Last Updated: August 11, 2019
Every now and then I see a knife that I absolutely have to own. Now, believe it or not, my collection of knives is small in comparison to the size (and value) of many knife collectors, so I like to think I exercise some “restraint” in my purchases. This might have more to do with the size of my bank account than anything else, but my point is, this knife really struck me as something special, and I bought it. I am talking about the Boker Exskelibur, a collaboration between Boker Knives and South African custom knifemakers Mike Skellern and Fred Burger.
The Exskelibur is part of Boker’s “Plus” Line which is their line of high quality value knives. For purposes of the review I would classify the Exskelibur as a EDC knife, and perhaps even a collectors knife. I know mine wont be seeing much use even despite the very reasonable price tag – I simply want to keep this knife nice for my collection. What we really have here is a gentleman’s folder; it’s simple lines and rich titanium accents make the Exskelibur an exercise in minimalism and elegance that will feel very at home in an office or carried during a formal event.
I have found the attention to detail and build quality on this knife to be extraordinarily high. What may be most surprising to some readers is that this knife is made in China. Now, my Spyderco Tenacious review showed that Chinese manufacturing isn’t always synonymous with low quality, but the Exskelibur isn’t just well made for a Chinese knife – it’s well made for any knife.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Exskelibur I has a 3 5/8″ blade, an overall length of 8″ and a weight of 3.3 oz. Due to the advanced handle construction almost all of that weight is in the blade. And speaking of the blade, what a beautiful piece of steel. It’s a large and simple drop point design with a high hollow grind. The blade has been given a nice satin finish that glows under the light of my studio. What strikes me about the blade is how big it is relative to the handle. The blade to handle ratio is very impressive and has to be close to 1:1.
The steel chosen here is 440C, which is a mid grade steel that is very popular in European knives. Seeing how this is a mid range knife I was very happy to find 440C here, it is one of my favorite all purpose knife steels. 440C is capable of taking a very keen edge and my Exskelibur I came shaving sharp right out of the box. The blade is beautifully finished and has a “Boker Plus” logo on one side and a Skellern logo on the other.
Handle, Ergonomics, and Pocket Clip
The handle follows the same minimalist approach of the blade, while weaving in a couple interesting features that really elevates the style and sophistication of the knife. The handle is made almost entirely out of black G10. The G10 is very lightly textured and doesn’t offer much in the way of friction, however the there very good jimping on the spine of the knife and the handle has been contoured to allow your fingers to wrap around it comfortably. The resulting grip is very good for normal EDC tasks. I think the texturing is adequate and fits very well with the overall classy theme of the knife.
The construction of the handle is not open, a piece of G10 runs the entire back length of the handle and in between that piece and the handle slab is a thin strip of red G10. This is purely for aesthetics and is a very interesting detail that makes the Exskelibur a little special and is really quite cool.
The pocket clip is a piece of titanium that has been finished in a dark matte blue. It’s a little stiff but it performs well and is reversible for tip up or tip down carry (right side only). The clip is held in place by 3 small Phillips screws which is a bit of a departure from the allen or hex screws we often see. Another thing to note here is that there isn’t a lanyard hole in this knife. Since this is a larger EDC knife, I really don’t miss the lanyard hole, but I thought it was worth pointing out.
Deployment and Lock
The Exskelibur deploys with an unobtrusive flipper located on the back of the blade by the pivot. This is a very simple yet effective method of deployment. The blade moves easily and I find that I can quickly and easily open this knife with 1 hand. The bushings on this knife appear to be phosphor bronze and everything is very smooth. The knife opens quietly with a soft click as the blade snaps into the titanium liner lock.
There is only one liner on the Exskelibur and it is made of the same blued titanium that clip is fabricated from. It makes the knife incredibly lightweight and it provides another interesting detail that sets the Eskelibur apart. I have found the lock to be strong and it locks in the middle of the open blade with no danger of slipping.
