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OWNER REVIEW: KERSHAW BLACK OUT KNIFE

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  • Dan Casey
    KERSHAW BLACK OUT KNIFE BY DANIEL CASEY OR February 10, 2010 TESTER INFORMATION NAME: Daniel Casey EMAIL: sputnik98 at rocketmail dot com AGE: 29 LOCATION:
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 6, 2010
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      KERSHAW BLACK OUT KNIFE
      BY DANIEL CASEY
      OR
      February 10, 2010

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Daniel Casey
      EMAIL: sputnik98 at rocketmail dot com
      AGE: 29
      LOCATION: Grundy, Virginia, USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
      WEIGHT: 180 lb (81.60 kg)
      SHIRT L/XL
      WAIST 34/86cm
      INSEAM 32/81cm

      I am new to lightweight backpacking and just started acquiring my gear in January 2010. I have most of the basics but am unsure as exactly what I need. Most of my prior backpacking experience dating to the 90's consists of day trips while living in Michigan, Hawaii, and now Virginia. I have spent some time in the outdoors on various canoe/camping excursions and day hikes but am embarking on my first week long backpacking adventures this year in 2010. I will be on Isle Royal, Michigan and the Appalachian Trail, and am aiming for light but want all the comforts.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      Manufacturer: Kia USA
      Year of Manufacture: 2001 (Model has not changed in over 10 years)
      Manufacturer's Website: <Link 1>
      MSRP: US $89.95
      Listed Weight: 3.5 oz (99 g)
      Measured Weight: 3.52 oz (99.8 g)
      Blade Length: 3 1/4 in (8.4 cm)
      Closed Length: 4 1/2 in (11.3 cm)
      Complete Length: 7.72 in (19.61 cm)
      Blade Material: Sandvik 13C26 stainless-steel
      Handle Material: Polyimide

      Other details:

      They're some of the first of Kershaw's Ken Onion SpeedSafe knives and still among the best. All feature 13C26 stainless-steel blades for strength and corrosion resistance. The Blackout's blade is also coated with scratch-resistant Tungsten DLC for a handsome, non-reflective surface. All knives include a contoured handle of injection-molded polyimide, an extremely durable engineering plastic, for a comfortable and stable grip. Stainless-steel liners add to the overall handle strength.

      FEATURES:
      • SpeedSafe
      • Locking Liner
      • Coating
      • Thumb Stud
      • Pocket Clip

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Open">>

      FIELD USE

      INITIAL IMPRESSION
      The Kershaw Blackout Knife, hereafter the knife or this knife, arrived in the standard gray box with red white and blue highlights, graphics, and lettering. Included inside the box besides the knife were the warranty and instructions. Once unpackaged and in my hand, the Polyimide handle was comfortable and felt contoured to my hand. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "grip">>


      Also, small details were not forgotten in the design of the knife. One of the details not over looked was the grip, the texture of the handle provided adequate grip. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Closed">>


      In addition, there are many other attentions to detail that are included in the design of the knife. For instance, Kershaw has secured a belt clip to the knife with three small Philips head screws. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "clip">> If one looks just above where the clip is secured, one can see where the thumb stud is secured to the blade by a Phillips screw and is set up for right handed use by default.


      On the opposite side of the knife where the clip is located, Kershaw has mounted a thumb stud to allow opening the knife with one hand. You can clearly see the thumb stud in a view down the back of the blade down like in the image below.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "back">>


      Upon opening the blade of this knife, the blade swings into place very quickly, and is secured by a simple blade lock located inside the handle of the knife. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "lock">> This lock can be pressed back to allow the blade to close back into the handle. Also, I noticed that the blade lock has a serrated grip similar to the thumb grip, this feature can be pictured in the image above. Similarly, I noticed that this textured or serrated grip on the blade lock aids in grip when ones fingers wraps across it.


      The blade itself is all black with the Company name and founder laser engraved right next to the thumb stud. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Open">>


      On the opposite side is the model number, patent number, and made in the USA are all engraved the same way. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "blade back">> This is also the location decided would be best to engrave my initials on my initial knife but I never did on the replacement knife that I received. I wanted to engrave my initials in the knife just incase I needed to identify it. The initials were difficult to engrave into the blade's scratch-resistant Tungsten DLC, even with an engraving gun, but it is possible. After inspecting the blade, the next detail that stood out was the thumb grip provided on the back of the blade. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "back">>


      This knife is constructed with a hex nut that secures the blade to the handle, and I later discovered, it also functions as a tension adjustment for the blade's assisted opening. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "thumb stud">>


      Finally upon my initial inspection, I noticed that opposite the hex-nut, Kershaw used an eye bolt that one could place a lanyard through. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "End">>


      This knife does require a little bit of getting used to when one is opening it the first couple of times. When holding the knife in my hand, <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "grip">>
      I only need to apply a nominal amount of pressure perpendicular from the handle and the blade literally shoots open very quickly with no further assistance. This feels awkward at first because of the speed and sharpness of the blade. After getting comfortable opening it, it becomes second nature, but it did require some familiarizing for me to be 100% comfortable opening. In regards to the sharpness of the knife, I am very pleased with not only how sharp this knife arrived, and the knife seems to hold a sharp edge for awhile. This knife showed up so sharp it shaved the hair off my arm. I do remember hearing somewhere that this brand is the 2nd sharpest knife off the shelf, but I can't remember where I heard that or what the sharpest brand is. In addition to this, Kershaw's website states that if one pays the shipping fees, Kershaw will routinely sharpen the knife at no cost.

      FIELD USE:
      I initially purchased this knife to use while serving in the military. A friend of mine had spoken very highly of this knife and after using it for a short time, I quickly fell in love. I had bought this knife in 2001 with the sole intention of using this knife onboard a military ship, but ultimately ended up using it for more than just work. To date, this knife has been carried in a wide variety of conditions from tropical conditions near the equator, to sand storm conditions in the Arabian Desert, and to the bitter cold of a Michigan winter.

