Categories

Knife Education

Kershaw offers many types and style of knives each with different lock type, and opening systems. We will explore many of these systems below. All the information below is provided by Kershaw Knives to help you better understand how their knives work and to assist you in making the right decision for your needs. 

Knife Anatomy

What's the name of that part? The one between that piece and the other thing? Know the parts of a knife, from the tip to the butt with this quick guide. See below for more info

Opening Systems

Some people prefer a manual opening folder, some prefer a bit of assisted opening, and some like it fully automatic at the push of a button. With any of these opening systems, most Kershaw folders can be opened with one hand. See opening systems for more info

How to open a Kershaw Knife

There are different ways to open your pocketknife, depending on its external mechanism. Here's how to open Kershaw folders with their most common mechanisms.. See opening systems for more info

Lock Type

The design of each Kershaw folder incorporates a lock that is either built into the handle scale, adjacent to it, part of the opening push button, or a traditional detent. Which Lock Type you prefer may influence which Kershaw folder you choose. See lock types for more info

Pocketclips

Kershaw pocketclips are selected to be compatible with the style and materials of the knife. In addition, the position of the pocketclip may be determined by the position of the knife’s other hardware, especially the pivot point and locking mechanisms. Most Kershaw folding knives come pre-drilled for a variety of carry positions, including reversible, 3-position, or 4-position options so taking your Kershaw with you is as convenient as possible. See the photos below for the safe pocket carry positions for the various options. A tight clip, combined with this placement will help ensure your knife does not open accidentally during carrying. See pocketclips for more info

Blade Style

Depending on the type of work you do, you may need a blade with more slicing, push cuts, draw or pull cuts. See blade styles for more info

Blade Steel

If your daily work includes sustained knife use, you may want a high-end steel blade. Kershaw blades are made from a range of steels, each with their own strengths in edge retention, corrosion resistance, and sharpening ease. Choose a blade steel that matches your frequency of use, what materials you are cutting, and your sharpening system. See Blade Steels for more info

Blade Coatings and Finishes

The coatings and finishes on Kershaw blades (and metal handles) are part of the knife’s design and aesthetic, as well as providing some protection against scratches, wear, and corrosion of the metal surface. See blade coating and finishes for more info

Blade Edges and Grinds

While most Kershaw blades feature a sharp plain edge, a few incorporate partial serration. This can be helpful for cutting rope and similar tasks. See Blade Edges & Grinds for more info

Handle Materials

A handle material like G10, rubber overmold or glass-filled nylon can add texture and grip to a knife. Consider your working conditions, whether you are outdoors, wearing gloves, or in a wet environment. Or you may simply prefer the feel and aesthetics of an aluminum or steel handle. See handle materials for more info

Product Care

Kershaw knives are designed to work hard. Take care of your Kershaw with regular maintenance to make it last. See below for more info

Product Usage and Safety

Knives are extremely sharp tools and should only be used or handled with the utmost care and caution. Here are some tips for using your Kershaw safely. See below for more info

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Knife Anatomy

All parts of the knife are listed for your reference. 

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Opening Systems

SpeedSafe Assisted Opening

Kershaw launched a revolution with SpeedSafe assisted opening. When closed, a torsion bar in the handle creates a bias toward the closed position. When opening, the torsion bar adds to the pressure from your finger and pushes the blade open.

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Automatic

A push-button lock holds the blade in place, but under pressure from a torsion spring. When the button is pressed, the pressure is released and the blade opens. The Kershaw Launch series features a selection of these sleek, fast, instant-open knives.

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 Manual with KVT Ball Bearings

Relies on a ring of “caged” ball bearings that surround the knife’s pivot and enable the blade to move out of the handle smoothly. KVT makes opening manual knives as smooth, easy, and often as fast as assisted opening.

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Manual with Washers

No springs or torsion bars, these folders rely on washers for a simple, smooth pivot open.

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Slipjoint

These folders have a tension rod that presses against the internal back of the blade that biases the blade toward the open and closed positions. On some slipjoints, this detent presses against the back of the blade. Some press on the side of the blade, often with a small ball and groove to provide the bias to the open and closed positions.

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How To Open a Kershaw Knife

There are different ways to open your pocketknife, depending on its external mechanism. Here's how to open Kershaw folders with their most common mechanisms.

Flipper

The flipper is a metal extension found at the back of the blade near the pivot. It can be found on both assisted and manual folders.

