Thanks for stopping by to read our crkt minimalist wharncliffe knife review.

One of the first truly affordable neck knives in the knife world is the CRKT Minimalist, it has set the standard and entered the market that still offers a level of practicality that made it feasible as a utility blade. The CRKT Minimalist is actually quite useful as an EDC tool, while so many other neck knives during its price point turned out to be a gimmick. And is one of the best back up blades in the business, in my opinion.



In order to recreate a production model of his very own custom Minimalist, CRKT very wisely contracted Alan Folts for this design. This approach leads to the best of both worlds, which has been successfully used by knife companies (such as in the case of the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K), it gives opportunity for those of us who are not in a position to drop a serious amount of cash on a custom knife to get a “diet coke” experience at a considerably cheaper entry price and it also offers exposure to the custom maker before a crowd that may have never heard of him.

CRKT minimalist wharncliffe knife – Color Scheme

I am not a greatest fan of the color scheme choice, yet CRKT now offers an alternate form of the Minimalist that I think looks better: black scales and powder coated blade; much more appealing. Aesthetically, the Minimalist is extremely utilitarian in nature with its dull green/black micarta (or comparative material) scales. It ought to be noted that as well as color options, in a wide range of blade styles CRKT offers the Minimalist neck knife: from my Wharncliffe blade, to bowies and tantos.

Notice the lanyard attached to the heel of the knife.  It works great, in terms of functionality, however I cut mine off because it is just too visible and large for me when I am trying to utilize the Minimalist as a discreet EDC. Be considered that the lanyard hole leans towards the microscopic side, so do not think you will be able to thread some nifty paracord lanyards through this one. Truly thin lanyards only.

I also love the aggressive jimping over the center of the spine. When doing finer cuts really helps in control, and remains very comfortable in use. The stock is properly thin for a 5.08 cm (2 inch) blade with a total thickness of 0.25 cm (0.1 inch).

CRKT minimalist wharncliffe knife – Deployment

Deployment is fast and natural when carried as a neck knife. The knife sits securely inside the glass-filled nylon sheath that is well molded. One quick pull and you are 100% ready for business.

The CRKT Minimalist additionally comes with a removable belt clip.  As I prefer to use the Minimalist as a neck knife I do not use mine, however the option is there should you need it.

The clip slips over your belt, with a lot of room for bigger belts. If you like carry options, this is a great option for you. The clip can be adjusted so that the knife can be attached at various positions and angles. The CRKT Minimalist looks quite sleek on my belt, and I would have no problem carrying it this way if it weren’t for the fact that I really like wearing it as a neck knife.

Even from this position, deployment of the CRKT Minimalist, is smooth and natural with no instability or jerkiness, as is common with smaller sheaths. Truly nice work here.

I actually own quite a few Minimalists myself, and have backups to give offer to family and friends. There is no shortage of Minimalists at my house. They make really great gifts. One of my neighbors actually asked me to get a couple for him particularly; said they would be ideal for his grandsons to utilize while they were over at his place. Needless to say, his grand kids loved them.

For quite a few years my own Minimalist has been carried by me, and over time, I have made significant adjustments/changes to it. The most noticeable change I have made is the complete removal of the scales. I have removed them because of the simple observation that they were just a little bit too chunky for various under-shirt everyday carry in the summer. Whenever I carried the Minimalist I didn’t want a printed outline of a knife under my shirt. As now, I definitely do not regret taking the handles off, even when worn under T-shirts, the Minimalist is almost completely invisible when worn as a neck knife– exactly the objective I was going for.

I acid washed the whole knife and contoured the handles. I wore it almost every single day for around 6 months as a substitute blade and it came to the point that sometimes I would wake up with it still around my neck. Regardless of how good the in-sheath retention may be, obviously sleeping with a neck knife is feasibly not the wisest thing to do, so I would advise against that.

 CRKT minimalist wharncliffe knife – Steel

I additionally chose to modify the grind of the blade into a full convex. CRKT chose to use 5Cr13MoV steel, that runs pretty damn soft at 55-57 HRC. On the off chance that I had one complaint, it would be the steel choice, however you have to be understanding, when you take a look at the price; sacrifices had to be made.

I additionally adjusted the crush of the sharp edge into a full raised. The steel CRKT utilized is 5Cr13MoV, which runs quite damn delicate at 55-57 HRC. On the off chance that I had one protestation it would be the steel decision, however when you investigate the cost (under $25 – crazy), you must comprehend; penances must be made some place.

My Minimalist is now a robust slicer with a lean, full convex. The knife is pretty damn awesome if you ask me, matched with the fact that since the handles were removed it is actually invisible when worn under shirt. Like I said, at all times I do carry another knife on me, but technically I do not have to. The CRKT Minimalist is amazing as a backup knife or just in case you keep forgetting to take a regular everyday carry knife. Simply slip the Minimalist around your neck and forget it, when you need it, it will always be there.

The cutting performance of the knife drastically altered by thinning out the blade and adding a needle tip. It now cuts incredibly well (edge confinement not withstanding) and the tip bites in with almost no effort.

CRKT minimalist wharncliffe knife – Comfort

An unmodified CRKT Minimalist is very comfortable in terms of ergonomics. A lot more comfortable than my own scale less version, however that should be evident.

In saber grip for a small neck knife the stock CRKT Minimalist is shockingly comfortable. The jimping adds some much-welcome traction and the finger grooves lock your fingers into place. Truly incredible ergonomics.

Limitation on the Minimalist for added pressure is still agreeable. If you need some extra advantage for a hard job, you would be amazed as to how much pressure you can wrench out of this tiny 2-inch blade knife. In my opinion Wharncliffe blades seem exceptionally suited for utility tasks, so strongly think over the Wharncliffe blade version of the CRKT Minimalist over the others if you are a fan of this kind of use in particular.

Due to perfectly placed finger grooves, there is no way in hell that your hand is sliding up to the blade and make thrusting cuts.

Reverse grip, the CRKT Minimalist is additionally comfortable, yet I would suggest sticking to a more traditional saber grip, unless you are using this knife defensively.

The CRKT Minimalist is also very comfortable in the pinch grip. Absolutely viable in a pinch, but definitely not my first choice for a hunting blade

I genuinely find that the CRKT Minimalist’s combination of quick and easy deployment, secure grip design and discreet carry make it an ideal back up as a tactical knife. While the blade is a mere 2 inches long, it points very naturally, and a slash from a sharp 2-inch blade is no picnic.

For cutting abrasive materials like cardboard as an everyday utility blade, you will want something with a more durable steel. You will have to sharpen the edge every other day if you use the Minimalist regularly for cutting cardboard, and that can grow to be quite frustrating. I’m not sure if the money saved is worth the performance hit and I’m really not a fan of 5Cr13MoV. CRKT, you will have one hell of a neck knife if you upgrade the steel to 8Cr13MoV. As it stands the Minimalist, as long as you understand its edge retention limitations it is a fantastic everyday carry option.

Eventually, it’s hard not to like the CRKT Minimalist.

 CRKT minimalist wharncliffe knife – Conclusion

For extended periods of time it has great utility and use for pretty much any task other than cutting cardboard. As it is tiny and discreet, it is one of the least threatening looking knives I own, yet it is able to do its job as a backup EDC better than pretty much any other neck knife I can think of.

Additionally, I have purchased quite a number of these for giving away, and it is definitely been the most well-received knife I have given as a present, as of yet. For non-knife people, it is one of the best introductions to cutlery on the market, being so affordable. As a first knife, it is also quite possibly the best option for children and young adults.

Recommended, especially at its price point you really cannot go wrong with this one.


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