Revised: OR, CRKT M21-14, Connor Penrod
- I added in an approximation on the field uses as per request
BY CONNOR PENROD
July 23, 2010
NAME: Connor Penrod
LOCATION: Oceanside, CA, US
HEIGHT: 6' 5" (1.96 m)
WEIGHT: 188 lb (85.30 kg)
I've been hiking and camping on and off since my family and I started going to Yellowstone and Snowbird when I was a kid. I just recently started doing short excursions into the surrounding area, generally varying from trail runs of 1-3miles and hikes up to 6miles.
Manufacturer: Columbia River Knife and Tool
Manufacturer's Website: <<Link 1>>
Listed Weight: 5.5 oz (156 g)
Measured Weight: accurate
Listed Length:9.25 in(23.5 cm)
Blade Material: AUS8
Handle Material: Charcoal anodized aluminum
Length Closed:5.25 in.(13.34 cm)
Blade Length:4 In.(10.16 cm)
Blade Thickness: .14 in(.36 cm)
Blade Style: Spearpoint with recurve. Partially serrated.
Lock Style: Liner lock with CRKT's patented AutoLawks mechanism
Opening Method: Either traditional thumb studs, or Carson Flipper
I work in a retail store and use the knife for cutting boxes, tape, 550cord; and any other tasks that are necessary on an almost daily basis. It handled well enough in the shop that I decided to take it with me on one of my weekly hikes so that I could test how it may perform as a survival knife.
After finding some dead wood I put it through a variety of tests, from chopping, stabbing, cutting, etc.
Too start off with, this knife is not a choppers, the five minutes and rapid accumulation of blisters attest to this. As a stabbing knife it works like a dream, in either orthodox or reverse grip My hand didn't slide a millimeter and it bit fairly deep. As a cutter is where it might excel, the serrations and deep recurve to the blade cut deep with each stroke. While it may have not been the best chopper it did a fairly decent job as a batoner; this is where you use block of wood or stick as a hammer to split another log.
In testing it's safety I put on a thick leather glove and did three tests, over striking in a chopping motion, striking the back spine of the blade, and stabbing with a loose grip. In both the overstriking and striking the back of the blade I could easily feel the liner lock flexing quite significantly but the secondary lock kept it from closing on itself. We sell these exact knives at the store i work at, and quite a few people complain about the secondary lock, how it is cumbersome and harder to operate in one hand. To see how the knife functioned without it i removed the secondary lock and performed the same safety tests; it snapped onto the gloves in all three. Fortunately I thought to dull the blade beforehand. After that I concluded that it is worth the extra second for the gained safety, besides, if i am running a race to put away my knife i'm probably doing something i shouldn't be doing; upon returning home the safety was reattached and there it shall remain.
Another interesting fact about the M21-14 is that it has a skelotinized handle, this both reduces weight, makes it easier to clean, and can give your fingers a little more purchase on the handle if your hands are slick.
As far as temperature ranges, it has been with me on hikes up in the Anza Borrego desert, and in the Uinta Mountains with no change in performance. I would estimate a temperature range of 90degrees Fahrenheit to 35 degrees Fahrenheit (32.22C-1.67Celsius). Total elevation change from 0ft. in Oceanside to 11,068 in the Uinta Mountains (0-3374meters).
Overall, with my testing I've concluded that the M21-14 is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Most tasks it performs well to above average, but there was only one(safety) where i felt it excelled. Potentially my favorite aspect about this knife is the safety; the dual locking mechanism and the index flipper.guard combo means I'm never nervous using it.
I have many knives, but this is the one I'm most comfortable taking with me outdoors. I usually go on three or four day hikes a month, and every time this knife is clipped to the front of my pack. Over the course of nearly a year I would say it's been with me on close to 20 trips, and goes with me nearly everywhere; of course excluding school.
The general versatility of the M21-14 means that it will definitely stay in my pocket for some time to come
THINGS I LIKE
Index flipper/finger guard
Blade Steel/edge retention
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
"There is pleasure in the pathless woods
there is rapture on the lonely shore
there is society where none intrudes
by the deep sea, and music in its roar
I love not man the less, but Nature more."
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