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 ITT: I talk about knives, airsoft guns, real steel...

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Sylar

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PostSubject: ITT: I talk about knives, airsoft guns, real steel...   25/9/2011, 20:27

CRKT M16 14SFG

Smith and Wesson is notorious for using acronyms to name their knives (CK105H, etc) instead of actually naming them like any normal person would. Why, I have no clue. It's easier, I guess.

This is one of the few models where CRKT does the same thing, and they do it because it's a variation of the M16 series, rather than a separate model.

CRKT stands for Columbia River Knife and Tool; M16 is the series name. 14 refers to the size of the knife, though if it has any exact correlation with it I'm not sure. 'SF' stands for Special Forces, which is a classification for the model. 'G' refers to the handles scales being in G10. If it has a 'Z' it's Zytel, 'A' is aluminum, 'T' is titanium.

Blade

It's made out of 8Cr14MoV, which is a stainless steel. It's a solid choice, I think. I'd take this over a 440a or 440b any day, though I might consider 440c. Stainless steel is a softer steel, so it doesn't hold an edge amazingly well, but, because it's soft, it's reletively easy to resharpen.

8Cr14MoV is a little bit harder than your standard kitchen knife steel. (440a or 440b for the most part) One of the biggest advantages is that it's stainless. Stainless actually means 'more stainless than other steel' and not actually 'stainless'.

It has a titanium nitride (TiNi) coating on top of that, which improves rust resistance even more.

When it comes to blade coloring, there are several options designers have:

Teflon
TiNi
Certain heat treats

Teflon gives blades a very smooth finish, allowing them to slide through things much better than a standard blade would, but it comes off very easily, even under light use.

TiNi takes a very long time to wear off; it mostly just 'fades' a bit, even under reletively heavy use.

Some heat treatments can color metal. Obviously, since doing so actually changes the properties of the metal, it's pretty much the strongest coating out there, but also the most expensive. Oddly, it seems that teflon and TiNi both cost the same to buy and apply, so I assume designers just like the smooth action it gives a blade. Same reason they sometimes use teflon bearings.

Another large point to mention is the use of Veff serations. They're simply specially made serrations, created by Tom Veff. They are aggressively styled, but the actual point is to allow serrations to actually 'slip' through material, much the same as a very sharp blade can.

For the most part, I think it works well. Some people have raised complaints about the tips breaking, which is, frankly, utter BS. If you actually have enough of a brain to know how to use a knife, they won't ever break. While they break easily if flexed to the side, the back and forth movement to saw through something will NEVER break one. The way I see it, if you're brain dead enough to try to baton with a serrated blade, you deserve to have your blade break.

It came with a reletively sharp blade, but that's not relevant in a knife review; if I were reviewing the the company, I would review the quality control issues, but because this isn't about that, I won't bother.

Handle

Standard sandwich construction, no sunk liners or solid slabs here, which I honestly don't mind. Yes, sunk liners are much better, but expect to pay a good bit more for milled handles slabs like that.

Liner material is 2CR13, which is a stainless steel. Because of the size of the liners, it really doesn't matter what the material actually is. I would probably still rather have aluminum liners, but it really doesn't matter much at all.

The scales are G10. I'd estimate them to be about 1/7 of an inch thick, but I haven't measured them, so I'm not sure. They're thick enough not to break, or even flex, when the liner is moved over to the tang of the blade, so no problems there.

The G10 is textured to about a medium grip strength, more so then the scales on the S&W FR, but not nearly as much as on the Cold Steel Recon 1. It makes for a relatively comfortable grip.

It has no finger choils, but it is contoured to the hand for a smooth grip, both forward and reverse.

No jimping on the back of the handle, so a slicing grip isn't a good option. Not that you'd be slicing with a tanto like this anyway, but it's worth mentioning.

Both ends can be used a offensive blunt striking tools, though not as good as a stainless steel or brass bolster, you'd have to sacrifice the smooth flow through design it has.

One reason this is such a great knife is the skelatonized flow through handle. Instead of the standard back spacer most knives have, thise has two stop bar like pillars at the butt end, making it much less likely to collect dirt and jam up. It's done this way because it's designed for SOCOM unit sin Iraq and Afghanistan; for the same reason the Beretta M9 and M16/M4 do so poorly, this knife exceeds. With the aforementioned guns, dirt and sand completely destroy the gun, causing massive amounts of misfires and other crap, (WHY U NO USE 1911 MEU, ARMY?!!!) but this knife has no problems with anything getting gummed up by sand or dirt, or rust building up at the pivot point, causing knives to have a scratchy opening.

