CRKT's Limited Edition Hirin™
By: Mary & Dr. Jim Clary
Over the past few years we have reviewed a lot of knives. Most were fairly acceptable and some were outstanding. However, the Hirin™ is truly a one-of-a-kind knife that deserves a place in your collection, if you can still get it. We say that, because it is a limited edition knife with only 250 being produced. Again, CRKT has found a designer who produced a true work of art. But, why is this blade so special?
For starters, the blade is made from the just about the toughest steel on the planet, Böhler M390. There are several reasons why this steel is the best. Rather than paraphrase, we will quote from KnivesandTools.com, a premier site on knife quality:
“Böhler M390 is one of the most popular and best performing types of steel on the market, Böhler developed it to be used in moulds for the injection moulding industry. When you look at the Böhler datasheet you can still see that it is listed as the primary purpose. The fact that it is also great for use in knives is considered to be an alternative purpose.”
“For these moulds the steel also needs to be extremely wear and tear resistant. If you want to be able to take the same shape from one mould approx. 10.000 times, it shouldn't wear out between casting it the first or the 10.000th time. That is why these moulds are made from top-quality types of steel.”
“As such, a knife made from M390 steel will retain its sharpness for a very long time. This means you don't have to sharpen your knife as often. Not only great because sharpening your knife takes time, but also because it means your knife will last longer.”
After reading the above, one can imagine that M390 is very, very expensive steel. That is one factor contributing to the cost of the Hirin™. The second factor involved in the pricing is the handle. It is pure Titanium.... not plated, solid two-tone 6AL4V Titanium. And just about everyone knows that is very pricey.
So, we have two very expensive parts of a knife that is destined to become a true collector's item. Who would design and build such a knife? How about Dew Hara, the son of one of Japans most famous knife designers.
“Dew Hara of Seki, Japan was a web developer and spent much of his childhood enthralled with Japanese anime. But his family’s knife-designing roots run deep and—following the footsteps of his world-famous father Koji Hara—Dew entered the world of knife design. Channeling his varied background, Dew dreamt up the Hirin™, a daring design that features perfectly balanced cutouts in the spear point blade and handle.”
The Hirin™ truly represents a combination of Japanese perfection with modern components. This folder features the IKBS™ system designed by Ikoma and Lala for smooth action. This folder is truly awesome. Jim keeps it on his desk and at least once a week, he takes it out of the leather cloth that it ships with and “plays” with it.
The specifications of the Hirin™ are:
Blade Length: 3.39” (86.11mm)
Blade Edge: Plain
Blade Steel: Bohler M390
Blade Finish: Satin
Blade Thickness: 0.12” (3.05 mm)
Overall Length: 8.69” (220.68 mm)
Closed Length: 5.26” (133.53 mm)
Weight: 5.90 oz (167.26 g)
Handle: 6AL4V Titanium
Style: Folding knife with liner lock and IKBS system
Country of Mfg: Italy
As we said earlier, this blade is not cheap. The MSRP is $250 and in our opinion, worth every penny. If you want one, you need to hurry, as they are only making 500.