For a prepper, no other multi-function tool is as important as pocket survival knives, like the ones made by Kershaw. You can use one for preparing meals, building structures, defending yourself, and improvising in the wild.
So what is the best Kershaw knife? My personal favorite is the Kershaw Blur Pocket Knife. It accomplishes all the previous tasks without being difficult to carry around. You may keep this space-saving and lightweight tool in your pocket or latch it into your bag or jacket.
Reviews of the Best Portable Kershaw Knives
1. Kershaw Blur Pocket Knife
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Many of Kershaw’s offerings stand out for their striking colors. One of those is the Kershaw Blur Pocket Knife. Finding this knife when you drop it in a grassy field or rocky path will not be that hard, owing to its blue-colored handle that stands out.
Its curved blade is made from Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel, which is known to be a tough and rust resistant metal. The blade’s shape helps improve its piercing and cutting capabilities, making it a versatile knife.
The Blur Navy Blue’s handle is also shaped in such a way that makes it comfortable to hold, regardless of the size of your hands. Furthermore, it will not slip easily, thanks to its Trac-Tec grip-tap feature.
SpeedSafe is another noteworthy feature of the knife. With this, you can quickly open the folding blade by pushing the thumb stud placed on the blade. However, some users say that the thumb stud is too sharp, which may render the SpeedSafe feature not as safe as it sounds.
A lot of users stress the efficiency of the Blur Navy Blue. They regard it as one of the most cost-effective knives within the price range. Some like the knife to the point that they buy the other products under the Blur collection.
- Comfortable and secure grip
- Striking appearance
- Rust resistant
- Too sharp thumb stud
- A bit difficult to sharpen
- Requires adjustments to improve blade sharpness
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2. Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife
As its name implies, the Kershaw Brawler is a tough knife. It owes its strength to its 8Cr13MoV steel blade and modified tanto shape. You can see this blade shape in the majority of rescue and tactical knives that are known for their ability to pierce through hard materials.
Its all-black appearance is another remarkable feature of the knife. With this color, stains on the blade and handle tend to be less visible.
Just like the Kershaw Blur, Kershaw Brawler also possesses the SpeedSafe feature. However, the latter has a flipper that you may use instead of the thumb stud. The flipper allows you to open the knife safely and manually. You can also hold the said part to ensure better grip.
The knife has glass-filled nylon scales for its handle. The material is known to be lightweight. As such, the handle may feel too light to hold.
Ease of maintenance is one of the best features of this knife as claimed by many users. Aside from its stain resistant appearance, the blade doesn’t dull up as much as the blades of other knives, so you will not likely re-sharpen it all the time. On the rare occasions that you will, re-sharpening the blade will be quick and easy, thanks to its straight edges. As one user remarked, it only needs to be re-sharpened once every two to three months.
- Stain resistant
- Easy to open
- Requires less re-sharpening
- Too light to hold
- Too basic design
- Not as shiny as other blades
3. Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife
Designed by expert knife-maker Ken Onion, the Kershaw Leek is one sleek knife, owing to its stainless steel blade and handle. Aside from its shine, the blade and handle are worth mentioning for their strength. You can use it as a hammer alternative when you are making your survival retreat. But such strength comes with a price, and that is additional weight.
Its Sandvik 14C28N steel blade has a simple drop-point shape. The said shape makes re-sharpening and wiping the blade easy. Ideally, it makes the knife ideal for piercing tasks as well. However, the tip of the Leek may be a bit fragile, so you have to be careful when using it to pierce wood or any other material.
While its handle is sturdy and glossy, it tends to be slippery. Therefore, it may not be a good survival knife if you encounter emergencies. Nevertheless, the handle has a smooth surface, which is an advantage if you are going to hold the knife in either hand. It also has a pre-drilled lanyard hole that you can use to attach a lanyard or a ring.
The Leek’s appearance is well-liked by users. However, many of them express their disappointment about its reduced functionality. But with its price range, they consider the knife as fairly priced.
- Glossy look
- Efficient for piercing
- Easy to maintain blade
- Slippery handle
- A bit heavy
- Requires additional maintenance for the handle
4. Kershaw Link Knife
The mold of its handle may not be as sophisticated as the other knives offered by Kershaw. But if you are fond of classic-looking items though, the Kershaw Link Knife is going to be a great option for you.
Meanwhile, its 420HC stainless steel drop-point blade is notable for being rust resistant. The high chromium and carbon content in the blade’s steel is responsible for the anti-corrosive property of the knife, as well as its sturdiness.
Its blade doesn’t lean towards the glossy side as well. The blackwash look makes it seem that it is worn out.
However, such appearance is not a disadvantage when you consider how it enhances blade protection. The backwash also helps in concealing stains like fingerprints, watermarks and scratches.
A lot of buyers are satisfied with its sharpness. Other knives require sharpening first before you can use them but the Link Gray doesn’t.
Many users love its price as well. For an American-made knife, it is already one of the cheapest among the decent knives out there.
- Rust resistant
- Enhanced blade protection
- Stain resistant
- Slippery handle
- Worn out appearance
- A bit tacky
5. Kershaw Dividend Knife
The Kershaw Dividend Knife looks a lot like the Kershaw Leek, but only a bit bigger. Its anodized aluminum handle has a clean and smooth surface, which makes it slippery at times but bearable to keep in your pocket.
The gray handle is noticeably curved as well. This helps improve grip and reduce the possibility that the knife may open while it is inside or attached to your pocket, belt, bag or jacket.