Boker Exskelibur I Review – Final Thoughts
The Exskelibur I is an outstanding folding pocket knife. The knife oozes style and is a simple and beautiful folder. I appreciate the great design and quality manufacturing and am not put off by the fact that this knife is made in China because the quality control here is outstanding. The titanium liners, the big sweeping blade and lightweight handle are all very appealing. I think 440C was an excellent choice for bladesteel and love how big and practical the blade is. It’s hard to find fault with the knife, I think if you use it as an EDC or gents folder you will be very pleased with the Eskelibur.
- 440C satin finished blade
- Blue anodized titanium liner
- Contoured G10 scales
- Red fiber spacer
- Reversible titanium pocket clip
Last Updated: March 19, 2019
The Skyline is often regarded as a reference point. A knife we compare other knives to. It’s also a damn good Every Day Carry (EDC) knife. Back when I originally reviewed the Skyline in 2010, it was among the first reviews to be published on the site. It was a great knife then. Today, it is just as relevant and excellent of a knife.
This is an in-house design from Kershaw, meaning it wasn’t designed by a popular custom knife maker, and I doubt that when they originally created the knife they expected to have such a run away success on their hands. The Kershaw Skyline is an American-made, high-value, lightweight, EDC knife with all the features you would expect from a modern folding knife that is widely available and accessible at almost any budget.
General Dimensions and Blade Steel
The Skyline has an overall length of 7.375″, a 3.125″ long blade, weighs 2.3 ounces, and is made in the USA. In addition to being long and light, the knife is slim, measuring an inch across when closed and 3/8″ wide. The Skyline is ideal for EDC.
The Skyline sports a long 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 slicing. It is surprising how much blade you get considering the weight. The full size blade and handle lend a lot of versatility to 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 easy to sharpen. My Skyline came sharp out of the box and is easy to maintain. The blade and the clip has a beadblasted finish. This isn’t my favorite finish, because it is more susceptible to rust than a stonewash or satin finish, but it works here (especially at the price).
Given the tremendous popularity of the Skyline, Kershaw has released this knife in a number of different handle colors and blade steels (including carbon fiber covers, a damascus blade, etc). So the knife can also have a collectible element to it if you want to go that route.
Handle, Ergonomics, and Pocket Clip
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, and I would prefer if they drilled and tapped the handles for 4 way carry. They may have opted not to do that because there is only 1 liner.
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. I would prefer a lower riding clip, but the knife is still pretty discrete.
Deployment and Lock
The Skyline uses a flipper to open the blade. This was back before flippers were cool. Consequently, it does not have the dialed in, rocket the blade out action that we have come to expect on modern flippers. You need to pre-load the flipper tab or use your wrist to ensure fast opening, but it certainly gets the job done. There are thumb studs, but they are primarily blade stops. You can use the thumb stud if you are right handed to roll the blade open, but the flipper is the preferred way of opening the knife. Inside there are phosphor bronze washers, a feature typically found on higher end knives – especially when this knife originally came out.
The Skyline uses a liner lock to lock the blade open. 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. Blade centering on my knife is perfect.
Here is a size comparison with the Skyline and another top shelf EDC blade, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian:
Kershaw Skyline Review – Final Thoughts
This is an amazing knife that has stood the test of time. The build quality is extremely high. Everything feels nice, the knife is well put together, and the materials are all of high quality. The Skyline is thin, lightweight and unassuming, which makes it an ideal choice for EDC. I often forget that I have it in my pocket. For around $40, you can use it guilt free.
In a perfect world, the Skyline would come with a 4 way pocket clip to ensure maximum versatility, and the detent strength would be improved to ensure better flipping action. Beyond that it is tough to find fault with the Skyline.
There is a reason why the Skyline remains so popular among knife enthusiasts for years and years: it is an excellent knife.