Opening with a flipper, assisted: 

  1. Hold the knife handle vertically in one hand.
  2. Place your index finger on the top of the flipper.
  3. Gently apply downward pressure on the flipper.
  4. SpeedSafe opens the knife quickly and easily, and the blade locks into place.

Opening with a flipper, manual:

  1. Hold the knife handle in one hand with the butt end resting firmly in the palm of your hand.
  2. Place your index finger on the highest point of the flipper.
  3. Push down strongly and quickly on the flipper.
  4. The blade will move out of the handle and lock into place. If you have trouble moving the blade fully out of the handle, add a slight flip of the wrist

Nail Nick

The nail nick is a groove in the top of the blade, usually halfway down the length of the blade. It is found on manual folders.

Opening with a nail nick:

  1. Hold the knife handle in one hand.
  2. With your other hand, hold the blade at the nail nick.
  3. Slowly open the knife, following the path of the blade until the blade is fully open.
  4. The blade on most manual folders will lock into position. A slipjoint model will not have a locking mechanism.

Push Button

The push button is found in the handle of the folder near the pivot. It is often used in automatic folders.

Opening with a push-button auto: 

  1. For right-handed use, hold knife vertically in one hand with your thumb against the blade-release/lock button.
  2. Maintaining a firm grip on the handle, and fingers clear of the blade’s path, push the button.
  3. For left-handed use, use your index finger instead of your thumb to press the blade-release/lock button.

Thumb Stud

The thumb stud is a small stud at the top of the blade near the pivot. It may be on one or both sides of the blade.

Opening with a thump-stud, assisted: 

  1. Hold the knife handle vertically in one hand.
  2. Place your thumb on the thumb stud.
  3. Gently push outwards on the thumb stud.
  4. The SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism opens the knife quickly and easily, and the blade locks into place.

Opening with a thumb-stud, manual:

  1. Hold knife handle in one hand.
  2. Place thumb on the thumb stud.
  3. Push outward on the thumb stud.
  4. Continue pushing and follow as you rotate the blade out of the handle and lock it into place.

Thumb Disk

The thumb disk is a small disk found at the top of the blade.

 Opening with a thumb-disk, manual: 

  1. Hold knife handle in one hand.
  2. Place thumb on the thumb disk.
  3. Push outward on the thumb disk.
  4. Continue pushing and follow as you rotate the blade out of the handle and lock it into place

Emerson Wave Shaped Feature (EWSF)

This is a wave-shaped hook built into the back end of the blade, similar to the flipper.

Opening with a EWSF, manual: 

  1. Make sure closed knife is snugged up against the rear seam of your pants pocket, tip-up, as shown.
  2. Reach into the pocket to hold the handle of the knife, keeping your fingers away from the blade.
  3. Pulling toward the rear seam, withdraw the knife from your pocket quickly and steadily so that the Emerson Wave Shaped Feature hooks on the rear seam of the pocket.
  4. This will automatically open the blade. By the time it’s fully out of the pocket, the knife will be open and ready for use. Pull back quickly and smoothly to ensure blade lock up.

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Lock Types

Frame Lock

In a frame lock knife, the knife handle—its “frame”—consists of two plates of material on either side of the blade. When the knife is opened, the metal side of the frame, the lockbar, butts up against the backend of the blade (the tang) and prevents the blade from closing.

To unlock a frame lock: 

  1. Hold the knife handle in one hand.
  2. Turn the knife so that you can see the interior of the handle.
  3. On the left side of the handle, you will see that one side of the handle (also called the “frame”) is positioned behind the blade. This is the lock.
  4. With your thumb, press the lock to the left so that it is no longer blocking the blade. With your other hand, hold the back of the blade (away from the edge) and begin to guide the blade back into the handle.
  5. Move your thumb out of the way as you finish guiding the blade back into the handle.

Hawk Lock

With a Hawk Lock, there are two stop pins set into the blade, one for the open position, one for closed. A spring-loaded latch plate, entirely on the interior of the handle, locks those pins into position. You manipulate the latch plate with the button, sliding the button back to allow the blade to open or close.

To unlock a hawk lock: 

  1. Hold the knife in one hand.
  2. To open the knife, pull back the spring-loaded latch plate in the knife handle.
  3. To close the knife, pull the lock slider toward the butt of the knife and fold the blade back into the handle.

