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Tuesday, 20 January 2009 11:15

CRKT Lumabiner Review

Written by David Bowen

Ever since Columbia River hit the scene with their tool line by the I.D. Works division, the knife/tool community has kept an eye on what is new from CRKT and the imaginative guys behind the tools (Launce Barber and Tom Stokes). Besides the release of the Get-A-Way Driver, they have released a carabiner tool that sports some neat features.

CRKT Lumabiner

Coined the Lumabiner, this little powerhouse features a unique carabiner made from aluminum which is anodized to one of many different colors, features a small one hand opening blade and a bright LED light which is recessed into the handle. Now I know this is technically not a “tool”, but for all intents and purposes this is a nifty gadget and definitely worth for any tool or knife guy to carry on their key ring or belt loop.

CRKT Lumabiner

CRKT Lumabiner

The aluminum handle is contoured nicely and features a lot of decorative holes to give it the appearance of some high tech aircraft. The handle is very comfortable in the hand when using either one of the functions on the tool. The only thing I don’t like about the ‘biner section, is that the gate opens up in the opposite direction that a carabiner normally opens. This feature works fine if it’s attached to your keys and is used with the keys still attached; but is a little tricky if it’s kept on your belt loop and it has to be deployed. Even with the oddly designed gate you get over the fact it’s backwards use it without much thought. The gate does feature a locking tab; this feature is great if you have a fear of losing your backup blade. Simply press or pull the lock one way or the other to simply lock or unlock the gate.

CRKT Lumabiner

The small but mighty blade on the Lumabiner is a little over an inch and a half and is totally ambidextrous. Nothing ticks off southpaw’s more than having manufacturers make a blade that is made for righties only. The blade though small is very easy to deploy, simply rotate the thumbstud on either side and the blade is locked into position with a liner lock. The knife’s thumb stud is closer to the pivot than most knives and it has a tighter radius when moving the blade into position. Slightly awkward the first time you try it but like everything else it becomes second nature. Being very thin and featuring a flat grind, the blade works well in spite of its size. Being a back up blade I have used the knife on a variety of stuff that my larger folders would not due well due to their thickness. Everything from clamshell packaging to sharpening a pencil have all worked well using this small and unassuming blade. Being small has its advantages; you won’t raise any eyebrows when you use it in public.

CRKT Lumabiner

Lastly we come to the LED light. Just about everyone these days has a light on their key ring and putting one on a tool was a no brainer. Powered by two 3V lithium batteries the LED light is activated by pressing the button on the side of the carabiner. The light is very bright and good for times when you need to get into your house in the dark. I don’t normally need a light but it’s good to know I have a reliable one on my key ring if the need arises. A great bonus is it’s on a tool that comes off of your keys; many times I have needed a light and had to grab the whole mess just to see what I am doing. The only thing I might have changed would be to have a switch on the light to allow it to stay on. There are times when I wish the light could be a hands free operation, but then again I should have a dedicated light if the need arises. Due to the small application for this tool I think having a feature like this was not an option and probably a good idea in the end.

CRKT Lumabiner

Overall the Lumabiner is a very useful tool in a small package. Always at the ready when you need it and built with quality you can trust. CRKT still continues to bring us great new products every year and the Lumabiner is not an exception. I recommend this for those who need an additional light for their keys and need the occasional blade. Very good for those spouses who are married to us tool guys. I look forward to what new products CRKT has in store for us in 2009.


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