Chris Reeve Project II
One Piece Survival Knife Review

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Chris Reeve Project II


 - While the round handles are not amongst my personal favorites, this one feels quite good, grip is comfortable and secure, thanks to its Full depth precision machined knurling. Project II handle is more comfortable than the same style handles on the smaller blades from CRK one piece line. Besides it's a hollow handle, which is reducing the weight and transferring it more towards the blade. Also, since there's no join between the blade & handle, the space in the handle is larger than in conventional hollow handle knives. An aluminum butt cap has neoprene "O" ring, so it is watertight. Replacement butt cap can be ordered from the manufacturer if you need an extra.


 - If you need some serious piece as your survival or camping knife, this might do. A while ago I'd recommend it 100%, but after 2 catastrophic failures (CRK Green Beret failed at exacly same spot as Project I underthe same circumstances) it's pretty clear Chris Reeve Knives apparently design flaw which needs to be addressed promptly. Overall, Project II. Durable, dependable & simple tool, made of good steel with a ok heat treatment. Although, I'd think at that price it must have better heat treatment and performance. In case if you don't like clip pint blade, Chris Reeve Knives has spear point Project I for you. For more for more info on Project I & Project II knives and other CRKknives, check out Chris Reeve One Piece Range Knives Reviews. Also I would highly recommend to read Cliff Stamp's article Project I.

In the end I am not quite sure what has changed. The same CRK Project I withstood all the abusive testing form Cliff Stamp and he does kow how to put any knife through its paces. May be CRK changed manufacturing process, may be Cliff never did exactly same as Noss on knifetests. Currently, many think it's due to the serrations, I mean the weak spot at blade/handle juncture where both breakages happened. Overall, just don't whack it on the spine and I guess you're ok. Although I think 400$ survival knife should survive that and a lot more.

Performance And Edge Holding

 - In short both are ok, in other words both couldn've been better, especially for 400$ knife. For a while Project II has been my beater knife, and held up very well. Considering all the sharpening, cutting and chopping experiments I've conducted on this knife the results are even more impressive. The factory edge measured on the Edge-Pro was around 21-22 degrees. It was not very smart move on my part, but for experiment's sake I've thinned it down to 15°-16° per side, that's a very significant difference, and I wouldn't advice doing same, unless you understand what exactly are you up to. Anyways, 15° angle soon prooved to be too thin and weak for heavy duty and medium tasks. Although the cutting performace increased significantly, the edge strength has been decreased, and the decrease was significant too. It was all fine when cutting cardboard, food, plastic, etc. However once I've tried to chop through the frozen ribs, the results were quite devastaging for the edge :( Multiple dents and rolls after the very first chop made me to stop almost immediately. It was clear, that I've made the edge too thin for this type of task. Next day I've resharpened it at 20° per side. Although still quite thinner than the original factory edge, its atrength was improved noticably. All this did prove the point that 55HRC is too low for this knife. Should it be hardened properly around 60-61HRC I'm sure results would've been a lot different.

For the following few months Project II was used regularly for usual chores such as opening packaging, cuttng cables and wires, cardboard, plastic etc. Then the other day, I've found that the old screen door that I had to throw away wouldn't fit into the garbage bin :) So the next experiment was ready to go. Frame apparently was made of aluminum or some soft metal, so theoretically I shouldn've had any problems cutting it with A2 steel lade. Except I was still concerned how the thinned down dge would hold up. I've started with cutting large cardboard boxes, checking the edge after every 50". Project 2 went through 350" of cardboard before I've noticed difficulties with shaving, speaking precisely, it would miss a hair or two. Thinking back, I have to note that the test was conducted using most of the blade length, minus serrations. Theoretically to measure wear resistance you need to limit blade portion used for cutting to couple inches. After that I've proceeded to the door frame. I've made a total of 50 chops. In all, but 2 cases I was able to chop through the rectangular, hollow metal frame with one swing. Overall the results were more than satisfactory, at least to me. After all that aluminum chopping the edge had no nicks or dents whatsoever. Well, all is good, except that was aluminum, one of the softest metals. BTW I can't say that the edge sharpness had been degraded by significant margin either. It was worse a little bit, but the blade still would shave, and had no problems with slicing through a free hanging paper as well. In short I was very glad. To finish the experiment I went to process the rest of the cardboard, at this time the goal was to check the results of prolonged use, and Project II's comfortability during one. After I've dispatched the rest of the cardboard, which btw took few hours, the blade felt quite dull. Slicing the hanging paper test failed. However to bring back the shawing sharp edge it needed nothing more than 5 strokes on the ceramic rod per side.

Prolonged Use

 - It is very likely that most of us, mere mortals will not be using their knifves for 3 hours or more continuosly. Though as an experiment, it is well worth it ;) Who knows what task you might be up to one day. Anyways, for my not_so_tough_at_all hands, those few hours of cutting, plus some chopping with Project II were more than enough. My palm and thumb were quite sore and I've felt that for the next day or two. The second round of Project II prolonged use, which happened a month later, was more challenging, as it included a lot more chopping than cutting. Again, it took less than 10 strokes per side to bring back its shaving sharpness. For approximately 2 hours I was chopping and cutting, this time it was food preparation. BTW, I put 2 dents while chopping the bones, both closer to the end, when I was already quite tired. The result was the same. Sore hand for the next day :) Anyways, I think that wass totaly enough, I've got enough scientific and practical info regarding my own hands and Project II handle during short and long term use.

On the other hand, let's take into consideration that for the bare steel, of which the handle of the Project II is made of, that can be easily accounted for a very good result too :) For that the handle has to be grippy (read abrasive, or rough) enough to be ensure the security of the grip and not to let the blade to slip from your hand, or the other way, not to let your hand to slip on the edge, especially when sweaty or oily, secondly it has to be comfortable enough not to turn the cutting process into a missery. I think Project II accomplishes this difficult task very well. It was absolutely ok for the first hour or two. Also, it's not only the handle, as time goes you get tired, and your own fatigue takes its tall too. That is, your grip is not as tight as at the beginning, you might miss, twist the blade, etc. Therefore the impacts on your hand are stronger than at the beggining, and so on. I think that 3-4 hours are more than average of continuos knife use for absolute majority of the people. If I expect more, I'm gonna either use another knife, with the handle better suited for prolonged use such as Busse SH or Strider MH (with G10 handles though, that paracord seems to be rougher than A2 :), or use glowes or something like that ;)

  • Model - Chris Reeve Project II;
  • Blade Length - 191mm (7½"), non-reflective Kalgard® coating;
  • Blade Thickness - 6.5mm (0.255");
  • Blade Width - 32.06mm (1.262");
  • Overall Length - 324mm (12.75");
  • Weight - 397 g (14 oz.);
  • Steel - A2 Tool Steel hardened at 55-57 RC;
  • Warranty - Lifetime;


Last updated - 05/19/19