Its shape and line demonstrates its class immediately whilst at the same time showing the practicality that characterizes Matthew Lerch's projects. This is not surprising as his previous work was as a jeweller and watchmaker.
With his current work Lerch has moved his interest to the blade world, achieving one success after another and patenting numerous opening mechanisms of folding knives, such as the Fire Safe®, and creating a number of successful designs such as the Endorser ™ and Moxie ™, both produced by CRKT.
The Cobia's peculiarity , which immediately leaps to the eye, is the texture on the handle that reproduces fish scales. The sports fishing enthusiasts will know, in fact, that the Cobia is the name of a saltwater fish of the species Rachycentron canadum, which has an elongated, lean and muscular body and it is possible to find in the Red Sea and also in the coastal waters off the United States. For his strong and combative temperament, but also for the quality of his meat, the Cobia is one of the most sought-after prey of sport fishermen.
Just as the fish from which it takes its name, the Cobia by CRKT has a slim and sleek shape, with a hollow grind and curved blade, 8 cm long and 2.4 mm thick, which ends with a slender drop point.
The steel used is the German DIN 1.4116, hardened to 55-57 HRC, rather similar in composition to the 420HC or to 425M, but with a greater wear resistance.
Instead the handle is made of 420J steel, and on one side has the fish scale-like texture, made by milling machining, and on the other side there is the frame-lock system.
The realization of mechanical couplings of the knife is of excellent workmanship and the blade in the opening position does not have any kind of play. The first impression you get when looking at the frame-lock is that it is difficult to reach but, after trying to unlock the blade, you immediately realise that the thumb can take hold very well on the frame, and the blade can be comfortably deployed, thanks to the presence of a large jimpings.
The Outburst® assisted opening mechanism, patented by CRKT, allows for a quick and easy opening of the blade, through the thumb stud, made with a truncated cylinder shape on whose surface has been practiced knurling to improve the thumb grip.
The attention to details employed in the Cobia is also noticeable in the precision fasteners used; the pivot is given by a Torx screw (T6) and a female screw with rounded head, applied on the knife side where there is milling. The use of screws has been optimised to the maximum, to reduce their presence and improve the aesthetics of the product. One of the screws of the clip, indeed, also acts as a holder for the stop pin, whilst the handle grips are held by only two screws that pass through the spacer.
The Outburst® mechanism is constituted by a flat spring, fixed in the steel spacer, which goes to engage the blade tang in the closing position. The spring, once loaded, returns the force in the opening phase after passing the constraint given by the detent ball.
Indeed it is sufficient to apply leverage onto the thumb stud to suddenly open the blade with greater fluidity, also thanks to the presence of a teflon washer on one side and a bronze washer on the other.
The knife is equipped with a pocket clip of small size, only configured for the tip-down carry, which perfectly incorporates the graceful style of the knife.
The knife has a good sharpening and an excellent edge finish, and it has passed our usual qualitative cutting tests on materials of common use.
Cobia’s price shown on CKRT’s official website is of 130$, but you it is possible to find it in online stores at an even lower price (from $ 70).
Clearly, it is necessary to keep in mind that the knife is made entirely of steel, and the milling inevitably involve an increase in production costs compared to the more commonly used synthetic scales.
The overall dimensions of 170 mm, with a really small handle thickness of 8 mm (without clip), and its refined and at the same time aggressive design , makes the Cobia a good knife for everyday use dedicated to all lovers of objects with more refined appearance.
Producer: CRKT - www.crkt.com
Designer: Matthew Lerch
Type: folding knife, frame-lock
Opening mechanism: spring-assisted Outburst®
Blade: hollow grinds, drop point
Steel: 1.4116 55-57 HRc
Blade length: 80 mm with cutting edge of almost 60 mm
Blade thikness: 2,4 mm
Total length (open): 170 mm
Closed Lenght: 90 mm
Handle: 420J steel
Weight: 72 g
Made in Taiwan
This article has been published on the magazine "Armi&Balistica" n.34