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Some initial impressions and spine whacking of a CRKT M16 03

Jun 9, 1999
I've been wanting to get a nice daily carry knife to replace my serrated Delica 98 for some time now. What I wanted was a medium sized knife that I could wear most places without breaking the law or causing stampedes among the sheeple, a plain edge, and an affordable price tag. After handling a few of the M16's at my local sporting goods store and reading so many rave reviews here at BF, I decided to get one of the medium sized spear points. Here's what I think of it.

I personally find the knife to be aesthetically pleasing. It has excellent fit and finish, and while bead blasting may not be the greatest choice available, it looks pretty good on this knife. The skeletonized handle is really a nice touch and makes this aluminum handled knife only slightly heavier than the Delica it's replacing! The clip is well executed, and has a very nice sort of gray marbled finish. It's hard to describe, but for any of you who have seen the finish on a SOG SEAL knife, they are very similar. I find that it is positioned a little lower than I would like, but not extremely so.

I was really impressed with how smooth and light the action is. The knife is easy to open with the thumb stud, or you can just give it a light wrist flick and it'll pop right out. I couldn't detect any play in the blade when it was open.

This is the really surprising and also fairly controversial portion of the knife, it's liner lock. I have read many posts in which members wrote that they wouldn't trust such a thin liner lock. I can see why someone would think that since the liner is only about 1/16" thick. I had no real opinion about it when I bought the knife, but I did want to test it out a little for myself. Unfortunately it did not impress me right away. After a few opening and closing cycles, the lock started to stick in the middle of the tang whenever I flicked the knife open hard. It couldn't be disengaged with one hand. I was pretty dissapointed since I never had this problem with any other liner lock. I decided to work it a little and hope it would loosen up a little.

The next thing I did was try a little spine wack test. My test area was the work bench in my garage, which is metal covered with a sheet of OSB. First I lightly opened the knife with the thumb stud and whacked away about 5 or 6 times . I hit the table top hard enough to leave indentations in the OSB and the lock didn't let go. Then I snapped it open and repeated the process. Again, it just wouldn't fail. I was hitting then spine against the table as hard as I was able to while still keeping a grip on the handle. I had absolutely no qualms about the security of the lock.

I was concerned, however, with the fact that it was still sticking when I wrist flicked it. When I looked at the tang I realized that it wasn't very smooth, in fact it had some minor corrosion. So I used a very small piece of 2000 grit sandpaper and a toothpick to sand down the corrosion on the tang. After this minor adjustment, the lock operated as smooth as butter. Considering how successful the sanding had been, I was worried about the lock security. Maybe it locked so tight because it was sticking. So I took it out to the garage and repeated the spine whack test with 10 full powered spine whacks in a row. Whether I snapped the blade open or just lightly used the thumb stud, the lock would not fail and closed easily. I have not yet managed to make the lock fail. I'm extremely impressed with this lock and with every other facet of the knife. It even came so sharp out of the box that I haven't taken my Edge Pro to it yet! I'm almost never satisfied with factory edges, and this one is so sharp it's shamed me into sharpening all of my other knives to match it!

Now comes the most incredible part. I only paid $45[i/] for this knife from 1SKS. I aid more than that for my Delica, and I like this knife better. After playing with it for 3 days now, I couldn't be happier with this knife even if it cost $100. So if you don't have one, get one! And if you do have one, convince someone else to get one.
How's the rust resisting on the blade of CRKT knives? I've never own a CRKT knife, but seem some customers brought back their M16s after a week and the blade is rusted pretty good. Is it AUS6? How's the edge holding?
Glad you like the knife. I have the same model but with the Zytel handle scales.

If I flick mine open really hard, it will also stick, but like yours, the lock on mine has never come close to failing.

To be honest, in the past, I have noticed sticking in some Benchmade liner locks IF I flick them open hard. I no longer flick open my liner locks forcefully (unless they are designed for it, like my Kershaw Liner Action). Doing so may shorten the life of the lock mechanism and stop pin, IMO.

IF you are going to contine to beat your CRKT M-16 knife against a table, I am going to have to request that you stop that abuse, and send the knife to me for safe-keeping!.

Dann Fassnacht
Aberdeen, WA
ICQ# 53675663
Sharpedge, I haven't had the knife long enough to judge it's rust resistance. I hope that I won't find out since the first thing I did was coat it with the Tuff Cloth that I had ordered with it. From every report I've read about Tuff Cloth, I doubt that the M16's AUS8 blade will rust as long as I keep it coated.

Jim, try that little fix that I used. I bought the sandpaper in the automotive section of Wal-Mart for less than $3. After a little bit of light sanding, the lock released very easily from any spot on the tang. And I know flicking it hard shortens its life, but I don't do it a whole lot since I can flick it lightly and it still opens and locks securely. Also, it's not really a collector's piece, so if I lose a few years of using it its no big deal. By then I'll have some new toy to play with.

Glockman, what if I pad the table first?
Roadrunner, send your knives to me. I'll protect them from Glockman's greedy little paws.
SharpEdge, I sold a Point Guard CRKT to a friend because he needed a nice sharp knife. He used it for some moderately heavy camping work, cutting branches, whittling, etc., and the blade hadn't dulled seriously. The edge was still nice and sharp, except when someone dropped it on something hard (concrete)? The knife wasn't damaged, the the tip edge portion hit the hard material in question and was dulled. A sharpening steel restored the point somewhat though. A little bit of sharpening will remove all the minor tip deformation.

As for rust, that is not really the steel rusting, but oxidation trapped inside the bead blast finish. Bead blast finishes have a crater-like texture and trap moisture. That is why you have to oil it or wipe it down with WD-40 or Tri-Flow every so often. If spots appear (and they will if not cleaned quickly), wipe them off with WD-40, Tri-Flow, or some other oxidation removers. I've found that Turtlewax products will remove stains in bead blast relatively well with the help of a rag. Wipe them off as soon as possible, because in my experience, the longer you let them stay, the harder they are to get off.

Roadrunner, the knives are inexpensive because we Taiwanese are efficient in our production.

Chang and the Rebels of the East!
Southern Taiwan Will Rise Again!
i have an M-16 14 and have had no problems with the lock either. On the serface where the tang and lock join, CRKT applies some sort of coating that helps hold the lock in place, but i have the larger version of the knife so there is more room for my thumb to disengage the lock.
Thanks Comrade Chang for the explaination, i've never heard of the oxidation stuff be4. Does that happen to ALL bead blasted blade out there?
the m16-14 does have the flipper. the carson flipper is a small 'lobe' that sticks out of the back of the knife when closed. when the flipper is pressed donward and combined with a slight flik of the wrist, the blade locks smoothly into place, a very simple but efective methode of opening.
Newer productions of the M16 03 do have the flipper, but this one doesn't. If you want the flipper, (and believe me, you do want the flipper) don't get it from 1sks or ask if they have the new ones in. I'm pretty sure chai cutlery has the new ones.
Roadrunner, thanks for the detailed field testing. I like my M16-03Z (with flipper) , but would never resort to whacking the spine against anything.
Hello All,

I have recently aquired a CRKT M16-04 and find it to be a fine knife.
I chose the M16-04 rather than the KFF because the large KFF is too heavy for unobtrusive daily carry.

When I cannot carry my preferred fixed blades I intend to carry the M16-04 together with my Spyderco Endura.

I hope that the durability of the CRKT knives will be proved over time and usage, as they are well made and finished.

I too at this stage can say that I am a satisfied owner