      Shipboard life aside and after a couple of deployments over seas, I realized how useful my knife could be on the day hikes I occasionally took. I started taking my knife with me on a these day hikes while living on the island of Oahu. There are really only about 3 day hikes I ended up taking while living here that are worth mentioning. Those hikes consisted of simple day hikes on the Pali Highway Trail, a hike along an unknown trail that led to two different waterfalls and through a bamboo forest, and finally the last and most significant hike I took while living in Hawaii was when I had to the privilege of hiking The Koli Koa Pass on the Schofield Barracks Army Post in Oahu Hawaii. During all these day hikes, use of my Kershaw knife was limited to cutting some of the bamboo trees growing along the unknown trail and I experience quick easy cutting

      Although I got some use on my infrequent day hikes, I was able to continually subject this knife to field tests in environments that are much harsher than a typical wilderness environment. While onboard ship this knife was subject constantly to the salty air that I worked in. I maintained the communications equipment and was cutting rope, wire,

      LONG TERM REPORT:
      Hawaii, being mostly a distant memory, but my main testing ground for this knife, I will try to recall the conditions that this knife was mainly used under and the trials this knife has been through. Being at sea for months on end gave me plenty of familiarity with this knife. Especially considering the work that I performed with the knife while onboard ship. Also, the conditions required having to constantly expose the knife to salty air, and high humidity. These conditions were perfect for encouraging oxidization. During my time on board, this knife was used to cut many items from rope, food, wood, and even plastic coated electrical wire. I was able to cut rope and wire in varying thickness from standard military issue 550 cord and standard electrical wires all the way up to some thicker nautical rope and television coaxial cable all with little to no trouble. I was cautious of cutting wire since its metal qualities could damage the metal blade,
      but I did not experience any significant damage from cutting wires. Even after cutting wires with a metal conductor in the center, the worst damage my knife sustained was minor nicks and gauges in the edge of the blade. A thorough sharpening generally removed these blemishes and returned the knife the sharp condition it came.

      Also, when I did carry this in my uniform, the all black design drew no attention while in uniform and as stated, the knife was subjected to the harsh tropical sea air for approximately 5 years. The uniform that I wore the most while carrying the knife was a pair of light to middle weight cotton blend coveralls and a web belt. I initially carried this knife clipped to the outside of my pocket and it remained mostly secure to my uniform. Unfortunately, living onboard a ship provides many items for an object to get caught on. After actually having the knife get caught on an object while walking past it, and catching the knife on numerous other objects, resulted in the knife being forcefully removed from my pocket and slammed to the steal deck. After a few incidents of this, I decided it was probably best to wear it clipped inside my pocket and I experienced fewer problems from carrying the knife this way. I chalked that lesson up to the school of
      hard knocks but the damage had been done to the knife. Carrying my knife clipped to the outside of my pocket and constantly catching it on objects had bent the pocket clip and it was far less effective. The solution was simple, remove the three screws that secure the pocket clip to the handle and bend it back. I did notice one drawback to carrying the knife clipped inside my pocket, allows for lint and dirt to collect inside the handle and the only effective way I've found to clean this is with a cotton swab (Q-tip for all the Johnson and Johnson stock holders).

      Besides being used on traditional cutting tasks, I utilized the knife as a scraping devise when I needed to remove dried on paint, scuffs or other blemishes that simple rubbing would not fix. The knife's sharp edge allowed it to scrape dried paint from floors and other areas it did not belong. As far as using this knife to pry anything, I will try to find another tool that won't be damaged and didn't cost $80. Usually, there is something lying around like a stick or other object that can be used instead of the blade of this knife to pry on things. The few occasions where I have relied on this knife to pry on something, it has been small, and I have had no problems. I also had the opportunity to carry this knife while working aloft (high above the weather decks) on board my ship. This knife was ideal because naval safety standards required all tools to be tied to a safety lanyard so if they were dropped from high above, they would not fall on
      persons below. As stated, opposite the hex nut fastener that secures the handle to the blade, there is a hollow eye/rivet that fastens the other end of the knife's handle together. Because of this I could safely tie the knife off and not worry about dropping it while using the knife aloft.

      As explained, my clip had become bent and I was able to bend it back but the clip was never the same again. The knife would slide out of my pocket if I sat down the wrong way and I found that when reaching into my pockets from time to time the knife would become caught on my long sleeve, a loose thread or the object I was removing from my pocket. Most of the time I was able to notice this and if I didn't many times the knife would fall to the deck with a large clunk and many times it would spring open. Finally after dealing with this for a period of time I was unable to notice a particular instance of the knife falling from my pocket. By the time I noticed the knife had fallen from my pocket, I had no clue where it was and I was deeply saddened by having lost my precious knife. This knife is so light that I don't notice when I am carrying it but I will notice when it's no longer within an arms reach. I felt a bit lost with out it and after a few
      weeks I accepted it and started looking for a replacement.

      This knife is worth every penny, but I owned it less than 2 years and it was gone, I was having a tough time justifying purchasing a new knife. I had given up hope on finding my knife on board and I wasn't ready to commit to a new one at that price. Fortunately for me, about a month after losing my knife, my friend who had introduced me to the knife, was walking past a person working topside on the ship and couldn't believe what he saw. He saw a junior enlisted guy with my knife chipping paint off a steel bulkhead (wall for those land lubbers). He asked where the guy got it, long story short my initials were still engraved, my 6 foot plus (190 cm plus) 275 pound (125 kg) friend had no trouble getting my knife back for me. Upon its return I was overjoyed to have it back but disappointed to see the tip had been broken off about 1/4 in (0.64 cm) from where it should have been. I spent the better part of the next two weeks meticulously filing down the
      broken tip and contouring the new tip to look stock. It took a lot of filing and quite a few sharpening, but after some time my knife was back to being functional.

