I think this folding knife is a fantastic everyday carry blade. The price is low; sub-$30 as of now and its looks cool. Plus, after more than 2 months of it being my primary E.D.C. blade I can rightfully say that it brings more than interesting looks and affordability to the table. Let me fill you in on the details now.
The pointy-as-hell 3.2″ (8.1cm) Wharncliffe blade on this thing is composed of 8Cr13MoV steel. I have used this knife quite a bit as it helped me get through two short-notice moves. The edge is still very usable and it “passes” the paper cut test if you ask me. As you may have noticed this knife switches between an non-coated, ground steel finish and a gray paint. The gray paint that is on the blade is hanging in there. Even though it is scuffed up, it hasn’t chipped or peeled away despite being on a high stress area of the blade. The other data point to cover on the blade is the flipper, which is kind of small. At first, it felt a little rough on the index finger but after a day of fiddling with the knife and a night’s nest, I think my body adapted through whatever means it had and so now, it isn’t uncomfortable.
Of course the flipper is part of the action of the knife so that is what I shall speak on next. As one could expect with any sub-$30 folding knife, the Kershaw Deadline was a little rough out of the box. It had to be whipped opened about 40 times to noticeably smoothen out. The action uses two of Kershaw’s KVT caged ball bearing washers to keep it running but it doesn’t feel much better than your standard budget Kershaw folder. It’s not lackluster trash but it certainly isn’t magic. I suspect you would have to get into the higher, $100 range of folding knives if you want something with crazy slick ball bearings. Though, if you are like me then you will still appreciate a good manual action knife like this. They got the detent pressure right and all the other features combine to make for a fun knife to pay with. The last bit of the action that needs to be mentioned is the liner lock. It isn’t obvious and it took me till the first moments I got it to realize what I was looking at. For one, the part that you normally contact with your thumb during closing is subtle in nature. They could have made it a hair larger in surface area but oh well, I guess. The spring that powers it, is part of the scale. I like to refer to it as a tongue or peninsula spring given how it attaches to the rest of the scale by of a small section. One more bit before moving on. When I first got this knife in the mail, the liner lock would occasionally fail to fully engage with the blade upon opening. This meant that the knife wasn’t actually locked so it would want to pinch your hand with the flipper if there was enough pressure on the spine of the blade to make it start closing. This issue worked itself out in a matter of a week.
Onto the handle. Even though this knife looks smooth what with its ground steel surfaces and a lack of any obvious texturing, it still provides a secure grip. The finger groves are correctly scaled for my large sized hands. With a normal, causal grip each finger finds its place comfortably. The finger choil, which is just the finger grove for the index finger, is dead serious. It reminds me of the Kershaw Skyline because of this. That knife’s finger choil made the knife seemingly lock into your hand. Another grip added feature with this knife comes from the protruding plastic back spacer and the pocket clip.
Speaking of the pocket clip, you could probably tell that it rocks. Its geometry allows for very deep carry. Basically, when I carry the Deadline, the only thing other people can see is the rather unassuming gray colored steel pocket clip and a sliver of the handle. I think gray makes for the best discreet carry color. “Blactical” folding knives are probably more eye-catching based off of most people attire. Also, black is probably scary to sheeple than the color gray… Just sayin’. Oh and lastly the pocket clip can be switched to both sides but only for tip up carry, which isn’t a problem for me at all.
That’s all I got. I enjoy this knife, especially with its utility-type blade. Kershaw is no certainly stranger to producing quality, yet affordable folding knives and this design is no different. If you can appreciate it’s unusual aesthetics and design then you may as well go with something that is functional to.
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