High value EDC knives always catch my eye so today I will be taking a look at the ultra high value Kershaw Skyline. The Skyline is an American-made, lightweight, EDC knife with all the features you would expect from an expensive production knife, at a ridiculously low price.
General Dimensions and Blade Steel
The Kershaw Skyline is a slender and lightweight knife that manages to pack a surprisingly big blade. The blade is 3 1/8″ long while the knife itself weighs a mere 2.3 ounces. In addition to being long and light, the knife is slim, measuring an inch across when closed and 3/8″ wide. The people at Kershaw really had lightweight EDC in mind when they designed this knife, and it shows in every way.
The Skyline sports a spearpoint blade shape with a plain edge and a hollow saber grind. This is a very practical blade shape that is good for piercing and cutting. Also, I love how long this blade is in comparison to it’s weight. It really gives the Skyline a little more versatility for a little 2.3 ounce knife.
The blade, liner, and pocket clip are all made of Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel. This is a hearty Swedish steel that holds an edge well and is similar to the surgical steels Sandvik uses for medical devices. This knife came very sharp right out of the box and sharpened easily after use. The blade and the clip has a stonewashed finish which is a matte silver gray that is both good looking and durable. I have zero complaints with the blade steel or shape.
Handle, Lock and Deployment
The handle of this knife is made of lightly textured G10. The G10 is lightweight, feels nice and provides decent grip. The liner lock has received some jimping which works well however the spine of the knife has no jimping at all, which means your thumb has no real grip on the top of the knife when in use. This can be a problem, especially if you were to do some stabbing or thrust type cuts or were working with something like slimy foods, and is one of my few complaints with this knife.
The Skyline has a a pocket clip that allows for tip up or tip down carry. I found the clip to be very tight and I had to bend it with a plastic spatula before I got the desired pocket retention – an easy adjustment. One problem I do have with the clip is that it is not ambidextrous. Being left handed, this is something of a concern, however I find that I can still carry and deploy the knife easily. The pocket clip rides fairly low in the pocket, there is about an inch of knife sticking up when the clip is mounted for tip up carry. This is fine for me, others may prefer a lower riding knife.
The lock on this knife is a liner lock. This knife has only one steel liner (on the side of the lock) which greatly reduces the weight and thickness of the knife. I think this was a wise decision by Kershaw although some might prefer a beefier knife. In that case, I would simply suggest buying a bigger knife. The lock itself performs admirably. I like liner locks in general and this knife has a good one.
The Kershaw Skyline uses a “flipper” to deploy the blade. There are 2 thumb studs however, they are positioned very close to the handle so it is generally not practical to use them to flick the knife open. The flipper takes a little practice for those unfamiliar with it, however with some training it will easily allow for one handed deployment. Kershaw opted for phospher bronze bushings, which is a high quality bushing that makes for very smooth deployment. Again, when you consider that this knife can be bought at Wal-Mart for around 30 bucks, features like phosphor bronze bushings are a real treat.
All in all this is an amazing knife. The build quality is very high. Everything feels nice, it’s well put together, the materials are all very high quality. The knife is very lightweight, ideal for EDC and I often forget that I have it in my pocket. My 2 largest concerns with the Skyline would be a lack of jimping on the thumb ramp (spine) of the knife and I would like to see an ambidextrous pocket clip, instead of right hand only.
Finally, I love how this knife is made in America. It’s sad to see American makers like Schrade and Camillus go bankrupt and then resurface as foreign made knives so it’s important for me to buy American products and support great American brands like Kershaw. The Skyline is affordable but it’s also American made and very well built – if the rest of our stuff was built like the Kershaw Skyline I am convinced we would be living in a better world.