      This knife ended up being my way to pass the time when I was stuck out to sea for months on end with nothing else to do. This knife being novel to me when I first received it' and then again after its triumphant return to me made me constantly want it in my hand. I would sit and use the speed safe opening assisted opening with no purpose but to hear and feel the knife click open. It is actually still cool to do today but I have learned my lesson. It opens so quickly that one can actually feel the force when it flips open. If one were not 100% familiar with the action of the knife on opening, it is entirely possible for the knife to flip out of ones hand. This is why I indicated that the knife may requires some getting used to when using the knife's speed safe feature.

      As a result of constantly opening and closing this knife, I eventually wore out the speed safe/assisted opening feature. The knife stopped opening as quickly, and required a bit more effort to open. This is where the previously mentioned hex-nut fastener comes into play. I learned that by tightening this nut, I could increase the resistance of the action. This was effective, but was difficult to get it exactly the way I wanted. After playing with the tension nut, it was adjusted to what felt like the knife was operating normally. A draw back though is that once I started tightening the bolt, it seemed that the knife needed to be tightened frequently. Eventually all the adjusting was not enough, I tightened the hex nut as tight as it could go and the speed safe/assisted opening would no longer work

      Once again I felt let down and was upset that I would no longer be able to use the knife the way I had grown used to using it. I sat down and wrote a letter to Kershaw and explained how my speed safe feature and tip had been worn on the knife. I asked if they could fix the speed safe feature and if possible improve my damaged blade. I packaged the knife in its original box with warranty papers that were included, added the letter that I wrote, and sent it off to the manufacturer. The standard days and weeks flew past to the point where I had forgotten about the knife and it showed up in the mail one day. I was excited to receive this back from the company and even more excited to see my repaired knife. To my surprise and from what I can tell, Kershaw just sent me a brand new knife instead of repairing my old one. No longer were my initials carved into the base of the blade, the speed safe fail to work and my blade length was returned to what it
      should have been. I have heard and experience through other owners of this brand that they experience similar service on their knife when they sent it in for warranty work.

      Upon my relocating back to Michigan, I had plenty of opportunities to subject my knife to what could be considered more realistic backpacking situations. I have found myself using my knife on my increasing outdoor adventures. I have had the opportunity to use this knife on two canoe trips specifically. Once on the Two Heart River near West Branch Michigan, and the second time was on a canoe trip along the Brule River on the Michigan, Wisconsin boarder. This knife performed admirably while in camp and on the water. It was clipped to my pocket and easy to access to open packaging, cut branches, cut ropes, fashion tools from the cut branches, mainly sharp sticks to make tent stakes and cooking instruments. This knife has o problem cutting through ropes and wood objects that are normally associated with camping. I am yet to use it to fillet a fish, because we never seem to be able to catch any fish. However, I have used it during other food
      preparation and consuming activities and it has easily and precisely cut through normal food items. In addition to canoeing and camping, I have used this knife on a few day hikes and geo caching trips my wife and I have taken. I can not specifically say what it was used for during these smaller trips but I can say it's always there when I reach for it.

      It is obvious that this knife was designed with right hand use in mind. I've always wondered if one was left handed if one could reverse the thumb stud to give it a left hand set up. The thumb stud attaches with a Philips screw, and one should be able to reverse the side it is mounted on and use this in a left handed configuration. Initially I was concerned with changing this over because I felt the clip would get in the way but after trying it out to see whether or not it would work, I think it would be entirely possible to change the thumb stud around and use the knife in a left handed configuration without changing where the clip is installed. I am not left handed though, so no matter how I use it with my left hand it always feels awkward.

      Although I always want to have this knife with me, it is my understanding that the legality of this knife might be questionable in certain jurisdictions, so my advise would be check ones local laws on knives in the area and all areas that this knife will be possessed. Moreover, I am reluctant to carry this knife from time to time, especially if I am uncertain as to where exactly I'll be and what the restrictions are in that area. Kershaw is aware of this possibility and has included a disclaimer with this knife.
      Specifically their policy is as follows:

      LIABILITY DISCLAIMER
      Kershaw Knives are intended and sold for legitimate sporting purposes only. The purchase, use, and ownership of knives are subject to a wide variety of local laws and regulations. Certain knife styles, blade designs, and blade lengths are not allowed in specific areas. In light of recent events involving national security, knives may not be permitted in government buildings or on government property (such as court houses, federal offices, national monuments, and airports), and government officials may take the position that knives are "weapons" under applicable laws. Due to the complexity and constantly changing nature of these laws and regulations, it is impossible for Kai USA ltd., Kershaw Knives, to be aware of every restriction in every location in which our knives may be sold or carried. It is the responsibility of the buyer to investigate and comply with the laws and regulations that apply in his or her specific area. You, and not Kai USA ltd.,
      Kershaw Knives, are solely responsible for any claims resulting from violation of these laws and/or regulations.

      I've adopted this apprehensive approach to carrying my knife and am careful before I proceed into a jurisdiction whose laws I'm not familiar with and it has served me well. Now that I am getting more involved in backpacking, intend to have this knife with me on all of my outdoor activities.


      SUMMARY

      During the knife's use it was exposed to ocean and tropical air, even with the engraved initials I have never experienced any type of corrosion on any part of the knife including exposed metal. Also, I have had no problem of putting an edge on the knife and it seemed to maintain its edge for a reasonable time. I did notice that after extended use the attached pocket clip will tend to catch on objects and after a few snags, the clip can start to stretch and lose its ability to clip securely to your clothing. Similarly, it is important to note the speed safe assisted opening will wear after time as well. If the knife is dropped on a dense surface from a considerable distance it will open on its own. A few inches won't necessarily do it, but if it were to fall out of your pocket on to say a tile floor, then it would most likely spring open. Overall this is a lightweight, sharp, durable knife and if you add in the fact Kershaw stands behind their
      warranty, this knife is worth every penny. I would recommend this knife to others and would buy it again in a heartbeat.

