How did the ‘Flipper’ get so popular?

CRKT’s M16 ‘Carson Flipper’ started it all

Any knife designed by an avid outdoorsman will carry the mark of hard use and quality, but add to that twenty years of military service and that knife will be just as tough as its designer. Master Sergeant Harold Joseph “Kit” Carson’s CRKT M16 design was the first knife made in mass quantities to feature the rarely before seen rapid deployment opening system known as the ‘flipper’.

Originally released in 1999, Kit’s CRKT M16 design broke into the market at a crossroads for knives and the world itself and was shipped to military personnel by the pallet.

“Kit was the real deal, while he worked very hard on form and function his primary goal was to build designs that served the user” CRKT President, Rod Bremer, said, “Kit’s military background served him extremely well and over the years his M16 design has served hundreds of thousands of the troops he cared so deeply for.”

Who invented the flipper? That remains a mystery to knife makers and enthusiasts. Legend has it that its origins may trace as far back as the late 19th century. What is clear is that CRKT’s M16 became so popular that the opening mechanism was often referred to as the ‘Carson Flipper’ soon after its launch.

Kit passed away last fall and CRKT is releasing the M16 Classic Series as a tribute.