The Punisher, The Outsiders, Blood In Blood Out, Face/Off, Red Dawn (’84 version of course), and of course, Big Trouble in Little China were all some of my favorite flicks growing up. Do you know what they had in common? Besides being awesome? They all have Butterfly knives in them. I grew up with a fascination for butterfly knives, or Balisongs if you’re fancy. I had a pile of cheap pot-metal junk butterfly knives and always wanted a real one. By real, I mean a quality model, and I found that in the Kershaw Lucha.
Lucha means the fight or struggle, and this Filipino design became famous for its camera catching action. It flips and spins into place, and a skilled practitioner can put on quite the show with a Butterfly knife. They are honestly my version of a fidget spinner, and if it’s in my hands, I’m probably flipping it around. It’s bad enough that I have to set it down and away from me to type this out. This Filipino design has a Spanish name but is made in the USA. It’s a gosh darn melting pot of a knife.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
This is a big knife. The Lucha has an overall length of 10.25 inches with a total blade length of 4.6 inches. The blade is .875 inches wide and .16 inches thick. The blade has a clip point with a nice aggressive belly to it. The blade length of 4.6 inches is not the cutting length. Due to the design of balisongs, the cutting edge is a bit shorter at 4.375 inches. The knife is built like a pro basketball player. It’s tall but skinny. It’s a hefty guy at 5.9 ounces as well.
The blade is made from stainless steel from Sandvik, known as 14C28N. Stainless means we excellent protection from corrosion, and the knife needs it. The balisong handle is not a sealed design, so it’s exposed to everything all the time. The steel itself was exclusive to Kershaw for a few years, and they seem to be producing amazing knives with it. This steel holds a bloody brilliant edge. It gets super sharp and sharpens up nice and smooth.
With us all staying at home and doing a little less adventuring, I have been focused a lot on cooking tasty meals. This has allowed me to slice and dice through meat, and that seems to be the role of the Lucha. It’s a cutter, a deep slasher, and relentless in its ability to cut through meat. I sliced and diced a pound of steak, a pound of chicken, some onions, and a bell pepper to make some fantastic fajitas.
The aggressive belly makes deep cuts easy, and the swedge at the top of the blade ensures it glides through the thickest of materials without getting stuck. I cut through tomatoes and oranges, and the blade never stuck. Balisongs have a reputation as a weapon, and the Lucha proudly takes that name. Without a doubt, it would be an effective weapon for self-defense. With a little practice, you’ll be able to flip it open quickly and with a single hand.
The clip point and good belly give it a good bit of versatility to allow the knife to fulfill your everyday EDC tasks. It’s a lot of knife for those tasks, but it will get you there. The large size and blade design could even make it a half-decent game skinning knife.
Handle and Ergonomics
The Kershaw Lucha’s split handle is made from stainless steel and is a sandwich-style construction versus a liner lock style. The handles are square-like but have rounded edges that allow the knives to smoothly flip in hand for both opening and doing all sorts of fun tricks. The trick with Balisongs is having a handle thats smooth enough to flip but is textured enough to provide a good grip with.
The Lucha does both, and the way it provides a good grip is the cuts in the handle. They give both weight reduction for easy flipping and texture for your hand to grip. It works and does provide a suitable means to grip the knife. The absolutely massive handle also offers plenty of room for you to grasp and grab the handle in any way you see fit.
The Lucha’s blade has a small handguard built into it and allows you to rest your thumb and apply leverage and control to the blade as it cuts.
The Balisong handle isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world. There is no round palm smells or G10 grips. It’s pretty simple and minimalist. If you are planning to do heavy-duty cutting, another knife might be for you. The grips will tire your hand if you use the knife outside of its intent.
Deployment and Lockup
The blade’s deployment is entirely dependent on how you can handle a balisong. With all my practice from cheap pot metal Chinese knives, it’s a natural motion for me. The rounded handle bevels do make the task a little easier and ensure you can spin the blade into action when needed. It’s just gonna take practice, and if you are new to these knives, then get a trainer, they’re cheap and worth it.
Trust me, as a kid who cut himself a lot get the trainer.
The blade and handles swing smoothly into action. They are guided by the KVT ball-bearing pivots, and you can feel the quality with every deployment. Those ball bearings also ensure the lockup is nice and tight.
The lockup is also friction, and the blade stays in place by holding the handles together. The latch can lock it into place as well. The latch does lock up the knife rather well and remains very tight. With the latch, the blade doesn’t move even a bit, not a hair’s worth of movement. This tight lockup occurs with both the latch and a friction-filled hold.
Kershaw Lucha Review – Final Thoughts
I’m a fan of this knife, and as someone who desired a real Butterfly knife for years, I’m glad to finally have one. The Lucha delivers in all the cool ways a butterfly knife is supposed to. At the same time, the blade is ultra-sharp, incredibly robust, and designed to be used.
It’s a big knife admittedly, and it’s one of those knives that is incredibly well built, but it’s not necessarily a practical choice. There are knives that are more efficient and better built for hard work, but that’s not exclusive to the Lucha. That’s a reality of butterfly knives. As far as butterfly knives go, the Lucha is a fantastic example of what a real butterfly knife should be.
Kershaw Lucha – From $119.95