Thursday, October 20, 2011

CRKT M21-12G Review

For complete (constantly updated) glossaries of technical terms used in this review, please click here.

The M21-12G is a folder EDC. Designed by Kit Carson, a retired professional soldier and has been making knives for the past 30 years. That is almost as long as some of you readers been alive. He is famed for the M16 range of CRKT knives (stay tuned for the review soon) and M21 is just one of the many that he has designed for CRKT.
To start with, this EDC is 7.25inches long opened with a 3inches long blade. It weight about 107grams or 3.8ounces. That is a bout the 40% lighter than an iPhone4, if you want to compare. The folded length is 4.25inches and it fits nicely and securely in an average depth pocket, even jeans pocket.
Made from 8Cr14MoV with a HRC value of 58-59, this knife falls under "very hard steel" corresponding to a very high quality knife.
The M21 i have comes with a spear point deep belly blade. It has a Veff serration that i have put through cutting uPVC pipes and cutting nylon ropes. The uPVC pipe need a bit of work and it was just a little harder to accomplished it compared to a full-function hacksaw. With the limited 1.5inches Veff serration, i was suprised that cutting through the 1inch pipe was much easier than i actually anticipated. Cutting through a 8mm nylon rope was as i will say...a "cut in the park" (I gotta trademark this phrase!)
Nothing much you can do when the pups decided to have fun with the rope.
The blade comes sharp and ready to be used. The friend that introduced this to me used it extensively to open Durian. The fruits stood no chances against the M21-12G.
Durian? Easy peasy!
I always a believe a sharp knife is less dangerous than a blunt knife. When you are dealing with a blunt knife, you need to use more energy to cut through something and that is when things could go wrong. With a sharp edge, the cutting will be way easier - provided care are taken (as much as possible) on using both.
The M21-12G comes with the G10 handle. I have tried wetting my hand AND the knife (washed it to clear it off the dust, as i use it to scrape...PAINT!) and surprisingly, the grip stayed positive. There wasn't any time that i would think it will slip off my hand. Nice.
As safety, the knife comes with a locking liner. For extra Kiasu (an adopted local Singapore slang, with Hokkien dialect origin meaning "scared to lose". Usually used for someone highly competitive or another way to say "I am better than you") factor, the M21 comes with AutoLAWKs. This effectively turn the folder into a virtual fixed knife. No worries about the knife folding back and slicing your hands off accidentally!
AutoLAWKS is the red dot in the photo above. Clearly shown is the Kit Carson flipper directly opposite the red dot.
One of the most impressive feature on the knife is the Carson flipper. What it allows you to do is to flip the knife open with one finger in one deadly swift move. These flippers are patented aU.S. Patents 5,596,808 7,437,822. Don't blink your eyes.
Of course to aid this movement you will need strong fingers and great set of super smooth washer that just need a lil oiling from time to time (depending on usage and exposure to the outdoor/washing) to maintain the silky smooth movement.
Lastly, the clip that comes with the knife can be positioned in two different places. As shown in the photo, it's placed at the top, near the pivot point. Another position is directly 180 below it, with the clip pointing upwards. That could be a better position if you want to always have the knife in a "ready to draw" position, assuming that you clip the knife down with the blade flipping open at the bottom.
CRKT defined M21-12G as a "Christmas present" when it was launched late last year. It has the best value for money packed in the small package. At USD49.99, it's easy to see why it went "out of stock".
Delivery to Malaysia is with risk of it being confiscated by the Custom department - not because they are illegal (well to a certain extend), but because this knife is a like Cinderella; you can get it to do all the dirty work and she still looked pretty. Buy at your own risk ;-)


  1. your obsession with this device scares me Bro...

  2. Bro - that is why we are adults - so we can know and differentiate how and what to use them for.