CRKT M1601KZ: A Viable $20 EDC Knife?

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

From the terrestrial to the ethereal, TTAK tries to bring you as much of the full spectrum of knives as we can get our hands on. Columbia River’s $20 imported 8Cr15MoV M1601KZ shares the Kit Carson flipper design of its well-regarded big brothers, but it definitely occupies the earthly end of this continuum. We aim to find out if it deserves a supporting role in your cast of blades.

I’ll spare you the tedium of an ‘unboxing’ video, but this little knife came pleasantly (newsprint-slicing) sharp from the factory, and has no obvious defects or blemishes.

It costs almost nothing and weighs almost nothing, so I’m not expecting much except that it opens and closes safely and doesn’t lose its edge too quickly. 8Cr-series steel tends to take a very keen edge easily and lose it just as easily, regardless of the advertised RHC hardness.

Time will tell, and so will we.  So stay tuned.


  1. Bryan P says:

    I carry a CRKT M16-10KZ (the partially serrated, Tanto bladed version) every day. It is a fantastic knife that has stayed sharp from right out of the box and is so light I barely know its there.

  2. Daniel says:

    I carry several of CRKT’s M16-series and they are among the most practical and affordable folders I own. 8Cr15MoV steel is generally viewed as a cheaper, chinese substitute for AUS8, but both are equally dependable steels. They may not be constructed from super steels, but I highly recommend these knives. You won’t be crying over a week’s worth of pay if you drop them in the woods.

    The Auto-LAWKs system may be a bit clunky at first, but you can rest assured that if engaged, the blade will never, ever come down on your fingers. The M1601KZs retail price is somewhere around $40, so $20 is a good value indeed.

    No I don’t work for CRKT (despite all this shilling) but I am a semi-professional (and generally bad) knife reviewer.

  3. Arod529 says:

    My bro bought a CRKT and and carried it through his deployment in Afghanistan. He absolutely loves the thing.

  4. Jim says:

    I have a CRKT Hissatsu that I have EDC’d for over a year now and I have been nothing short of amazed at the quality and edge holding ability of this knife. It’s a really versatile blade shape, although it may seem too “aggressive” looking for some peoples tastes. Im thinking of purchasing one of CRKT’s folding hunters just because it’s a better looking accessory to my hunting rifles and shotguns. Although I did use the Hissatsu to partial dress a deer and it performed flawlessly. Cant ask for more than that. I do prefer to buy American but I wont argue with a great product thats well worth the price if it’s foreign made.

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CRKT M1601KZ: A Viable $20 EDC Knife?

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