We break down our favorite picks for the best Kershaw knife to help you get better value for your money. These knives offer all the benefits of a utility knife while being just about as compact as a pocket knife. Kershaw knives use high-grade steel, hold their edges well, and last a lifetime when treated right.
Our guide will help you avoid common buying mistakes and show you some knives that won’t lead you down the road to disappointment. You’ll learn everything you need to about Kershaw knives and how to choose the right one for you. Let’s get into the guide!
Top 7 Best Kershaw Knife Reviews in 2023
Arguably one of the best features of Kershaw knives is their value for money. You’re very often getting premium steel and versatile design at a lower-than-expected price. These knives have the durability and endurance of many far more expensive carry knives. They’re a great place to start if you’re into knives and will help you refine both your technique and your care and maintenance routine.
You’ll be able to transition seamlessly onto the expensive top-of-the-range knives and not need to worry about how to handle them. In this section, we’re going to dive deeper into each of the 7 Kershaw knives we’ve selected. You’ll learn what’s unique about them and what type of user they suit best. We’ll close off each review with what we liked and didn’t like about the knife.
Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife
Here’s one of the best cheap Kershaw knife options if you’re just getting into the market and this is your first Kershaw. It’s not the highest quality knife, but with a good maintenance and care regimen, you’ll easily get your money’s worth. The blade has a black oxide finish that helps to protect most of the blade against rusting and corrosion.
This finish does tend to come off when the blade takes damage or through extensive use. Despite this, it’s still an excellent knife if you’re on a budget but still want Kershaw ergonomics and cutting power. The slightly smaller 3” blade lets the frame remain compact while still offering you enough utility for everyday use.
- Black oxide finish makes the blade more resistant to corrosion
- Well-designed thumb stud that’s not too rough on your thumb
- A low-cost entry into the Kershaw knife world
- Very comfortable for extended for a cheap best Kershaw knife
- The finish on the blade comes off over time, especially when it takes damage
- Long term durability is questionable
Kershaw Clash Tactical Folding Knife
Here’s an all-purpose knife that leans more towards outdoor use. If you’re into camping, hiking, hunting, or trekking, this knife is a reliable companion to carry along with you. It’s lightweight and compactly built, and you’ll hardly notice it on your belt. There’s a partially serrated blade that gives you all the versatility you need for the outdoors.
You’re getting an affordable knife when you consider the quality and craftsmanship that’s gone into the ergonomic design and lasting quality. You’ll need to get high-quality sharpening equipment as the steel is hard. This allows it to resist damage, scuffing, and losing its edge quickly.
Overall, this is one of our favorite picks for the best Kershaw knife with this kind of application and versatility. Here are 7 reasons you should be carrying a pocket knife with you wherever you go.
- CR-13 steel stays sharp longer and doesn’t damage easily
- Textures nylon handle is light, robust, and doesn’t wear easily
- The partially serrated blade gives you added versatility for outdoor use (cutting rope, material, etc.)
- Does a good job at not catching onto the inner lining of your pocket
- The blade is a little on the small side at 3.1”
- The edge isn’t easy to sharpen and you can’t simply use a pull-through
Kershaw Leek Frame Lock Pocket Knife
The Leek is probably the most iconic and famous of all the best Kershaw knives. It’s been around for a long time and lives on long after its designer left Kershaw. This is a fantastically lightweight and easy to carry knife. The profile is astoundingly thin and won’t be a burden to any pocket.
It’s an enabling everyday carry with its lightning-quick action and snappy blade. Other than being very reliable and consistent, this is a knife that’s designed for comfort. The gorgeous flush silver blade and handle give the impression of class and quality.
You’re getting a blade that’s exquisitely sharp and able to hold its edge well. The Leek is arguably the best Kershaw pocket knife. It’s endured countless remakes and kept the competitors at bay for a long time. If you want quality and reliable performance, then this is a very tempting EDC knife.
