Established in 1994, the Columbia River Knife and Tool Company, also known as CRKT, has had a few popular knives over the years, like the M16 hunting knife and the M4. Designed by Kit Carson, the M4 has been sold in a number of custom models and variations, including working tactical knives, exotic collectibles, and much more. The M4-02 is the second generation of this popular pocket knife, and this particular model comes in everyday carry or EDC size.
CRKT has kept things simple, solid, and small with the Carson M4-02 has a modest price. The 3.25-inch blade uses bead-blasted 8CR13MOV stainless steel with Teflon bushings. Considering the fact that this is a draw-cut knife, the blade has a good sweep to it and has a sharp piercing tip as well. The blunt side is thicker than what you would normally see in any other 3-inch pocket knife.
The knife gets a black G10 bolster that gives it a nice look, especially when matched with the white bone scale handle. The handle has a pocket clip that is fixed with three removable clips, but it cannot be fixed to the other side.
The overall design and contour of the handle fits nicely into even large hands, making the knife easy to hold and carry with you. Most M4 knives get the CRKTs patented LAWKS safety system, which positions a small pin in the way of the stainless steel liner, keeping the knife locked in open position. However, this particular M4-02 model does not come with the LAWKS system.
To keep the knife suitable for ambidextrous use, CRKT has put thumb studs on either side of the blade. Like most other knives made by this company, the studs are thick and solid and come with a checkered contour on the top surface, making them easy to use and giving you a good grip over the knife, allowing you to use the Outburst assisted opening mechanism easily.
This mechanism promptly snaps the blade into place when it hits 30 degrees. A torsional rod inside the handle can be adjusted using a T6 screw to change the way the Outburst mechanism works. The G10 bolster also has adjustable T8 screws to make the blade loose or tight to your convenience.
At 3.3 ounces, the Carson M4-02is definitely light, which is what most people look for in any pocket knife. This particular knife, like other M4 knives before it, keeps things simple and light, but it tends to look a little bland, especially when compared to the custom made and exotic versions of the M4-02 with their beautifully designed handles.
Pros and Cons:
A solid and sturdy knife with a strong, if not overly sharp blade, the Carson M4-02 meets the requirements of anyone looking for a hassle-free pocketknife. The Outburst mechanism can take a little getting used to, especially if you do not use assisted opening knives too much.
Like one of its customers from the products Amazon page says, The blade is sharp right out of the box, and the spring assist makes for easy opening. The M4-02 has 10 reviews on Amazon with seven 5-star, two 4-star, and one 3-star review.