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Leatherman Crater C33x knife review

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Aaron SBT, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Aaron SBT

    Aaron SBT Empty Pockets

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    Excuse the crummy phone pix... :(

    Shortly before Christmas I was jonesing for new gear. Most companies aren't even announcing new products until this past week at the SHOT show. I didn't spend as much as I'd anticipated on friends and fam for Xmas, so I knew I'd be buying myself a little something to tide me over until 2009 knives come out. I follow knifecenter.com's newsblog religiously to see what new items they get in stock. I saw the Leatherman Crater, C33x for around $18.00 USD, so I ordered it.
    I've been carrying it every day, as my more "people-friendly" knife in addition to either a Benchmade Rift or my new-ish ZT 0500 Mudd. For a "cheapie", it's a very good knife, I trust Leatherman, as a company, in general. There are very few companies out there that can produce a quality knife and sell it in the $20 range. CRKT can do it, as they've proven time and again with their inexpensive but high quality folders. Now it seems leatherman can do it. Other new LM models are assisted, this one is not, but with a simple thumb flick, the little blade deploys very quickly and locks up with an authoritative snapping sound. It's a simple utility-oriented blade of drop-point lineage, the "x" in C33x indicates a combo edge blade in LM terminology, the "c" is for Crater, and the "33" indicates a small blade I believe, as the larger LM models have "55" in their designation.
    [​IMG]
    Using the knife in public has garnered positive comments and inquisitive "Leatherman makes pocketknives now!?"
    They do indeed, well, they have been, but it seemed that people know and trust Leatherman as a multi tool company, and are hesitant to buy their knives, as I've never known anyone else who has a Leatherman pocket knife. I'm happy with mine, it's the most basic of their recently updated designs, the only other real "tool" is the folding carabiner clip which locks in place and disengages by pushing down/in on the clip before folding it away. The carabiner acts as a competent bottle opener too, which is kind of nice. I believe the blade is 420 or 420J stainless, a decent "old stand by" steel. Nothing fancy, and that, coupled with the zytel/frn scales is what makes this knife so cheap.
    Here's a pic of the carabiner style clip in action on my LowePro Ridge 60 camera bag:
    [​IMG]

    And here's the C33x attempting to hide itself on my ACU Tactical Tailor 1v accessory pouch:
    [​IMG]
    All in all, I have zero regrets about the $20 or so dollars I paid for this knife, it cuts well and the serration pattern is shallow enough to allow for easy touch up by light feathering the back side with a ceramic rod. the lockup is solid and the pivot appears to ride on phosphor bronze washers, opening is pretty smooth. This is a less-threatening looking, lower profile knife that has been great for me at home or at work. I'm looking forward to seeing what else Leatherman has lined up for 2009 and beyond.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. RockyNomad

    RockyNomad Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the review Aaron. I've been looking at that same knife and will add it to my wish list.
     
  3. zenlunatic

    zenlunatic Loaded Pockets

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    I checked out the LM knives at Wally World. The blades are huge! Not something I would EDC.
     
  4. jzmtl

    jzmtl Loaded Pockets

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    I think you are looking at their hunting knives, not pocket knives, which has either 2.6" or 3.1" blade.
     
  5. nbmaine2007

    nbmaine2007 Loaded Pockets

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    Great review. i have a couple Leatherman folders, and they are great/affordable knives.
     
  6. Aaron SBT

    Aaron SBT Empty Pockets

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    Thanks guys, I am getting quite a bit of use out of the Crater C33x at work, it's nice to have something a little bit more tame to pull out around people other than my giant Benchmade Rukus or my newly acquired ZT 0500 Mudd. And regarding blade length, jzmtl is correct, I have seen the hunting series and they are quite large, but this little guy and many of the others in the Crater and Expanse series are reasonable for EDC. I should have added specs in the original review:
    Measurements:
    3.94 in | 10 cm (closed)
    2.6 in | 6.6 cm (blade length)
    2.36 oz | 67 g
    :)
     
  7. speedmaster

    speedmaster Loaded Pockets

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    Nice review, I hadn't seen those before, looks good!
     
  8. 2506sniper

    2506sniper Loaded Pockets

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    I bought the plain edge c33 attargeta month or so ago. It's a GREAT EDC/work knife. My only complaint is that the pocket clip doesn't have enough room between the handle and clip for the detent to grab my pants like it should. But all in all, wonderful knife!