      THINGS I LIKE

      1. warranty
      2. blade's sharpness
      3. speed safe/assisted opening
      4. locking blade
      5. handle feel/grip
      6. belt clip
      7. light weight
      8. durability
      9. free routine sharpening (just pay shipping)

      THINGS I DON'T LIKE

      1. clip can bend
      2. speed safe/assisted opening feature will wear and fail over time
      3. legality varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
      4. handle cavity is difficult to clean and attracts dirt
      5. price


      SIGNATURE

      Daniel Casey
      Da wanderin' Yooper



      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 13, 2010
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community! The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints, to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely manner. Do not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben(at)hotmail.com

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.

        Once your first two Owner Reviews have been approved and you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at mentor (at) backpackgeartest.org.

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group. These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they will use APPROVED in the subject line.

        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR while it's in the edit queue, the entire Owner Review Queue is posted to this yahoo group list on either Thursdays or Fridays.

        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via the list or contact me directly.

        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Manager
      • Ray
        Hello Daniel, Thank you for your Owner Review, it has to be one of the longest first reviews I have ever seen. ;-) (I have the GST model of this knife too.)
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 16, 2010
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          Hello Daniel,

          Thank you for your Owner Review, it has to be one of the longest first reviews I have ever seen. ;-) (I have the GST model of this knife too.) Your initial edits will follow. They will take the following format;

          EDIT: must be changed
          Edit: should be changed but will be left to your discretion
          Comment: just that or something to think about

          When you have made the changes please repost here with REPOST added to the subject line. Include your name also please. You can also put a HTML copy in the Owner Review Test Folder. It is found at the end of the list of reviews on the main page or here;

          http://tinyurl.com/4mfwa

          If you require assistance with your upload, please ask in our Yahoo!
          support group,

          BGTFileUploadHelp @

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/?yguid=209560176


          Please let me have a link to the review or at least the name once you have it uploaded.

          Ray




          ***SHIRT L/XL
          ***WAIST 34/86cm
          ***INSEAM 32/81cm

          Edit: these really are not necessary for this review



          ***Other details:

          They're some of the first of Kershaw's Ken Onion SpeedSafe knives and still
          among the best. All feature 13C26 stainless-steel blades for strength and
          corrosion resistance. The Blackout's blade is also coated with scratch-resistant
          Tungsten DLC for a handsome, non-reflective surface. All knives include a
          contoured handle of injection-molded polyimide, an extremely durable engineering
          plastic, for a comfortable and stable grip. Stainless-steel liners add to the
          overall handle strength.

          EDIT: this is pasted from the website and can't stay. The review needs to be in your words, not theirs.


          ***FIELD USE

          EDIT: please delete this heading. You have it in the proper spot lower in the review



          ***The Kershaw Blackout Knife, hereafter the knife or this knife, arrived in the
          standard gray box with red white and blue highlights, graphics, and lettering.

          EDIT: as you are not testing this knife it is no concern to the reader how it came to you. In fact since you bought it ten years ago I assume you got it at a store, right?



          *** Similarly, I noticed that this textured or serrated grip on the blade lock aids in grip when ones fingers wraps across it.

          EDIT: when "one's" fingers "wrap" around it. But really you should be writing this in the first person. All your "ones's should be "my", "mine" and "I".



          ***On the opposite side is the model number, patent number, and made in the USA are
          all engraved the same way.

          EDIT: delete "is" and put "Made in the USA" in quotations




          *** This is also the location decided would be best to engrave my initials on my initial
          knife but I never did on the replacement knife that I received.

          EDIT: This is also the location "that I" decided



          *** I do remember hearing somewhere that this brand is the 2nd sharpest knife off the shelf, but I can't remember where I heard that or what the sharpest brand is.

          EDIT: this should be deleted unless you can prove it so. Really it is just an arguing point that adds nothing to your review.. (I do agree all mine have been darn sharp.)



          ***Shipboard life aside and after a couple of deployments over seas,

          EDIT: overseas



          *** I started taking my knife with me on a these day hikes

          EDIT: delete "a"



          *** I maintained the communications equipment and was cutting rope, wire,

          EDIT: you need to finish the sentence




          ***LONG TERM REPORT:
          Hawaii, being mostly a distant memory, but my main testing ground for this
          knife,

          EDIT: this is not a Test, and we do not want it to be confused as such. It is an Owner Review. Please remove the Long Term Report heading.

          We also do not need or want a breakdown of your entire history of use with the knife. You don't want people leaving in the middle of the review because they got tired of reading. Just tell how it worked hitting on the high points and corroborating with a "few" examples.



          *** I utilized the knife as a scraping devise when I needed to remove dried on paint,

          EDIT: device



          *** As far as using this knife to pry anything, I will try to find another tool that won't be
          damaged and didn't cost $80. Usually, there is something lying around like a
          stick or other object that can be used instead of the blade of this knife to pry
          on things.

          EDIT: unnecessary



          ***This knife is so light that I don't notice when I am carrying it but I will notice when it's no longer within an arms reach.

          EDIT: arm's reach

          I am going to quit here. This overly long drama is really hard to read. I suggest that you cut almost all of your ship-board adventures down to just saying that it held up to the conditions and that you wore it out and they replaced it. Then briefly talk about the backpacking use. People want to read about the knife, not your life story. (Not trying to be mean, just realistic.)

          I will go over it again when you have reposted it.


          ***LIABILITY DISCLAIMER
          Kershaw Knives are intended and sold for legitimate sporting purposes only. The
          purchase, use, and ownership of knives are subject to a wide variety of local
          laws and regulations. Certain knife styles, blade designs, and blade lengths are
          not allowed in specific areas. In light of recent events involving national
          security, knives may not be permitted in government buildings or on government
          property (such as court houses, federal offices, national monuments, and
          airports), and government officials may take the position that knives are
          "weapons" under applicable laws. Due to the complexity and constantly changing
          nature of these laws and regulations, it is impossible for Kai USA ltd., Kershaw
          Knives, to be aware of every restriction in every location in which our knives
          may be sold or carried. It is the responsibility of the buyer to investigate and
          comply with the laws and regulations that apply in his or her specific area.
          You, and not Kai USA ltd.,
          Kershaw Knives, are solely responsible for any claims resulting from violation
          of these laws and/or regulations.