Blade tang

I put this in a separate section because it's unique style. It's a rounded design, with flippers on both ends, one longer than the other.

When closed, it provides a blunt hammering weapon for self defense (lol, why not just leave the knife out if you aren't going to use the blade?) but the main point is the two separate opening techniques that you can use with the Carson flippers.

The back flipper can be used to open the blade by your pointer finger; hold the knife closer to the bottom, and place your finger near to the end of the flipper, then push it down as quickly as possible. With practice, you can open it fast one-handed without a wrist flip involved at all.

The front flipper can be used to perform the Emerson Wave, whether from the pocket (tip up) or from out of the pocket. Very, very convenient. It's honestly much better than the designs Emerson has, that have a tendency to destroy your pockets. It's actually the best Wave opener I've used, surpassing even the Spartan. *gasp*

When the blade is opened, they form a functioning hilt, which stops your hand from sliding up onto the blade. It also provides yet another safety mechanism, on top of the liner lock and auto LAWKS. I'll talk more about this when I talk about LAWKS.

Both flippers have jimping on the ends, which provides for a strong grip when flipping it open from out of pocket. Great job on this one, CRKT.

The only problem that occurs from the jimping has to do with the depth; because the serrations are so deep, if you drop the knife in the dirt, it cakes up in those grooves. While that doesn't cause any problems, it bothers me to no end when it's there. Like I said, no actual function is hurt by it, but the cosmetics suffer from it. Just take a cotton swap and some water and it's gone in a flash.

Locks and safeties

This has the standard liner lock, no special mechanism to improve the liner's purchase on the tang of the blade. The tolerances are extremely tight on most of CRKT's products, and this one is no exception.

Like I mentioned before, the liner is rather thick, so it sits very nicely against the tang. One thing I've noticed S&W knives suffer from is the liner moves over to far when you snap the blade open, and it jams between the tang and the handle slabs or liner, making it difficult to unlock. No such problem here, because CRKT left a slight ridge on the far edge of the tang, which stops the liner from ever moving over that far. I suppose if you loosened up the pivot a good bit, you might be able to slide it over, but I digress.

If this didn't have another lock or safety, I would absolutely no consider this a tactical folder. That's the reason that I think Kershaw's Zero Tolerance folders are terrible knives. However, this knife does, luckily, have another safety: It's called LAWKS.

On this model, LAWKS (Lake And Walker Knife Safety) is spring loaded, so it activates automatically when the liner lock does; this makes it Auto LAWKS.

The way it works is simple: a simple spring loaded metal tang come between the liner lock and the handle slab. This way, if you try to move the liner over to unlock the blade, it won't move far enough over to allow the blade to do any more than wobble a bit. To unlock it, simply move the LAWKS lever on the back of the knife, then move over the liner. After that, it's the same as any liner lock knife.

CRKT claims that LAWKS 'turns a folder into a virtual fixed blade'. Yes, it a very good design, that makes the knife stronger without making the blade any harder to unlock, but it is far from the strongest.

The strongest lock mechanism I'ver ever come across is Benchmade's Axis Lock, with Cold Steel's Tri Ad either matching up with it, or coming very close. LAWKS does beat Kershaw's lock system they use on the Zero Tolerance line, at about a quarter of the price.

If both LAWKS and the liner fail, the flipper on the tang will hit your finger before the blade can close on your hand. While it's the last line of defense, I'm very happy it functions as well as it does.

Pocket Clip

The pocket clip on here is a four position clip (tip up right and left side, and tip down right and left side) making this a nearly abidextrous knife. Or at least as close as a liner locking knife can get to it.

I'm not positive, but the clip seems to be coated with TiNi rather than teflon. I've had my M16 since early June, and the only signs of wear are on the sides of it, where it's worn down to a very dark gray. Absolutely astounding, considering my Cold Steel pcoket clips seem to not only shed the coating faster than a slut sheds a boyfriend, but they also seem to come as loosely attached to the handle as a schizo's mind is attached. I'm quite impressed with it.

Thumb Stud

Don't use it. Don't even try.

Overall, 8.5/10.
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