EDC

First impression review: Kershaw Blur (Sandvik 14C28N version)

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Kershaw Blur, a solid EDC assisted flipper

When I saw the Kershaw Blur on sale for $34 at Amazon (it was the Deal of the Day last week), I couldn’t pass it up, even if I didn’t have a specific niche need for the knife. It arrived yesterday afternoon and I figured a bit of a mini-review is in order.

Chris did a full review of the S30V version. I am not going to put it through that detailed of a process, as Chris was extremely thorough. I will confirm a number of his points, and make a few of my own. I will also discuss the pocket clip and the changes I made.

My first impression is that this is a pretty solid knife. It is on the medium-large size for EDC. Not an Extrema Ratio, but not a Leek either. Ken Onion designed the Blur, and its dimensions are almost exactly identical to the Ken Onion designed CRKT Hootenanny. They both have 4.5″ handles with 3.4″ hollow-ground blades. This combination must suit Ken’s hand well, it certainly does mine. The Reubenesque-lines of both show Ken’s eye for aesthetics. The Blur is unmistakably a Ken Onion knife.

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Clearly cousins. Ken Onion’s lines are unmistakable.

The factory edge is fair, but nothing to write home about. The Sharpmaker fixed that quickly.

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The Blur is a well put-together knife

Fit an finish are excellent, the blade is as  square and well centered as I have seen on any production knife. There is no wobble whatsoever. The Blur’s blade deploys as quickly as any assisted-opener I have seen in this size range. The spring feels strong and through several hundred cycles performed flawlessly.

The scales are aluminum, and feel quite robust, and the rubber inserts feel are of a denser and more durable polymer than many I have experienced. Just an impression at this point.

I am really digging the beveled thumb studs. I have never been a fan of thumb studs. I don’t feel like my thumb gets good purchase. I almost never use them on my Mini-Grip, preferring a centripetal flip of the wrist.

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I really dig the beveled studs, or should I say they do a god job of digging your thumb.

The jimped and beveled studs on the Blur catch my thumb every time. I even tried it with freshly-lotioned hands. Not a problem at all.

My only beef is with the pocket clip. It is functional, but rides really high in the pocket. It turns out it is exactly the same clip that is bolted to the Leek. The Blur comes set up for tip-down carry, but I prefer tip-up on all knives except for the Leek. Easily resolved for right-handers, as the clip is reversible, though there are no holes for left-hand carry.

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The stock clip is the same as the Leek. I like the Pop’s once much better.

I have mentioned I had bought an extra Pop’s Custom clip for my Leek, since I was unhappy with the wider one he had sent me (gratis). This one works great on the larger Blur, and the knife is completely concealed in the pocket.

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It rides much better with a Pop’s Custom Clip.

I haven’t performance tested this knife yet, but given Chris’s approval and my favorable first impression, I am looking forward to using the Blur as my primary EDC for a while.

For what it is worth, I think the street price of $66 on Amazon is still pretty good. At $34, it was an absolute steal.

Discussion

5 responses to ‘First impression review: Kershaw Blur (Sandvik 14C28N version)

  1. This was my EDC for quite a while until it mysteriously got lost. My only gripe would be that the aggressive rubberized grips tend to chew up pockets over time and the high ride pocket clip. On the other hand, not having enough texture might cause issues in wet conditions. It’s certainly a very good knife for the price range, and pretty versatile. I much prefer this version without the tanto or serrations.

  2. I got mine about 3 months ago and am happy with mine.

    My only gripe is that DLC coating on the blade. I just don’t like it. It already has scratches where I true up the edge on my diamond stone and barely scrape the surface accidently on the sides. Doesn’t affect the function, but a scratched up black blade just doesn’t look as nice as a scratched up uncoated blade.

    I don’t like the liner lock as much as the frame lock on my Kershaw scrambler. Both hold fine, but it doesn’t look as substantial.

    The blade is the perfect mix of “sharpenability” and edge retention. Gets just as sharp as my fancy pants exotic blades….

    • If you go for another, get the blackwash blade finish. I’ve been carrying mine for over a hear and any wear from cutting just blends into the finish.

  3. The thumb studs are so great I wish every knife had them! I’ve been carrying mine everyday for about a year and a half. The blackwash finish on the blade still looks new, though the edges of the aluminum scales are a polished silver from wearing against my nail bags. That’d be one drawback of the high ride pocket clip, though it’s offset by not gouging my phone that rides in the same pocket.

    Tried batoning wood with it once. Not the best tool for the task. It was a little stiff opening and closing after, but it soon loosened up and there’s still no wobble.

  4. I carried my Black Blur (14C28N) for about a year. I also sharpen it freehand on a diamond hone, but have been careful (lucky?) not to lay the blade down on the hone and scratch the sides, and it has held up well and still looks great. I love the beveled thumb studs and spring assist.

    I came across a lightly used Stonewashed S30V Blur for $40 and it has taken over EDC for the past year. Both blade steels are excellent, but slightly different character. I believe the 14C28N to be a bit harder, and the S30V to be tougher.

    The frame lock on my Scrambler turned out to be a piece of crap and it soured me on the model. A Blur always travels with me unless I feel the need for more blade and then I go with my Barrage, Enlan EL08, or ZT0301. Sometimes I carry two.

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