure on either side of the coin depending on weather I was loosening or tightening. These slots are where I noticed a design/clearance problem. A nickel or quarter in the long slot actually touches the edge of the blade. This to me is unacceptable because, you could potentially damage the edge of the blade. To be honest with you, I have not had a single occasion to use either the wrench or screwdriver feature under real world conditions. Each use has been experimentation only.
The agency I work for like so many others has a policy regarding the carrying of knives while on duty. As a matter of fact, my agency refers to them as rescue tools intended primarily for cutting seat belts. The SureFire Crank would fill that role of a rescue tool very well with the window punch & cord/harness cutter. The cord/harness cutter can also be used to cut flex cuffs in the absence of a proper cutter. We all know it is a bad idea to cut flex cuffs with the blade of a knife. My agency forbids cutting flex cuffs with a knife except in exigent circumstances. For cutting flex cuffs, you’ll use the cord/harness cutter from one side to get the cut started and then switch to the opposite side to finish the cut.
To sum it up, the SureFire Crank has a couple of features that are very practical and a few that I’m not sure about. Any way you look at it, the Crank combines three regularly used tools: knife, cord/harness cutter, and window punch in to one tool and it even has a few extra.
The MSRP on the SureFire Crank is $210 but, you’ll be able to find it from several dealers for less than that.
Visit the SureFire website at: http://www.surefire.com/