Routinely collaborating with some of the most lauded knife designers in the world, Columbia River Knife and Tool has a well-earned reputation for delivering quality, utilitarian blades at an affordable price. Despite historically operating in the mid-tier space, CRKT has more recently been venturing into more top-shelf territory with new, ultra-premium takes on previously released classics like the Homefront, Crossbones, and most recently, the Squid II. And the latest CRKT model to get the limited edition, top-shelf materials treatment is the brand’s Ken Onion-designed Facet knife.
A masterclass in modern minimalism, the CRKT Facet first debuted in early 2022, and while the knife boasts a fantastic design, its blade and handle constructions undoubtedly left something to be desired — especially for more affluent and/or discerning EDC enthusiasts. Dubbed the Facet Viral, this new knife is nearly identical to the original EDC blade, however, is slightly larger, with a 3.50” blade and an overall length of 7.75” — versus the OG Facet’s 3.37” blade and 7.69” OAL. Additionally, like CRKT’s recent limited edition M390-bladed Squid II models, the Facet Viral is also produced in small batches in Italy — unlike the original Facet which was made in China.
More importantly, the Facet Viral sees the original model’s stainless steel handle set swapped out in favor of an anodized all-titanium setup that’s been decorated via a laser-engraved viral fractal pattern — an element that gives this top-shelf variant its monicker. Not only has the top-shelf Facet received a liner lock in place of its predecessor’s frame lock, but Onion has also done away with the stainless steel version’s assisted opening mechanism — while retaining CRKT’s signature IKBS bearings-guided action. Weighing almost an ounce less than the stainless steel Facet, the Facet Viral also sees its reverse tanto blade’s construction upgraded from D2 to ultra-premium Böhler M390.
Limited to only 500 units worldwide, the CRKT Facet Viral K254TM390 Knife is available now with pricing set at $275. What’s more, alongside the Facet Viral, CRKT has also released another top-shelf version of the Facet — known as the Facet Rivet — that is limited to just 500 units globally and features the same top-shelf materials as the Viral, only with an urban camo faux-riveted motif laser-etched on its anodized titanium scales.