Tuesday, April 10, 2012

CRKT M16-13Z

First let's get all of the specs out of the way.
AUS 4 steel with 55-57 HRC
3.5" hollow ground bead-blasted blade
Spear Point blade with partial serrations
8.25" Open Length
4.75" Closed Length
Glass Filled Nylon handles
Liner lock with AutoLAWKS
Pocket Clip
Flipper opening

OK..... first a little background about me. I'm not a tactical guru, Ninja knife fighter or master knife maker.
I'm just a guy that likes a decent EDC knife for daily tasks. If it could double as a lightweight camping knife or be used for defensive purposes that's great.  The knives that I buy however are just intended for normal everyday tasks and I generally don't use them that hard. I think that's how most of us are but I still enjoy seeing others test their knives to failure (So keep up the good work Nutnfancy).
I like the M16-13Z. It's probably one of my favorite EDC knives. There are some limitations but it's a good knife for the price in my opinion.

$40 or so online. It's closer to $50 at a local Bass Pro Shop.
Light weight.
Good size overall
Strong locking system
Extremely fast one handed opening flipper design.
Reasonably strong tip.
Good serrations.
Easy sharpening
Deep carry pocket clip.
Tip down carrying.
OK jimping (Could use another 1/2" though)
Nice hand filling handle.

AUS 4 steel.
Mediocre corrosion resistance
Right side tip down carry only

This 3.5 ounce knife isn't exactly lightweight but it's light enough that it's not a burden to carry. I'll use the SOG Aegis as a comparison as this knife is very popular and easy to find. The SOG Aegis weighs 3.1 oz vs the 3.5 oz M16-13Z.  I've never found myself leaving it at home because it was too heavy or really noticing that I'm carrying it on a normal day. This is what I worry about. I don't get hung up on the numbers. As long as I don't notice it then the weight is right.

It carries deeply in my pocket and the clip works well. It's a clip. There's not much to say about it. This knife doesn't carry as deeply as the SOG blades or Buck Vanguard line but it still rides pretty deep and it is relatively easy to get out.

The Glass Filled Nylon handle is  smoother than I normally like.  I wish they had roughed it up a bit. The shape of the handle helps with your grip and it fits my medium sized hands very well. This is a comfortable knife for me to use but I wouldn't want to use it regularly if I had wet hands.

The blade has decent jimping and this definitely helps to lock the knife in your hand.
Speaking of wet hands and water....I've had my blade rust a little. It didn't take long to start noticing some rust spots on the blade after getting it wet. They were small and came off easily enough. I haven't seen any further rust as long as I keep the knife dry or apply a light coat of oil after it does get exposed to moisture. The AUS 4 steel is not known for great corrosion resistance but I haven't noticed that it's worse than AUS 8 in this regard.  Again....I don't abuse or thrash on my knives so if you were using this as a working blade then your experiences might be different.

This knife came from the factory duller than I'm used to in a new blade. It sharpened up easily which is no doubt due to the AUS 4 steel and my mediocre skills. I use a couple of regular sharpening stones that I've had for years. I would expect someone with a really nice sharpening system to get a razor edge on this knife.  I was a bit disappointed when first getting this knife as it looks as if the edge grind is very uneven from side to side. One side of the blade has a much steeper grind than the other. It seemed like a very odd bevel. I assumed this was a quality issue from a Chinese made knife but have since heard that the blade was intentionally made that way to make it easier to sharpen and it makes the serrations stronger.  The serrations work well and the tip seems strong while still being suitable for delicate tasks. I've used this knife to pull staples out of 2x4's on a recent wood working project around the house. I like the 3.5" blade and find this length does just about everything that I need.

This knife feels strong. There's nothing cheap or weak feeling about it when you're working with it. I'm sure this is in part due to the Auto-LAWKS system.

The M16-13Z has a liner lock and the Auto-LAWKS system. The liner lock is held in place until the Auto-LAWKS system is disengaged. This makes it harder to close one handed but it makes for a strong system and I don't worry about this blade closing unintentionally. 

The flipper design is FAST. As a matter of fact this knife opens faster than some of my assisted opening blades and I've seen other knife owners assume that this is an assisted opener when handling it. I can't speak as to how the other models and smaller CRKT knives are but this model is extremely easy to open and faster than any other flipper I've used.  The flipper doubles as a guard when the blade is deployed. The thumb studs are almost entirely useless for opening the blade but I'm sure that they are intended as a blade stop and not a means of opening.

The blade locks up TIGHT. I can find no movement whatsoever in the blade.
I wouldn't use this as a hunting knife or if I was doing a lot of fishing but for an EDC knife it really is great. I would use it as a camp knife or for any role in which I needed a strong locking blade.  AUS 4 steel....Meh....it's ok. I haven't had to stop what I'm doing to resharpen the knife but I really would prefer something a little better. Of course this is a roughly $40 knife so I don't expect the world from it.

I will say that this carries tip down and right side only. The clip is not movable. This is not an issue for me. Tip up, tip down....I don't really care. It's not a deal breaker.
So in summary..... I think this is a very good knife for the money. I have more expensive knifes from other manufacturers yet still find myself carrying this CRKT more often than not. I would definitely recommend it.

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