See Why Clay Switched to this New Everyday Carry Knife: The Tecpatl from CRKT

Meet the Tecpatl from CRKT.  The brainchild of Michael Rodriguez, a combat veteran from 7th Special Forces Group.

I recently ran into an old friend, Micheal Rodriguez, a dyed-in-the-wool Warrior from 7th Special Forces Group. Michael isn’t just a friend, he was my instructor at Special Forces Sniper School. Known across the Regiment simply as “Rod,” he is one of those guys that consistently amazes you.

We retired around the same year, and from time to time we would run into one another at industry events or shooting matches.

“Hey, Rod. What’ve you been up to?”

“Just out mountain biking with George W. Bush.” Or, “I had to climb this mountain so they could test how guys with traumatic brain injury perform in low oxygen environments.”

Not joking.  Rod really hangs with 43.

The tip is stout but sharp. It won’t blunt when stabbing or thrusting.

Rod got into bladesmithing somewhere along the way and actually turned up at the Task Force Dagger (a veteran charity organization) 3-Gun match that I was attending with some of his first blades in tow. He was donating them to a raffle to raise funds for the treatment of other wounded vets. He is just that kind of guy.

So it should have been no surprise to find Rod had been selected for Columbia River Knife & Tool’s Forged By War program. Funded by CRKT, this program was started a few years back to bring the designs of modern warriors to life. There are several GWOT Veterans, along with Vietnam Veterans, and veterans from other conflicts as well.

Bladesmithing is a great outlet for those of us whose war is over. There is something magic about turning steel into a weapon, molding it with your skills and will. Even if you just have a chance to make a knife out of a railroad spike or an old file at one of those roadside tourist attractions, it is worth your time. Put it on your bucket list!

The influence of Rod’s knife, the Tecpatl, is Aztec. In fact, Tecpatl is the name of the dagger carried by Jaguar warriors, the elite of the Aztec Army. The designs on the knife carry that influence, though the symbolism is mostly Special Forces. Rod describes all of them in his video from CRKT (see below).

The Tecpatl comes with a lifetime warranty.


  • Blade Length: 3.375″ (85.73 mm)
  • Edge: Plain
  • Steel: SK5 Carbon Steel, HRC 53-55
  • Finish: Black Powder Coat
  • Thickness: 0.203″ (5.16 mm)
  • Weight: 5.6 oz
  • Handle: Stainless Steel
  • Style: Fixed Blade Knife w/Sheath
  • Sheath Material: Kydex; Black
  • Overall Length: 5.813″ (147.65 mm)
  • MSRP: $89,99

In testing, I found the Tecpatl to be a fantastic weapon. In fact, it is my new everyday fixed blade (since I live in a free state, I can carry a fixed blade). The push dagger is an underrated design in my opinion and works great for real-world use. The Tecpatl is thin enough to carry comfortably on the belt. I beat mine up, so you don’t have to.

One thing about getting a knife from someone like Rod is he knows how things work in combat. Rod is to humble to say so, but I will for him. Rod is a legitimate war hero, and he has put some bodies in the ground for this nation.

On top of that, he was an 18D, Special Forces Medic. Our medics aren’t like regular medics, they are combatants first, medics second. In fact, they get Combat Infantry Badges, not Combat Medical Badges, and that distinction is important.

It works…

No surprises there.

A year-long crash course in medicine, combined with being the only thing close to a doctor for hundreds of miles in combat zones, gives them a unique understanding of trauma. And you can bet your ass they know how to inflict it.

Carrying the Tecpatl is like having distilled combat experience on your belt. I am proud to know the designer, and I am proud to carry his blade. And if some violent Antifa goon makes me neck dart him (in a lawful instance of self-defense), I know it is going to work.

Pricing for Tecpatl is $89.99.  That includes a Kydex Sheath with CRKT’s spring-loaded MOLLE compatible gear clip for easy carry.  The Tecpatl comes with a lifetime warranty. Visit to learn more.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Jeff Bryan June 26, 2018, 5:22 am

    I do respect your intentions and I really want one of these knives it\’s the best design I have seen for self defense in a long time. I want to order one of these knives but I just don\’t have the money now. As soon as I can come up with the money I am to order one going to order one the best I am a personal knife collector and I took many training and skills to stocking up on supplies and it was a mistaken identity because they intended to shoot the meth house behind us but I will definitely order one of your knives as soon as I can I live on a fixed budget I hope you can understand that if there\’s any way you , you can keep her reminded me I will definitely order one can send me a I wish it was sharpened on both sides
    I definitely want one of these knives and again I appreciate what you\’re please keep me in touch kept because I have a little load and had dementia and I need to remember things I am a knife collector and I have over 200 really funny knives I would love this one to be added to my collection as a matter of fact I will probably carry it inside is getting so bad and I\’m sure you know that

  • ejharb March 17, 2018, 10:20 pm

    Hmm,single edged makes it legal for places a double edged is verboten. Texas comes to mind.

