Best Kershaw Knife – Which One Will You Choose?

Peter Stec
October 7, 2021
Best Kershaw Knife

The Kershaw knife, manufactured by the same name – Kershaw Knives, is one of the most popular tools in the American knife industry. The company has not only established a strong brand in the U.S. and the world over but continues to reign supreme with new technologies and designs.

The firm boasts of a massive product portfolio – it sells knives for a variety of use-cases, ranging from everyday use, the outdoors, tactical, and rescue purposes, to work, fishing, and hunting.

In addition, it manufactures gear, assisted, apparel, and multi-functional knives, in addition to manual, automatic, and fixed-blade knives. Kershaw manufactures over a million knives per year – quite a remarkable feat to meet product demand in its home ground and overseas.

All Kershaw knives are designed, engineered, and programmed with precision, from blade to screws, each one fitting aptly as per functionality and requirement. The company prides itself on its product line – whether budget products or high-end, premium-material ones. Even their budget knives are embedded with high-end technology.

It would be difficult to peg down which one of their products is the best since the firm has something for everybody. For instance, the Kershaw Blur Black is one of their top-rated products and is very well-known, depicts excellent performance, and is popular for hunting and outdoor activities. The Kershaw Scallion is another reputed product. Made of stainless steel, it is one of the best for EDC (everyday carry) and can be used for cutting just about anything.

In the paragraphs below, you’ll find detailed reviews on some of their best products. Then, you can analyze the pros and cons yourself and decide which one you want to invest in.

About Kershaw Knives 

Kershaw Knives has literally been around since people know the knife industry as an officially recognized sector in the U.S. Pete Kershaw founded the company in late 1974.

Being outdoorsy himself, he understood the significance of outdoor tools such as knives for activities like fishing and hunting. He started the firm at a cement plant located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. In the beginning, Kershaw only manufactured hunting knives.

At the same time, Japanese knife company Kai had been around in the market for a considerably long time, nearly 65 years.

The President, Saijiro Endo II, aimed to export Kai’s products to other nations, including the U.S. The rest is history, as they say. Kai and Kershaw collaborated, and the entity has been together ever since.

In the 1990s, Kershaw bid adieu to the classic knife portfolio and started exploring options. During this time, the company introduced many modern features, some of which are still a part of the latest product portfolio. In 1995, Kershaw launched the Liner Action series – its first liner lock knives.

Within a year, Kai invested in a facility in Wilsonville, U.S., to expand Kershaw’s production further. Pete Kershaw’s successor, Jack Igarashi, the new COO of Kai USA, brought on a series of new, fresh ideas to Kai, focusing mainly on quality.

The efforts bore fruit when in 1998, Kershaw introduced the SpeedSafe® assisted opening mechanism – a technique that forever transformed the industry landscape. Until today, SpeedSafe remains one of the most vital mechanisms of the Kershaw brand.

Kershaw manufactures a score of knives, some of which include the Kershaw Blur Black, the Kershaw Scallion, the Kershaw Aftereffect Plain Edge, Kershaw Barstow BlackWash Plain Edge, the Kershaw BlackWash Launch 1 Automatic Plain Edge, the Kershaw BlackWash Cryo Plain Edge, the Kershaw Clash, the Kershaw Leek, the Kershaw Brawler, the Kershaw Link, and many, many more.

Enlisted below are some of their top-of-the-line products, along with their specifications and advantages, and disadvantages.

Here Are the Best Kershaw Knives:

Kershaw Blur Black (1670blk) Everyday Carry Pocketknife

Key Features

  • The product length is 3.4 inches.
  • It possesses a Drop Point blade made of stainless steel.
  • The knife has a DLC coated handle incorporated with the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening
  • It features a reversible pocket clip.
  • It weighs around 3.9 ounces.
  • It has an inset liner lock for additional safety.

The Kershaw Blur EDC pocket knife is one of the most popular product lines in the company. It offers numerous advantages to the user, prominent among them being the SpeedSafe assisted opening and the Trac-Tec that helps ensure a good grip. In addition, the knife has excellent slicing and piercing capabilities.

