CRKT was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both individuals were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. The company did not truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show when the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife was introduced. The small folder, designed by Ed Halligan, was a success. Within the opening days of the show the years worth of the product was sold out. They sold at 4-5 times original production numbers resulting in a tripling of production efforts.