          EDIT: this all needs to go. That is Kia's worry, not ours
        • sputnik98.rm
          Ray, Welcome back, hope your weekend traveling was good. Thanks for the advice with the edits. I had never expected to right about my experiences with this
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 28, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            Ray,
            Welcome back, hope your weekend traveling was good. Thanks for the advice with the edits. I had never expected to right about my experiences with this knife and the more I wrote the more I remembered. Funny how time flies. Eventually I had to send it, it was becoming a runaway train. I hope this much shorter EDITed version is better. Thanks for the input.
            Respectfully,
            Dan


            KERSHAW BLACK OUT KNIFE
            BY DANIEL CASEY
            OR
            February 10, 2010

            TESTER INFORMATION

            NAME: Daniel Casey
            EMAIL: sputnik98 at rocketmail dot com
            AGE: 29
            LOCATION: Grundy, Virginia, USA
            GENDER: M
            HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.80 m)
            WEIGHT: 180 lb (81.60 kg)

            I am new to lightweight backpacking and just started acquiring my gear in January 2010. I have most of the basics but am unsure as exactly what I need. Most of my prior backpacking experience dating to the 90's consists of day trips while living in Michigan, Hawaii, and now Virginia. I have spent some time in the outdoors on various canoe/camping excursions and day hikes but am embarking on my first week long backpacking adventures this year in 2010. I will be on Isle Royal, Michigan and the Appalachian Trail, and am aiming for light but want all the comforts.

            PRODUCT INFORMATION:

            Manufacturer: Kia USA
            Year of Manufacture: 2001 (Model has not changed in over 10 years)
            Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.kershawknives.com/" LINK TEXT = "http://www.kershawknives.com/">>
            MSRP: US $89.95
            Listed Weight: 3.5 oz (99 g)
            Measured Weight: 3.52 oz (99.8 g)
            Blade Length: 3 1/4 in (8.4 cm)
            Closed Length: 4 1/2 in (11.3 cm)
            Complete Length: 7.72 in (19.61 cm)
            Blade Material: Sandvik 13C26 stainless-steel
            Handle Material: Polyimide


            FEATURES:
            • SpeedSafe
            • Locking Liner
            • Coating
            • Thumb Stud
            • Pocket Clip

            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Open">>

            INITIAL IMPRESSION:

            The Kershaw Blackout Knife, hereafter the knife or this knife. Once in my hand, the Polyimide handle was comfortable and felt contoured to my hand. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "grip">>


            I quickly noticed that small details were not forgotten in the design of the knife. One of the details not over looked was the grip, the texture of the handle provided adequate grip. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Closed">>


            In addition, there are many other attentions to detail that are included in the design of the knife. For instance, Kershaw has secured a belt clip to the knife with three small Philips head screws. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "clip">> When I looked above where the clip is secured, I noticed that the thumb stud is secured to the blade also by a Phillips screw. The thumb stud is primarily used to open the blade one handed and is set up for right handed use by default as seen below.
            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "back">>


            Upon opening the blade of this knife, the blade swings into place very quickly, and is secured by a simple blade lock located inside the handle of the knife. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "lock">> The action is so quick that it almost reminds me of a switch blade.

            To close the blade back into the handle, I have to press the blade lock inward, as shown above. Also pictured above, I noticed that the blade lock has a serrated grip; similar to the thumb grip, this feature can be viewed in the image above. I did notice this textured or serrated grip on the blade lock when I wrap my fingers across it while gripping the knife.


            The blade itself is all black with the Company name and founder laser engraved right next to the thumb stud. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Open">>


            On the opposite side, the model number, patent number, and "Made in the USA" are all engraved the same way. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "blade back">> This is also the location that I decided would be best to engrave my initials on my initial knife but I never did on the replacement knife that I received. The initials were difficult to engrave into the blade's scratch-resistant Tungsten DLC, even with an engraving gun, but it is possible.

            After inspecting the blade, the next detail that stood out was the thumb grip provided on the back of the blade. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "back">>


            This knife is constructed with a hex nut that secures the blade to the handle, and I later discovered, it also functions as a tension adjustment for the blade's assisted opening. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "thumb stud">>


            Finally upon my initial inspection, I noticed that opposite the hex-nut, Kershaw used an eye bolt that I could use to place a lanyard through. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "End">>


            This knife did require a little bit of getting used to when I opened it the first couple of times. When holding the knife in my hand, <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "grip">>
            I only need to apply a nominal amount of pressure, perpendicular from the handle, against the thumb stud and the blade literally shoots open very quickly with no further assistance. This feels awkward at first because of the speed and sharpness of the blade. After getting comfortable opening it, it becomes second nature, but it did require some familiarizing for me to be 100% comfortable opening. In regards to the sharpness of the knife, I am very pleased with not only how sharp this knife arrived but, the knife seems to hold a sharp edge for awhile too. This knife showed up so sharp it shaved the hair off my arm. In addition to this, Kershaw's website states that if I pay the shipping fees, Kershaw will routinely sharpen the knife at no cost.


            FIELD USE:

            I initially purchased this knife to use while serving in the military. A friend of mine had spoken very highly of this knife and after using it for a short time, I quickly fell in love. I had bought this knife in approximately 2001 with the sole intention of using this knife onboard a military ship, but ultimately ended up using it for more than just work. To date, this knife has been carried in a wide variety of conditions from tropical conditions near the equator, to sand storm conditions in the Arabian Desert, and to the bitter cold of a Michigan winter.

            Besides being used on traditional cutting tasks, I utilized the knife as a scraping device when I needed to remove dried on paint, scuffs, or other blemishes that simple rubbing would not fix. The knife's sharp edge allowed it to scrape dried paint from floors and other areas it did not belong. As stated, opposite the hex nut fastener that secures the handle to the blade, there is a hollow eye/rivet that fastens the other end of the knife's handle together. Because of this I could safely tie the knife off and not worry about dropping it while using the knife at a height where dropping it would be treacherous.