- 3.1” blade made of high-performance Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel, offers excellent strength, corrosion and wear resistance
- Lightweight G-10 handle scales offer a secure grip with texture and a deep index-finger contour
- The drop-point blade offers good balance and a strong, hard tip. The rugged Stonewash finish is capable of hiding scratches and fingerprints
- The perfect EDC for cutting tasks such as opening difficult packages, breaking down boxes, removing zip-ties, cleaning small game, aggressive animal defense, slicing fruit, and stripping small wire
- An excellent gift idea for any hunter, hiker, hobbyist, carpenter, angler, backpacker or any knife enthusiast in need of a highly reliable, American made pocket folder
I recommend purchasing the Kershaw Skyline at Amazon or BladeHQ. Purchasing anything through any of the links on this site helps support BladeReviews. Any and all support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Last updated: February 14, 2019
Those in the military, law enforcement and contract defense firms require high quality gear designed to meet the rigorous demands of these types of positions. The Spyderco Military was designed to meet these demands as either a large utility knife or a full on tactical blade. In addition to law enforcement and military use, this could be an excellent civilian self defense blade or an oversize EDC knife. Lets take a look at what sets this knife apart from Spyderco’s more civilian oriented offerings.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Spyderco Military has an overall length of 9.5″, a 4″ blade, weighs 4.2 ounces, and is made in the USA. It’s a large knife, but when you pick it up I think most will very surprised how light it feels. The knife is extremely light for it size, making it practical for both a hard working tool and as a dedicated self defense knife.
The blade on the Military is a modified drop point design. Spyderco started with 1/8″ blade stock, added a nice full belly, and applied a full flat grind. This is quintessential Spyderco blade, simple, elegant and entirely effective. There is no swedge or recurve – just a simple and utilitarian cutting surface. The tip is unreinforced, and is somewhat delicate if you aren’t careful with it, but I find the blade to overall be very well balanced and good at a variety of cutting tasks.
Spyderco selected CPM-S30V stainless steel for the blade. S30V is excellent stuff. It’s best known for holding a great edge, but it’s also fairly easy to sharpen and very corrosion resistant. I think for a combat knife S30V was a good choice here, provided that you are willing to occasionally sharpen and maintain the edge.
Handle, Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The Spyderco Military features a large handle, designed for serious use. As far as construction is concerned, Spyderco started out with large pieces of G10 and added nested partial steel liners. This provides a lot of strength and rigidity but is also what keeps this knife at an amazing 4.2 ounces. The steel liners are screwed into an aluminum backspacer. Everything can be taken apart and is extremely easy to clean. This is a simple and very effective handle design.
When discussing the ergonomics of the Military, the first thing to mention is how large this handle actually is. I can almost get a 2 hand grip on it – and I wear large gloves. This gives you plenty of room for forward or reverse grips with or without gloves. The G10 provides plenty of traction and Spyderco has done a great job of jimping the thumb ramp and choil. This is very aggressive jimping and it works very well. There is also a small choil so you can choke up on the blade. I’m a big fan of this choil – it allows the Military to flex between a defensive (or offensive) tool, and a straight up utility knife. The ergonomics on the Military are outstanding.
The clip is a simple affair, it’s been blackened and is made of tempered steel. One of the biggest complaints peole have with this knife is that the clip is tip down right side carry only. I know most people prefer tip up, and that would be my preference as well. However, there are no steel liners near the butt of the handle, so there really is no place to add a clip unless you want to significantly increase the weight by adding a larger liner. For people wanting left side carry, Spyderco has a separate left-hand version of the Military available here.
All in all, the clip is good. It rides decently low, it’s discreet and has good retention. Tip up carry would be nice but it’s not feasible given the overall design.
Deployment and Lockup
The Spyderco Military, utilizes an oversize thumb hole (or a “Spyder hole”) for deployment. Deployment on my knife is pretty fast. The thumb hole is a generous 14mm in diameter, which allows for easy access with bare hands or gloves. I can flick the blade out on my new Military, but it takes a little more force. With time the knife and it’s high quality phosphor bronze washers will break in, and deployment will only get smoother and easier.
After deployment the blade is locked in place with a thick steel liner lock. When the lock engages its sounds sorta like someone stepped into a bear trap – it makes a very crisp and satisfying “SNAP” when it locks in place. Lockup is very secure. There is no blade play at all. The partial liners are bolted together through the aluminum backspacer – this is just a rock solid design and again, I’m blown away by the fact that this knife only weighs 4.2 ounces. To have such a big knife with such a strong lock with this weight puts the Military in a class of its own.
