The Best Kershaw Knives For EDC
Kershaw Knives have been around for a while and their catalog boasts a wide assortment of folding knives, fixed-blade knives, camping knives and more. Probably best known for their folding knives, Kershaw offers a lot of knives for not too much money.
Today, I am picking my favorite Kershaw Knives for Everyday Carry. If you’re looking for a decent knife to use for everyday tasks, Kershaw has several good options.
Since we are focusing on Kershaw EDC knives most of these will be some sort of folding pocket knife. The list below was made up of Kershaw knives that we actually own or have used ourselves for an extended period of time.
In no particular order, let’s look at some Kershaw EDC knives!
The Kershaw Shuffle DIY Pocket Knife is the perfect knife for anyone who likes to be prepared for anything. Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or just someone who likes to be able to fix things around the house, this knife will come in handy. It’s a great folding pocket knife that’s super affordable, so you won’t have to break the bank to get one. The blade is made of high-quality stainless steel and it has a nice, sharp edge that will make quick work of any task. The handle is comfortable to hold and has a lanyard hole so you can keep it close at hand. This knife also comes with a handy carrying case so you can keep it safe and sound when you’re not using it.
Looking for a pocket knife that’s both stylish and functional? Then check out the Kershaw Blur. The Blur has been around for a number of years. This knife was designed by famous knife designer Ken Onion and it’s a robust folder that’s perfect for everyday carry. I really like the textured rubber inserts on the handle. I have had my Blur for several years and I used to carry it all the time but some more expensive blades have taken their place, The Kershaw Blur also has a convenient reversible pocket clip for easy carrying. So if you’re looking for a knife that’s both stylish and practical, then the Kershaw Blur is the perfect choice for you.
I bought my scallion a few years ago when my Lowes used to actually have some cool knives. This guy is an assisted-opening little demon and the blade flies out when you flick the flipper tab. The knife is decent for the money and comes with nicely anodized scales, a stone-washed blade, and of course a pocket clip. The blade is just shy of 2.5” and when folded it disappears in your pocket. Super sharp out of the box and the 420HC blade is nothing fancy; it does sharpen easily.
The Cryo was a very popular knife a few years ago. It’s a little heavy and bulky but that also makes it stout and hard to use. Kershaw uses 8Cr13MoV on many of their mid-tier knives and I have to say they must do a better job on the heat treat or something in the extrusion. Their 8Cr13MoV blades seem to hold up much better than others I have used. Again, not a fancy steel by today’s standard but this is a lot of knives for under $50
The Leek is an EDC knife that everyone who is into knives should at least own once. One of the classic fidget knives out there it comes in several styles and colors. I recommend the frame lock version as it feels a little sturdier in hand and also slims it down compared to the liner lock versions. The knife is very pointy and the tip will break if you pry too much with it. But the wicked fast blade deployment is fun and makes you feel like a street thug. As for EDC, it’s a good solid knife with a small footprint. It’s not hard to use, but can easily cut heavy rope and rip through a lot of cardboard.
Looking for a solidly built, all-purpose pocket knife that won’t let you down? This would be a good choice then. I don’t know if Kershaw actually produces this any more but it’s one heck of an EDC knife. I have had mine forever. I love the short pocket clip and thin overall footprint when in your hand. The sleek handle is comfortable to hold and provides a firm grip, even when your hands are wet. It’s a non-assisted flipper that has some decent bearings because it’s quite snappy on deployment for being a manual knife. The blade is razor-sharp and perfect for both slicing and precision cutting. The handle has a textured grip for added control and comfort. The blade locks securely into place with the liner lock mechanism.
The Turismo is going to be of those Kershaw that people will buy multiple variations of. It’s a fantastic little EDC knife. I don’t know who writes the Amazon descriptions, but besides the knife being “unisex” ( see the crazy descrition) it’s also a fantastic slicer. My complaint is that it’s a little finicky to get the hang of the deployment with the flipper tab. If you can get past that and practice you will be fine.
Kershaw Emerson CQC-10K
The Kershaw Emerson is a sturdy and reliable knife that is perfect for Hunting or heavy duty EDC tasks. The frame lock assures that the open blade remains stable and secure and has great lock-up when you open it. The scales are pre-drilled so it can be carried on the left or right-hand side. The beauty of the Emerson design is the tab on the blade spine. This tab catches on your pocket when you remove the knife and assist in opening it. It takes a little practice but you will see why the Emerson design is so popular. The blade is made of 8Cr14MoV steel that provides decent strength, hardness and the ability to hold an edge but also be easy to sharpen. The blaze has a stonewash finish so it will be a little more resistant to corrosion. This is one of the cheapest Emerson knives out there.