            As a result of constantly opening and closing this knife, I eventually wore out the speed safe/assisted opening feature. The knife stopped opening as quickly, and required a bit more effort to open. This is where the previously mentioned hex-nut fastener comes into play. I learned that by tightening this nut, I could increase the resistance of the action. This was effective, but was difficult to get it exactly the way I wanted. After playing with the tension nut, it was adjusted to what felt like the knife was operating normally. A draw back though is that once I started tightening the bolt, it seemed that the knife needed to be tightened frequently. Eventually all the adjusting was not enough, I tightened the hex nut as tight as it could go and the speed safe/assisted opening would no longer work

            Although I got some use on my infrequent day hikes, I was able to continually subject this knife to field tests in environments that are much harsher than a typical wilderness environment because of my past military service. While onboard ship this knife was subject constantly to the salty air that I worked in. I maintained the communications equipment and was cutting rope, wire, and other items that exceeds a hiker's needs but are common onboard a Navy ship. This knife held up to these harsh conditions and I actually wore my first one out from playing with the speed safe opening device and not from cutting. Kia was great about it, I sent in the old worn out one and they sent me a brand new one.

            Shipboard life aside and after a couple of deployments overseas, I realized how useful my knife could be on the day hikes I occasionally took. I started taking my knife with me on these day hikes while living on the island of Oahu. There are really only about 3 day hikes I ended up taking while living here that are worth mentioning. Those hikes consisted of simple day hikes on the Pali Highway Trail, a hike along an unknown trail that led to two different waterfalls and through a bamboo forest, and finally the last and most significant hike I took while living in Hawaii was when I had to the privilege of hiking The Koli Koa Pass on the Schofield Barracks Army Post in Oahu Hawaii. During all these day hikes, use of my Kershaw knife was limited to cutting some of the bamboo trees growing along the unknown trail and I experience quick easy cutting

            Upon my relocating back to Michigan, I had plenty of opportunities to subject my knife to what could be considered more realistic backpacking situations. Also, I have had the opportunity to use it on more in depth trips than just day hikes; I have found myself using my knife on my increasing outdoor adventures. Specifically, once on a 3 day canoe trip down the Two Heart River near West Branch, Michigan , and the second time was on a 3 day canoe trip down the Brule River on the Michigan, Wisconsin boarder. This knife performed admirably while in camp and on the water. It was clipped to my pocket and easy to access to open packaging, cut branches, cut ropes, fashion tools from the cut branches, mainly sharp sticks to make tent stakes and cooking instruments. This knife has no problem cutting through ropes and wood objects that are normally associated with camping. I am yet to use it to fillet a fish, because we never seem to be able to catch any fish. However, I have used it during other food preparation and consuming activities and it has easily and precisely cut through normal food items. In addition to canoeing and camping, I have used this knife on a few day hikes and geo caching trips my wife and I have taken. I can not specifically say what it was used for during these smaller trips but I can say it's always there when I reach for it. Even if I don't have an opportunity to use this knife, it is so light that I don't notice that I'm carrying it; but I will notice when it's no longer within an arm's reach.

            It is obvious that this knife was designed with right hand use in mind. I've always wondered if I was left handed if I would reverse the thumb stud to give it a left handed set up. The thumb stud attaches with a Philips screw, and I have reversed the thumb stud and used this in a left handed configuration. Initially I was concerned with changing this over because I felt the clip would get in the way but after trying it out to see whether or not it would work, I think it would be entirely possible to change the thumb stud around and use the knife in a left handed configuration without changing where the clip as installed. I am not left handed though, so no matter how I use it with my left hand it always feels awkward.

            Although I always want to have this knife with me, it is my understanding that the legality of this knife might be questionable in certain jurisdictions, I am reluctant to carry this knife from time to time, especially if I am uncertain as to where exactly I'll be and what the restrictions are in that area


            SUMMARY:

            During the knife's use it was exposed to ocean and tropical air, even with the engraved initials I have never experienced any type of corrosion on any part of the knife including exposed metal. Also, I have had no problem of putting an edge on the knife and it seemed to maintain its edge for a reasonable time. I did notice that after extended use the attached pocket clip will tend to catch on objects and after a few snags, the clip can start to stretch and lose its ability to clip securely to your clothing. Similarly, it is important to note the speed safe assisted opening will wear after time as well. If the knife is dropped on a dense surface from a considerable distance it will open on its own. A few inches won't necessarily do it, but if it were to fall out of your pocket on to say a tile floor, then it would most likely spring open. Overall this is a lightweight, sharp, durable knife and if you add in the fact Kershaw stands behind their warranty, this knife is worth every penny. I would recommend this knife to others and would buy it again in a heartbeat.

            THINGS I LIKE:

            1. warranty
            2. blade's sharpness
            3. speed safe/assisted opening
            4. locking blade
            5. handle feel/grip
            6. belt clip
            7. light weight
            8. durability


            THINGS I DON'T LIKE:

            1. clip can bend
            2. speed safe/assisted opening feature will wear and fail over time
            3. legality varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
            4. handle cavity is difficult to clean and attracts dirt


            SIGNATURE:

            Daniel Casey
            Da wanderin' Yooper



            This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
            Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

