I like the Kershaw Leek. I have the D2 composite Blackwash version, though at the moment, it has been misplaced somewhere in my house. It gave me fits for about a week before I just resigned myself to the fact it will turn up when I am looking for something else. It is somewhere around here, I didn’t leave the house the day I lost it.
When I tested my Leek, I put it through some excessive batoning. The knife did not fail, though it was damaged significantly. I was somewhat pleased to see that the result that the Cold Steel tester achieved with the spine-blow test was essentially identical to my own. Replicated results from a third party. I hope that gives TTAK another check mark in the credibility department.
I didn’t have the apparatus for the hang testing, and I don’t have the resources to deliberately destroy knives in testing. I prefer more real-world use tests, and if a knife can’t cut it or fails, that is just part of testing. However, I have no doubt that if my goal was simply to break a knife, I would be able to do so on most.
Cold Steel has a reputation for building stout folders. The Hold Out 3 is a G-10 scaled knife with no liner or steel in the frame. It has the CS Tri-Ad lock, and I can attest to the lock’s robustness as I have reviewed the Mackinac Hunter. There was no indication of damage from the spine-strike, and the knife successfully held 65 pounds of weight without the lock failing.
Obviously Cold Steel had already tested the Hold Out, all of their knives must pass these two tests for release. The Hold Out was a reasonable comparison test to the Leek as they are similar in size and weight.
Personally, I understand and accept that the Leek is less robust. I think of it more as a gentleman’s folder that is robust enough for most EDC tasks. It is certainly more gracile than the CRKT Hootenanny and Gerber Propel that I am currently testing and carrying, but I still like the form and function.
I have not played with the Hold Out yet. Perhaps another visit to Smoky Mountain Knife Works is in order. It has the look of a Spyderco Native, and it would be interesting to see the two compared.