- Action is incredibly snappy and built to be reactive
- Feels great in your hands (especially for large hands)
- One of the most durable Kershaw knives at this price
- The tip is protected by the broader blade profile
- Can get a little slippery when wet
- Scratches and scuffs will show quite easily on the silver finish
Kershaw Link Assisted Pocket Knife
If you’re in the market for a very lightweight, compact, and small blade with high-grade steel and sharpness – this Link pocket knife might be for you. It can be exquisitely sharpened. This more or less makes up for the smaller blade and the not-so-ergonomic handle. You’re not going to hurt your wallet paying for this knife, but it delivers value far above its level. 420HC steel is tough and will withstand a great deal of damage.
It does well to resist scuffing and the finish doesn’t come off easily. You’ll need to put a little extra time into sharpening the edge, thanks to the harder steel – so make sure you have the right tools. Overall, you’re getting a top-rated best Kershaw knife in a slightly smaller frame, but the cutting power of a bigger and more expensive knife.
- Very resistant to rusting and corrosion
- Attractive design, blade finish, and color
- One of the better blade locking systems
- The blade can be sharpened to shaving-grade sharpness
- It’s quite a small blade and can feel awkward in larger hands
- Not the most ergonomic handle
Kershaw Cryo II EDC Pocket Knife
I love the 4-way clip for deep carry. It’s positioned so that you have an easier time holding the knife and directing the tip. The overall profile of the knife and handle is thin and sturdy. This knife is the result of a collaboration between Hinderer and some of the designers from Kershaw. It’s coated in titanium carbo-nitride which gives it almost unparalleled sleekness and robustness at this price point.
Along with featuring everything you’d expect from a best Kershaw knife, like Speed Safe control, a flipper, and thumb stud – this knife is aimed toward first responders and for emergency response. You’re getting a quick and responsive knife that lives up to its claims of reliability and durability. It’s a top pick for the best flipper knife with this kind of value for money.
- Ultra-responsive flipper button and blade opening time
- A super-rigid blade that holds its edge longer than expected
- The frame lock is solid and well-suited to emergencies
- Very resistant to corrosion and rusting
- A little slippery when wet
- The coating can be removed by heavy scratches and scuffing
Kershaw Select Fire Multifunction Pocket Knife
This Select Fire knife is a little different from other multi-tools in that it doesn’t go over the top with flooding the knife with unnecessary tools. The design has focused on making the manual open function as flawless as possible. That means this is a great knife if you’re not a fan of the assisted open in many best Kershaw knives.
You’re getting high-quality steel at a more affordable price than many CR13 steel blades. This, combined with the multi-tool, give you amazing value for money. The handle isn’t the most durable on the market and there are a lot of moving parts. This probably isn’t the best choice for an outdoor pocket knife – though it’s great as a general use EDC.
- CR13MOV steel that’s excellent at resisting abrasive and adhesive wear
- Ultra-versatile multi-tool function
- The non-slip grip that’s ergonomic despite the multi-tool taking up space
- Manual flipper is very responsive and a great alternative to assisted opening
- Not the most durable knife as there are more moving parts
- It’s easy for the bit adapter to fall off as it’s not welded to the handle
Kershaw Blur Black EDC Pocket Knife
The Blur is made in the USA so it’s held to higher quality control standards. This pushes the price up a little, but it’s well worth the extra dough. If you take good care of this knife, it’s going to last a very long time. There a rubberized athletics track-like material that’s engrained into the handle. It gives you a solid grip and lets you easily wield the knife even when it’s wet.
I like that the lanyard hole doesn’t take up much space and is very subtle – like the overall of the knife. You’re getting a Kershaw that’s perfect as an everyday carry and fits well into your pocket or palm without many complaints. It’s a top choice for the best Kershaw folding knife if you want lasting performance and a sleek profile.