            --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Ray" <rayestrella@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > Hello Daniel,
            >
            > Thank you for your Owner Review, it has to be one of the longest first reviews I have ever seen. ;-) (I have the GST model of this knife too.) Your initial edits will follow. They will take the following format;
            >
            > EDIT: must be changed
            > Edit: should be changed but will be left to your discretion
            > Comment: just that or something to think about
            >
            > When you have made the changes please repost here with REPOST added to the subject line. Include your name also please. You can also put a HTML copy in the Owner Review Test Folder. It is found at the end of the list of reviews on the main page or here;
            >
            > http://tinyurl.com/4mfwa
            >
            > If you require assistance with your upload, please ask in our Yahoo!
            > support group,
            >
            > BGTFileUploadHelp @
            >
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/?yguid=209560176
            >
            >
            > Please let me have a link to the review or at least the name once you have it uploaded.
            >
            > Ray
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ***SHIRT L/XL
            > ***WAIST 34/86cm
            > ***INSEAM 32/81cm
            >
            > Edit: these really are not necessary for this review
            >
            >
            >
            > ***Other details:
            >
            > They're some of the first of Kershaw's Ken Onion SpeedSafe knives and still
            > among the best. All feature 13C26 stainless-steel blades for strength and
            > corrosion resistance. The Blackout's blade is also coated with scratch-resistant
            > Tungsten DLC for a handsome, non-reflective surface. All knives include a
            > contoured handle of injection-molded polyimide, an extremely durable engineering
            > plastic, for a comfortable and stable grip. Stainless-steel liners add to the
            > overall handle strength.
            >
            > EDIT: this is pasted from the website and can't stay. The review needs to be in your words, not theirs.
            >
            >
            > ***FIELD USE
            >
            > EDIT: please delete this heading. You have it in the proper spot lower in the review
            >
            >
            >
            > ***The Kershaw Blackout Knife, hereafter the knife or this knife, arrived in the
            > standard gray box with red white and blue highlights, graphics, and lettering.
            >
            > EDIT: as you are not testing this knife it is no concern to the reader how it came to you. In fact since you bought it ten years ago I assume you got it at a store, right?
            >
            >
            >
            > *** Similarly, I noticed that this textured or serrated grip on the blade lock aids in grip when ones fingers wraps across it.
            >
            > EDIT: when "one's" fingers "wrap" around it. But really you should be writing this in the first person. All your "ones's should be "my", "mine" and "I".
            >
            >
            >
            > ***On the opposite side is the model number, patent number, and made in the USA are
            > all engraved the same way.
            >
            > EDIT: delete "is" and put "Made in the USA" in quotations
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > *** This is also the location decided would be best to engrave my initials on my initial
            > knife but I never did on the replacement knife that I received.
            >
            > EDIT: This is also the location "that I" decided
            >
            >
            >
            > *** I do remember hearing somewhere that this brand is the 2nd sharpest knife off the shelf, but I can't remember where I heard that or what the sharpest brand is.
            >
            > EDIT: this should be deleted unless you can prove it so. Really it is just an arguing point that adds nothing to your review.. (I do agree all mine have been darn sharp.)
            >
            >
            >
            > ***Shipboard life aside and after a couple of deployments over seas,
            >
            > EDIT: overseas
            >
            >
            >
            > *** I started taking my knife with me on a these day hikes
            >
            > EDIT: delete "a"
            >
            >
            >
            > *** I maintained the communications equipment and was cutting rope, wire,
            >
            > EDIT: you need to finish the sentence
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ***LONG TERM REPORT:
            > Hawaii, being mostly a distant memory, but my main testing ground for this
            > knife,
            >
            > EDIT: this is not a Test, and we do not want it to be confused as such. It is an Owner Review. Please remove the Long Term Report heading.
            >
            > We also do not need or want a breakdown of your entire history of use with the knife. You don't want people leaving in the middle of the review because they got tired of reading. Just tell how it worked hitting on the high points and corroborating with a "few" examples.
            >
            >
            >
            > *** I utilized the knife as a scraping devise when I needed to remove dried on paint,
            >
            > EDIT: device
            >
            >
            >
            > *** As far as using this knife to pry anything, I will try to find another tool that won't be
            > damaged and didn't cost $80. Usually, there is something lying around like a
            > stick or other object that can be used instead of the blade of this knife to pry
            > on things.
            >
            > EDIT: unnecessary
            >
            >
            >
            > ***This knife is so light that I don't notice when I am carrying it but I will notice when it's no longer within an arms reach.
            >
            > EDIT: arm's reach
            >
            > I am going to quit here. This overly long drama is really hard to read. I suggest that you cut almost all of your ship-board adventures down to just saying that it held up to the conditions and that you wore it out and they replaced it. Then briefly talk about the backpacking use. People want to read about the knife, not your life story. (Not trying to be mean, just realistic.)
            >
            > I will go over it again when you have reposted it.
            >
            >
            > ***LIABILITY DISCLAIMER
            > Kershaw Knives are intended and sold for legitimate sporting purposes only. The
            > purchase, use, and ownership of knives are subject to a wide variety of local
            > laws and regulations. Certain knife styles, blade designs, and blade lengths are
            > not allowed in specific areas. In light of recent events involving national
            > security, knives may not be permitted in government buildings or on government
            > property (such as court houses, federal offices, national monuments, and
            > airports), and government officials may take the position that knives are
            > "weapons" under applicable laws. Due to the complexity and constantly changing
            > nature of these laws and regulations, it is impossible for Kai USA ltd., Kershaw
            > Knives, to be aware of every restriction in every location in which our knives
            > may be sold or carried. It is the responsibility of the buyer to investigate and
            > comply with the laws and regulations that apply in his or her specific area.
            > You, and not Kai USA ltd.,
            > Kershaw Knives, are solely responsible for any claims resulting from violation
            > of these laws and/or regulations.
            >
            > EDIT: this all needs to go. That is Kia's worry, not ours
            >
          • Ray
            OK Daniel, Much better. I was able to get through it ;-) I found just a few edits, which are below. But one thing your review needs is a Field Conditions, or
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 29, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              OK Daniel,

              Much better. I was able to get through it ;-) I found just a few edits, which are below. But one thing your review needs is a Field Conditions, or Field Locations section. I know you mention them in the review proper but we like to see a separate section. Look at this as an example

              http://tinyurl.com/2l3dtn

              I see that you are using the Report Writer. That is a great way to do the HTML. After you fix the review you can put a HTML copy in the Owner Review Test Folder. It is found at the end of the list of reviews on the main page or here;
              http://tinyurl.com/4mfwa

              Log in first then go to that location and follow the directions.

              If you require assistance with your upload, please ask in our Yahoo!
              support group,

              BGTFileUploadHelp @

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/?yguid=209560176


              Please let me have a link to the review or at least the name once you have it uploaded, and REPOST the copy here again.