Inset Liner Lock

The inset liner lock is a variation on the liner lock that enables Kershaw to provide the security of a locking liner in a knife that’s slimmer and lighter. We inset a sturdy steel plate on the inside of the knife’s handle. This partial liner is riveted into place in a machined cutout on the interior of the handle. We don’t need a complete steel liner on both sides of the handle, so the knife can be lighter, thinner, and easier to carry.

To unlock an inset liner lock:

  1. Hold the knife handle in one hand.
  2. Turn the knife so that you can see the interior of the handle.
  3. On the left side of the handle you will see an inset piece of steel is positioned behind the blade. This is the lock.
  4. With your thumb, press the lock to the left so that it is no longer blocking the blade. With your other hand, hold the back of the blade (away from the edge) and begin to guide the blade back into the handle.
  5. Move your thumb out of the way as you finish guiding the blade back into the handle.

Liner Lock

The liner lock is the most common of today’s blade-locking systems. In knives with locking liners, the handle consists of two metal plates (the “liner”) on either side of the blade. Handle scales, which can be made from a variety of materials, such as G10, cover the plates.

To unlock a liner lock: 

  1. Hold the knife handle in one hand.
  2. Turn the knife so that you can see the interior of the handle.
  3. On the left side of the handle, you will see the steel liner is positioned behind the blade. This is the lock.
  4. With your thumb, press the lock to the left so that it is no longer blocking the blade.
  5. With your other hand, hold the back of the blade (away from the edge) and begin to guide the blade back into the handle.
  6. Move your thumb out of the way as you finish guiding the blade back into the handle.

 Mid-Lock

The mid lock is an older method of locking the blade into place, but it still operates similar to liner and frame locks. That is, a steel bar rests behind the blade, locking it in place until the user releases the lock. However, the mid lock deviates from its counterparts when it comes to the lock’s position. The steel bar is placed along the back of the knife, and you can see the mechanism on the handle spine. When you open the knife, the lock snaps into place in a notch cut into the back of the blade, behind the pivot.

To unlock a mid-lock: 

  1. Hold the knife handle in one hand.
  2. Hold the back of the blade (away from the edge) with the other hand.
  3. With your thumb, press down on the mid-lock to release it.
  4. Slowly guide the blade back into the handle, making sure to keep your fingers out of the path of the blade as you close it.

Push-Button Lock

With this lock, a mechanism blocks the back of the blade, preventing it from accidentally closing. You can see this lock on Kershaw's automatic-opening Launch series.

To unlock a push-button lock: 

  1. Hold the knife handle in one hand.
  2. Press the blade-release/lock button on the handle and hold it down.
  3. With your other hand, hold the back of the blade (away from the edge) and guide the blade back into the handle. Keep your fingers out of the blade’s path as you guide the blade back into the handle.
  4. Take your finger off the button.

Slipjoint

A slipjoint knife is a knife with no lock. However, these knives use other mechanisms to ensure safe use. Many traditional slipjoints have a steel backspacer that acts as a leaf spring. This spring puts tension on the blade as you open and close it so you maintain control of the blade. The same backspacer puts tension on the blade when closed, biasing it towards the closed position and making it safe for pocket carry. Others slipjoints have a ball detent. There is a small indentation on the blade into which a tiny steel ball on the frame or liner lock fits as the knife is opened or closed. This provides friction and a light "stop" that biases the knife to the closed position and ensures controlled open and close.

To unlock a slipjoint: 

  1. Hold the knife handle in one hand.
  2. Hold the back of the blade (away from the edge) with the other hand.
  3. Slowly guide the blade back into the handle, making sure to keep your fingers out of the path of the blade as you close it.

Sub-Frame Lock

The Kershaw Sub-Frame Lock is Kershaw's patented variation on the traditional frame lock that lets us make a slimmer knife while providing a strong, secure lock. In this lock, a piece of the lighter weight frame is machined out and a piece of steel is riveted into its place. This piece of steel acts just like a standard frame lock. When the blade is open, it moves into position behind the blade tang, locking it open.

To unlock a sub-frame lock: 

  1. Hold the knife handle in one hand.
  2. Turn the knife so that you can see the interior of the handle.
  3. On the left side of the handle you will see part of the frame is positioned behind the blade. This is the lock.
  4. With your thumb, press the lock to the left so that it is no longer blocking the blade. With your other hand, hold the back of the blade (away from the edge) and begin to guide the blade back into the handle.
  5. Move your thumb out of the way as you finish guiding the blade back into the handle.

