CRKT M16-14SF Tanto

Note: I made the following video to be watched as a supplement to the written review below. The video alone does not contain my complete review.



When I received the M16-14SF in the mail from CRKT, I was ecstatic about the size of the knife. As I always say with firearms and knives alike, bigger is better. The M16 surely meets any size standards I may have on a pocket folder. The one problem I face is that I cannot legally carry this knife out and about as the blade is 3.875 inches as my local city limit on blade length is 3.5in.


As I mention in the video, the blade is a combo edge tanto blade featuring three point serrations. Tanto blades were designed by the Japanese in the 9th century and are known for their superior strength.  What I like about the tanto (besides its superior strength) is the fine point it creates at the tip of the knife. This works really well for wedging into small spaces.  As for the serrations, I prefer them. I would choose a serrated combo blade over a straight edge blade every day. The serrations add more diverse uses for the knife. Imagine cutting a steak; when you cut a steak you use a knife with a serrated edge as it is easier then with a straight edge. Wouldn’t it just make sense to cut other forms of muscle with a serrated edge as well?

The M16’s blade is made out of AUS 8 stainless steel. This is Japanese steel known for being easy to sharpen and moderately holding an edge.  This knife comes from the factory pretty darn sharp. I wasn’t brave enough to try it, but my husband was able to shave his arm with it right out of the box.  And of course I cut myself on it a few times while making the video.


A feature I have mixed feelings about is the double Carson flippers. They definitely make deploying the blade super fast and easy. Another thing I love about the double Carson flipper is the prominent hilt that they provide. The problem I have with them is that even when carrying blade down (as CRKT recommends) the flippers tend to get caught on my shirt as I pull  it out of my pocket, causing the blade to open before it’s drawn completely. I had a few other people try drawing the M16 from their pants pocket and they had the same issue.


The patented AutoLAWKS system is a really neat feature. Locking the blade in the open position, it virtually turns your folder knife into a fixed blade.  But that’s not all the AutoLAWKS does! It gives you tactical feed back as the blade opens. When you hear the fully audible “click” you know the blade is locked open and ready to use.

As I played with the AutoLawk I did notice that it takes fine motor skills to actuate. This is arguably a disadvantage. Operating the AutoLawk under stress or while your adrenaline is going could be difficult considering first thing you lose under extreme stress or when your adrenaline kicks in are your fine motor skills.  However, I don’t find this to be a reason not to carry this knife.  I just figure if I’m going to use a knife with this mechanism in that sort of situation, I can toss it aside or close it when the thereat is handled and the adrenaline wares off .


The grip is made out aluminum with a matte black finish. Circles have been machined out of the sides of the grip to keep the weight at a minimum. What I don’t like about it is that it is pretty slick, it doesn’t offer much for gripping purposes.  In my training, I have been instructed that when a knife gets bloody, it gets very very slippery. This is why a good grip is crucial if you plan on keeping your knife in a fight. If anyone has any ideas of what I can do to the grip to make it, well, grippier, let me know.


It doesn’t fit in the front pockets of my jeans, but I never let my clothes get in the way of carrying a nice big weapon.  I wear the M16-14SF in my back left pocket, or in another left coat pocket. The reason I carry it on the left is so that if someone is trying to take my gun from its holster, I can draw the knife with my left hand and protect my gun with my right.


Overall, I really CRKT’s M16-14SF. There are always things to pick apart in every gear review; but I would say the M16 has more positives then negatives.  As always, I recommend getting training and practicing with the weapon before deploying it for defensive use.



© Packing Pretty, Grace McKee 2012