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CRKT’s Padawan Is Less an Apprentice, More a Master

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Photo by Hayley Helms

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CRKT’s Padawan Is Less Apprentice, More Master

Luke, this is your pocket knife.


1999 was a year to remember. There was that whole “the world is going to end” Y2K thing. Tiger Woods won his first PGA championship. And “padawan” entered the lexicon, thanks to Star Wars.

In Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, we hear the word for the first time when Qui-Gon refers to Obi-Wan as ‘padawan’, and in the last 25 years, the term has taken on a life of its own, being used more often than not to refer to a “learner, follower or anyone just starting out.” This may seem unrelated to the world of knives and EDC, but CRKT’s new frame lock folder, the Padawan, embodies the spirit of the term in a way I haven’t encountered until now. After getting to know the knife, here’s what I think.

The Padawan: An Unusually Satisfying Folder

The Padawan is a frame lock folding knife that features a 14C28N steel blade, a stainless steel handle with either Micarta or G10 overlays and either a Wharncliffe or drop point blade — depending on which handle you choose, the blade type is different. I have the drop point version with Micarta inlays, and the deep belly of the blade is complemented nicely by the slim and lightweight handle. The dimensions are unique and almost unfamiliar at first blush; as a woman with smaller hands, I appreciated the slender handle and 7.13-inch overall length. The Padawan doesn’t rely on its looks alone: sure, it’s elegant looking, but it’s also capable, lightweight at 3.10 ounces and its ergonomics don’t leave a lot to be desired.

The Padawan’s proportions are unexpected, yet elegant. Photo by Hayley Helms

I found myself using the Padawan for the usual opening up and breaking down of boxes, slicing fruit, cheese and veggies and cutting loose threads off my clothes, removing splinters and the like, but regardless of whether I had a task for it or not, I found myself slipping it into my pocket on the daily, picking it over the other knives in my collection thanks primarily to its design. It just feels good to hold, and in moments of down time or extreme concentration, I found myself using it almost like a fidget spinner: an object that is both satisfying to hold and touch. This I would credit to its unique shape and design, and those are thanks to a knife designer who is quickly progressing past the padawan stage himself.

The Padawan fits perfectly in my hand.Photo by Hayley Helms

The frame lock was modified to keep the blade secure. Photo by Hayley Helms

Pedro Buzetti: From Padawan to Pro

The Padawan was designed by Pedro Buzetti, a Brazilian knifemaker who has studied under the tutelage of Flavio Ikoma — inventor of the Deadbolt lock and IKBS ball bearing pivot. (The Padawan features an IKBS, and the action is both smooth and concise — there’s no play in this blade.)

The design of the Padawan drew me to it, but its performance kept me around. Photo by Hayley Helms

According to CRKT, Buzetti embraces the motto, “form and function, not one above the other” — and in his first collaboration with the brand, this is quite evident. Buzetti honed his craft under Ikoma’s mentorship, and the resulting Padawan is both a testament to his teacher’s influence and his own design: the knife uses the quality materials and components of many competitors in its field, but does so in a way that is both fresh and unexpected.

The CRKT Padawan: First Impressions

I saw the knife online first, and immediately was drawn to its curving lines and alluring angles. When I first took the knife out of the box, I was convinced I had made the right choice — the Padawan fits my hand better than most knives I’ve used, and I could see it being a go-to for smaller-handed knife enthusiasts.

Sometimes, a knife speaks to us in a way we can’t understand. I’ve shown the Padawan to other knife enthusiasts who have shrugged it off, or actually call out the fact that the handle seems too thin for the blade it’s paired with, but that’s why I love it. It’s an important reminder: Many knives use 14C28N steel. Many, many knives feature a frame lock design with an IKBS ball bearing pivot. There are innumerable drop point and Wharncliffe blades on the market. And at the end of the day, this is the knife that speaks to my soul. This is the knife I feel like carrying. It’s not made of super steel, it doesn’t have an ounce of titanium on it, and I love it. I reach for it again and again, and until another knife comes along to replace it, I’ll continue to use it for both everyday and uncommon tasks, as they arise.

There’s a knife for every person, and the ‘why’ can’t always be explained. But — regardless of my ‘why’, I think I’ve found my ‘what’, and it’s this knife.

(Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’m huge Star Wars fan.)


CRKT Padawan

Designed by Pedro Buzetti, himself a ‘padawan,’ this knife features a distinct handle and blade combo that is both comfortable and capable when in use. The design is both eye-catching and divisive, but its components and materials speak for themselves.


Blade Length

3.01 inches

Blade Steel



Stainless steel with Micarta overlays


Frame lock

Total Length

7.13 inches


Feels comfortable in smaller hands

Quality paired with affordability


Design is off-putting to some

Pocket clip is a little short