Founded in 1974, Kershaw has been making cutlery for almost 40 years now. Kershaw is probably best known for their small and mid size EDC and tactical folders. Kershaw is owned by KAI, which also owns Zero Tolerance which is focused on high end tactical knives, as well as Shun Cutlery (high end Japanese kitchen knives).
Kershaw Knife Reviews
I have had the opportunity to review a number of Kershaw products. What follows is my collection of Kershaw reviews, including reviews of some of their very best knives.
Kershaw Pub Review
Well, it’s finally happened: After several years of buying almost all of the models I really wanted, my knife purchases are slowing down dramatically. (Heretical, I know, but bear with me.) Today, I have a drawer full of knives with great ergonomics, good steel, and excellent blade shapes for particular tasks. I also have several ...
Kershaw Chill Review
If there’s a gripe I have with Kershaw as a whole, it’s that there are simply a lot of products in the company’s lineup to keep track of. Over the last decade or so I’ve paid attention to their catalog, I’d argue half of Kershaw’s offerings are similar to the point of being completely undifferentiated. ...
Kershaw Lucha Review
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 ...
Kershaw Shuffle 2 Review
I’m on a mission. A mission to find the best, budget-priced EDC knives. Many people carry budget knives for a variety of reasons, one being they often lose them. I’ve been there and done that, so I see the logic. One budget knife brand that seems to garner some respect is Kershaw, and with that ...
Kershaw Bareknuckle Review
It’s been a long time coming. The Kershaw Bareknuckle is the latest iteration of a knife design that has been churning between sister brands (and rival companies) since Zero Tolerance unveiled the 0777 back in 2011. It’s also something of a new flagship for Kershaw, who haven’t introduced a moderately priced, USA-made, manual action folder ...
Kershaw Launch 4 Review
Regular readers may recall I’m attempting to step outside of my comfort zone and review more automatic knives. I started with a couple high end Microtechs, swung down to the Boker AK-74, and have now changed course towards something resembling the middle ground: The Kershaw Launch 4. Buy the Kershaw Launch 4 at BladeHQ The Launch ...
Kershaw Concierge Knife Review
Dmitry Sinkevich and Kershaw are on a roll. Following the success of the critically-acclaimed Atmos, they’re leaping back into service with the Concierge – A slightly larger pocket knife boasting the same sci-fi elegance and everyday accessibility. With an out-the-door cost of ...
Kershaw Emerson Collaboration Review
For 2014 KAI USA and Emerson Knives have teamed up to deliver the first high volume, overseas produced Emerson designed ‘CQC’ knives. The release targets a thirsty market of consumers looking for the designer’s distinct ‘tactical’ aesthetic coupled with the wave opening feature at an affordable price point. Buy the Kershaw Emerson Collaboration at Amazon The CQC ...
Kershaw Atmos Review
Look – We all try to stick to a budget. But as knife enthusiasts, we sometimes have a bit more difficulty than most. This is one of the reasons I’ve gravitated toward the shallow end of the blade pool. So, when the Kershaw Atmos made a big splash with some fellow reviewers, I decided to ...
Kershaw Dividend Review
Kershaw’s slew of new releases is always some of the biggest news out of SHOT Show. Each year the company unveils more than a dozen designs, including high-profile collaborations as well as compelling offerings from the talented in-house crew. Everything they make is accessible, with even the most lavish releases rarely going over $100. There’s ...
Kershaw Link 1776GRYBW Review
It has been a while since I have visited Kershaw’s value offerings. The Injection 3.0, the Emerson Collabs, and the Strobe are nice knives for the money, but I think each model left the reviewer asking for a little more. Buy the Kershaw Link at BladeHQ Admittedly, these knives are all in the $20-30 range. It’s ...
Kershaw Strobe 1086 Review
I’ll be honest: budget knives are rarely on my radar. Not because I’m sitting on wads and wads of cash, but because most of the time budget knives are compromised in some way that triggers my snob reflex. There are exceptions, but those tend to stand so far above the rest of the ...
Kershaw CQC-6K Review
Last Updated: August 11, 2019 Occasionally a knife comes along that I feel almost obligated to review. Almost as if I would be doing the site a disservice by not reviewing the knife. My goal with the website from day one was to build a resource, and a resource on folding knives would be pretty ...