Spyderco Military Review – Final Thoughts
The Spyderco Military is an amazing folding tactical knife. With its light weight, large handle and incredibly versatile blade, the Military is made with tactical use in mind. It’s a very well thought out design, and Spyderco has been refining the knife for years. I also really like how the Military is made in America.
In terms of potential criticisms, I would caution readers on the relatively delicate tip of the blade, and the fact that the pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. If you want a folder that doubles as a pry-bar, I’d look elsewhere (the Zero Tolerance 0550 comes to mind), but if you want a practical tactical knife you will not be disappointed with a Military.
- ICONIC DESIGN - Originally created to meet the demanding needs of forward-deployed military personnel, it incorporates all the best elements of Spyderco's unmistakable style while exemplifying our commitment to "Reliable High Performance"
- SUPERIOR BLADE STEEL - Since the steel is the spirit of the knife, CPM S30V seemed the logical choice for the blade given its reputation for long-term edge retention and rust resistance. It is available in satin finish or non-reflective DLC coating.
- LIGHT AND DURABLE - The Military Model is modified with a clip-point profile and a full-flat grind for balance strength and exceptional cutting performance.
- VERSATILE - A defining feature of the Military Model is the fully accessible 14mm Round Hole. It ensures swift, ambidextrous, one-handed opening - even while wearing gloves.
- DEPENDABLE - Each knife includes a nested Linerlock mechanism, textured G-10 scales, lined lanyard holes, and right-side, tip-down pocket clips that keep your knife poised and ready for immediate access.
I recommend purchasing the Spyderco Military at Amazon or BladeHQ . By purchasing things through any of the links on this website you support BladeReviews.com and help produce future reviews without any additional cost to you. Thank you very much.
Last Updated: August 21, 2019
Once in a while you run into a knife that really blows you away. The Benchmade 741 Onslaught is certainly one of those breathtaking knives for me. Designed by the late Bob Lum, the Onslaught is a large and elegant folding tactical knife that speaks to me on a lot of levels.
General Dimensions and Blade Steel
Make no mistake, the Onslaught is a big knife. The blade alone is 4.3″, the overall length is 9.63″ and the weight is 6.8 ounces. Yeah, this is a big knife and I wouldn’t use it for EDC. I would prefer to use a Benchmade 746 Mini Onslaught with a 3.45″ blade, an overall length of 7.8″ and a weight 3.9 ounces. The “mini” is still a pretty big knife, but I find it much more practical for daily carry. That said, the full size Onslaught could make for a very deadly defensive/tactical knife, or a high end user.
In reality, I think many of the people who buy the 741 will buy it as a collectors piece. They may be fans of Bob Lum or simply like the look (it’s pretty wicked looking). There is nothing wrong with that. When you drop $150+ on an elegant folding knife like this, you are probably not going to immediately take it to the backyard to thump on some 2x4s. This is the kind of knife you could pass on to your kids, and who knows, if Benchmade decides to discontinue the model or ship production overseas, it may even be a little bit of an investment down the road.
Anyhow, lets talk about the blade. The 741 Onslaught has a big, up-swept modified clip point blade. There is plenty of belly on this knife, and it looks like this would be a decent skinner. There is a long swedge that terminates with a very delicate tip. For such a big knife the tip is almost comically thin. In fact, the entire blade is made from pretty thin stock. I would prefer if they made it slightly thicker. I think this would improve the strength and utility of the knife as I would be very cautious with putting this knife in any kind of hard use role.
Further adding to the delicate nature of the blade is the almost full flat grind. The slicing ability of this knife is incredible and the long thin blade will shave off material with ease, but this is all done at the expense of blade strength. My blade came with a lightly stonewashed finish, but you also have the option of a black coated blade as well.
Blade steel on this knife is tried and true Benchmade 154CM. 154CM is a hearty steel that takes a great edge and holds it well. The 154CM can be somewhat prone to rust so keep the knife clean and dry to ensure it will stay beautiful.
