You'll always need a good knife when you go camping, especially if you're planning on doing some hunting or fishing. A sharp blade is essential for cutting ropes to secure your tent and rain fly, whittling down wood to start fires, and endless other tasks.
While shopping around for equipment, you may have seen a Kershaw pocket knife. The question is whether or not this is a quality knife for the price.
You can't wait until you've already caught the fish to know if your knife is going to cut it. Just like you don't want to find out when you're defending yourself that it takes you 10 extra seconds to open your blade.
That's time you don't have. So, choosing the perfect pocket knife to fit your needs is something to iron out before you need your knife.
When you’re choosing the best pocket knife for your excursions, look at the quality, versatility, and durability. Luckily, we've laid some of that out for you.
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What’s so Good About Kershaw Knives?
The company itself is quite well-known, and its blades are a priority for many campers, hunters, and fishermen along with general knife enthusiasts.
They manufacture the Kershaw line in Japan, the United States, and China. Incidentally, the same company also parents Zero Tolerance and Shun knives.
We’re also confident about its quality since the Kershaw pocket knife has a partnership with Ken Onion. The latter is a renowned knife maker and also invented a SpeedSafe knife opening mechanism for fast blade deployment.
With this is every Kershaw pocket knife, you can depend upon a quick and safe knife use that’s also legal.
What’s more, Kershaw pocket knives are also kind of a celebrity favorite. You can see them in several shows, including “Driven to Kill” and “Desperate Housewives.” However, this fame is also backed up by the sheer quality plus durability of the blades themselves.
Finally, you aren’t just limited to one Kershaw pocket knife when you go for this brand. You get a large variety of prices, steel types, and blade lengths with Kershaw. There’s a Kershaw pocket knife for every need.
How We Reviewed
We’ve reviewed some of the best Kershaw knives below for your benefit. This way, you can gauge the sheer variety available regarding features, uses, and specifications.
We’ve included different lengths, price ranges, and other aspects to make sure there’s something for every user. Plus, we’ve made sure that each Kershaw pocket knife here has a decently high consumer feedback rating.
The DifFerent Varieties in a Kershaw Pocket Knife
When you set out to choose the best Kershaw pocket knife, you might get confused by the varieties available. These include folding knives, keychain knives, and options with features other than blades, such as a money clip or bottle opener.
You might want to consider all of this before making your final purchasing decision.
The Kershaw Brawler pocket knife is a folding variety with a four-position reversible pocket clip. It weighs 3.9 ounces and has a 3-inch blade. The blade is stainless steel with great edge retention and a black-oxide finish.
It’s also resistant to corrosion and has the unique SpeedSafe opening mechanism. The Tanto edge makes it suitable for outdoor excursions as well as indoor chores like opening boxes.
Customers love the secure liner lock and the convenience of this knife for several tasks. They also appreciate that this is a versatile yet discreet blade for taking on hunting trips as well as opening cans while camping.
On the downside, some users claim that the steel is on the soft side and prone to wearing away. Plus, you can’t use it for really heavy-duty tasks.
With the Kershaw Cyro, you’ll get the SpeedSafe mechanism, but that’s about all it shares with the Brawler. It has a 2.75-inch blade with a tough stainless steel blade.
That makes it suitable for the pocket of any hunter, electrician, hiker, backpacker, camper, or landscaper. The steel has a coat of titanium carbo-nitride in a matte-gray color, which enhances the hardness and durability of the overall item.
User reviews have appreciated how useful this knife is in just about any situation. They report that its stylish look has them highly satisfied, while the removable pocket clip is an innovative addition.
On the other hand, some users do report that the weight isn’t too light for the size.
The Kershaw Blur is a pocket knife available in several attractive color combinations. It has a 34-inch blade with an anodized handle made of aluminum. It also has that Kershaw SpeedSafe mechanism along with black inserts and a reversible pocket clip.
The reviews for this knife are glowing with praise for the easy opening, which users can accomplish with one hand. The inserts also provide easy and comfy carrying, while the safe liner lock and high-quality materials make sure everything is safe and sound.
Of course, the high price is something that makes us pause here, especially as the features seem to be about the same as other options. However, the quality and excellent grip seem to make it worthwhile for most users.
This Kershaw Shuffle pocket knife has a short 3.4-inch blade with a bead-blasted finish. It also has a bottle opener as well as a flathead screwdriver in addition to the blade.
That could hence be an affordable, minimal alternative to a Swiss Army knife. The total weight is 2.8 ounces, which is quite lightweight considering all the tools inside.
Customers love the corrosion-resistant blade as well as the edge retention of this knife. They also appreciate the comfy feel of the contoured nylon, glass-filled handle with an exclusive Kershaw texture.
Plus, they enjoy opening the knife with one hand while feeling secure with the liner lock. However, there have been some complaints about the pocket clip being too small and stiff.
The Kershaw Leek is among the most highly rated knives for this brand. It also has a great value for its price, giving you the function of higher-end options.
It has a thin handle, a slender drop-point blade, and a slim profile for easy portability. While it might seem small, it’s actually built to last and can handle rough usage or even dropping.