Kershaw 1870 Knockout Review
I have always been a huge fan of user knives. Blades like the Benchmade 710, Spyderco Gayle Bradley, and Cold Steel American Lawman have always resonated with me as great knives because they are great tools. As a collector I am still enthused by the latest and greatest in materials and technology, but I will ...
Kershaw Injection 3.0 Review
Last Updated: August 3, 2019 These days in the world of high value folding knives we have some pretty stiff competition. Old standbys like the Spyderco Tenacious and CKRT Drifter continue to be tough to beat while recent contenders like the ESEE Zancudo, Ontario Rat II, and CKRT Swindle are re-defining what is possible with a ...
Kershaw Turbulence Review
Last Updated: September 17, 2019 I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that I sometimes find that Kershaw’s product line falls into a bit of a slump. In the $20-50 range you have a number of what I feel are quite frankly, forgettable knives. Typically it involves some sort of black handle, and bead blasted blade. Many come ...
Kershaw Cryo Review
Last Updated: March 18, 2019 At long last, the Kershaw Cryo. This is another one of those Hinderer/KAI collabs that tantalized knife collectors back at SHOT Show 2011 (or was it 2012? the years just blend together). Whichever year it was, we waited what seemed like forever for this little knife. Finally, after eons of patiently ...
Kershaw Nerve Review
I could probably spend all of my time writing about Kershaw budget EDC blades. Their roster is deep, and for many it can be a challenge to pick out just one. Thankfully they are all pretty good so the odds are great that you will find a winner. I am pleased to report that was ...
Kershaw Volt II Review
Last Updated: August 8, 2019 It has been too long since I’ve examined a nice budget EDC blade. This time around I picked up a Kershaw Volt II, and could immediately tell that I grabbed a real winner. First off, the original Volt is a true collectors piece. It’s not a particularly old design, but it’s ...
Kershaw Needs Work Review
Last Updated: August 21, 2019 In my opinion the wharncliffe is one of the most under-appreciated blade shapes out there. Many may write the shape off as a novelty, but in my experience a wharncliffe blade can be incredibly useful for a lot of every day tasks. That’s why I wanted to make sure I eventually ...
Kershaw Blur Review
Last Updated: February 20, 2019 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 ...
Kershaw Junkyard Dog II Review
Last Updated: August 11, 2019 To the average person the pocket knife has remained virtually unchanged over the years. But as collectors and enthusiasts know, this industry is full of innovation. In fact, I argue that there has been more innovation in knife design over the past 20 years than in the previous 200 years. ...
Kershaw Leek Review
Last Updated: December 1, 2019 The Kershaw Leek is a popular EDC knife designed by legendary custom knife maker Ken Onion. Between his designs for Zero Tolerance Knives, Kershaw, and CRKT, Ken’s work has received a lot of attention on this site. This is for good reason as he is highly regarded as a knife designer. ...
Kershaw Skyline Review
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 ...
Kershaw Scallion Review
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, ...
For more information on Kershaw I recommend checking out their website here.
Best Kershaw Knives
Here is a list of what I believe are the best knives Kershaw has to offer. I tend to favor their USA made products, but their Emerson collaboration (made in China) is also excellent. Controversially, I have decided to leave the Cryo off this list. At any rate I can recommend any of the below knives with confidence.
The Skyline is a classic, but it still hits at the top of the list for my favorite Kershaws. Its a great light duty EDC knife. It’s balanced, made from good materials, is made in the USA, and is affordable. In this day of titanium and carbon fiber it’s not a “ghee whiz” piece, but it’s lightweight and servicable. The kind of knife you won’t be afraid to carry and use.
I first reviewed this knife back in 2010, almost 10 years ago as of my writing this section (May 2019). I still have it, like it, and use it. What else can I say? I can’t think of a higher endorsement.
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The Kershaw Skyline at a Glance:
- Overall Length: 7.375″
- Blade Length: 3.125″”
- Weight: 2.3 ounces
- Blade Steel: Sandvik 14C28N
- Country of Origin: USA
- Link to the Full Review
Here is another classic – the Kershaw Blur. Again this knife has stood the test of time. I first reviewed it back in 2011. I’ve bought and sold a couple over the years, but keep one in the collection. They have made dozens of variations on this knife in different colors, with different blade steels, and even with different blade shapes. I have the all blacked out version I got on sale a few years back.
