CRKT M16 Deadbolt Review
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

‘It Could Not Be Simpler’: CRKT M16 Deadbolt Folding Knife Review

CRKT has been known for two things — entry-level designs and a willingness to experiment. A few years ago, that experimentation led the brand to a very different lock design, the Deadbolt lock.

Though visually similar to the notoriously hard-to-make Paul Lock, the Deadbolt lock is simpler and stronger and does nothing to deploy the knife. The lock is a very good design and the M16 Deadbolt represents its use on CRKT’s flagship design.

CRKT M16 Deadbolt: Review

CRKT M16 Deadbolt
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

CRKT M16 Deadbolt: Specs

  • Steel: D2
  • Grind: ¾ height hollow grind
  • Lock: Deadbolt lock
  • Blade length: 3.58 in.
  • Handle length: 4.65 in.
  • OAL: 8.25 in.
  • Weight: 4.00 oz.
  • Price: $125
  • Country of origin: China

Highlights

The M16 is an assisted flipper, originally designed by the truly great Kit Carson. The knife has become an icon in the knife industry and has resulted in dozens of variants.

CRKT M16 Deadbolt - Blade
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

This particular knife, new in 2022, is a medium-size M16 with a Deadbolt lock instead of the normal liner lock. Everything about the M16 is designed to be easy to use.

The knife’s assisted flipper deploys as fast and as readily as an auto. The blade — coated D2 — is tough and resistant to damage. And now the lock is similarly easy.

Deployment automatically engages the lock; disengagement is achieved by pressing the pivot button. It could not be simpler.

Because of the large contact surface between the lock and the blade, and the robust build of the pivot and handles, the Deadbolt is very strong (with the caveat that almost all knife locks are sufficiently strong — common sense is your best safety plan).

CRKT M16 Deadbolt - length
(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

This particular model is quite large for an EDC knife, but it works well in a harder use role where its capacity to deal out and absorb damage is a plus.

The price is a bit high for a D2-bladed knife, but the lock is the star here. The grind results in a pretty thick knife behind the edge, but it also brings a huge amount of steel to bear on the tip, resulting in a very good and useful point.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a knife that carries and deploys well but can still take a beating, this version of the M16 is a good choice. It’s not insanely overbuilt like a ZT or a Cold Steel, but at that point, you are probably better off carrying a small fixed blade.

I also like the use of aluminum in the handles — stronger than G10, less expensive than titanium, and lighter than steel. More knives should be using aluminum for handle scale material. Recommended!

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