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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Kershaw Needs Work Knife

New knife - new backdrop fabric!
When I was handed this knife I asked what it was called. Ovbiously a Kershaw, scribed on the pocket clip, but I wanted to know the model name.

"Needs Work."

I almost laughed. I double checked the tag and the box. Maybe I'm missing the funny, but that's a really strange name for a knife, don't you think?

Despite it's namesake, the Kershaw Needs Work is an outstanding EDC companion knife. I wouldn't call it much more than that but seeing as I'm not a self-proclaimed 'expert' on knives, your mileage may vary.

This knife was designed by Ken Onion, renowned knife-crafter signed on with Kershaw. It features a drop point blade, a glass filled - nylon handle, an assisted open mechanism and an internal lock, to keep it open when it's open.

At first, I was also thrown back by the blade shape. I have still yet to see something like this and to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure if there's a relevant purpose behind it, or if it's mainly a cosmetic enhancement. The blade is strong, smooth and sharp - right out of the box. Passed the fingernail test with flying colours and slices through paper with little effort at all. It's quoted as a utility knife that's 'perfect for everyday carry' on Kershaw's website. With a consumer price of 64 dollars, it's not too heavy on the wallet either.

The handle has a set of circular patterns on each side. I'm sure this was clearly thought out by Ken as it not only looks decent but the top circle nicely fits the top of my thumb into it while using the knife for daily cutting activities. A nice little add-on that is probably looked over as the blade appears to be styled kind of 'space-age' but a practical design, through and through.

The knife flicks open with authority. It's assisted by a spring mechanism called the Ken Onion Speedsafe system. There is a thumb tab on the outside of the knife that triggers the blade into opening. It's just big enough to use, but not so big as to be cumbersome or in the way for the every day carrier. This knife, though matte black and very snappy, is probably not going to fall so quickly under the 'tactical' label. I guess you have to review your own philosophy of use when considering this knife for purchase. Users should check with local law enforcement before purchasing this type of blade as spring assisted knives are not legal everywhere.

The clip is awesome. Like any Kershaw knife I've ever handled, the clip is strong and springy. I'm not sure that you'd warp this spring out of regular use. I've seen pocket clips wear so easily that within a week or so of regular, standard civilian use, the knife can't even retain itself on the inside of a pocket. It's held in place by two screws, another Kershaw standard. You've got two points of pressure when the clip bends in or out - I like to think that spreads the forces out a bit so as not to focus all the pressure on one point.

There is a small hole on the bottom of the handle for tying on a lanyard or attaching the knife to some sort of retention system. We haven't done this yet, but it's definitely possible.

The locking liner has a grooved lip, easily caught by your thumb when closing the blade back into the handle. It's strong enough to withstand normal use but to be honest, I wouldn't go digging into drywall or trying to pry something apart with this knife. As nutnfancy calls it, I'd reserve this knife for the 'gentleman's EDC' crowd. There's nothing wrong with that either - every tool has it's use.

The Kershaw 'Needs Work' fits the bill for a certain type of chore. Would I take this knife on a hike? Absolutely. Would I take it to work? Everyday. Would I take it as a 'fix-all' into the woods? Probably not. Would I take it as the only option? No.

It sits nicely in the pocket and works when it needs to. There's certain mountains I'm afraid this one won't be able to climb but overall, a quality knife at a price-point that won't take appendages with it.

1 comment:

  1. "blade appears to be styled kind of 'space-age' but a practical design"

    Actually this design has far less space-ageness to it and is grounded in history.