This is the case of don’t let the small size fool you. I’ve found that I really like this Kershaw multi-function knife because it’s uniquely small, but not too small. I can still get a good grip on the knife to do everyday tasks like cutting tape inside or small, easy wood carving. This also makes a great key-chain knife and the bottle opener on the opposite side comes in handy. It’s also very fidget friendly!
The Barstow uses cheaper steel but it does look cool. Is that a good enough reason to own a knife? Sometimes I think it is. The dagger style gives the folder a boot knife feel to it. It’s a great EDC knife and while the steel is average, it does get the job done. This knife has Kershaw’s “speed assist” and is a liner lock. The 3” blade made of 8Cr13MoV steel is easy to sharpen. The Kershaw Barstow has proven to be a good budget-friendly knife.
We reviewed the Static in-depth when we put it up to the Gerber Flatiron in a cleaver knife challenge. We liked it then and a year later we still like it. The manual flipper is still going strong and the knife gets faster as the bushing wears in. If you like a cleaver style blade for your EDC or cutting tasks, this guy is a decent deal.
If I’m being honest, I actually hate this knife, but everyone else loves it, perhaps I am wrong. It is a cheap feeling knife and even after 2+ years of owning it I don’t think the blade deploys any better. On the other hand, it’s got a lot going for it for a sub $20 knife. It’s a liner lock with a reversible pocket clip. The scales have a little carbon fiber detailing and give the guy a much better look to it. At first glance, it doesn’t look like a budget knife.
This Kershaw Grinder knife is great for $20 but the handle is a little slippery under hard use. The look of this knife has more of a combat feel. I do have to say that the description says this knife opens up super quickly, but it’s average at best. It’s not the fastest opening knife I’ve used, but it does work well for everyday tasks. It also has a cool style and the deep carry pocket clip is just right to slide onto your jeans.
The Kershaw Link has been around for a few years and has several different variations. My first Link and still my favorite is the 118034, it has a stonewashed blade and polymer scales. The second generation went to aluminum scales and then later ones have shaped scales. Starting to get to the upper limits of what I think a Kershaw is worth, but it is USA made. The Kershaw Link is an okay knife because it is extremely durable and has a solid construction. It also has a unique design with a pull back on the flipper that I actually really like, as well as an easy grip handle that ensures it’s easy to use when you need it. The “speed safe” assisted opening here is very snappy.
You don’t see this around a lot and I don’t know why, it’s an awesome pocket knife and feels well-constructed. It’s probably the best deal on the list! The Inception is a surprisingly great knife, but nobody ever talks about it. I’ve found that this knife is made with D2 high-carbon tool steel, which makes the knife corrosion-resistant compared to some of the cheaper steels you see around this price point. For my left-handers, you’ll like this knife as the pocket clip is easily switched back and forth between the left and right-hand carry! The Inception is a practical knife with a sharp cutting ability, which is super important to me when looking for a knife. I like the sleek look of the Kershaw Inception and how it performs in the hand.
Kershaw Knife FAQ’s
What Makes a Good EDC Knife?
We have talked extensively on Tech Writer on how to pick an EDC knife and why you need to always carry an EDC knife. As far as what makes a knife a good EDC, to me it’s a combination of value, quality constructions and something that you look forward to using every day. A good EDC knife will be easy to sharpen, easy to deploy one-handed and be able to handle your daily tasks. Now that is where choosing the right one is important.
If you work in a tougher job or more hands-on environment you will want a more robust knife. If you work in an office setting and just need a knife to cut your apple and some Amazon boxes you don’t need an overbuilt folder. Make sure to match the knife to your needs.
Are Kershaw Knives Any Good?
A lot goes into saying whether one knife brand is better than another or is a knife brand good as a whole. I can tell you from personal experience that I have some really awesome Kershaw knives, the Leek being one of them. I have also been sorely disappointed in a few I have purchased.
Kershaw makes a variety of knives, from EDC knives to hunting knives. And while they’re all well-made and durable, it’s hard to say if they’re truly the best. In terms of EDC knives, Kershaw offers a lot of great options. Kershaw offers pocket knives across a wide range of prices from $20 beaters to a few over $100.
But they also sell a lot of cheap garbage knives. Sorry, it’s just the truth. So many of their $20 knives are just junk and should be avoided. If you spend around $40 – $60 which to me is the kershaw sweet spot, you will have a good experience.
So, are Kershaw Knives any good? It depends on what you’re looking for. But if you need a well-made and durable knife, Kershaw is a great choice. I think their knives in the $40 – $50 range are the place to spend your money.
Is Kershaw as Good as Benchmade?
I always find these questions funny when people compare knife brands. You have to look at the specifications and construction details of an individual knife to decide which knife is usually better. Benchmade is more of a higher-end, premium knife makes that uses high caliber steels and more proprietary designs. Kershaw on the other hand is more of a budget-friendly brand.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his clients websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.