CRKT M4, a Kit Carson design

Recently I purchased a CRKT M4 02W, as a possible EDC knife for work on the farm. The first thing that appealed to me was that burl wood handle. It sure looked good in the picture and was pretty sure it would feel good working as well.

Upon opening the box I had some initial impressions. The knife was solid, heavy and very good looking. The  burl wood is warm and attractive and the stainless brushed bolsters make it look pretty classy. Sure it’s equipped with LAWKES, a CRKT design to prevent the blade from opening. In my opinion, it’s not really needed as I doubt this knife is going to open clipped in my pocket. It might save them $5 or so on a knife and perhaps they could have a lower price point or possibly put the money into something else.

It does have dual thumb studs and that’s handy. It does require a special angle on the opening to actually employ the assisted open with the thumbstuds, but when you get it right, it’s a fast opener. The pocket clip is not moveable but does allow for a deep pocket carry.

It’s been said that this series of M4’s was a favorite of knife designer Kit Carson. Not too big or gaudy but always a good seller.

To get the Outburst mechanism to engage, the blade must be opened at least 30 degrees according to CRKT. This generally works as described. A break-in period does help.

The 3.25″ blade is a high-hollow-grind drop point of premium 8Cr13MoV stainless steel in a bead-blast finish that comes out of the box ready to bite you!

Here are some specs:

Blade: 3.25″
Overall: 7″
Closed: 3.75″
Weight: 3.3 

One of the reasons I bought this knife is because of Kit Carson. He was a 30 year military man. He had been making and designing knives for many years. Sadly the world lost a great designer way too soon. 

All in all I recommend the knife. It has been very successful around the farm cutting, some light chopping, box and bag opening. The steel holds an edge and is easily resharpened. It’s an easy carry and attractive EDC. Good performance for the price!


17 thoughts on “CRKT M4, a Kit Carson design

  1. Pingback: CRKT M4, a Kit Carson design | Rifleman III Journal

  2. The “Lawks” or “Auto-Lawks” system from CRKT is for the purpose of preventing the blade from CLOSING, not keeping the blade from “opening”. When the “Lawks” lever is pushed forward, it prevents the liner lock or frame lock from moving, hence reinforcing the safety of using the knife without danger of the blade closing accidentally during use. CRKT’s “Fire Safe” mechanism is their feature for preventing accidental opening of the blade if the knife is also equipped with their “Outburst” speed assisted opening system. The “Fire Safe” feature (optional – not available on all “Outburst” assisted models) incorporates a “button-style” thumb stud on the blade which must be depressed by the thumb, and held down while moving the blade to the 30 degree position where the “Outburst” assist takes over and snaps the blade open. It takes a bit of practice, but once mastered, this is the safest auto / assist knife configuration I have found.


    • Thank you Jon for your comment and clarifying for our readers. I never had the need to use the system, although I am certain it is very robust.
      Many of the other knives I use, which are all subjected to testing on the farm do not employ that system.


      • I had a CRKT (M16) with Lawkes for a while, and I could not get it to not function. Sure it helped keep it from closing unexpectedly, but it also kept it from closing easily when I wanted it to close. I was able to do it with one hand, but it required contortions or two hands, so I sold it off.


      • Yes, I read your blog about true one handed opening and closing. I found that interesting and pretty significant. There are many, not just CRKT that might not accommodate true one hand close.


      • I learn how to do it with every knife I try. It is not always easy, but usually it is possible. Now that I have found the Axis lock and the similar one from Spyderco, I’m “spoiled”…


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