I’m always skeptical of technically complex knives–to win me over they have to be very well made. Grudgingly I am willing to put Columbia River knives in the accepted category. If you want a workhorse knife that opens easily with one hand, looks great in a futuristic sort of way, and is built solidly to last, the M16-13Z qualifies on all counts.
Columbia’s military versions feature all aluminum handles, but for this civilian model the handle scales are constructed of Zytel, a rugged synthetic material, and the result is a larger and wider handle that would be more comfortable for many who use knives often, as tools. The high carbon stainless steel 3 1/2″ spear point blade is long enough for most purposes and stout enough to withstand abuse. The combo edge offers superior rope cutting ability and enough traditional plain edge to handle more refined jobs. The removable steel clip allows carrying on belt or pocket, eliminating need for a sheath.
People who buy these knives like them. The only words of caution I have about them (the real Columbia knives–beware of counterfeits) involve getting them dirty. A refined product like this probably won’t flip open and lock in place when it’s mucked up with mud and sand or something even worse. M-16 is a good name for it–it will need something like the same level of care as that rifle.
The M-14, I remember with fondness–grit in the chamber, water in the barrel, it still worked. The M-16, I just remember it. If I hadn’t trained on the M-14 I’d have never complained.