Tip Lock

A Tip-Lock Slider is a small slider found in the back handle scale of a knife. It can be found on all Leek, Scallion, and Chive SpeedSafe knives. When engaged, it ensures the blade will not accidentally open. It’s especially helpful in cases where the knife might be juggled in a briefcase, backpack, or purse.

To unlock a tip-lock slider: 

  1. Turn the knife so you can see the back handle scale.
  2. Slide the screw tab toward the butt of the knife.
  3. This unlocks the tip of the knife so you can open it.

 

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Pocketclips

Single Position

The pocketclip is mounted in a single, fixed position on the knife handle.

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3-Position

Right-handed, tip-up or tip-down and Left-handed, tip-up

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Deep-Carry

This specially designed pocketclip is positioned at the very end of the handle so that the knife can be carried deeper inside the pocket.

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Reversible

Right-handed, tip-up or tip-down or Right- or left-handed, tip-up

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4-Position

Right-handed, tip-up or tip-down and Left-handed, tip-up or tip-down

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Blade Styles

Kershaw blades come in a variety of different shapes, ready for a wide range of tasks.

American Tanto

Angles upward to meet the spine. The angled edge can be straight or curved. The American tanto offers a strong, durable tip while the straight edge makes it ideal for push cuts.

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Clip Point

The tip of the clip point is lower than its spine. The top part of the blade has been “clipped” off so that the blade goes straight from spine to tip. The clip point can also have a concave curve to the tip. Clip points are great for everyday carrying, but are also favored for hunting knives.

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Hawkbill

A hawkbill blade is hook-like with a concave belly. It offers ease in cutting ropes, fabrics, and even trimming shrubbery.

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Reverse Tanto

Instead of the edge angling up to meet the spine, a reverse tanto’s tip angles down to meet the edge. Like the American tanto, the reverse tanto offers a strong tip for piercing and, generally, a straight edge, ideal for good slicing.

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Spear Point

In a spear-point blade, the top and bottom of the blade are symmetrical, and the tip is in line with the center of the blade. It may have one or both edges sharpened. It offers tactical style as well as excellent piercing.

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Wharncliffe

A Wharncliffe blade has a completely straight cutting edge. The spine of the blade gradually slopes down to meet the edge, forming a tip. The straight edge makes a great blade for slicing push cuts, for wood carving, general cutting, and utility work.

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Cleaver

A high-utility style defined by a slightly curved belly and downturned tip. Ideal for slicing and chopping tasks.

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Drop Point

The blade’s point drops down below the blade’s spine. Usually has good “belly,” a curved cutting edge. It is one of today’s most widespread blade shapes because it’s a great all-purpose blade.

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Recurve

Instead of having a fully convex belly, a recurve blade will also have a gentle concave curve along part of the cutting edge. This gives the edge something of an “S” shape. The recurve blade provides good belly for slicing and a concave curve for easy draw or pull cuts.

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Sheepsfoot

A sheepsfoot blade is similar to the Wharncliffe, but it has a steeper slope from spine to edge and a less-pointy tip. They are often favored by emergency responders due to the relative safety of the rounded tip. The straight edge works well for slicing push cuts and general-purpose cutting.

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Trailing Point

A trailing-point blade has a tip that ends above the spine of the knife. Many trailing point knives also have a deep belly curve for superior slicing, including skinning and hunting use.

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Blade Steel

Kershaw blades are made from a range of steels, each with their own strengths in edge retention, corrosion resistance, and sharpening ease.

CPM 20CV

This Crucible powdered metallurgy tool steel has a high volume of vanadium carbides for exceptional wear resistance and edge retention. The highest level of chromium of any high-vanadium steel gives it excellent corrosion resistance.

  • HRC: 59–61
  • TOUGHNESS: 6/10
  • EDGE RETENTION: 9/10
  • CORROSION RESISTANCE: 7/10
  • SHARPENING EASE: 2/10

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CPM S30V

Large carbides in this all-around premium knife steel make it take and hold an edge extremely well; it is also very tough and wear resistant.