- Trac-Tek inserts give you one of the best grips and workability of any pocket knife
- Loads of cutting power for a 3.5” blade
- Blade closes very smoothly and there’s no unwanted movement or give
- The subtle yet stunning all-black design
- The Thumb stud is a bit too pronounced and is almost like a metal file
- Handle and thumb stud can catch onto some materials in your pockets and while hanging on your belt
The Right Way to Pick an Outstanding Kershaw Knife
I always maintain that there isn’t a “best” knife that fits everyone and the Kershaw knife that’s best for you might be the worst for the next person. Therefore, if you pay attention to your own needs, skill set, and style, you’d be able to pick a Kershaw knife that’s perfect for you.
In this buying guide, we have only included the best Kershaw folding knives, so you should have an easier time figuring out your favorite. If you’re still having trouble picking one out, consider these factors:
- Opening and closing action
- Locking mechanism
- Size of the folder
- Style of the blade
- Blade and handle material
- Edge type
Lastly, don’t forget to pay attention to the price range, and only pick a knife that you like enough to keep around for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What Is a Kershaw Knife?
A: Kershaw is an American brand of different styles of knives. The knives are mostly folding types that can be used in all-around work, such as in the kitchen, utility, and self-defense. Kershaw knives are top-rated among collectors and enthusiasts because of the innovative designs, excellent quality, and affordable price. The most popular Kershaw knives are Shallot, Cryo, and Leek.
Q: How Does a Kershaw Knife Compare to Other Brands?
A: Kershaw knives are among the most popular knives among collectors and enthusiasts. The quality of Kershaw blades is outstanding compared to that of other brands. They are made from premium stainless steel, which renders them extremely durable and robust. Most of the Kershaw knives are simple in construction. The ordinary Kershaw knife only comprises a single-edge blade and a handle.
The folding types can have various locking mechanisms that you can choose. Something else that makes the Kershaw knives unique is the technology used. The patented technology Kershaw employs on their knife designs is the ‘Composite Blade Technology.’ That combines the various blade locking systems to the glass breaker tip. It also stands out in terms of quality and flexibility in usage.
Q: What Is a Kershaw Knife Made of?
A: Kershaw is a brand of American-made knives meant for general use in kitchen, outdoor or technical situations. Since this tool is designed for many usage needs, its blades are crafted from a stainless steel material that makes it durable and capable of withstanding many situations.
Q: How Long Does a Pocket Knife Last for?
A: The first thing to go will likely be the folding mechanism. The other major factors are how often you sharpen the blade and how resistant it is to wear and corrosion. If you take good care of your Kershaw knife and don’t open and close it constantly, you can expect at least 5 years. If you have a very high-quality pocket knife, it could even go for 15 years. I’ve had a pocket knife that’s still in decent condition for 7 years and counting.
Q: How Often Should I Sharpen an EDC Pocket Knife?
A: I sharpen my EDC Kershaw about once a week. This is just a touch-up and not a thorough sharpening. I do a thorough one every 1-2 months, where I take the blade to shaving sharpness. Make sure you’re using tools that are suited to the hardness of the blade’s steel to get the best results.
Q: How to Clean a Folding Pocket Knife?
A: I have a spare toothbrush and some toothpicks dedicated to cleaning my folding knives. The toothbrush lets you get around sharp edges and into hard-to-reach places and the toothpicks let you get at the dirt that’s wedged in the folding mechanism.
When you clean your folding knife, focus on getting any clumps of dirt out first. These will do the most damage to the folding hinge and are most likely to be a source of corrosion. Use some Q-tips to put mineral or sewing machine oil in the hinge to keep it moving freely. Remember to keep the knife dry and don’t leave any soapy mixture anywhere on the blade or handle.
We’ve looked at some of the best value for money, and best performing folding knives on the market. You should have a good idea of what it takes to make a pocket knife worthwhile and what to look for.
All that’s left now is for you to make your choice. Feel free to go back to any of the reviews and learn more about the knives that got your attention. Once you’ve got the best Kershaw knife as an EDC, you’ll be more comfortable and equipped to handle any situation!