  • Gerald Leguire February 25, 2018, 6:35 am

    In the old days we called this a push dagger.

  • rory jones February 24, 2018, 8:41 am

    Those poor ribs. Unnecessarily abused when they should be dry rubbed and slow grilled.

    Cool stuff like this will get confiscated by cops every time if ever you are in a position where you are checked. They just dont let you go home with a blade made for self-defense. In many big city metro’s, they’ll cite you. Consider joining and supporting the ‘Knife Rights’ organization (

    I’ve had a couple of cold-steel version for year, and love them. It was only recently that it was revealed to me that all these years I had one stashed in the car and on my person that I could be arrested for carrying them. Ignorant bliss that could have gotten me in deep doo-doo. Check your local laws, you might be surprised by what you cant do with regard knives, yes, even if the blade is less than 3.5″ long (or whatever that threshold is).

  • JoshO February 23, 2018, 5:37 pm

    Looks like a great program but come on, CRKT, you’re making this knife in Taiwan? That’s like a slap in the face. Fix it and we’ll talk.

    Too bad the idea for this honorable program wasn’t taken to Benchmade.

  • Luis Velando February 23, 2018, 3:41 pm

    God bless Michael Rodriguez and his family.

  • Rick February 23, 2018, 3:38 pm

    Ya ever think about combing thy hair???

  • Tom February 23, 2018, 11:44 am

    Definitely a well made knife with a specific purpose in mind. I like its simplicity. Sometimes, trying to open a folder under stress can be daunting.

    Too bad about those ribs…

    Thanks, Clay – especially the back story.

  • August Bender February 23, 2018, 9:35 am

    Interesting knife. It looks like it would be a good weapon for thrusting and slashing, as demonstrated by Clay in the video. However, for me it would be awkward for other everyday uses. The knife appears to be made from one piece of steel, so I think the specs listed above are erroneous because the blade is described as “SK5 Carbon Steel” (a very tough high carbon steel) and the handle is described as “Stainless Steel.” I don’t think the handle is stainless steel. I think the entire knife is one piece of SK5 steel.

    • August Bender February 23, 2018, 11:05 am

      I called CRKT customer service and they confirmed that the knife is made entirely of SK5 Carbon Steel and does not have a stainless handle. They will be correcting that error on their website. Also, the knife is manufactured in Taiwan.

  • Carl Bruhn February 23, 2018, 9:12 am

    After watching that 6 minute video. I was humbled by it. I am buying that blade to support the initiative. God bless Michael Rodriguez and his family.

  • Joe Mannix February 23, 2018, 8:59 am

    Where is this knife made? The CRKT site gives no indication. HOW is it made? Again, no info. I like a “good story” as much as the next person, but if I’m going to actually purchase a tool I want to know some of the more practical, if mundane facts as well.

    • Carl Bruhn February 23, 2018, 9:16 am

      Forged by war crkt. Took 5 seconds to info you seek.

    • John L February 23, 2018, 10:07 am

      I’ll guess China, like every other CRKT product. God bless the designer and good story. I just don’t trust CRKT.

    • JoshO February 23, 2018, 5:34 pm

      Taiwan according to Blade HQ

  • John February 23, 2018, 8:37 am

    Looks like a waste of some good looking ribs.

  • David February 23, 2018, 8:12 am

    This is pretty nice looking knife, and the fact that money goes towards this great cause makes me more likely to buy one. Unfortunately I can’t own one in DE where I live.

  • Matt Lowers February 23, 2018, 6:48 am

    That would be the last knife I would have for a daily carry. I’ll stick with my Spyderco Military. Has not failed me EVER.

    • Old OutdoorsGuy June 20, 2020, 10:00 pm

      @Matt Lowers – And that would beg the obvious question, exactly how many successful opportunities did you have to check out your Spyderco Military? ……

  • Pete Migale February 22, 2018, 4:35 pm

    Great cause, great looking and functional knife. I hope you put that pork to some tasty use!

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