  • HRC: 59.5–61
  • TOUGHNESS: 5/10
  • EDGE RETENTION: 7/10
  • CORROSION RESISTANCE: 7/10
  • SHARPENING EASE: 5/10

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CPM 154

This powdered metallurgy steel has a more uniform distribution of carbides, so it takes and holds an excellent edge. Also offers good corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and toughness.

  • HRC: 58–60
  • TOUGHNESS: 4/10
  • EDGE RETENTION: 6/10
  • CORROSION RESISTANCE: 6/10SHARPENING EASE: 5/10

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SANDVIK 14C28N

This high-performance steel was developed in a partnership between Kershaw and Sandvik Steel. Offers excellent corrosion resistance.

  • HRC: 58–60
  • TOUGHNESS: 6/10
  • EDGE RETENTION: 4/10
  • CORROSION RESISTANCE: 6/10
  • SHARPENING EASE: 6/10

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D2

This “semi-stainless” tool steel is known for excellent edge retention, wear resistance, and good toughness.

  • HRC: 59–60
  • TOUGHNESS: 6/10
  • EDGE RETENTION: 8/10
  • CORROSION RESISTANCE: 2/10
  • SHARPENING EASE: 3/10

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8CR13MOV

Kershaw precision heat-treats 8Cr13MoV steel to bring out its very best high-performance characteristics: the ability to take and hold an edge, strength, and hardness.

  • HRC: 57–59
  • EDGE RETENTION: 3/10
  • CORROSION RESISTANCE: 3/10
  • SHARPENING EASE: 8/10

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8CR14MOV

The formula for this steel has additional chromium for added stain resistance. It also benefits from Kershaw’s expertise in precision heat treatment.

  • HRC: 58–59

7CR17MOV

Similar to 440A stainless steel, but with a formula that has added molybdenum and vanadium to improve hardness and wear resistance.

  • HRC: 57–59

420HC

This modified 420 steel has higher amounts of carbon and chromium to boost hardenability and corrosion resistance. It is an excellent everyday steel: tough, corrosion resistant, easy to sharpen, and takes a good edge.

  • HRC: 58
  • EDGE RETENTION: 3/10
  • CORROSION RESISTANCE: 7/10
  • SHARPENING EASE: 9/10

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420J

Highly stain resistant, but ductile, this steel is excellent for use where “flex” is desirable, for example, in fillet knives.

  • HRC: 56–58
  • EDGE RETENTION: 2/10
  • CORROSION RESISTANCE: 8/10
  • SHARPENING EASE: 9/10

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DIN 1.4116

Exceptionally corrosion resistant and very tough, this German stainless steel is one of the most popular steels for kitchen knives. It is very easy to re-sharpen when the time comes.

  • HRC: 55–57

65MN

A tough, durable carbon steel designed for hard-use tools such as Kershaw’s Camp Series machetes.

  • HRC: 56

3CR13

A value-priced high-chromium stainless steel.

  • HRC: 54–56

4CR14

A value-priced steel; very highly stain resistant.

  • HRC: 55–57

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Blade Coating and Finishes

Bead-Blasted Finish

The knife blade is “blasted” or sprayed with a mixture of fine media, including glass and aluminum-oxide beads, under high speed and pressure. This smooths the blade surface and creates a soft, non-reflective, matte look. Depending on the media, this finish can produce a darker or a lighter blade color.

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Black-Oxide Coating

A chemical bath converts the surface of the steel to magnetite; it enhances appearance and adds some corrosion resistance.

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BlackWash

Kershaw's BlackWash finish produces a vintage look like that of a well-used tool or favorite, broken-in pair of jeans. Kershaw products may have DLC BlackWash or black-oxide BlackWash finishes.

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Cerakote

Cerakote is a high-performing, durable polymer-ceramic composite coating that can be applied in a variety of colors. The coating enhances abrasion/wear resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength, and hardness.

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DLC Coating

Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating displays properties similar to those of natural diamond, including hardness, wear resistance, and reduced friction.

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Powder Coat

The coating is applied as a fine powder and cured under heat. This creates a smooth, even, and tough coating.

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PVD Coating

PVD stands for Physical Vapor Deposition. Specialized materials are vaporized via a vacuum process. Then the vaporized material is deposited as a thin layer on selected objects. In Kershaw's case, it enables us to finish their blades and/or handles with a thin coating that adds color and offers excellent wear and corrosion resistance.

