Friday, August 23, 2013

A tale of two....


As you are well aware, I'm not one to do product reviews.  That being said, here's one. Warning, lots of pics. For me, anyways.

For a long time now I've been living on those 10 dollar blister pack folding knives for EDC.  I figured it was time to 1) Stop doing that, and 3) Look at getting an assisted opening one for EDC.  Being the cheap pilot that I am, I didn't want to spend 5 bajillion dollars on something that was going to get used, abused and possibly lost.  So, after hunting around and talking to a couple of people I picked out 2 knives for my initial foray into the Pocket Knife arena.

The Kershaw Cryo and the CRKT K.I.S.S. ASSist.

Both knives  were available for under $50. Both approximately the same length folded as well as blade length.  Each used a different assist method.  The Kershaw with it's flipper and the CRKT using their patented Fire Safe (tm) system.  I've carried both for only a couple of days each now and I wanted to get my initial reactions down.  First off, neither knife came in a blister pack, so you didn't need a knife to open the knife. If you know what I mean.   The Kershaw had a standard blade while the CRKT had a tanto style blade.

Out of the box, the CRKT disappointed me with it's relatively poor initial edge.  While the Kershaw was, out of the factory, sharpened nicely enough to shave the hair off my arm.  I suppose any knife sharpener at a gun show could improve the edge on the CRKT, but I'm just one of those guys that likes things to be right out of the box. Point to Kershaw. Other than that, I much prefer the tanto blade style.  It's held up better to the uses I put knives to over any other cut.

Other things.  In the above pics, you'll notice the CRKT has a much longer pocket clip than the Kershaw.  In fact the Kershaw's clip was small enough that I sometimes had problems trying to catch the clip on the pocket edge and the Kershaw also sometimes wouldn't slide on easily.  But neither knife felt like it was too loose or would accidentally work out of the pocket.  And it may be that the Kershaw clip just needs to be worked in a bit more. But point to CRKT on the clip length.  But, the clip on the CRKT can only be mounted in the one spot, so if you're left handed or like to keep your knife on your off side, then you'll be fumbling with the knife to get it spun around to open.  The Kershaw, on the other hand has 4 positions that the clip can be mounted to.  Meaning, tip up or tip down, strong side or off side, the knife can be clipped such that you can one handed draw and open the knife without any fumbling to get it into position.  Point to Kershaw and that ties the knives up in the clip department.

Both use assisted opening mechanisms.  Of the two.  I have to give it to Kershaw's system.  Much easier to use than the CRKT, never failed to go all the way open and locked, no matter how I tried to soft flip it. Very simple. Place your finger on the stud, press down and it's open and locked.  The system on the CRKT on the other hand took me a minute to get used to and a bit of practice to get down to the point of muscle memory. It's a two step process to open. You press down on the stud with your thumb and then press outward to open the knife. And I found if you soft press it outward, it sometimes wouldn't fully open and lock.  That's a biggie with me.  I want a folder to positively open and lock when I open it. Speaking of, the locking mechanisms for the two knives.  The Kershaw uses a frame lock and the CRKT uses a stud lock.  Both are solid and about on par for getting unlocked.  But I'm giving this to Kershaw. You need less fine motor movement to disengage the Kershaw lock than the CRKT's. I tried to take close ups of the locking mechanisms, the pics are a bit fuzzy, but here they are anyway.

You can see in the top pic, the upper right is the stud that you have to press down and push out to open and to the left of the brass colored pivot is the lock. If you use my thumb in the lower right as reference you can see how small that unlock stud is.  Verses the Kershaw where you just have to sweep the frame lock out of the way.

Neither knife is especially uncomfortable in the pocket.  Not too heavy, not too wide to sit on.  Although as you can sort of see, the CRKT is much thinner. 

In fact the CRKT with clip was no wider than the Kershaw without. But again, I haven't run into that as an issue carrying either.  I suppose if I have a day where I'm driving 5 or 10 hours, but we'll see when that happens. 

Other things, the Kershaw blade folds down into the frame with the entire blade covered.  The CRKT when closed only has a guard that covers the edge on the outer half of the blade. The paranoid lizard part of my brain kept looking at the knife and saying, "you're gonna cut your hand open every time you open that fool thing!" Style wise, I do prefer the CRKT over the Kershaw.

Overall, I've been leaning towards the Kershaw for what I'll grab off the dresser when I get dressed in the morning.  But again, I've only been carrying either for a couple of days each.  We'll see what long term sees, I guess.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Good review, and yeah my hind brain had the same reaction to the CRKT...

My Kershaw is my travel knife, lives in the bag all the time.