The black diamond-like coating (DLC) ensures that the blade remains sharp and hard and gets dull with time. On the other hand, the anodized aluminum handle provides the product’s necessary durability, strength, and safety.

Pros

  • The product is easy to store.
  • It is ambidextrous, safe, and features a convenient one-handed opening.
  • There’s a perfectly placed thumb stud to protect the thumb.
  • The handle grip is comfortable and of high quality.
  • It possesses amazing strength and durability.
  • It is very easy to carry at all times.

Cons

  • The Trac-Tec inserts are not very smooth.

Price:

USD 67.93

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Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife, Black Serrated (1605cktst)

Key Features

  • The product length is 3.1 inches.
  • The blade is made of durable stainless steel.
  • The product features black-oxide-coating.
  • The handle of the knife is made of glass-filled nylon.
  • The handle features the standard SpeedSafe Opening as well as a reversible pocket clip
  • The Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife, Black Serrated, weighs 4.3 ounces.

This durable knife works very well for outdoorsy people, such as hunters, hikers, mechanics, gardeners, and more. The black-oxide finish on the stainless-steel blade is meant to ensure toughness, edge retention, and excellent resistance to wear and tear.

As a result, the blade is perfectly capable of handling tasks such as cutting twine and ropes, stripping wires, and opening tough cardboard boxes. In addition, the textured glass-filled nylon handle provides a comfortable grip with a gentle contour.

Pros

  • It provides exceptional quality over many other models.
  • It features a unique butt cap.
  • The product has a sheath with an attached sharpener.
  • The handle is ergonomic.
  • The knife features a steel liner lock frame.

Cons

  • The handle could have been made with slightly more intricate detailing.

Price:

USD 35.34

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Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife (1660)

Key Features

  • The blade length is 3 inches.
  • The handle is made of durable stainless steel.
  • The assembly includes a SpeedSafe Assisted Opening, a Reversible pocket clip, and a Frame Lock.
  • The blade features a line of copper as well.
  • The product depicts good edge retention.

This tough product from Kershaw encompasses a composite design where a line of copper separates a razor-sharp D2 edge and a hardy Sandvik spine. The design enables users to use the knife both for EDC as well as outdoor activities. The lightweight, thin-bladed product comes with a partial serration and can effectively resist corrosion.

The knife is crafted from one of the best available premium-grade steels worldwide.

The knife looks quite appealing on account of the full-body-bead-blasted finish on the blade. You can gift it to knife enthusiasts – it’s the perfect present! It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. 

Pros

  • The product bears a soft, non-reflective, matte look.
  • The knife is partially serrated.
  • It is resistant to corrosion.
  • It features a drop-point blade.
  • It is highly versatile.
  • The product features a Lanyard hole and a stainless-steel handle.
  • The product’s appearance is sleek and posh.

Cons

  • The knife does not feature a very effective opening mechanism.

Price:

USD 49.27

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Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife (1990)

Key Features

  • The blade length is 3 inches.
  • The blade is made of high-performance 8Cr13MoV Steel.
  • The product finish features black oxide.
  • The handle is made of black glass-filled nylon.
  • The product features a reversible 4-position pocket clip.

This one is one of the most affordable options for knife enthusiasts. It is of above-average quality and features a black oxide finish that protects the blade against corrosion and rusting.

However, you should know that the finish does get affected when the knife is damaged or perhaps is being used extensively. Nonetheless, it is still a good knife for the price and is worth investing in. 

If you are on a budget but require a knife remnant of Kershaw’s proprietary cutting power and ergonomics, the Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife is the one for you.

Pros

  • The knife features a well-designed thumb stud to protect your thumbs from roughness.
  • The product is reasonably priced.
  • The knife’s black oxide finish makes it corrosion resistant.
  • It’s a very comfortable product and well-performing for the price.

Cons

  • The knife may or may not be durable for the long term.
  • The black oxide finish may come off with, making the knife vulnerable to corrosion.