This is a stouter knife than the Skyline. It has full aluminum handles, a big recurved blade, and a stout liner lock. It’s made in the USA. The Blur a great work knife and is designed for harder use. The assisted opening is snappy, although I generally prefer unassisted knives. It’s a classic from Ken Onion, and is perhaps one of his cleanest designs. The Blur has earned a permanent spot in my collection.
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The Kershaw Blur at a Glance:
- Overall Length: 7.875″
- Blade Length: 3.375″
- Weight: 3.90 ounces
- Blade Steel: It varies, but this one is in 14C28N
- Country of Origin: USA
- Link to the Full Review
I keep reaching to the classics. Kershaw still makes good stuff, but some of their original designs are tough to beat. Either that or I’m too damn nostalgic. I especially like their USA made releases, and those seem to be rarer and rarer as time goes on. The Leek is another Ken Onion design. It’s more in the same vein as the Skyline. It’s a thin and light EDC knife.
What makes the Leek especially interesting is the thin wharncliffe blade. It’s perfect for getting underneath envelopes and opening packages. Most of these come in Sandvik 14C28N, which is a forgiving stainless blade steel that is easy to sharpen. The stainless steel framelock is sturdy, and the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism is punchy.
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All things equal, I’d take a Skyline over a Leek, but this is another classic Kershaw offering.
The Kershaw Leek at a Glance:
- Overall Length: 7″
- Blade Length: 3″
- Weight: 3 ounces
- Blade Steel: 14NC28
- Country of Origin: USA
- Link to the Full Review
OK, lets switch to a Kershaw that’s not made in the USA. The CQC-6K is a collaboration with Ernest Emerson. This was a huge deal when the series first came out, as Emerson’s blades are known for being quirky and expensive. Here was an opportunity to get one of his designs at a fraction of the price and without all the design quirks. Andrew did an epic review of the entire Kershaw / Emerson lineup and I reviewed the CQC-6K.
I think the 6K is arguably the best representation of the lineup. It’s a great size for daily carry. Some of the knives in the series are a little big, and there are some smaller than the 6K. I happened to find the 6K to be “just right”. This is a sturdy little knife, weighing in at a hair over 5 ounces. Given the small price tag, I don’t hesitate to beat on this thing. Great little work knife for those dirty jobs you would rather not use a $100+ folder for.
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The Kershaw CQC-6K at a Glance:
- Overall Length: 7.75″
- Blade Length: 3.25″
- Weight: 5.1 ounces
- Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
- Country of Origin: China
- Link to the Full Review
I may have saved the best for last. The Knockout was released in 2013/2014. Like the Skyline it’s another in-house design for Kershaw. It’s a phenomenal larger EDC knife. It has the robust aluminum frame of the Blur, but you have a big beautiful drop point blade, with a full flat grind.
The knife is thin and light, yet it’s still substantial with a 3.5″ inch blade. Some might argue it’s a little big, and that it’s wide in the pocket (not thick), but it comes with a strong deep carry pocket clip and I haven’t had an issue with it. This is a classic work knife from Kershaw. Oh, and it’s made in the USA. Great knife.
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The Kershaw Knockout at a Glance:
- Overall Length: 7.85″
- Blade Length: 3.5″
- Weight: 3.8 ounces
- Blade Steel: 14C28N
- Country of Origin: USA
- Link to the Full Review
Nicholus Joseph Leo says
Have you checked out the Kershaw cryo 2 blackwash knife? I’d love to see your review on it! I personally love the tanto version of this knife.
I have not checked out the Cryo 2, because it seems very similar to the original Cryo. Do you have one and enjoy it?
Matthew J. Smith says
EXACTLY the one I’m thinking of, having purchased a regular (smaller) Cryo w/a drop point when they first arrived…the only two things I believed I might like different (I thought, after having it a while) would be a slightly larger, and tanto blade w/different finish !!
