Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Leatherman Crater C55bx: An EDC Blade With a Little Extra

Leatherman has been long known for their innovations in the world of multi-tools. Since 1983 the company has been putting quality multi-tools in the hands of serious end-users.
I have long been impressed by their Charge and Wave models, and more recently their MUT multi-tool which is geared toward the Military end user. ( although it has found a following among civilian users due to it's integrated AR-15 tools) For nearly 3 decades, multi-tools have been their
bread and butter , but I have found that their knives deserve a good look as well.
And that's where the Crater C55bx comes in.
The C55bx: A EDC knife with a little extra thrown in.

The C55bx belongs to the Crater family of knives, and there are multiple models under this banner. The C55bx functions as a basic everyday carry knife, but with a couple of goodies hidden inside. A few details of the C55bx: The blade is a 420HC (high carbon) steel
with a black oxide finish (on my particular model) and comes in at just over 3 inches long. My model has a partially serrated blade, and I know that some people do not like serrations, but I have found that they do come in handy every now and then.There is a thumb stud for
quick open operation. Out of the package,this knife is crazy nasty sharp, seriously. Don't play around with knives in general, but seriously don't play with this one....YOU WILL BLEED.

Having access to a screwdriver as quickly as a knife has come in handy.
The knife is a lockback, which can be a bit slow on the close, but on an EDC knife not that big of a deal. The handle material is a glass filled nylon, and I like how it feels in my hand,It's got enough material so that it fills one's hand, but not too bulky. It features a pocket clip, but like so many knives I have dealt with recently, it cannot be reversed or changed in it's position. It's counter intuitive to how I would like to draw the knife and open it; (I prefer to carry tip up). The secondary function of this knife is the Phillips #1-2 and Screwdriver 3/16" Bit. The only downside I see to this is that the bit may become lost if one is not careful. I have used this function considerably in the last month of testing, and it has been quite beneficial. In the end of the knife's handle there is a carabiner/ bottle opener stowed away. I can't say I have used this for either function, but it's a interesting addition I suppose, especially the carabiner; if can be hung from field gear on MOLLE webbing, for quick access.

The carabiner/ bottle opener may be useful to some, but it doesn't make or break this blade for me. Although I do think the space could have been better utilized. Such is the case.

Sometimes carrying a full size multi-tool can be a little impractical, and having a basic knife and a screwdriver is all you may need. I would have preferred it if they had incorporated a small mini plier set in the handle instead of the carabiner/bottle opener: I would use a plier set long before I ever use either one of those functions.
This C55bx weighs in at just shy of 5.5oz, about average for a knife it's size. I don't notice it's weight all that much. Closed length is 4 1/2 in., not too bad.
In all, I like the C55bx. I think it somewhat bridges the gap between standard knife and multi-tool....although the I could take or leave the bottle opener/carabiner tool. I think that space in the handle would have been better used for something else. Some people may find it highly useful, and that's just cool. Everyone has different needs and applications.
This is by no means a tactical knife, and that's ok. Not every knife needs to be. This is an EDC knife plain and simple.
I have found them in the ballpark of around $45-65, depending on the distributor.
Shop around and see what you find.
Thanks for reading and I hope this might be helpful.
Have a great week, and be safe.


  1. I had one of these about 4 years ago, The first model BX with the shiny silver end and 3/4 handle. It was an AWESOME knife, and would have been my EDC instead of the CRKT M21, but it was too heavy, the newer models are much lighter with the change in handle and build. Great review. It does need the pocket clip to be movable to work for different carry methods agreed. I'd still like to get one of these as my Non-tactical EDC, The Screwdriver function is far more useful than the bottle opener/clip thing which I never used. Thanks for the reminder, got to check and see if my supplier has these available.

  2. I am actually tinkering around with this knife right now, and i really think there is room enough in the bottom for a mini-plier set. nothing big of fancy, but just a simple set of needle nose; it would be great for messing with small day to day items. This knife has a little brother, the C33....I may do a review on it soon. Thanks for the comment, my friend. I do appreciate it.