Handle and Pocket Clip
The handle is made of large pieces of G10. The G10 has a relatively smooth finish and it isn’t particularly grippy but the handles are so large it doesn’t really matter and the result is you have a beautiful knife. Under the G10 scales are full stainless steel liners. These liners have been blackened and are skeletonized in effort to reduce the weight. Everything is screwed together with attractive black chromed hardware and a large black backspacer runs most the length of the handle.
As far as ergonomics are concerned the handle is fairly comfortable. The handle material doesn’t have a high traction finish, instead relying on larger design elements to hold your fingers in place. The choil and sweep of the handle have a way of wedging your hand in place. This provides a firm grip and is still pretty comfortable for my larger hands. If I choke up a little more on the knife it’s much more comfortable and allows me to better control the big blade. There is no jimping to be found on this knife, which doesn’t bother me because of the overall size, but for such a big knife I felt the ergonomics to be decent, but not outstanding.
The pocket clip on the Onslaught is rather large, which compliments the overall size of the knife. It is made of blackened nickle and allows for right side tip up carry. It is designed to support a lot of weight and balances the knife well in your pocket. I like the chrome finish Tip up carry is preferred for quickly deploying folding pocket knives so I am not complaining that Benchmade didn’t leave an option for tip down. The nickle pocket clip fits well with the overall elegant nature of the knife.
Deployment and Lock
For a big knife the Benchmade Onslaught moves fast. There is a large thumb hole that provides enough room to snap the blade out with or without gloves. The G10 scales have been machined to open up access to the thumb hole. Even though the thumb hole is partially occluded by the handle it is still easy to get at.
The Onslaught uses the Benchmade Axis lock. This is a great lock and has been proven time and time again with Benchmade’s other offerings. The Axis Lock in the Onslaught is very smooth and when the blade is locked open there is zero play in the knife. When the blade is closed it is centered in the middle of the handle, another small detail that I’ve come to expect from Benchmade.
Benchmade 741 Onslaught Review – Final Thoughts
The Onslaught is a beautiful knife with amazing build quality and great attention to detail. As a working mans knife you could find some faults with the design, but I suspect that Benchmade had the collector in mind when they built this blade. Practical weaknesses would include a relatively thin tip and a low traction handle, but the end product would still make a serviceable weapon and a beautiful heirloom. All in all I like the full size Onslaught a lot, but for every day carry, and even tactical use I would reach for the “mini” version.
- Axis Lock Bob Lums first
- 154 CM
- Big Awesome Folding Knife
- Reversible pocket clip
Last Updated: July 28, 2019
Ah, the Benchmade 950 Rift. What a sweet piece of steel. The Rift originally came out in 2008 as part of Benchmade’s “black class” which are designed to be military and police grade blades built for extreme duty. Designed by famed knifemaker Warren Osborne, the 950 Rift certainly is extreme and it took the knife world by storm gaining critical acclaim by reviewers and enthusiasts alike.
Today the 950 Rift is still available with it’s very distinct reverse tanto blade and is available in a variety of configurations; including the ultra cool black and gray G10 handled version shown here. I would say that this knife is appealing as a large EDC knife, a small emergency defense knife, or even a collectors item. Lets take a closer look at this unique and exciting knife.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Osborne 950 Rift is a fairly big folding EDC knife with a 3.7″ blade, a total length of 8.27″ and a weight of 4.8 ounces. The weight is perhaps one of my biggest criticisms, but really that is me grasping for straws. If you don’t like heavier knives then this won’t be the folder for you, but many, myself included, enjoy carrying a larger knife and the weight won’t be an issue. For a lighter Benchmade with about the same length, consider the Benchmade Griptilian.
As I mentioned before, the blade shape is classified as a “reverse tanto” which gives the knife excellent tip strength and the large sweeping belly of a drop point blade. I love the way this blade looks and it’s a super practical design for tactical and utility work. The blade is given a nice flat grind making it a very good slicer.
You have the option of getting the blade in a satin, blasted, or coated finish (blasted shown here). I really like the look of the coated version, Benchmade’s coating is very tough and I think the black blade with black hardware is a handsome combo.
