CRKT M16-03

Oct 4, 1998
When I ordered my M-16-03 several months ago, I thought it was a neat looking knife: Contemporary handle design, good blade geometry, and small enough for easy pocket carry.

I was a little apprehensive about CRKT's quality because frankly, the little Kiss I had was good for a light pocket blade/money clip, but I found the liner lock disengaged way to easy for it to be a real solid-use heavy cutter.

The shipment of my M-16 was delayed several months, and my apprehension grew daily that the maker had some manufactoring problems off shore, and the US release was being delayed.

I don't know about why there was a delay, but the M-16-03 was well worth the wait.

Fit-finish is very good for this reasonably priced product.

The AUSA-8 Bead-Blast blade comes razor-sharp, and has more of an appearance of a dagger because of its' false top edge, than the true spear-point I believe it really is. Its' got plenty of straight edge, and insludes a very gracefull point perfect for opening envelopes, or just about any other chore requiring a sharp-pointed object.

For those unfamiliar with the Carson-CRKT products, this M-16-03 is the middle of the road product with a clip-spear point, rather than the Tanto blades of the larger and smaller M-16's.

It is larger than I'd really like for pocket carry, though the handle is gracefull, and fits my hand wonderfully.
The design holes are reminiscent of the Crawford Leapards, but this one really is a bit thinner.

The handle is a flat grey, anodized metal, I believe Aluminum. I suspect in pocket'll get dinged and easily discolored by keys, pocket change and just about anything else metallic. But since this is a utiltiarian, high-tech design that begs to be used and carried, nicks and scars on the finish shouldn't bother me too much.

The liner-lock is thin, and disengaging it takes practice because its almost level with the scales, and there's not much to grab onto to move it out of the way.

Its' also locked up so tightly a few times, it took 2 hands to disengage it. I'd be cautious really doing any heavy cutting though, because it'll take a while to trust the liner-lock's lack of heft.

It's not an easy opener either....taking almost 2 hands to open the first few times, and it still takes a bit of effort to try and open it 1-handed, but I expect it'll loosen up. It looks like it's got some plastic washers buffering the blade pivot, and I think that's a mixed bag. It'll provide some slippery sholders for the pivot, but I don't trust the plastic washers for real long-term use because I've already seen some other products with similiar degrade after a while.

I haven't tried loosening up the pivot, or lubing the blade yet because I want to see how it works on its' own after a few more dozen openings.

The clip is attached by 3 good-sized torx screws for a tip-up carry. It's attached about 3/4 of an inch under the pivot point of the blade, and while its thin, it's very stiff and I'll have to work it back a bit to get it working when I need it for pocket or belt carry.

Bottom Line:

Good fit-finish, Sharp, good-sized bead-blast blade, nice contemporary design from a great knife-maker, Kit a reasonable price that won't keep this in a collection rather than being used everyday for the mundane chores of life.

The liners' a little thin, and outta of the box the action's a little stiff too.

Its' a winner, and is well worth the wait, but it is just a tad too big for a real-office pocket carrier, though thats' not a complaint because this is a product that begs to be used, at a cost that won't prevent it.

I ordered the M16-04 yesterday, so I'll fill you in when I play around with it. I haven't handled one yet, but I like the look a LOT. You can't expect too much when you pay $50-$60 for a high-tech folder, but that's why I like CRKT soooo much. They just keep impressing the hell out me with their value.