CRKT Foresight designed by Ken Onion

The Foresight is a collaboration between Cutlery Hall of Fame recipient Ken Onion and CRKT. This is a large folder, measuring in at a total length of 8.75″ and weighing 6.5 oz.

Ken Onion Foresight Drop Point

The knife’s drop point blade has a slight re-curve followed by a large belly. The near to mid position of the belly on the blades length still allows for a sharp tip. As a nice detail, the blade’s spine has a radius (capped) allowing for comfortable thumb placement. The spine has a subtle taper into a swedge at the tip to improve penetrating cuts.

The primary bevel is a high hollow grind. This does a very good job of reducing the 4mm blade stock for the keen secondary bevel. The curvy edge of the Foresight provides quite a bit of cutting surface : 3.75″ As a first production model, this blade is made from the stainless Acuto+. Subsequent production models will be AUS8. It is available in a combination or plain edge, both with a black titanium nitride finish.

CRKT Foresight by Ken Onion

For deployment, the knife features a flipper with the IKBS or “Ikoma Korth Bearing System”. This pivot mechanism was developed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala (Korth Knives). Originally developed for use in Bali Song knives, it utilizes opposing circular slots milled in the blade’s tang that house a small bearing set. The result is a large, low resistance contact area between moving parts that negates lateral play. It is most suitable for knives that require a very fast, reliable deployment, such as self defense or folding fighting knives. The smooth pivot action also allows the knife to have a small but very effective flipper. This is great because the flipper’s low profile doesn’t snag on your pocket.

Foresight with Ikoma Korth Bearing System and Nested Stainless LinersForesight with Ikoma Korth Bearing SystemForesight IKBSLow Riding Clip and Flipper

On opening the blade meets a liner lock and in-tang stop pin. The lock is solid and without play. There is a good amount of jimping on the locking leaf making disengagement very easy. The locking leaf is part of the Foresight’s partial, nested stainless liners. Along with comprising the liner lock, the stainless liners provide the material hardness required for the IKBS bearings that mate with their surface.

CRKT Foresight

The rest of the handle is made from matte black anodized aluminum. The over-all shape has a slight arc and volume toward the back third of the handle. This shape is very indicative of Ken Onion’s design and can be seen on the majority of his production folders. More unique to the Foresight handle is the inner edge. Here, there are three distinct finger grooves and a more subdued fourth. There is corresponding scalloped texture on both sides of the handle to reinforce the over all, locking grip. There is also a subtle but effective ramp for thumb placement or scalloping for a comfortable, clenched grip.

Textured aluminum handle

In a standard grip, the small deep riding pocket clip sits comfortably away from your hand. This is very nice as most clips will be a hot-spot as they sit under your palm. In a reverse grip however, the clip’s end naturally sits directly under my fourth finger. This can be adjusted but isn’t nearly as comfortable a standard grip, in which this knife’s ergonomics truly excel. There is a lanyard hole to round out the knife’s features.

The sum of the CRKT Foresight’s features are impressive. The knife has excellent mechanical and ergonomic properties that are at a great value for the price point. Ken Onion’s knowledgeable approach and CRKT’s quality and value minded brand has brought another functional well built knife to market. This model should be very attractive to the tactical knife market while still being very at home in a sport – utility setting. The function, fit and finish is very good and should provide a long, reliable service.

The Foresight was the recipient of the “Imported Knife Of The Year Award”, Blade Show 2012.

Foresight Liner LockCRKT Foresight Stop PinForesight Blade CenteringForesight Low Riding ClipCRKT Foresight designed by Ken Onion


Very useful blade geometry
Great ergonomics


May be slightly weighty for some


Overall Length: 8.75″ (222mm)
Weight: 5.6 oz (159)


Length: 3.625″ (92mm)
Thickness: .157 (4mm)
Acuto+ (First production) AUS 8 standard production
Plain Edge (Also available in a combo edge)


Length: 5.125″ (130 mm)
Partial Stainless Liners
Matte Black Anodized Aluminum Scales


Liner lock

Carry Options

Deep riding bridge style. Right handed tip down.
Lanyard hole

Made in the Taiwan

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The Edge Observer

The Edge Observer is a site dedicated to knife reviews, primarily focusing on folding knives.

17 thoughts on “CRKT Foresight designed by Ken Onion

  1. Looks like a great knife and it’s fun to see Ken Onion working with other companies than Kershaw. I like the blade shape especially much, very elegant.

    Which brings me to my objection to the knife: If you’re going to hollow grind a blade, why on earth do you make it in 4mm stock? The edge will not be stronger and it will add unnecessary weight. I fail to see the point other than beefy blades currently being in vogue.

    Also, I have a question regarding the IKBS. It looks like there is a lot of grease on the ball bearings. With the knife being of a semi-open construction, won’t this allow gunk and crud to build up and potentially ruin the smoothness?

    Other than that I have to say it’s fun to see innovation and attention to details. Those nested steel liners were very pretty indeed.

    1. I agree, it’s always great to see designers spreading out to different manufacturers. They can almost always collectively bring something new to the table.