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Satin Finish

A Kershaw satin finish will typically show a faint pattern of vertical lines across the blade. It is a shinier finish than bead blasting and somewhat lighter in color.

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Stonewashed Finish

Blades are tumbled with ceramic “stones,” which gives the blade surface a desirable roughened or scuffed look. The look can be pronounced or subtle. The finish helps hide scratches and fingerprints.

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Titanium Carbo-Nitride Coating

Kershaw also uses titanium carbo-nitride to produce an attractive black or gray blade coating that increases the blade’s hardness, helps maintain the edge, and increases the lifetime of the blade.

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Dual Finish

Sometimes Kershaw will combine two different blade finishes on a single blade, for example, satin finish on the blade flats and stonewash on the blade grinds.

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Blade Edges and Grinds

Kershaw pocketknives have two main types of edges: the plain (also called “fine” or “straight”) edge and the partially serrated edge. Let’s look at the advantages of each type and the best way to put each to use.

Plain Edge

A plain edge is the edge style everyone is familiar with. The blade steel is ground and sharpened to a very fine point along one edge. The sharpened edge is a uniform width from the heel to the tip of the blade. Generally, the sharpened edge is visually lighter than the rest of the blade because the sharpening process also polishes the edge. All Kershaw knives are hand sharpened by their expert sharpeners. The plain edge is the general-purpose cutting edge, the one most people need for daily tasks. From opening packages to breaking down cardboard to slicing up an apple for a snack, the plain-edged pocketknife is perfect for the job. The advantages are;

  • Multipurpose cutting
  • Excels at push cuts, slicing cuts, and precision work
  • Easy to care for
  • Easy to resharpen when needed

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Partially Serrated Edge

The plain edge is so useful, that Kershaw doesn’t have any knives in their current lineup that don’t have at least a partial plain edge. However, there are times when a serrated edge is the right tool for the job. When cutting fibrous materials like rope or webbing (think seatbelts) or even when sawing through bits of wood or hide, the toothlike serrations can cut more quickly and efficiently. The partially serrated portion of the blade is sharpened on a single side, making the edge even sharper, while the serrations dig in to cut through the tough stuff. Kershaw’s partially serrated blades combine the advantages of the plain edge with those of the serrated edge for the best of both worlds. The advantages are;

  • Added cutting versatility with both edge styles
  • Partial serration enables easy cutting of fibrous materials
  • Serrations stay sharper longer

While serrations do tend to retain their sharpness longer, when it comes time to resharpen, serrations take more effort and require special tools.

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About the Kershaw Grind

The grind of a knife is how the knife blank is thinned and narrowed by grinding so that the blade becomes thin enough along the edge to cut with it. Kershaw uses two main types of grinds on their knives: flat and hollow. For more info about the parts of a blade, see Knife Anatomy

Flat Grind

A flat grind is pretty much what it sounds like: the blade is ground flat from the spine to the edge on both sides. In cross section, it would look like a triangle. Kershaw also puts an edge bevel on the blade, which forms the actual cutting edge. The flat grind offers good cutting capabilities, strength, and depending on blade thickness, can also offer chopping abilities.

The slicer grind, designed by Rick Hinderer, is a type of flat grind used on some Kershaw knives made in collaboration with Rick. In this case, the blade grind tapers from spine to edge, but also from back of the blade to front. This enables to front of the blade to be an excellent slicer, while the thicker back part of the blade can be used for tougher push or draw cuts.

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Hollow Grind

For a hollow grind, the blade is ground so that it is slightly concave on both sides of the blade. This thins the blade and enables a very thin, sharp edge, making this style of knife an excellent slicer.

Hollow grinds are useful on any knife that needs to be able to slice, making them excellent for every day carry. They are also often found on hunting knives for that same purpose. As with the flat grind, Kershaw also puts an edge bevel on their hollow-ground knives.

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Handle Materials

Kershaw handles are fashioned from a number of different materials for durability, grip, weight, and style.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a lightweight, yet strong and durable material. Anodizing makes aluminum even stronger and enables Kershaw to add scratch and fade resistant color to knife handles. Some handles are bead-blasted for a matte texture.

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Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber atoms are bonded together in crystals aligned in long strands, then woven together like fibers. Combined with resin to make the fibers rigid, carbon fiber makes a knife handle material that is extremely strong and extremely lightweight.

