Given the size of the Lonerock folder (which is substantially bigger than its non-folding counterpart), it would definitely not be considered an EDC knife, and its lack of clip would attest to the fact that it was never meant to be such a knife. The spine of the blade throughout its length (until the last 3/4 inches near the tip) is 1/8 inch in thickness and the blade is attached to the handle very securely. Ultimately, it feels very sturdy and I have used some force in prying sideways with the blade successfully. My only concern is the handle construction which I’ll get into later.
The blade was not the easiest to open during my testing period, and it hasn’t gotten any better in the months that I’ve owned it. This is a very small issue to me personally, but for those who care, the opening process is not as sexy as with other knives. In other words, there was enough resistance that it was easiest to just use my other hand to pull the blade open. If I used one hand (ie. my thumb) it most certainly could NOT be flicked open easily with a thumb. Not only are there no thumb studs, but there are no real provisions made for a good thumb grip to help in the opening process. There is a groove that allows for some grip, but it still takes longer to open with one hand than with two.
The Titanium carbo-nitride coating makes the blade look very slick, clean and modern. It is a drop point blade with a full grind blade profile. It has a full belly which is conducive to skinning game. The over-sized sharpening choil allows your index finger to fit nicely, which in turn allows your whole hand to move closer to the blade for a “choked up” grip for better precise control.
The mid-lock (lock-back) mechanism along the top of the handle is very sturdy and solid. So much so, however, that my 10-year old son could not even release the lock with two hands. He’s not the Incredible Hulk for sure, but I mean seriously! Two hands! Actually, I find that to be a good thing since it’s not difficult for an adult, and it is a testimony to the solid construction and assembly of the metal parts.
The 8Cr13MoV steel is a Chinese designation of a metal that is remarkably similar to Japanese AUS-8. It’s a decent steel that is far better than the cheapest stainless steel, but not anywhere as tough and hard as high carbon steel like VG-10 or 440HC, etc. It sharpens well, but won’t stay sharp as long as a high carbon content steel.
It’s always fun to check out the factory sharpness out of the box. While a good sharpening can overcome any potential factory edge problem, we like to think factory sharpening quality reflects the level of care in the details of the knife. This knife was just “okay” in the category of factory sharpness. We’ve seen better, but it definitely could be worse.
Here I’m talking about overall aesthetic or looks. The technical design ranges from not bad to excellent! However, in the category of looks, we think it ranks near the top of the scale. The designs on the K-Texture grip along with the overall profile, show a fairly aggressive design without a macho, overstated “Rambo” look that characterizes many survival knives.
My only criticism was that a portion of the handle was made from Kershaw’s proprietary K-Texture grip. While it feels great in your hand, it is far too soft and gooey. Yes, it is literally “gooey” in your hand. That is, it is moveable and easily pliable. In fact, you can even peel away the soft K-Texture handle material away from the metal parts of the knife (ie. the lock back mechanism). It seems quite vulnerable to wearing and abrasions, etc. It should last if you’re very careful each and every time you use it, but I’m not sure how realistic that is for everyone. The Glass-filled nylon part of the handle feels much more sturdy and ready to take a beating.
The gimping on the handle (both in the thumb rise and the butt) are virtually useless since it is recessed into the glass part of the handle so your finger/thumb can’t even grip it well at all. That’s an oversight on Kershaw’s design team but we won’t freak on them given the affordable price point on this pretty decent knife.
I’m usually not a huge fan of sheaths that come with various knives. They often seem like a cheap addition to an otherwise good knife. However, I have to say that in this case, I was thrilled with the included nylon case. It was extremely sturdy and holds its shape very well. It looks (and feels) the same with the knife inside it or when it’s empty. It has a lanyard hole in the flap cover and you can wear it horizontally or vertically on your belt.
Given the very affordable price point, I’m not put off by the fact that Kershaw is using Chinese steel. I’m happy enough with the knife that it’s my official camping knife for wilderness canoe trips, and I plan on doing ZERO hunting excursions on such trips. The size, sturdiness and sheath configuration make this my go-to camping knife for now. To see more details, check it out on Amazon HERE.
If you agree/disagree with my assessment of this knife, please let me know in the comments below!
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