Knife Review: Kershaw Method

I have been a fan of Kershaw Knives ever since I bought my first Leek. The Blackwash finish and composite D-2 blade make it among the most elegant looking of my knives. It is my “Gentleman’s Folder” of choice. About 2 months ago I received the Jens Anso designed Kershaw Method from the folks at KAI for testing, and as I alluded to in an earlier post, it might be time to add the category of “Best Budget Gentleman’s Folder”. The Kershaw Method would certainly be a nominee for the award. It has an MSRP of $39.99, though I have found it for just $25 from several online retailers. At $25 this knife is a steal.

Two things I look for in a Gentleman’s Folder. The knife must be lightweight as to not be difficult to carry in lighter weight clothes, and it must look classy and not too scary when brought out for use.

Weighing in at a diminutive 2.1oz, and measuring a svelte 7/16″ in overall thickness, the Kershaw Method nails the former category with its liner-lock mechanism inset into the G10 handles. It might not hit the mark in terms of everyone’s aesthetic, but with its dark finish and slight serpentine shape, I certainly like its appearance.

 

Specs:

  • KVT ball-bearing opening
  • Flipper
  • Inset liner lock
  • Single-position pocketclip (right, tip-up)
  • Lanyard hole
  • Steel: 8Cr13MoV, black-oxide BlackWash™ finish
  • Handle: 3D-machined G10
  • Blade Length: 3 in. (7.6 cm)
  • Closed Length: 4.25 in. (10.8 cm)
  • Overall Length: 7.25 in. (18.4 cm)
  • Weight: 2.1 oz. (61 g)
  • Country of Origin: China

at 7/16″ in thickness (without the clip) the Kershaw Method is a svelte knife in the pocket.

 

 

Blade:

The blade is 3″ of hollow-ground 8CR13MoV. The tip is upswept with a very pokey point and a bit of a swedge to the spine which merges with the primary grind toward the tip. As I have mentioned, I am a fan of Kershaw’s blackwash treatment.

Clip and Carry:

Probably my least favorite aspect of the knife, and in reality it isn’t really that bad. Some folks are not going to like that it is only available in a tip-up/right handed position. It just rides a little high in the pocket. I would prefer something a little deeper and discrete in a more “Gentlemanly” environment.

I think this would be an excellent candidate for a Pops Custom Clip, but then again that would cost as much as the street price of the knife, stretching the “Budget” moniker.

The Method is a great pocket-carry knife as well, especially if you were to remove the clip. The detent is definitely strong enough to hold the knife closed. With no spring-assist, the knife isn’t going to “pop” open by accident in the pocket.

Mechanism:

The Kershaw Method has a stainless steel liner-lock mechanism inset into the G10 scales. Not the strongest arrangement in absolute terms, but the knife is more than strong enough to handle anything you would encounter in most daily urban/suburban environments. In the 2 months I have been using this knife, I never needed to tighten the pivot screw.

Not a lot of meat on the flipper tab.

The flipper tab is on the smallish side. I wish it had a slightly different shape or a slight bit of texturing to aid in indexing/deployment. It isn’t terrible, nor is it as effective as the tab on the Leek or thumb-studs on the Blur. That said, it wasn’t difficult. It could just be better.

Ergonomics:

In a word, nice. The Method is designed to be a sleek and minimalist flipper, but there is adequate palm swell and indexing for the knife to be quite comfortable in moderate use. It balances nicely at the index finger cutaway.

The Method did get a bit difficult to hold as the blade dulled through the cardboard test, but that is not completely unexpected.

Its thin design makes it extremely comfortable when clipped to the pocket.

Here are some other photos of various grip styles. The thumb or index finger rests comfortably on the spine if needed, while the full-hammer grip is pretty bad on such a small knife.

TESTING:

TTAK Testing Protocol:

Paper and rope were no problem at all for the Method.

Cardboard was a bit of a mixed bag. The hollow-ground blade zipped through the first 35 linear feet or so like it wasn’t even there. By 50′ there was a noticeable drop off in performance, and by 65′ I decided to call it quits. The knife became hard to hold.

So 8Cr13MoV steel is not the most spectacular in edge holding, but honestly, how often do you cut through 50 feet or more of cardboard against the grain? 3 passes each side down the ceramic rods of a Sharpmaker and the knife was ready to go once more. Even if you break down a lot of boxes, you should mostly be cutting tape or strategically cutting edges. You don’t line up 65 feet of cardboard and cut it across the grain.

Or if you do, you need to work on your technique.

 

Culinary:

The Kershaw Method makes a pretty effective paring knife, as these photos demonstrate.

 

The onion in particular surprised me, since hollow-ground blades often wander in hard produce. The Method did quite well in fact:

Chicken was no problem at all

In total, I was more than impressed with the Method’s culinary behaviour. Yes, I know that other than the occasional apple the Method will not often be pressed into kitchen use, but these tests are a relatable, replicatable, objective evaluation of a knife’s slicing performance. As I mentioned above, the onion was particularly illustrative.

 

Other:

I don’t have a lot of specific things to say other than this knife has seen 40% of my pocket time over the last 2 months. I used it for all manner of EDC tasks that most any of you all would do. These are largely unremarkable, like the everyday task of cutting out Boxtops. The pointy tip of the Method does a great job at “pierce and slice” type tasks like this or opening blister packaging.

The Method was plenty of knife for anything I do outside of the woods.

 

RATINGS: (out of 5 stars)

Aesthetics ****.5

I like the slightly serpentine lines of Anso-designed knives. This one does not disappoint. I love the Kershaw blackwash finish, and there is just enough detailing to the G10 scales to provide both texture and contrasting look.

Blade: ****

Performance-wise, there is little I can reasonably ask of this blade that it cannot accomplish. A little more edge holding ability would be nice, but that would come at a cost. I am not disappointed with the blade at all.

Ergonomics: ****

Pretty good for such a smallish knife. Only really heavy use, beyond what one would expect the knife to face on the regular basis, were deficiencies in the grip noticeable.

Ruggedness/Durability: ***.75

By using the inset framelock design, Kershaw has minimized weight. I just have a hard time believing that this arrangement is as strong as something with a more robust backbone. That said, the knife never ven needed the pivot tightened.

Value: *****

At 39.99, it is fairly priced. At $24.99 street price, this is among the best “Budget Gentleman’s Folders” you will find.

OVERALL: ****

*disclosure: This knife was a testing sample, sent to me without expectation of return.

 

 

 


 

 

 

comments

  1. Sam L. says:

    Looks SLICK. Still, I think I have enough knives. For now.

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Knife Review: Kershaw Method

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