Columbia River Klecker NIRK
Columbia River Klecker NIRK
Columbia River Knife and tool company comes up with some great designs. This one, the NIRK, is one of the most clever we have seen. Look closely at the handle…it’s a single piece of sheet metal cut and bent so that the handle and the back spring are all from the same piece. And it works very well! It allows them to produce these at an incredible price and we are proud to sell them.
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Columbia River has the following information:
Take two pieces of stainless steel, cut, grind and bend them just right, and you have Glenn Klecker’s “irreducible complexity” NIRK folder from CRKT.

Intelligent design advocate Michael Behe coined the term “irreducible complexity,” which means “a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function of the system, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”

It certainly describes this Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) folder by Glenn Klecker, award-winning knife and tool designer from Silverton, Oregon. He has named it after his son: Nathan’s IRreducible complexity Knife, or NIRK. There are just two well-thought out pieces, plus a blade pivot screw.

The innovation is Glenn’s use of a single sheet of stamped and folded stainless steel to serve as the folder frame, back spacer, spring and lock, resulting in a solid lockback folder. The geometry of the cutout areas is critical, carefully calculated to provide just the right spring action when the rear of the spine is pressed.

At the front of the frame, the lock tab mates with a notch in the blade to provide safe lockup. The tighter the grip on the handle, the tighter the lockup, making this an exceptionally safe design. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to accidentally release the lock, and it is very, very strong.

When the blade is closed, the same lock tab ramps over a rounded detent to hold the blade in the closed position.

The high-carbon stainless steel blade is a utilitarian drop point shape with a deep belly, high hollow ground for easy cutting, and with a swedged top edge to aid penetration. It is a hefty 0.131″ thick. The blade can be opened with either hand using the oval thumb hole.

Two NIRK models are available. The 5180 sport and work model has a high satin blade finish, brushed frame and Razor-Sharp cutting edge. The 5185 tactical model receives a black oxide nonreflective coating, and has a Combined Razor-Sharp & Triple-Point Serrated edge. Both models have a stainless steel pocket/gear clip.

There you have it: a simple, flat, almost indestructible folder. All you need to do is oil and sharpen it occasionally and you have a friend for life. It is priced so you can afford several: one for the toolbox, one for the backpack, one for the truck, one for the boat, one for the survival kit.

In the knife world, it is a fine example of intelligent design.


* This lock tab mates with the notch in the blade, resulting in a very strong and safe steelon-steel lockup.
* Press at the base of the spine to release the lock. A camgrind in the blade safely stops the blade at mid-point.


* Blade:
o Length: 3.125″ (79 mm)
o Thickness: 0.131″ (3.3 mm)
o Steel: 3Cr13, 51-53 HRC
* Closed: Handle length: 4.50″ (114 mm)
* Open: Overall length: 7.63″ (194 mm)
* Weight: 3.5 oz. (99 g)

About the Knife Designer:

Glenn Klecker is an award-winning knife and tool designer who lives in Silverton,Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Glenn was a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm where he led a detachment of 100 Marines, for which he received the Navy Achievement medal for Superior Service.He is also an expert marksman in both rifle and pistol. He has extensive experience in designing and engineering products and manufacturing technology for the automotive industry and knife and tool industry. His knife and tool designs for leading manufacturer shave resulted in over 22 patents, and have received numerous awards, including the prestigious IWA, International Multi tool of the Year for 2006 and 2004; “iF”, Product Design Award for 2006; Blade Magazine, Best American Design of 2008; as well as receiving recognition from National Geographic, Best Gear of 2008; Men’s Journal, Best Gear for 2008. He is the designer of the CRKT NIRK.