Price:

USD 25.98

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Kershaw Cryo Folding Knife (1555ti)

Key Features

  • The blade length is 2.75 inches.
  • It is made from highly durable 8Cr13MoV steel material.
  • The handle is made from stainless steel.
  • The product weighs around 4-4.5 ounces.
  • It features a 4-position deep-carry pocket clip
  • It has Kershaw’s proprietary SpeedSafe Assisted Open mechanism
  • The product also sports a secure frame lock

The Kershaw Cryo is one of the most innovative designs in the company. Designed by Rick Hinderer and precision engineered by Kershaw, this high-performance product is extremely tough and has a sharp stainless-steel blade.

It is best used for landscaping projects, electricity-related issues, hunting, hiking, backpacking, and other wild outdoor activities. Despite being on the heavier side, it can be used safely for functions such as self-defense, removing splinters, opening packages, fire kindling, wire striping, and more.

Pros

  • The total length of the knife is 6.5 inches – pretty long and comfortable.
  • The knife boasts of a titanium carbo-nitride coating, which makes it anti-corrosive.
  • It has an extremely precise design and is rather tough.
  • It has great edge retention.
  • It is a reliable piece to be carried around every day.
  • The product is long-lasting, suitable for various applications.

Cons

  • It may be slightly heavy for some people.

Price:

USD 39.51

—-

Kershaw Scallion, Olive Drab Pocket Knife (1620ol)

Key Features

  • The blade length is around 2.25 inches.
  • The total length of the product is around 5.75 inches.
  • The handle is made of anodized aluminum.
  • It weighs around 2.3-2.5 ounces.

The Kershaw Scallion is a remarkable blade designed by custom knifemaker Ken Onion. Slim and lightweight, this knife depicts an excellent finish, is high quality, and is quite affordable.

The aluminum used in the handle is 6000 series aircraft aluminum, which helps keep the knife strong and lightweight. The fact that it is anodized also helps the handle remain scratch resistant.

The handle has been designed to be ergonomic and comfortable.

Pros

  • The product possesses excellent strength and toughness.
  • The product features the standard SpeedSafe Assisted Opening.
  • It also boasts of safety – the knife has a liner and tip lock.
  • The blade is made of bead-blasted 420HC steel, making it super sharp.
  • It is lightweight and highly functional.
  • It features a single-position pocket clip.

Cons

  • Cannot be used to handle very heavy work.
  • The handle may tend to get slippery if you work with sweaty hands.

Price:

USD 43.51

—-

Key Features

  • The overall knife length is around 7.6 inches.
  • The blade is made of 420HC stainless steel.
  • The product features the standard SpeedSafe Assisted Opening.
  • It weighs 4.8 ounces.

This one is one of the most popular Made-in-USA brands of Kershaw. It is a brilliant choice for EDS – it is tough, has great edge retention, and is corrosion-resistant. In addition, the Blackwash finish lends an additional layer of protection to the blade.

The knife features a liner lock, which locks the blade open when in use – one side of the knife’s steel liner moves into position on the other side of the blade to lock it open securely. The handle is sculpted and contoured to fit the hand for a comfortable grip.

The product also features a ‘flipper’ – a protruding component at the back of the blade that helps the user flip the blade out of the handle.

Pros

  • The product features a safety measure in the form of a liner lock.
  • It has a reversible pocket clip.
  • The handle is made of machined aluminum.
  • The blade depicts commendable sharpness and is rather tough.
  • The cool blue color with the blackwash lends coverage to daily blemishes.

Cons

  • Nothing profoundly major.

Price:

USD 43.51

—-

Kershaw Select Fire (1920) Multifunction Pocketknife

Key Features

  • The blade length is 3.4 inches.
  • It is made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel.
  • The handle is made of black glass-filled nylon.
  • The product features a 1/4-inch hex drive.
  • It has 2 Crosshead Bits and Flathead Bits
  • It weighs around 5 ounces.

This amazing product by Kershaw is precision-engineered by Kershaw and designed by custom knife makers Grant & Gavin Hawk. This series is a little different from other multi-tools – that is to say, the knife assembly does not include a lot of unnecessary tools. The design is rather simple and focuses on making the knife as seamless as possible. It’s a pretty high-quality knife for the price. 

