An encouraging trait of the international custom knifemaking community is a sense of brotherhood and the willingness to share and encourage other members. As an example, take the friendship of Hawaiian knifemaker Ken Onion and Brazilian knifemaker Flavio Ikoma. Ken has encouraged use of the Ikoma Korth ball bearing pivot system on his CRKT knives, and had also counseled Flavio on the directions his designs might take. The new Sampa knife, Flavio Ikoma's first folder designed for CRKT, is the fruit of that friendship.
Ken suggested the general parameters of a "gentleman's tactical" folder and Flavio did the rest. In overview, this is a lightweight and stylish locking liner folder with a clean open build and exceptionally fast and fluid flipper opening. The blade is premium AUS 8 stainless steel in a drop point shape with recurve and high hollow grind. The Model 5330 has a high satin finish with a Razor - Sharp cutting edge, while the Model 5335K has a Combined Razor-Sharp and Triple-Point Serrated edge with a black titanium nitride blade coating.
The Sampa frames are cold-forged 6061-T6 aluminum, which is clean-up machined, gray anodized for a titanium look, and then surface finished, revealing a bright surface pattern which aids grip. The strip locking liner is 420J2 stainless steel, precision inset into one frame. Flavio developed the IKBS ball bearing system to be entirely raceless, the bearings running in channels machined into the blade and frame. In this case, we have incorporated a stainless steel race/bushing in the aluminum frames for long life. The IKBS pivot system is durable and requires little maintenance, yielding a folder with great rigidity and no blade play. A spring-loaded ball detent keeps the blade securely closed until needed. Then, a fast press on the flipper yields instant opening and lock-up. A custom removable Teflon-coated stainless clip is standard on both models.
This is clearly a personal knife for the high-achiever who values innovative design and custom-knife quality in a personal accessory. It is also an excellent value.