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The CRKT M16-10DZ is a Tactical Warrior

Sometimes you need an all-around, tactical, do-it-all knife, and the CRKT M16-10DZ can certainly be that knife. This handy helper for all things at home or in the field offers a unique tanto-style blade with ingenious Veff Serrations that offer a one-two punch for just about any material it’s put against. Well…that’s what I intended to find out for myself. The great people at CRKT sent me their latest edition to the M16 line to both test and review. From my out-of-the-box impression, up to the final verdict, I tested its metal and its mettle to determine if this knife should always stay clipped and ready at your side. 

First Impressions: CRKT M16-10DZ

This knife deceived me out of the box. Normally, knives that fit the closed length of this blade usually feel lightweight and “empty” when handled. This one certainly did not. I felt  a solidness to the construction as well as a balanced feel, even when closed. The sample sent to me came in desert tan with black accents; the knife definitely popped. Though the color combination won’t add or subtract to the knife’s performance, the aesthetics of this model certainly were pleasing to the eye. When deployed (more on that later), the blade also exhibited a golden color tone, adding just the perfect mix to the overall appearance of the knife. This knife’s exterior, without a doubt, shouted “desert environment,” and that was just the first of many pleasant reveals. 

Construction & Design

The knife utilizes a D2 steel blade construction, which offers superb edge retention and a glass-reinforced nylon handle. A titanium nitride finish added an extra layer of protection against the rigors of everyday use. Sporting a closed length of just over four inches, this knife was not overly large or cumbersome, and its integrated belt clip easily allowed for both belt and pocket attachment. The size, at least for my hand, appeared to be slightly smaller than what I typically carry, but its compact size definitely made concealment not an issue at all for me. 

Deployment of the Blade

The M16-10DZ knife offers flipper-style blade deployment, meaning it features a protruding stud (part of the blade metal itself), found on the upper, back portion of the handle. The user would then pull the stud downward with their index finger and the blade would “spring” outward and upward until it locks into place. I’ve used flippers before, and many were a mixed bag between rough and adequate.

From the first opening to many more after that, this knife was super smooth. There was no sticking, no excessive force needed, and no weakening of the pivot point even after constant, repeated deployments of the blade. It boasted an IKBS ball bearing pivot and a smooth opening and it delivered flawlessly. If you want any feature of a folder to perform without issues, it’s definitely the deployment of the blade. Upon opening, the blade locks into position without any “wiggle” (the blade moving ever-so slightly while in the locked position). This contradicts execution found in some other similarly priced knives. The liner lock does its job, erasing any potential safety issues during use from my mind.

The locking controls on the M16-10DZ Tanto.

Material Testing

Aesthetics and design aside, the true test of a knife is its cutting ability. I put the blade through three tests, focusing on its puncturing ability, its ease of slicing and finally, its cutting prowess utilizing its Veff Serrations, positioned on the lower half of the blade. A tanto-style blade normally aids in power-puncturing material due to its tip design, and the M16-10DZ followed in those same footsteps. Cardboard, drywall, and even chunks of rubber didn’t hold this blade back from penetrating deep into the layers of materials used. Not ever did I fear the tip would break or strain, even after repeated attempts.

For slicing, the front half of the blade stood up well, also. Whether I was shaving wood off of a larger chuck, or seamlessly slicing layers of tape on a sealed box, the knife performed without much effort or elbow grease from my arm or hand. My only complaint against this was the small area dedicated to slicing (about an inch-and-a-half) which made it slightly challenging when I wanted move quickly through the process. Finally, I pulled out some cordage, both 550 and survival cordage that features inner strands composed of traditional material, as well as fishing line, tinder cord, and snare wire.

Both the straight edge and the serrated portions of the blade melted through the 550 cordage without hesitation. The straight edged-blade portion was stopped by the survival cord, specifically on the snare wire, but with a bit more force on my part, it continued through. The Veff Serrations, however, sawed through the survival cord with no problem on its first pass. Many times, smaller serrations can be found on a knife, but these larger “teeth” of the M16-10DZ definitely brought out this knife’s bite. 

The rugged CRKT M16-10DZ proved reliable in testing.

The Verdict Is …

Cutting power, easy concealability, and one of the smoothest openings I have ever encountered, the CRKT M16-10DZ is an excellent choice for just about anyone as a Jack-of-all-trades knife for daily tasks and more adventurous outings. Though for me, it was a bit small for my hand, yet after continued use, it became much more comfortable within my grip, and the extra inch or so I would have preferred was no longer a factor. CRKT hit a homerun with this model in their M16 lineup, and moving forward, it should be added to your collection of go-to blades. 

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CRKT M16-10DZ Specs

  • Overall Length: 7.06 inches
  • Closed Length: 3.03 inches 
  • Blade Steel: D2
  • Blade Finish: Titanium Nitride
  • Handle Material: Glass-reinforced nylon 
  • Color: Desert Tan
  • Overall Weight: 2.50 ounces
  • MSRP: $56

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