The blade material is 154CM, a stainless steel that Benchmade uses in a lot of their knives. Benchmade knows how to heat treat 154CM and I think it was an excellent choice for the Rift. 154CM is a very durable steel that holds an edge very well and is easy to sharpen. In my experience corrosion resistance is very good but 154CM will rust if left in a damp environment so it’s important to keep the blade clean and to cover it with oil if you live in a humid area (I have no problems in South and Central FL).
Handle Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The handle of the 950 is arguably cooler than the blade itself, which is a pretty tough feat considering. The handle scales are made of sculpted G10. My G10 came in layered black and dark gray, but you can also get black G10. The Rift has full stainless steel liners that, like the rest of the hardware, has been blackened. I wish Benchmade skeletonized these scales as I think they could really drop some weight off this knife. But all in all, the handle construction is very solid and I love the look of the scales.
The ergonomics on the Rift are pretty good. It’s a large and comfortable handle and I really like the way the butt end has been formed – it creates a good “catch” for your pinky and really lets you get some leverage on the blade. There isn’t a ton of jimping, which will turn off some. For me, I don’t mind the absence of jimping and actually prefer that in a work knife. I know some people say that there are some rough edges that they needed to sand down on the handle. If you plan on using the knife for heavy carving, then you may very well want a thicker knife.
The clip of the 950 Rift is Benchmade’s classic “arrow” clip and is among my favorite pocket clip designs. I like the blackened clip, it really helps with concealing the knife in your pocket. The clip will wear, but it wears gracefully and in my opinion, is one of those clips that gets cooler with use. Retention is great and the clip is mounted so that it rides low in the pocket. Benchmade tapped the handles so you have the option of tip up ambidextrous carry.
Deployment and Lock
Deployment on the Rift is very nice. As you would expect on any Benchmade knife, the Rift uses high quality, low friction, phosphor bronze bushings. The bushings are combined with large ambidextrous thumb studs to deploy the Rift’s blade quickly and easily. I really like the thumb studs, there are nicely milled out, have a unique design and have been either anodized or given a DLC coating – it’s been very durable and hasn’t rubbed off at all after a LOT of opening.
As you can see in the pictures, the Rift uses Benchmade’s Axis Lock. For those unfamiliar with the Axis Lock, is is a very intelligently designed lock that Benchmade uses on a lot of their knives. It is very strong and very easy to use ambidextrously. I love the axis lock, it’s among my favorites because it is so smooth reliable and easy to use. One hand opening and closing with this knife is a breeze.
Benchmade 950 Rift Review – Final Thoughts
Well, what is there to say? The combination of great blade design, 154CM steel, G10 handle, and reliable Axis lock mean there is a lot going for this knife. If you are in the market for a larger EDC knife or a folding tactical knife, the 950 Rift has a lot to offer. Build quality is very sturdy, the knife cuts well, it’s comfortable in hand, and 154CM steel is very serviceable. I also like the fact that the Rift is made in the USA.
As far as potential negatives are concerned, my main gripe is the weight of the knife. This is a bigger offering from Benchmade, and you definitely feel that in hand and in pocket. This may not be an issue for some, but for folks that appreciate a lightweight EDC knife, I might recommend the Benchmade 940 or Griptilian instead. I think Benchmade could have mitigated this slightly by drilling holes in the thick steel liners.
If size and weight aren’t a terrible concern, and you want a reliable and well made work or tactical knife, then the Rift could be an excellent choice.
- Patented AXIS Mechanics
- One-Hand Ambidextrous Function
- Heavily Milled G10 for Tactile Grip
- Tough 154CM Reverse Tanto Blade
I recommend purchasing the Benchmade Rift from Amazon or BladeHQ. 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.
Last Updated: August 30, 2019
The Kershaw Scallion is another one of those timeless EDC knives that should be considered by collectors and enthusiasts alike. The Scallion is a remarkable little blade that shares some great similarities to the Kershaw Skyline, but is very much it’s own animal. Designed by custom knifemaker Ken Onion, the Scallion is a slim, lightweight knife with very fast blade deployment and superb fit and finish. If you are in the market for a high quality and affordable EDC knife, the Scallion is a blade that you may want to consider.
