In 2021, SpaceX commissioned knife designer Darriel Caston to design a standard-issue EDC pocket blade for its crew. Now CRKT is teaming up with Caston to build a production-ready version of that very knife, with a titanium handle and a gorgeous
Caston’s knife for SpaceX had some very specific design guidelines. The build had to be reliable, infallible, and had to have the kind of precision you’d expect from a space exploration company. As a tribute to the company, Caston even incorporated materials from SpaceX’s launch pad, using the metal as the raw material for his knives. CRKT later approached Caston to help create a new derivative line of knives based on the SpaceX design. While it wasn’t entirely possible to get their hands on SpaceX’s launch pads, CRKT decided to outfit the Mbombo with some unique materials of their own.
The Mbombo’s blade is perhaps the first thing you notice about it. Crafted from Damascus Steel, the blade has a beautiful marbled pattern on it brought about by etching the steels’ different metal blends. The Mbombo comes with a cleaver-style blade with two edges, reminiscent of an American Tanto, but with a curved front profile that makes it versatile and good to look at. The blade measures a cool 3.23 inches (82mm) when open, and closes into its beautiful bead-blasted titanium handle.
The handle comes with a textured edge on the front, increasing dexterity and grip during use, while also being a hat-tip to the ridged design of the SpaceX flipper. The titanium handle also sports a nifty frame lock in the form of a thick lock bar that locks the blade in place once open, preventing it from accidentally shutting while in use. Lift the bar and the blade folds back into its handle.
The Mbombo also comes with a pocket clip as well as a lanyard hole built into it, allowing you to carry it with you everywhere you go. It starts at $225, with free shipping within the US.