Joey Rogers says
I don’t care for the knife I got didn’t have it a month the tip of the blade broke off the screws are coming out of it the whole things falling apart
What knife was it?there are defects in mass produced knives im sure they will give you a new one.as for the screws all knives need propper maintenance that ones is u to you
Hi. I’m searching for a budget EDC knife. I saw the Kershaw Identity, and I liked to have your opinion about this piece.
Hi Fabian, Sorry for the slow response here. I have never handled the Kershaw Identity so I don’t have much to say about it sadly. For $16 or so on Amazon it looks like a very inexpensive knife. It only has 3.5 stars on Amazon, so I’d probably spring for something else personally. I like the Skyline, CRKT Swindle, ESEE Zancudo, Ontario Rat I, etc.
But if the Identity speaks to you then try it out. For ~$16 you have little to lose! Let me know what you think if you buy it. Thanks!
Finally i get the Kershaw Identity.
I was making a little research about this piece and wanted to try it.
First I look in the official website https://kershaw.kaiusaltd.com/knives?search=Identity and found it at $39.99. Following your
last message i search in some other sites and could found it at lower prices (just can´t understand how), for example
-in Knifecenter.com for $25.95, in E-Bay for $23.94 and (this is where I really cannot understand how they do this)in Amazon for $15.97.
I´m living out of the USA, and had to pay almost $32 (shipping included)for the knife; (in amazon, including the shipping the price rose
to $63.15) so i get it with a local dealer.
lets talk about the knife…
my first impression was that it looked better in the photos and videos. The shape is not so traditional, narrowing at the end of the
handle, its weight 6.5 oz makes it a little bit heavy. The blade is 3.5 inches long, black coated and razor blade sharpened out of
But, after switch out the blade, my opinion started to change.. the grip is so comfortable, it feels really good into the hand and the weight
goes to second plane, can be easily taken in almost any way, without any problem, and even i could think that thanks to its weight, and
solid manufacturing, could be used in an emergency situation to, easily, chop some thin wood to start a fire.
For a folding knife with its size and weight is pretty slim, and combined with the little deep carry clip makes this big guy easy and discret
The circles stamped in the handle gives it a nice looking that can make a counterwight to the shape that doesn´t end attracting me at all.
Haven´t tested it “in action” yet, but after studied it for some time, my impression is that i´ll be very surprised about the things, this affordable and not so “good
looking” knife (at least for me) is going to be able to do.
Wow! Thanks for following up. That’s cool that you ended up buying the knife. I am glad you are enjoying it. Does look like you get a lot of knife for your money there. Typically I would not have much hope for a $16 knife on Amazon, but it sounds like this one has some potential!
Calvin Sanders says
I have a Kershaw Launch 7 which I carried often until one day I couldn’t find it. I searched the house, shop and barn without success. I remembered turning over a Kawasaki Mule into the pond. This was early April. In August my wife and I were fishing and it struck me the knife could have been in the Mule. The water was way down so I went looking. There it was in the mud and moss. I picked it up thinking it was ruined. It wasn’t, in fact it after I cleaned out the mud it worked. It still had a good edge with only a couple of small rust spots. After taking it to the shop for a thorough cleaning it works good as new. I am amazed at how well it operates. Thanks Kershaw.
I have been buying Kershaw knives for a long time and I really like them, with the exception of the Launch 6. I would recommend that you not purchase this knife because it will not open correctly after a short time of use. I sent mine back for repair and I was informed that it would have to be sent back to an authorized dealer because it is an automatic. They didn’t seem to interested in customer care at all. I will probably look at other brands from now on.
Kershaw is not too good as far as quality and reliability. It is very easy to ruin the knife if you Cut fruits or get sand or dirt in the internals. The edge sharpness quickly dulls out with something as simple as shaving my legs and thighs. The steel blade is nice yet easy to scratch especially prone to deep scratches if dropped, etc.
Dan Jackson says
You are shaving your legs and thighs with your Kershaw?
Kershaw knives have always been a nice knife. But there customer service is horrible. I have owed several over the years. But try to get warranty and they will send you away very disappointed. They don’t even try to help. My suggestion would be throw Kershaw in the trash and buy Buck they are awesome, helpful, no questions asked. Much better knife company. And I believe a better product.