Customers appreciate that they can open this knife with their thumb or index finger. They also love the slenderness, as they can easily slip it into a pocket or purse.
However, there have been some reports of the thin handle causing hand strain if you use it for too long.
The pricing for an average Kershaw pocket knife is somewhat hard to pin down. That is because the prices listed on Amazon and other reliable selling platforms are extremely varied for this brand.
Some of the options we’ve discussed above are as cheap as $10, while others may go up to almost $80. However, the Kershaw Blur seems to be the most expensive option on average, with the Kershaw Shuffle being the cheapest.
Comparison Between Kershaw Pocket Knife and Other Brands
We now come to comparing different brands of pocket knives with the Kershaw offerings. It’s important to know which other options are available, as you might require different features than Kershaw offers.
The main point is to get the best pocket knife according to your budget and need, so you should read the comparisons between Kershaw pocket knife and other brands and make the best decision accordingly.
Gerber EAB Pocket Knife
The Gerber EAB knife is a short option with a 4.1-inch length when open. When closed, it measures 2.4 inches, which is shorter than some of the blades on the Kershaw knives.
The pocket clip can also act as a money clip, which is good enough for multitasking.
While this knife may be much shorter than a Kershaw one, the thousands of reviews do bear witness to the utility provided. The blades are also exchangeable, which is a feature not offered in any Kershaw knife.
The lightweight and compact appearance and the affordable price are more attractive knife features.
Unfortunately, the handle is quite smooth and doesn’t give you the same grip as the Kershaw texture. Plus, this knife may be entirely too small for large hands.
Master USA MU-A002 Series Folding Knife
For a simple self-defense option, this Master USA pocket knife is a popular choice. With a 3.23-inch blade, the knife can close to 4.5 inches and easily slide into any pocket. Like the Kershaw knives, it also has a pocket clip for stable carrying.
The color options here are varied, which isn’t something usually offered with Kershaw (apart from the Kershaw Blur). That's a handy feature, as you might want a unique color for easy spotting or a neutral one for discreet carrying. The spring-assisted opening mechanism is also handy if you’re in a hurry to get your knife ready.
However, self-defense is about all you can do with this option, as the blade is not for cutting wood, gutting fish, or slicing through ropes.
Imperial IMP16S Stockman Stainless Steel
This Imperial IMP16S Stockman is a folding pocket knife with a polyoxymethylene (POM) handle. That makes it suitable for hunting, camping, and many outdoor activities. There are three attachments here, much like the Kershaw Shuffle.
However, the tools provided, other than the main blade, are a sheepsfoot blade measuring 2.5 inches and another blade equipped with nail pulls.
Customers for this knife love the gray pearl-swirled handle along with the compact folding option. They also like the choice of three blades, heavy-duty brass bolsters, and heat-treated springs.
While the stainless steel blade is durable and easy to sharpen, this also means the whole thing is a little heavier than most Kershaw knives.
SOG Keychain Knife
The SOG keychain pocket knife provides a discreet option for anyone in need of a self-defense weapon. The handle is key-shaped, so you can easily fold the blade inside and hang it on your keychain.
That would come in handy when you’re feeling threatened or just need a knife on hand to open boxes and packaging. There are also some interesting color options, including black, brass, and printed zebra or cougar designs.
Even though the shape of this knife is unusual, customers usually don’t have an issue with holding it comfortably. However, the unorthodox shape has put some people off, which isn’t a complaint you're likely to have with Kershaw.
Still, the key handle has teeth to provide a no-slip grip for your safety. The blade might be too light for more than a light cutting, so we’re not sure how useful this option is.
Kershaw Pocket Knives: Pros and Cons
Before making any final decisions, we should look at the pros and cons of getting a Kershaw pocket knife. Let’s discuss them briefly below.
What Makes Kershaw The Winner Among Other Brands?
The unique aspect of any Kershaw knife is the SpeedSafe closing mechanism. That makes it possible for users to open their knives with one hand, which is a safer and quicker option.
Since many automatic knives are declared illegal in the US, this option makes it possible for you to stay within the law.
The other main pros include the durability, quality materials, comfortable handles, and excellent performance of Kershaw knives. With affordable prices to boot, you can be sure of having an excellent experience with each option.
What makes Kershaw Fall Behind Other Brands?
A Kershaw pocket knife might perform well, but there have been quite a few complaints about them not being up to heavy tasks.
However, that's not their purpose. They have a separate sub-brand called Zero Tolerance for heavy-duty, military blades.
Some other complaints about these knives may be that they don’t have interchangeable blades or the option of having several blades in one handle.
That makes them a less versatile choice than, for example, the Imperial IMP16S Stockman. The interchangeable blade feature on the Gerber EAB knife is convenient for changing blades when one wears out.
So, Is a Kershaw Pocket Knife Really Better than Other Pocket Knives?
While there might be some features that other knives offer and Kershaw doesn't, we’d still say that Kershaw is the best option.
After all, they have an excellent brand reputation, decent pricing, thousands of glowing reviews for each item, and have a tried-and-tested performance every time.
So don’t wait around! Go and grab a Kershaw pocket knife so you can always stay prepared while camping.
Featured Image via Flickr