CRKT M16-04Z

Columbia River Knife and Tool or CRKT, also referred to as “cricket” by some of my friends, produces various knives, multi-tools and accessories.  I’m a big fan of their every day carry (EDC) line and tactical fold outs.  They’re built fairly solidly, are available with different configuration options, have great locking mechanisms and cost much, much less than some of the other big-name manufacturers.

CRKT chooses to highlight their designers and I really dig Kit Carson’s designs.  Today I am reviewing the M16-04Z from the M16 line.

M16-04Z

The first thing I want to try and explain is the model number.  The left half, “M16” designates the model.  The next two numbers reference the length/type of the blade and the letter(s) on the end signify the type of handle, left-hand/right-hand and other options or features.

CRKT M16 configurations:

  • Blade length/type – 01, 02, 03, 04, 10, 12, 13, 14
  • Handle types and options – A, D, KE, KS, KSF, KZ, LE, LEK, M, S, SF, SFG, SFGL, T, Z, ZE, ZER, ZLEK, ZM, ZSF

Here are the specs on the M16-04Z:

Dimensions
Open Overall Length 9.25 inches
Closed Length 5.375 inches
Weight 5.9 ounces
Blade
Length 3.875 inches
Thickness 0.14 inches
Material AUS 8
Blade-HRC 55-57
Finish Bead-Blast
Grind Hollow
Style Tanto
Edge Plain
Handle
Material Glass Filled Nylon
Liner 420J2
Lock
Type Locking Liner
Safety System AutoLAWKS
Carry
Carry System 1 Position Clip
Features
Flipper Yes
Patent U.S. Patents 5,596,808 7,437,822

Thoughts:

  • Clip – Not too stiff when new and doesn’t eat your pants pockets.  It can also be repositioned to all four corners of the handle.
  • Blade – the tanto style is great for utility purposes and stabbing things, as awkwardly morbid as that sounds.  The knife is just under 10″ and the blade is just under 4″.  This isn’t always the best tool for opening tiny packages and doing precision cutting.
  • Handle – lightweight and non-abrasive.  It’s not the easiest thing to hold if your hands are wet though, but I will say the size fits perfectly in the palm of my hand.
  • Liner lock – I absolutely love the AutoLAWKS system.  I’ve seen more people praising this design than complaining about it.  If this is a knife you’re actually going to use, you’ll figure it out in no time.  If this is just a pretty thing to make people think your tough, then it’s not really a tool nor is it an EDC knife and you might have issues with it.

For me, this is a great working knife.  I use it outside, cutting open boxes and the top of the blade can double as a flat-head screwdriver in a pinch.  This isn’t really something to carry at work if you’re in an office environment.  People will freak out.  Did I mention it snaps open with a sound not so different from working the action on a Remington 870?

Some of the blade finish has started to come off.  I think it’s because I didn’t clean something off the blade which then etched the finish.  It might have been from cutting an orange or some sort of adhesive stuff.  I can’t really feel any difference on the blade itself, it just looks a little weird.  Sharpening the blade is a little interesting if you’ve never dealt with a tanto before.  Just be careful with that obtuse angle on the end of the blade.

While CRKT offers all of their knives for sale on their website, the MSRP is more than you can purchase it elsewhere…like Amazon.  There was one issue when the M16-04Z was purchased – I received a very old version of the knife that had opening/closing issues.  When I contacted CRKT, they had me send in the knife and replaced it without any hassle or questions asked.  There are a lot of fakes being sold on the market so if you’re concerned about getting the real thing, you can always buy direct.