There are many who credit the emergence of the “flipper” knife to the CRKT M16 Series. Designed by the legendary Kit Carson and modeled after his original tactical blade. These knives are not spring assisted but open with a flick of the wrist. Whether their creation of the design or presence at its forefront matters, the concept simply works. Its quite fun actually. There are other knives with heavier blades and/or nicer components, but this one opens very smoothly.
Speaking of nicer components, this is not a high end blade. In fact you can probably find it at your local Lowe’s for 30-40 dollars. That being said, it is among the very best in its price range. It’s hard to go wrong at such an affordable number. I’ve had mine for years, and quite honestly it’s never let me down. Not to say that it doesn’t have its flaws.
While the M16 Series is available in an endless variety of styles, most are made of AUS-4 steel. AUS-4 is a lower-end version of AUS-8, a very popular high performance steel. AUS-4 will accept a keen edge, but will not hold it for an admirably long time. Nevertheless, it gets the job done. Advertised as a dual hollow ground edge, this blade is more of a chisel grind. Certainly not ideal but simple to sharpen. You can find the M16 in spear-point and tanto variations. This seems to be purely a matter of personal preference.
Even though the M16 models are liner-lock folders, most come with an additional “AutoLAWKS” feature. For good reason, many consider this to be a gimmick. The liner-locking mechanism provides enough security to render AutoLAWKS obsolete. If anything, it adds an extra step to closing.
Handle materials range from zytel to steel to even titanium. Most come with zytel, which provides a comfortable and secure grip. Handle contours are nicely rounded and provide an excellent feel. The attached belt clip is nothing extraordinary, but holds very well with a low profile. While stowed away in the pocket one can often barely notice its presence.
- Steel: AUS 4 – 58/59 HRC Rockwell
- Blade length: 3.125 inches
- Overall length: 7.125
- Weight: 2.3 ounces
- Handle: Zytel (nylon)