CRKT M21 Review: Affordable Price, Superior Cutting Power

If you are looking for a decent folding knife that is available for a budget of less than fifty bucks, look no further. In this price range, nothing can get any better than CRKT M21. Despite the affordable nature, this knife offers very good overall quality and design. The cutting edge has excellent sharpness, and the weight ratio between the blade and the handle is perfectly balanced for easy handling. Continue reading below for more details on our CRKT M21 review.

Grip and Handling
One of the great things about CRKT M21 is the sophisticated and well thought-out design. It has a perfectly balanced weight ratio between the blade and the handle. As a result, it is very convenient to handle. You can even literally balance the knife at the center with a single finger. The handle fits perfectly in an average-sized hand. The G10 handle scales are truly solid and durable. They give you the right feel, so that you can maneuver the knife securely and with great confidence.

Blade Quality
The blade is readily razor-sharp right out of the box. Made from the 8Cr14MoV stainless steel, the blade offers superb sharpness and decent edge retention. The nice thing about the material is that, on the case of an extreme impact, it is more likely to bend than to chip. So, you can say that the durability is very good. It is also easy to sharpen.

Perhaps the downside of the blade is that it is not totally impervious to moisture. Yes, it is stainless steel, but it only resists moisture to a degree. If you want it to last, just like the case with any other knife, you have to clean it and oil it regularly.

Opening Mechanism
CRKT M21 features an opening flipper on the back of the handle. Without any blade-assisted opening mechanism, the flipper simply eliminates the need for one. The mechanism is safe and effective, considering that you won’t put your fingers in the path of the blade. Note that this is not a switchblade. In order to open the knife, simply point it towards the ground and apply some pressure to the flipper. It will open with a satisfying sound.

As the blade is opened, the flipper is locked to act as a blade guard. This is a nice and very useful touch to the overall design. The blade guard is very important to prevent your hand from slipping forward when opening and holding the knife.

CRKT M21 also features the AutoLAWKS locking system. It has two functions. First, it locks the knife in the current position. Second, it locks the liner lock so that the blade will not move while being deployed. The knife is a little bit difficult to close, though, as you need to press a lever and move the safety bar in order to fold the blade.


- Automated AutoLAWKS Liner Safety mechanism - Carson Flipper Opening - G10 Handles - Titanium Nitride Blade Finish - Open Length 9.25"

All in all, CRKT M21 is an exceptional value for the money. Despite the affordable price, this knife offers decent build quality. The G10 handle is solid, and the blade has superior cutting power. The design is very nice. The blade is very easy to open, thanks to the flipper feature. The locking system is also very nice. Just make sure that you take some time to properly close the knife.

CRKT M21 Review: Specifications
Style Folding Knife with Locking Liner
Closed Length 5.375″ (13.7 cm)
Overall length 9.25″ (23.5 cm)
Blade Length 3.875 inches (98.43 mm)
Blade Thickness 0.14 inches (0.35 cm)
Blade Edge Plain Edge
Blade Steel 8Cr14MoV, 56 – 59 HRC
Blade Finish Titanium Nitride
Handle G10
Weight 5.9 oz

CRKT M21 Review: Pros and Cons
– Decent overall build quality
– The blade offers great cutting power and is easy to sharpen
– Very good blade-to-handle weight ratio for comfortable handling
– Very budget-friendly price
– Closing the knife requires some time and effort

CRKT M21 Review: Price
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