      As far as the blade stock, It will still add to tip strength as well as lateral strength if you bury the blade deeply into something. Concerning weight, there is much more in the handle than the blade. If they wanted to lighten it up, there would be room to perhaps mill out some of the aluminum scales. With that said, I don’t find this knife heavy for the size.

      I’ve also wondered about the long-term performance of IKBS when exposed to more severe elements. I haven’t carried one long enough to see any problems develop. This may be the first IKBS blade that I have that will see some real action. I’ll have to do a post on it specifically at some point in the future when I have more experience with the mechanism.

      Lastly, I agree. They did a very good job with manufacturing this clever design. Thanks for reading and commenting Lew.

      1. I know this is old but I just got my fore thought…. Alto I agree in principle, this knife isn’t heavy… Ken onion did my ZT 0303 (0301, 0302) and that knife IS heavy… My point is although I would be in denial if I totally discounted forethought weight…i wouldn’t want someone who had a ZT to shudder the thought of this one…. Give it a look…. If you are looking for a full size EDC I would say the physical size is more forbidding than the weight (so says me who carries in a sheath®) I have some 4 inchers that are slimmer, lighter and all…. And they cost $3x this knife…. Seems every half oz that comes off runs about $100 ea LOL. Seen em cost twice as much and are heavier too.

        I think it’s fair to compare a ZT 0303….i would buy it all day long for the same price….. Even so, I like the bearings with no assist because they don’t get gunked up in my sheath, easier to close, lighter, easier to sharpen and also designed by Ken….i like most his stiff.

        One last thought, it’s almost like this knife isn’t made by CRKT…. It feels like no compromise were made except material choice to keep it very reasonable against competitors. I would buy it again.


  2. looks like CRKT will be getting some more of my money.Between this one and the Eraser they are doing a great job of keeping me happy …..and making my pockets a little lighter.lighter pocket heavier knife it all balances out. haha.

    1. The Eraser and Foresight are great blades and a really good direction for CRKT. I really think they will be attracting more people if they continue with these kinds of designs. Now all they have to do is release a lighter weight knife with the same looks.

  3. This is simply a gorgeous knife. If you hold it, you will want it.

    Thanks for the excellent photos. I have the first production and still learned something from your takedown shots.

    CRKT and Ken Onion should make a smaller version of the Foresight. As beautiful as this is, I can’t see myself using it for every day carry. And while they’re at it, would it kill them to label the blade steel?

    1. Hi Michael,

      I agree, a smaller version would be a great idea. It would likely appeal to a larger audience. Thanks for checking out the article! More on the way.

  4. Wow, kool little knife. Love the blade shape,And the contour when folded, that really helps prevent “pocket snag.” Anyone know of a folder with an old pounded steel looking blade???(

  5. finger grooves are considered bad design form an ergonomic/functional perspective as they accommodate only one comfortable grip for a limited range of users. It’s bizzare at best to see this implemented on a 2013 knife since this isn’t new information. I can only chock it up to blatant disregard of ergonomic research in favor of “cool” looks.

  6. Firstly, congratulations on such an excellent website. The imagery, particularly the video, is superb and looks so professional. Very informed commentary too.

    Re the Foresight, a small(is) point: it says above that it’s “Made in the China”. Should be “Made in Taiwan”. Small point to some but a huge point to others. In Asia only the Taiwanese or Japanese could manufacture something like the Foresight, IMO.

    I was also wondering if you had a view on how best to keep the pivot clean? Keeping it away from sand is probably a good start (!) but sooner or later some grit is going to get in: any suggestions? Also if you have to clean and re-lube, what lube should you use?

    Please keep up the excellent work. I hope someone is rewarding you for your efforts because this persuaded me to buy a Foresight.

    1. Agreed on the Taiwan bit. I don’t have any insight on keeping the IKBS bearings clean but I haven’t had any of my bearing pivots become gritty yet. I’ve taken a few IKBS knives apart and I would say any higher viscosity grease should work. CRKT’s customer service dept. would be the best to ask. I’m sure they’ll let you know. Thanks for checking out the review!

  7. Just wanted to say that as a lefty I find this knife great to carry even though it’s right hand carry. Although it’s a bit tricky for fast deployment we lefties adapt well to that sort of thing, usually because we have no choice! The position and angle of the clip allow the knife to sit perfectly in the left pocket for driving in particular, as it sits angled a bit forward. Most clips have knives sitting straight down which can be uncomfortable,(especially with a larger knife) when sitting. The clip is as out of the way for gripping the knife as it is in the right hand. Some people think it feels too slippery but mine is perfect, even wet, (maybe they just have a weak grip). The weight in my opinion is perfect for this style and size of knife. Mine is not as smooth as claimed but still quite nice. The only thing I would change would be to add veff serrations, I ordered plain edge as I hate the serrations that are an option on this knife.

      1. Been using it at work a lot lately. Even cold and wet grip is fantastic with or without gloves. aus8 is holding an edge better than expected. Sharpens easily too. Coating marked up now but holding up well overall. After a good cleaning and re-greasing,(had to open to tighten clip anyway) it’s super smooth as others seemed to have from factory. Gotten quite dirty since but haven’t had to do it again. Still would like veffs on it though.

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