While I enjoy reviewing all kinds of knives, it’s the mid size edc “working man’s” knives that I especially enjoy reviewing because these mid size EDC’s are what spend the most time in my pockets and in my hands. The Kershaw Blur is such a quintessential mid size EDC knife that a full review is long overdo.
Also, I can’t ignore the fact that this another Ken Onion design. Ken Onion is the man behind a lot of the knives I have reviewed (like the CRKT Ripple review I just did), and his designs are very famous for their flowing shapes. In contrast some of his other work, the Blur looks fairly pedestrian, but it is a good size knife with a very functional design which is part of the reason why I think the Blur has become so popular.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Blur has an overall length of 7.875″, a 3.375″ blade, and weighs 3.9 ounces. It’s a medium to large size folding knife. I would classify this as a larger EDC knife or a tactical knife. The Blur comes in many flavors and there is a little something for everyone with different colors, blade steels, handle inserts, and blade shapes. The “standard” Blur comes with a nice hollow ground drop point blade, but you also have the option of a tanto blade and there is even a blunted “rescue” version of the knife. You also have the option of plain edge or partially serrated. Kershaw also sells this knife with a black DLC (diamond like coating) on the blade – it’s an attractive option and wears really well.
In addition to that high hollow grind, there is also a slight recurve on the edge (which is more pronounced with the rescue version). The recurve is slight, which keeps this knife reasonably easy to sharpen. There is a swedge running along the top which keeps the tip of the drop point version strong.
As for blade steel, the base model comes with a fairly unassuming Sandvik 13C26 steel blade. From there you have versions in S30V, CPM154CM and a even a composite blade with Sandvik 14NC28 with a ZDP189 edge (which is what is shown here). I have also seen this knife in 440A, 420HC, and few others. The S30V version is very popular, and a number of limited editions have been released over the years. There is a steel here for everyone.
Handle, Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The first thing you will notice about the handle is the sandpaper looking inserts. Kershaw calls this “Trac-Tec” and it is actually a rubberized material that provides plenty of traction without tearing up your hands. The rest of the handle is made from anodized 6061 aluminum and features a flow though (pillar construction) design. All in all this is a very strong design. The handles are very nicely finished and relatively light weight – I have no complaints.
The ergonomics of the Blur are pretty good. First, the good stuff: the aluminum handle is large, comfortable and has no rough edges. Also, the knife fits well in your hand, and that “Trac-Tec” does a great job keeping it there. As for the not so good, there is some jimping on the thumb ramp but it is more for looks than anything. Also, the thumb ramp isn’t that pronounced, which means you don’t have a ton of traction for your thumb. Finally, the single choil isn’t that pronounced either. What this means is that for those that like to really choke up on a knife the Blur may leave something to be desired, but for all intents and purposes the handle performs well. Generally though, the knife is comfortable, you will be able to use it just fine and for most people I think my complaints are minor.
The pocket clip is fairly well executed. Depending on your particular model, it comes with a matte black finish and rides pretty low in the pocket (not “super” low, if that is something you are looking for). It does allow for tip up or tip down carry, but it is not ambidextrous. One thing I especially like is how Kershaw doesn’t include their Trac-Tec texturing where the clip touches the handle. This makes the knife much easier to remove from the pocket (although I do find it sometimes hangs up a little.
Deployment and Lockup
Kershaw opted for ambidextrous thumbstuds here, which personally, I prefer over the flipper which is common with a lot of Kershaw / Ken Onion designs. The thumb studs are cut at an angle and dig into your thumb. One review I read said that the thumb studs looked like a “stair case” which is actually a pretty good description. It does not take much effort to get the blade going, and then the speedsafe assisted opening mechanism does the rest of the work. I am not the biggest fan of assisted opening knives, but the Speedsafe on the Blur is robust and the action is good. Of course, you can always take the spring out and reduce the Blur to a 100% manually opening blade if that is what you prefer.
Lockup is accomplished with an adequately thick liner lock. I say “adequately” because this is not a super thick lock, especially considering the overall size of the knife. However, I think the lock works well here, especially in the EDC and backup tactical roles. The liner engages early and the lock-up is strong with zero movement. The whole deployment and lockup aspects of this knife is a real plus in my book because it is very smooth. Kershaw knows how to put assisted openings and liner locks together and the Blur is an outstanding example of that knowledge.
Kershaw Blur – Final Thoughts
The Kershaw Blur is a modern classic. Offered in a myriad of different blade steels and handle colors, there is a little something for everyone. This is one of Ken Onion’s more restrained designs for Kershaw, and the clean lines of the Blur has garnered it broad appeal. The Blur is made in the USA, is well constructed, features quality materials, and is priced very reasonably – usually between $45 and $75.
This everyman’s folder gets a lot of things right, and for that reason I have included it as one of the my recommended EDC knives.
I recommend purchasing the Blur at Amazon. Please consider that purchasing anything through any of the links on this website helps support BladeReviews.com, and keeps the site going. As always, any and all support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Photo Credits: Der Fleischwolf – Thanks!