This pocketknife also has a three-inch long 420HC stainless steel blade which is ideal for slicing. It works fine when you use it to cut meat, fruits, stems and cloths.
When closed, Kershaw Dividend is only 4.25 inches long and has a side profile of less than half an inch. It is smaller than many survival knives but it tends to be more durable.
To open it, you just need to push the flipper gently. The flipper is part of the blade. Its SpeedSafe technology lets the knife open without much hassle. The flipper is also valuable in establishing a firm grip.
Some users complain about the need to sharpen this knife often. However, others note that the said task doesn’t require much time and effort due to the blade’s drop-point design.
- Ideal for slicing
- Clean look
- Not comfortable to hold
- Slippery handle
- Requires frequent re-sharpening
Uses of a Survival Knife
Survivalism involves a lot of improvising. While you can create or modify many things using only your bare hands, it is faster and more convenient to use a tool like a survival knife.
Of all the available preppers’ tools out there, why should you prioritize hunting for a good knife? Unless you can name another tool that can do the following without being burdensome to carry, then it might be best to focus on the questions how, where, and what to buy. Below are the multiple uses of survival knives that make it a must-have tool for prepping.
Be it peeling a wild fruit or opening canned food, your survival knife can do both. You can also utilize the tool for hunting, skinning, cleansing, and slicing your game.
A survival knife can be used to cut bandages and cloth, but make sure it is clean. With the help of this tool, you may also cut leaves, flowers, stems or barks from medicinal plants in the wild.
Wild animals thrive in the territories that many preppers are bound to. While avoidance is the best way to deal with them, you should also know how to carry out self-defense when you are faced with any one of them.
Your knife is one of the basic self-defense tools you can have. You may also use it in sharpening the tips of woods to serve as your improvised spears.
Aside from spears, you can use your knife to make food sticks, animal traps, fish hooks and many other improvised tools out of wood. Some survivalists go as far as making bows and arrows using only a survival knife as a tool.
Modifying and grooming
When the thread of your shirt gets caught in a branch, you may need to cut it off using a knife. The tool may also serve as an alternative to scissors for cutting your hair.
A good knife is extremely useful in making tinder. You can combine additional combustible materials like dried leaves and twigs to the tinder you made. Afterwards, you can utilize the knife’s blade to scrape your flint to ignite a fire.
How to Choose a Kershaw Pocket Knife – Buyer’s Guide
The main features of a survival knife that you should be looking for are durability, efficiency and ease of maintenance. Unlike kitchen knives and throwing knives, a survival knife should be able to handle multiple and varying applications well, without getting dull quickly. It should also be easy to clean because you might not have access to water all the time.
Stainless Steel Blades
Stainless steel is among the toughest, yet affordable materials used in blades. This is less prone to rust as well.
Easy to Carry
Like most types of switchblades, a folding blade does not require a pouch, sheath or case. As its name suggests, the blade can be folded back into the handle. You can then attach it into your gear or put it in your pocket.
Efficient Locking Systems for Folding Blades
A folding blade is usually easier to carry than its counterpart, the fixed blade. Even though the latter is not as convenient, it still has its fair share of advantages. For example, it tends to fare better when it comes to splitting woods because it is less likely to fold along the way.
To make up for its potential disadvantage, your survival knife should have an efficient locking system. This feature will prevent the knife from folding inadvertently while you are using it.
It should let you have a firm and comfortable grip even if your hands are sweating. Without a good grip, you might accidentally drop the knife and hurt yourself. Aside from the material, the size and shape of the handle also play a role in providing an ideal grip.
Easy to Maintain
Apart from wiping the blade and handle, you are going to do re-sharpening as part of your survival knife’s maintenance. You may also need to take the parts apart to get rid of dirt that might have accumulated inside the knife’s handle. For this, you will need a small screw driver to assemble and disassemble the parts of your knife.
A survival knife with a compass or bottle opener seems advantageous. However, the special features may just complicate how you handle it. Pick something with a simple design instead. Aside from better grip, a simple survival knife is also easier to fix and clean.
Fake and substandard survival knives do exist. These knives are generally offered at a very low price.
While their price is very attractive, you might not want to have such kind of knives. Their blades are too feeble so they might not cut efficiently. They might also rust quickly.
You have to be careful when you choose a survival knife because it is not only frustrating to find out that yours is a dud, it can also be dangerous. Its rust may contaminate your food or drink. Moreover, its blade may detach and pierce your skin accidentally.
Survival Knife Usage and Maintenance Tips
- As much as possible, do not use your survival knife as a digging tool. If you do, you will have to clean and sharpen it frequently.
- Wipe the knife’s handle and blade, as well as your hands before using the tool. This is to minimize the possible slips when holding the knife.
- Folding blades don’t require sheath and you may simply attach them to your pocket or belt with their clips. But for additional safety, you may want to grab some leather sheath.
- Do not use your knife to roast. The heat can degrade the quality of the blade and melt the handle if it is not made from materials that can handle extreme heat.
My Choice for the Best Kershaw Knife
Once gain, my top pick for the best Kershaw knife is the Kershaw Blur Pocket Knife. As a prepper, you are going to benefit from its durability and ease of maintenance.
Its toughness makes it usable in more applications. It will not break easily as well when you accidentally drop it or intentionally use it to hit hard objects in the wild.
Additionally, you don’t need to sharpen and clean it as much as you would other knives.