This knife is not, however, the best choice for the outdoors. Instead, it is a great choice for EDC. If you’re not impressed with the assisted opening facility, a standard feature in most Kershaw knives, then this product is for you.

Pros

  • The 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade helps in making the knife resistant to adhesives and abrasion.
  • The knife has an ergonomic non-slip grip.
  • The product is extremely versatile and multi-functional.
  • The manual flipper is quite a unique alternative to the standard assisted opening and is quite responsive.

Cons

  • It is not very durable as compared to other models.
  • The bit adapter is likely to fall off as it is not welded to the handle.

Price:

USD 32.84

—-

Kershaw Outright Pocketknife (8320)

Key Features

  • The blade length is 3 inches.
  • The blade is made of upswept 8Cr13MoV steel material in a brilliant shade of blue
  • The handle is made of PVD coated steel
  • The handle features a G10 Front Overlay
  • The product is equipped with the standard SpeedSafe Assisted Opening
  • It weighs around 4 ounces and has a deep carry pocket clip

The Kershaw Outright is one of the more innovative series of the Kershaw family. It has a subtle, sophisticated look that makes it very appealing to consumers. It also has a durable PVD coating that makes the blade scratch resistant.

In addition, the Outright has an upswept trailing point blade, making it most suitable for slicing and other functions of daily life.

Pros

  • The product is perfect for EDC.
  • It looks super sleek and sophisticated.
  • It depicts excellent functionality.
  • The blade is extremely sharp and tough.
  • The handle design is very efficient.
  • It has great edge retention, while the G10 overlay provides strength and grip.

Cons

  • The knife may not be very useful in tough outdoor activities.

Price:

USD 29.99

—-

Kershaw Launch 1

Key Features

  • The blade length is 3.4 inches.
  • The blade is made of CPM 154 steel.
  • The blade is coated with black-oxide BlackWash™.
  • The handle is made of 6061-T6 aluminum, and it features a black anodized coating as well.

The Kershaw Launch Series can be considered a unique addition since it is an automatic knife. The Launch 1 product features a brilliant design and finish, while the handle is made of machined 6061-T6 anodized aluminum.

The automatic mechanism has pushed this product ahead in the global market, making it one of Kershaw’s prized possessions.

Pros

  • The product is lightweight.
  • The anodized aluminum handle lends strength and is contoured especially for a secure grip.
  • The knife’s low-profile push-button prevents the blade from accidentally being deployed.
  • It has excellent strength and sharpness.
  • The blade is resistant to wear and tear and corrosion.

Cons

  • The automatic mechanism is not something that resonates with all consumers.

Price:

USD 95

—-

Best Kershaw Knife – Buying Guide 

You’ll need to consider a lot of factors while buying a Kershaw knife (or any knife, for that matter). What is it that you require exactly? What is your priority when buying a knife? Are you looking for a knife to help you fish, hunt, or something you just need to carry for safety?

Once you’re thorough about your needs, you have to start looking at the physical attributes to help you make an informed choice. Always go through the list below to know what to look for in a Kershaw knife while buying.

What To Look in A Kershaw Knife?

Blade Steel & Style

Consider appropriate blade steel as per the job you need to do. For instance, you may need a high-end steel blade for limited knife use. Not all steels are the same; Kershaw blades are manufactured from various steels, varying in terms of sharpness, strength, corrosion resistance, edge retention, and more. You need to consider your requirement and use case and choose the blade steel accordingly. 

With respect to the blade style, you may need to consider your job requirement – pull cuts, push cuts, or slice, and choose the style in accordance. For instance, the American Tanto is ideal for push cuts, while the Cleaver is ideal for slicing.

Opening Mechanism & Lock Type

Kershaw knives have several opening systems. There’s a manual opening folder for people who prefer using their hands, while there are assisted openings for others. Some knives are completely automatic – all you need is a button to make it work. 