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Copper

Denser and heavier than iron, this natural metal starts out reddish-orange in color, but over time will gain a patina, like a copper penny. The patina is a result of oxidation, and the colors it turns will change with time as well. Copper makes an interesting knife handle material due to the changing patina. Depending on how you handle and use it, the knife will look different throughout its life.

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G10

An epoxy-filled woven glass fiber; it is extremely stable, unaffected by temperature changes, and makes excellent handles and handle scales for knives.

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Glass-Filled Nylon (GFN)

Nylon synthetic polymer is reinforced with glass threads for increased strength, stiffness, and dimensional stability, combined with excellent wear resistance.

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K-Texture Grip

An exclusive texture and pattern used on the handles of certain Kershaw knives. K-Texture™ enhances a secure grip.

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Stainless Steel

An alloy of iron and carbon, most steel also has additional elements alloyed in it to enhance specific characteristics. As a handle material, stainless steel is strong and attractive.

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Trac-Tec Inserts

A rough-surfaced rubber insert that provides additional friction for a non-slip grip.

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Product Care

Cleaning and Oiling

Always keep your knife clean. Wipe away debris and, if needed, wash with a mild detergent and dry thoroughly. Do not let your knives sit in water. Due to the high carbon content of the quality steel in our blades, the blade may corrode if not properly cared for. Wiping a light coating of oil on the blade and hinge before storage is also important for keeping your investment in proper working order. Most household oils, WD40, 3-in-1 oil, or gun oil will work just fine for maintaining your Kershaw knife. We recommend using Kershaw Knife Oil.

Blade and Handle Coatings

The technologically advanced coatings on the blades and handles of some Kershaw knives are designed to add beauty to the products and to enhance specific performance features. Although Kershaw coatings are designed to stand up to continual knife use, in time, all coatings will show some wear. Scratches and other signs of wear should be expected and considered normal.

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Care for Kershaw Shears

Keep shears debris free. If needed, wash with mild detergent. Then wipe dry and add a light coating of oil to the blades and pivot point. The blades of your Taskmaster shears separate to make cleaning especially easy.

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Adjusting Screws

Please use Torx bits (not an Allen wrench, which will strip the screws) to adjust screws on Kershaw knives. Most screws may be adjusted using either a T6 or T8 Torx bit, we recommend using the Kershaw TX-Tool. T6 fits pocketclip, handle, and safety-lock screws on current model knives. T8 fits the pivot screw. Some older models (prior to 2000) may require a T4. If screws on your knife are coming loose or you think the holes could be stripped, use thread locker (such as blue Loctite 243) and let set for 24 hours before using your knife.

Sharpening

Your knife comes with FREE lifetime sharpening. Just send the knife in to our Tualatin, Oregon facility, and Kershaw will sharpen it and return it to you. You can also sharpen your knife with the Kershaw Ultra-Tek Sharpener. Hold the blade against the Ultra-Tek at the original sharpened angle of 18°–22°. Beginning at the base of the blade and tip of the sharpener, pull the blade down and toward you across the top of the sharpener in a slight arc as shown in the video. Do the same thing across the bottom of the sharpener as shown. This sharpens the top of your blade. Repeat this “over and under” motion approximately three to five times on each side to fully sharpen your knife.

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Usage and Safety

The Right Way

  • When opening and closing a knife, be sure to have a firm grip on the handle and keep your fingers clear of the blade’s path.
  • When cutting, make sure to keep the rest of your body clear and maintain a safe distance from other persons.
  • Always keep your knife clean, maintained, and in working order. Dirt, debris, and worn parts can make a knife function improperly.
  • Be sure to use your Kershaw knife only for its intended use.

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The Wrong Way

  • Do not use the blade to pry or twist. To maintain the edge and integrity of the blade, do not use a Kershaw blade to pry or as a screwdriver. Kershaw has other tools, such as some of our multifunction tools, specifically designed for this purpose.
  • Any use other than cutting (such as prying or twisting) is considered misuse and abuse—and will void your warranty. Kershaw Knives/Kai USA Ltd. or The Kershaw Store is not responsible for any injuries resulting from misuse or abuse of the product.
  • Do not use any Kershaw knife as a throwing knife (other than the Ion 1747BWX or Aethon 1748X throwing knives) or a stabbing device. Throwing knives and knives developed for stabbing have a distinctly different design and function. Kershaw knives are not intended for throwing or stabbing; they are designed for cutting purposes only.

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