CRKT is slowly winning me over, just like how Ruger did. 8 Years ago I’d have never said I was a fan of Ruger, but now I truly am. And with CRKT, even up through last year, I’d have never said I was a fan. But things change. Ruger changed. And CRKT is changing too, it seems. And because of those changes, my mind has changed.
I’ve always liked the looks of the CRKT’s Carson designed M16 series knives. Handsome knives. But I wasn’t a fan of the liner locks on them, and the secondary safety lock mechanism was a flat out turn off. Some time ago, CRKT has changed at least some of them to a Frame Lock design, and they ditched that wart of a secondary safety. So what you have now is a cleaner, more pure, more essential, M16 knife. The way they should have always been.
This knife here that I now have, is the model M16-01S. The series gives you a lot of options in style, serrations, tanto or spear point, and blacked out blades as you like… but this one is the smallest of the M16 series, with a bead blasted finish, plain edge, spear point.
This gives you gorgeous, sleek lines, that looks fantastic from every angle. The blade length is just a tick over three inches, with an overall length of just a tick over seven inches. The blade steel is 8Cr13MoV, which is essentially the same as AUS-8. Which means it’s going to take a very sharp edge, but you’ll have to resharpen it from time to time. Luckily, with this steel (and AUS-8) the bottom of a Coffee Mug does just fine for that.
The blade flicks out with a satisfying *snick* sounds with a flick of the flipper. It’s a smooth action, that opens and closes easily. And the frame lock is, in my opinion, a much more sturdy lock than the previous liner locks. The blade pivots on brass washers, which is a nice touch on a knife at this price point. And the blade is perfectly centered in the frame. The handle material is stainless steel. but because there’s just not a lot of it, the knife is delightfully lightweight. Strong, but light.
The folded knife carries deeply in the pocket. The clip works with slacks very well, as the clip slips over the softer material easily and doesn’t abrade the fabric to wear out your trousers prematurely like some knives are keen to do. The clip is narrow enough to be very unobtrusive. The whole knife, when folded and clipped in the pocket, is very unobtrusive… it carries exceptionally well, and leaves a lot of room in the pocket for your car keys. It carries very very well. The clip also doesn’t get in the way of your hand when holding or using the knife.
Other M16’s in the CRKT line are certainly of the Tactical Folder type. But this one is not. It’s more of a Gentleman’s knife, due to the size and weight and slim profile. But it’s got that rugged tactical look. Imagine bearded and tattooed veteran working a civilian office job. Imagine Matt Best in Business Casual. That’s what this knife is. Unobtrusive, but ready to take the air out of your lungs.
Overall, it seems like these knives are exceptionally well made, and of high quality. Especially when you look at the price. That may be the best thing about this knife. You can get them for well under the 49.99 MSRP. In fact, right now, BladeHQ has them for $31.95. And I’ve seen them for even less… 20 bucks… on Amazon Prime! That makes these an amazing value. Absolutely amazing. I’m not saying you should rush out and get one. I’m saying I don’t blame you if you do.
Here’s my wish though. I wish CRKT would make these in the USA. I’d pay an extra 10 bucks for that. And I wish they would use a better grade of steel. I’d pay an extra 10 bucks for that too. Then, sure, the knife would actually sell for the MSRP and be worth every penny. But I guess they are worth every penny now as it is. I’d just like to see the design executed to its full potential.
4 thoughts on “CRKT M16-01S”
I got one a few years ago, with the LAWKS “safety”; it’s an -01KZ, whatever that means. The LAWKS is a pain, but I can deal with it. It’s a decent knife, not a great knife, and a decent knife is good enough for what you need. Not for what you may WANT, though, but that’s why you’d buy this knife.
I’m on my third M21 with LAWKS system. I’ve found them to be good knives for the money and not so expensive that I’m hesitant to rigorously use them. Incidentally, the first two didn’t break or wear out. I lost one to the TSA and the other was run over by a very large tractor which bent the handle into an L shape. I find the safety mildly irritating but nothing I can’t work around and while the liner lock may not be as strong as the frame lock, I’ve never had one fail and I like the feel in the hand better. Nice review. Thanks!
Not sure of the best place to send a message to you. You closed email (understand that). I was wondering if you could make a posting restoring old firearms? Specifically, your opinion on leaving something with honest wear or refinishing/restoring? For example, I have an old Colt 1911A1 made between the Wars, a commercial model. It looks like someone has taken a belt sander to it. For example the rampart Colt is half removed and the serial number is faint. Before I would shoot it, I would at a minimum replace the barrel and all the springs, and the grips. Of course if I’m in that far, I might as well refinish the exterior which is almost all “in the white”, maybe have a smith lower and flare the ejection port, and put modern sights on it. But then I’d basically have a new 1911A1 with old steel. Have I destroyed history?
P.S. – Love following your Blog
Now that is an interesting topic to discuss. So many factors. In your case though, if the gun is really in such poor condition, the history has already been destroyed. But given what it is, instead of doing a Refinish, take on the project as a Restoration. Have it professionally restored, with the logo, stampings, and the serial numbers etched back in, and have the original type of finish re-applied. Call up Brownells for the right parts and work on this carefully.
Not all old guns need to be restored, and doing such would be almost a crime to them… But if it’s as bad as you say, then maybe restoration is the best. Maybe a gorgeous hot blueing and fresh new Walnut grips are warranted. The real question though, is what you want to end up with.