Kershaw knives are designed in a way that incorporates a lock built as a conventional detent, next to the opening button or into or adjacent to the handle scale. You may choose whichever suits your requirements.

Folding Vs. Fixed Blade

Best Kershaw Knife - Folding Vs. Fixed Blade

This again depends on what you want your knife for. Do you want a convenient one for EDC? Then you need a folding blade, and it’s the best. This is also one of the reasons why most folding knives are called pocketknives. 

Do you need the knife for rugged terrains, outdoor work, or food preparation? In that case, use the fixed blade. Kershaw’s fixed blade knives are stronger, easier to clean, less breakable, and are excellent to be used in a self-defense situation.

Handle Material

Kershaw believes in quality and has the best material chosen for all its knife handles. For most parts, the company opts for a handle material like glass-filled nylon, G10, or rubber over-mold, as they help strengthen the grip and texture of the product.

Your choice of handle material depends on your hand grip, hand strength, job requirement, and the condition of your workplace (in case you need the knife for professional reasons). Depending on whether you’re in a wet environment, wearing gloves, or outdoors, you can choose the most suitable handle for yourself.

Blade Edge & Sharpness

Blade edge and sharpness are vital parameters to be considered while buying a knife. All of Kershaw’s knives are extremely sharp and well-working.

In terms of the blades, some of them feature a partial serration, while some others have a sharp plain edge. In the case of the former, the serrations stay sharper for long, while the latter holds the advantage of multipurpose cutting and ease of re-sharpening.

Durability & Performance

All of Kershaw’s knives are highly durable and depict high performance. However, some of them may be less durable than others, such as the Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife. On the other hand, the Kershaw Leek Frame Lock Pocket Knife, and the Kershaw Cryo II EDC Pocket Knife are the most durable knives you’ll find.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Kershaw Knives Good?

Yes, Kershaw knives are, without a doubt, one of the best in the industry. The company brings about consistent innovation in its products while maintaining originality. It has been manufacturing knives since 1974 and has a rich history of creating affordable, excellent quality products. Some of its brand names include Cryo, Leek, and Shallot.

What Materials Do Kershaw Knives Use?

Kershaw uses varied steels to manufacture its knife blades. A lot of them are from stainless steel. However, many use high carbon steel as well. The type of steel used determines the strength, sharpness, and corrosion resistance of the knives. 

Where Are Kershaw Knives Made?

Kershaw knives are manufactured at the headquarters of Kai USA – in Oregon. Although the company was initiated in Portland, post the collaboration with Kai, the knives are manufactured at the U.S. headquarters of Kai, at Tualatin, Oregon. They also seem to have a few production units in China, from where they manufacture state-of-the-art knives and export them to various parts of the world.

How To Find the Best Economic Pocket Knife?

Look out for some major pocketknife brands that are of good quality and cost less. The Kershaw 1776tGrybw Link Assisted Flipper Knife, for example, is an excellent pocketknife at only $48.49. Another example of an economic pocketknife is the Kershaw 3930 Flitch Assisted Flipper Knife, available at $30.49 only. 

What Are Some Cool Knives for Everyday Carry?

The Lucha Blackwash from Kershaw’s range of EDC knives is a pretty cool knife that you can carry daily. Furthermore, Kershaw offers Kapsule, Strata, and Platform as convenient options for EDC.

Final Verdict

Kershaw has a cool range of knives to choose from, so analyze the pros and cons of the options mentioned above, understand what you need, and then make your choice. No matter what knife you end up choosing, you’re at an advantage with Kershaw.

About The Author
Hey Knife Up gang! I'm Pete, and I'm just another man like you in a small rural town who loves the outdoors as much as the other million internet users that cruise sites like KnifeUp.com every day. The difference is that I like to share what I know and research what I don't totally know so that YOU can have all the info you need to feel confident and prepared for all things outdoors-related! And, for those who care, I have 42 years of wilderness canoeing and bushcraft experience in Northern Ontario and spend most of my Summers covered in mosquitos and fish slime, but hey, it's a lifestyle choice, eh?

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