Mini-review CRK&T M-16 series

Oct 14, 1998
A couple of weeks ago, one of the large KIT CARSON - COLUMBIA RIVER KNIFE & TOOL knives found its way to me. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with what I got. I say this because normally, I guess you might say, I am a touch of blade snob. It's no secret that I speak highly of the premium production brands and customs and generally remain silent on the others unless I am encouraging people to go upscale with their knife purchase. My thinking has changed some thanks to the M-16 I have.

The one I have is the large plain edge tanto. While I am not a big fan of Tanto's in general, this blade profile is more usuable for me then most. I still would prefer a non-tanto but, this blade profile has performed well opening mail, packages, stubborn plastic packaging denying me nutrition and, other similar tasks. One guy I handed it too complained that the liner was too thin and, I encouraged him to take it out to the wood pile and spine whack it, he did and it passed this test. Lock up was as it should be and the testing sessions white knuckling it, spine whacking it, etc. have not shown any weak points today. That flipper/guard is a fantastic little thing in actual use. I think other companies will be inquiring about adding this to some of their lines as well - that thing is a real winner.

No knife is perfect and, this one is no exception. The clip on mine is too shallow. What I mean, is that it does not have enough space to fit over the seam of my blue jeans pocket without some effort. Whether this is a plus or minus on the draw depends on your point of view - you aren't going to loose it from a clipped blue jeans pocket because of the force required to pull it out which is a little excessive for my tasts. This is a relatively easy fix for someone with limited aptitude with hand tools. The second negative thing worth noting is the flipper tab itself. It gets very high marks from me for actual use once out of the pocket but, it needs to be worked on a little for routine carry. I wear it in my right rear pocket clipped to the outside edge of my blue jeans. The flipper's serrations tend to dig into shirts and seats. If you carry it as I do, you should be careful, otherwise plan on having a few good shirts that are ready for use in doing yard work, car repairs, etc. Repairing seats is not as easy as replacing shirts so, pay attention if you carry it as I do.

All in all, this is a good knife, especially when you consider price. For its pricepoint, it is hard to beat. I still like other blade steels better but, how much is that worth to you? This knife has a reasonably good blade steel and is put out at a price most people can afford without a lot of strain on the finances.

What would I do to make this knife better without driving up cost?
1) I would offer it in a true non-tanto format
2) Rework the pocket clip to accomodate blue jean pocket seams
3) Deburr the flipper to a point where you don't lose the grabbiness when you flick it open but, enough to be kind to clothing and seats.

Would I buy this knife and/or recommend it to friends? YES! This is a solid using knife at a great price.

Stay sharp,

[This message has been edited by Sid Post (edited 06 June 1999).]
Thanks for the very informative review, Sid. Made me want to buy one...
I got mine (also a large) a few weeks ago. While I haven't been carrying it around, I have played with it enough to say, "Way to go CRKT!!!" I am pleased with this knife for a variety of reasons, some mentioned above, but mostly for the VALUE. The aluminum handle and AUS-8A steel work well together, the steel is mid-grade which is perfectly fine for the price and function. I'd like to know about how it's heat treated???

The flipper is so neat, I'm disappointed that it wasn't added to the smaller versions. In all the models the thumbstud is almost flush with the handle which makes it hard to use. I do like the tanto point; the blade shape is very stout. The blade is thick AND wide which lends itself to heavier chores. What I do not like about this knife is the pocket clip and the bead blasted blade. The clip is very tight against the handle and sits too low on the knife. I think I'm going to post a thread about clips in general. The bead blasting is getting real old on CRKT knives. I think everyone is finished this way. I'd like to see a cleaner blade finish (pits collect dirt and reside) or maybe a nice TiN coating (I'd pay a little extra).

Overall, an excellent knife even at a higher price. This knife is a winner!

If you don't like the tanto style blade, look for the M16-03. This little guy has a slick design of a spearpoint blade that is great. I just purchased one and am taking it with me today to Ft. Lewis Wa. to see how much it can take. I'll let you know what does or doesn't kill this knife.
Just bought one.Great Knife!!!!!!!!!!!And!!!!!!!!!The price is great also.IMHO


have a"knife"day
ekaagan, Kit originally thought that the flipper wouldn't work well on the smaller blades, due to the lack of weight. Since then Kit has made a few small flipper prototypes and it work's just as well as it's larger brother. Kit or David can comfirm when they will be rolling out but I think it will be when the current run is finished! Should be a big hit!