The Columbia River Knife and Tool® M4™-02 is classically styled and maintains full functionality as a utilitarian knife.

CRKT M4-02 best assisted opening classy knife as a gift

I have used this knife to cut everything from rope, to canvas, to cardboard boxes, to carving plastic and wood.

I’ve put the CRKT® M4™-02 through its paces and it has not disappointed.

Available in three different configurations, you are sure to find the right CRKT® M4™-02 to fit your style.

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I own the standard M4™-02, which features a G10/White Bone handle, but also available are the M4™-02W and M4™-02S with stainless steel/burl wood and Stainless Steel/Red Stag antler handle pieces respectively. You can see the specifications for each knife at the bottom of this page.

I received the CRKT® M4™-02 as a gift. It has my initials laser etched on the white bone portion of the handle and it has spent a lot of time in my pocket. It sits low and comfortable in your pocket. The 2 3/8″ clip keeps it very secure, but the clip design still allows for easy insertion and extraction from your pocket. The clip is held in place with three screws, all three of which are still securely fastened even despite two years of use. The only downside to the clip is that the position is not adjustable. Therefore, this knife can only be carried in the tip down position like most other gentleman’s folders.

crkt m4-02 assisted opening knife for hunting and fishing

Even after three years, the assisted opening mechanism on the M4™-02 still has plenty of spring to it and opens the blade with ease. It is a very smooth action, accompanied with an audible click that lets you know the blade has locked in place.

When knife shopping, I always inspect the quality of the locking mechanism, especially when it comes to liner locks. All too often you see knives that seem to have flimsy liner locks or liner locks that don’t slide in deep enough under the butt of the blade. The CRKT® M4™-02’s liner lock, on the other hand, has a robust piece of metal, which once in its resting place is close to the center of the butt of the blade. This is important for two reasons:

  1. the lock being close to the center of the butt of the blade adds to the integrity of the lock’s strength.
  2. it is less prone to slippage or accidental disengagement (hopefully this will not be of concern if you practice proper cutting techniques, but nevertheless a valid consideration.)

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The blade has held up and retained its edge well. I do have to say that I wish it came a little sharper out of the box. In some casual cutting tests, it doesn’t perform as well as a Spyderco Tenacious Folder or the CRKT® Minimalist Bowie Knife. It’s not “shave-the-hair-off-your-arm” sharp nor does it provide the cleanest cut through a piece of paper. It is plenty sharp for most other applications, and the tip of the knife makes clean incisions. The blade, of course, can be sharpened, but I have never felt the need to do so.

The fit and finish on the M4™-02 is high quality.

The two different materials which comprise the grip are matched nicely and have worn well. The blade, in the open and locked position, has very little play in it, and you have to apply quite a lot of pressure to notice it. The assisted opening action is robust, feels nice and is fast.

I can recommend the Columbia River Knife and Tool® M4™-02 with confidence, but there are lots of other great knives to be had for a similar price. It is a good buy, but for almost the same price I also highly recommend the Spyderco Tenacious. It isn’t assisted opening, but the blade is sharper, clip position is adjustable, it is slightly larger, and it feels tougher and more versatile.

I might also add that the ability to laser etch something into the handle makes the CRKT® M4™-02  a great gift!

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The M4™-02 is sometimes not available in all retail stores, but can be found online for a good price.

CRKT® M4™-02 Specifications

Blade Length3.25" (82.55 mm)
Overall Length7" (177.8 mm)
HandleG10 Bolster w/White Bone
Weight3.3 oz
Blade EdgePlain
Blade Steel8Cr13MoV, 58-60 HRC
Blade FinishSatin
Blade Thickness0.121" (3.07 mm)
Clip Length2.375" (60.33mm)
Closed Length3.75" (95.25 mm)

CRKT® M4™-02S Specifications

Blade Length3.25" (82.55 mm)
Overall Length7" (177.8 mm)
HandleStainless Steel Bolster w/Red Stag
Weight4.1 oz
Blade EdgePlain
Blade Steel8Cr13MoV, 58-60 HRC
Blade FinishSatin
Blade Thickness0.121" (3.07 mm)
Clip Length2.375" (60.33mm)
Closed Length3.75" (95.25 mm)

CRKT® M4™-02M Specifications

Blade Length3.25" (82.55 mm)
Overall Length7" (177.8 mm)
HandleStainless Steel Bolster w/Burl Wood
Weight3.7 oz
Blade EdgePlain
Blade Steel8Cr13MoV, 58-60 HRC
Blade FinishSatin
Blade Thickness0.121" (3.07 mm)
Clip Length2.375" (60.33mm)
Closed Length3.75" (95.25 mm)