General Dimensions and Blade Properties
The Scallion has an overall length of 5.57″, a 2.4″ blade, weighs 2.9 ounces and is made in the USA. This is a great size for Every Day Carry (EDC). It’s very unobtrusive in the pocket and it won’t weigh you down – excellent for urban or suburban carry.
The blade is a modified drop point with a hollow grind and a recurve to the edge of the blade. The recurve is good for slicing although it makes the knife more difficult to sharpen. Ken Onion is known for designing curvy (“organic”) looking knives, and the Scallion fights right in to that theme. With that said, I would not recommend a recurved blade to a first time knife buyer. There is a slight swedge that concludes at a capable tip. This blade shape is capable for EDC tasks like breaking down boxes, opening mail, and food preparation. Because the knife is so small, I would not push the Scallion much further than that.
The blade is made of 420HC stainless steel. 420HC is regarded as a low end steel, although if it is heat treated properly, it can perform fine for daily tasks. 420HC has great corrosion resistance although the edge retention is not going to be on par with something like 440C. Kershaw does a good job with their heat treat, however, I would like to see them upgrade the steel on this. If they used a Sandvik 12C28 like they do on the Leek, I think that would be an excellent upgrade.
Handle and Pocket Clip
The Scallion typically comes with an anodized aluminum handle. The aluminum is 6000 series aircraft aluminum and it keeps the knife lightweight and strong. The great part about the Scallion is that there are a variety of different colors and handle configurations to choose from. This knife comes in everything from a standard satin finished blade with a black handle to a rainbow colored version that is very unique looking and everything in between. There have also been a lot of limited edition versions of the knife so if there is a particular color configuration you are looking for, it is probably available commercially or on the secondary market.
The handle is comfortable and ergonomic. There is a short run of jimping on the thumb ramp of the blade, and the finger choil which helps provide good grip. Depending on the handle materials you select, there will be additional traction. This knife is easy to use and feels good in the hand.
The pocket clip is rather large and only allows for right hand tip down carry. I like the option to move the clip around, and I prefer tip up carry for faster deployment so this is something of a disappointment for me, however, I wouldn’t call it a deal breaker. For an EDC knife, tip down carry is still acceptable and you will get the job done with this knife.
Deployment and Lock
The Scallion is a flipper, equipped with Kershaw’s Speed Safe assisted opening mechanism. The Speed Safe system was developed by Ken Onion as well, and is a very common assisted opening mechanism found on Kershaw knives. The action on the Scallion is snappy and reliable. The flipper works well, and there are phosphor bronze washers inside (although you don’t really notice with the assist).
The Scallion uses a either a steel frame lock, or steel liner lock to lock the knife open. The liner lock is sturdy and more than adequate for every day carry type tasks. My lock engaged early, and there was no blade play or stick in the lock. Kershaw has their liner locks and steel frame locks dialed in pretty well, and the lock on my Scallion is no exception.
Kershaw Scallion Review – Final Thoughts
The Kershaw Scallion is a capable budget EDC knife, but not without its quirks. It’s a great size for EDC, the materials are decent given the price point, the knife is well executed, is comfortable to use, made in the USA, and retails for under $50. Certainly there are some high points. On the flip side, the recurve blade makes the knife tough to sharpen, and 420HC stainless steel is on the low end of the spectrum, even at this budget price point. If you can get past those two points, then the Scallion could be a great EDC option.
Personally, if I was in the market for a Ken Onion / Kershaw EDC knife, I’d go with the Leek, but the Scallion has stood the test of time and continues to be a viable daily carry option that won’t break the bank.
- Patented Ken Onion designed SpeedSafe Assisted Opening allows for easy tactical engagement of knife
- Flipper opens knife with a push of a finger allowing for quick action and flawless functionality
- Liner Lock keeps knife open with a lockbar to ensure safety and stability when making any and all cutting motions; Tip Lock locks pocket knife closed for a safe carry
- Single-position pocketclip ensures the pocketknife is secure whether stored, concealed or carried
- Made in America by expert knife makers, and with high quality materials, the Scallion offers users premier functionality and exceptional value