Posted June 3, 2009 by Howard
Columbia River Hitchcock Hole In One
Columbia River Knife and Tool offers a new folding knife. The Hole in One is designed by Tom Hitchcock and is a pretty neat item. The blade folds sideways into the framed handle with a lever. This is not a tiny knife, however. The handle is over 5 inches long.
Here’s the long description from Columbia River Knife and Tool:
Here’s a lightweight winner that’s a tough and versatile outdoor knife. The blade has that 360° “sweet swing.” We think it’s right on target.
Tom Hitchcock is an industrial designer based in Talent, Oregon. Tom’s talent is clearly on display in his successful tool and locking system designs. After designing a particularly complicated multi-tool, Tom thought, “Now I’d like to design something simple, like a knife.”
He says, “I began looking at the trend to knives with finger holes, and I also saw an interesting side-opener. I thought that I could integrate the two ideas, and make a much safer, friendlier utility knife in the process. But it wasn’t as simple or easy as I first thought.”
Tom began with the perimeter frame, which is a single piece of 420J2 stainless steel, formed to fit the hand. He thoughtfully split the frame with swells at the top, bottom and butt to add more comfort without adding weight.
The blade shape was then dictated by the handle shape, which we can only call a “Hitchcock blade.” It has a high flat grind with a gently curved Razor-Sharp edge. The model 5160 single-hole blade is plain for easy cleaning, while the fancy model 5150 receives five lightening holes in the blade spine.
Tom then developed the unique locking mechanism, shared with the CRKT Snap Lock™, which provides 12 locking points for strength and security. It locks both open and closed. Most important, when the knife is gripped tightly during use, the lock also grips tighter for increased safety.
To open the Hole In One blade, simply press down on the lock release lever, and rotate it to either side. Continue rotating until the lock snaps firmly into place in the open position. This is a fast one-hand operation. Because there is no conventional clip, it is a completely ambidextrous knife.
The design of the knife gives many grip options. The index finger can go through the blade hole, or grasp either the frame finger choil, or even the blade finger choil if greater control is necessary.
Tom also designed a spring-loaded carry carabiner (non-weight-bearing) so you can securely hang the Hole In One on belt loops, D-rings, webbing or lanyards. It also will work as a bottle and jar opener.
Both blade and frame have a durable non-reflective bead-blast finish.
Tom says, “This is not a high-force knife, but a versatile, fun, outdoor knife that is going to last a long time. I’ve used it for everything from opening packages to cooking dinner.”
* Blade: Length: 2.50″ (64 mm)
* Thickness: 0.14″ (3.6 mm)
* Steel: 420J2, 52-55 HRC
* Knife: Overall length: 8.125″ (206 mm)
* Closed: Handle length: 5.25″ (133 mm)
* Weight: 3.8 oz. (108 g)
About the Knife Designer
Tom Hitchcock of Talent, Oregon, is a custom knife and hand tool designer with many products to his credit. He has been designing knives and combination hand tools since 1979. Tom is the original inventor of the award-winning Snap Lock mechanism. He is a prize-winning sculptor, and a professional inventor. His other interests include building custom bicycles, permaculture, and appropriate technology. “Much of my knife making inspiration has come from Nature. My mentors in learning about the knifemaking industry include Matt Conable, and Jim Whers, who both were very generous with their time and knowledge. I was also very inspired by Ed Halligan and the simplicity and elegance of his knife designs. Albert Einstein said to make things as simple as you can and no simpler, and this was the idea behind the Hole In One. I wanted to build a side-opening knife that was simple, versatile, completely unique in its form and function, yet very practical, safe, fun and easy to use.”