              Almost there,

              Ray


              *** I think it would be entirely possible to change the thumb stud around and use the
              knife in a left handed configuration without changing where the clip as installed.

              EDIT: where the clip "was" installed



              ***A few inches won't necessarily do it,

              EDIT: need a metric conversion, or just say "a very short drop won't do it"



              *** but if it were to fall out of your pocket on to say a tile floor, then it would most likely spring open.

              EDIT: the your thing. Change it to first person please
            • sputnik98.rm
              Ray, Sorry this took so long to get done. I wasn t happy with the initial draft of my field conditions edit and changed it numerous times until I was happy
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 6, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                Ray,
                Sorry this took so long to get done. I wasn't happy with the initial draft of my "field conditions" edit and changed it numerous times until I was happy with this version I'm sending along. I had uploaded my review previously, but neglected to pass along the link. I will remove the old one and upload this one now with the change. here's the link:

                http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR-Kershaw-Blackout%20Folding%20Knife%20By-Daniel%20Casey/

                I think this should take care of everything. It might be a few weeks until I sit down to do my next OR, but as soon as my semester ends, I'll have plenty of time on my hands so a second OR and hopefully even some test reports will be able to recieve my full attention. Well let me know what i need to do next. Thanks for your time.
                Dan



                KERSHAW BLACK OUT KNIFE
                BY DANIEL CASEY
                OR
                February 10, 2010

                TESTER INFORMATION

                NAME: Daniel Casey
                EMAIL: sputnik98 at rocketmail dot com
                AGE: 29
                LOCATION: Grundy, Virginia, USA
                GENDER: M
                HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.80 m)
                WEIGHT: 180 lb (81.60 kg)

                I am new to lightweight backpacking and just started acquiring my gear in January 2010. I have most of the basics but am unsure as exactly what I need. Most of my prior backpacking experience dating to the 90's consists of day trips while living in Michigan, Hawaii, and now Virginia. I have spent some time in the outdoors on various canoe/camping excursions and day hikes but am embarking on my first week long backpacking adventures this year in 2010. I will be on Isle Royal, Michigan and the Appalachian Trail, and am aiming for light but want all the comforts.

                PRODUCT INFORMATION:

                Manufacturer: Kia USA
                Year of Manufacture: 2001 (Model has not changed in over 10 years)
                Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.kershawknives.com/" LINK TEXT = "http://www.kershawknives.com/">>
                MSRP: US $89.95
                Listed Weight: 3.5 oz (99 g)
                Measured Weight: 3.52 oz (99.8 g)
                Blade Length: 3 1/4 in (8.4 cm)
                Closed Length: 4 1/2 in (11.3 cm)
                Complete Length: 7.72 in (19.61 cm)
                Blade Material: Sandvik 13C26 stainless-steel
                Handle Material: Polyimide


                FEATURES:
                • SpeedSafe
                • Locking Liner
                • Coating
                • Thumb Stud
                • Pocket Clip

                <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Open">>

                INITIAL IMPRESSION:

                The Kershaw Blackout Knife, hereafter the knife or this knife. Once in my hand, the Polyimide handle was comfortable and felt contoured to my hand. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "grip">>


                I quickly noticed that small details were not forgotten in the design of the knife. One of the details not over looked was the grip, the texture of the handle provided adequate grip. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Closed">>


                In addition, there are many other attentions to detail that are included in the design of the knife. For instance, Kershaw has secured a belt clip to the knife with three small Philips head screws. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "clip">> When I looked above where the clip is secured, I noticed that the thumb stud is secured to the blade also by a Phillips screw. The thumb stud is primarily used to open the blade one handed and is set up for right handed use by default as seen below.
                <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "back">>


                Upon opening the blade of this knife, the blade swings into place very quickly, and is secured by a simple blade lock located inside the handle of the knife. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "lock">> The action is so quick that it almost reminds me of a switch blade.

                To close the blade back into the handle, I have to press the blade lock inward, as shown above. Also pictured above, I noticed that the blade lock has a serrated grip; similar to the thumb grip, this feature can be viewed in the image above. I did notice this textured or serrated grip on the blade lock when I wrap my fingers across it while gripping the knife.


                The blade itself is all black with the Company name and founder laser engraved right next to the thumb stud. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Open">>


                On the opposite side, the model number, patent number, and "Made in the USA" are all engraved the same way. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "blade back">> This is also the location that I decided would be best to engrave my initials on my initial knife but I never did on the replacement knife that I received. The initials were difficult to engrave into the blade's scratch-resistant Tungsten DLC, even with an engraving gun, but it is possible.

                After inspecting the blade, the next detail that stood out was the thumb grip provided on the back of the blade. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "back">>


                This knife is constructed with a hex nut that secures the blade to the handle, and I later discovered, it also functions as a tension adjustment for the blade's assisted opening. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "thumb stud">>


                Finally upon my initial inspection, I noticed that opposite the hex-nut, Kershaw used an eye bolt that I could use to place a lanyard through. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "End">>


                This knife did require a little bit of getting used to when I opened it the first couple of times. When holding the knife in my hand, <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "grip">>
                I only need to apply a nominal amount of pressure, perpendicular from the handle, against the thumb stud and the blade literally shoots open very quickly with no further assistance. This feels awkward at first because of the speed and sharpness of the blade. After getting comfortable opening it, it becomes second nature, but it did require some familiarizing for me to be 100% comfortable opening. In regards to the sharpness of the knife, I am very pleased with not only how sharp this knife arrived but, the knife seems to hold a sharp edge for awhile too. This knife showed up so sharp it shaved the hair off my arm. In addition to this, Kershaw's website states that if I pay the shipping fees, Kershaw will routinely sharpen the knife at no cost.


                FIELD USE

                FIELD CONDITIONS:
                I have been carrying this knife for approximately 10 years to include a wide range of conditions that I would consider to exceed the average backpacker's use. My backpacking experience consists of day hikes in Hawaii on some local trails:
                Pali Highway
                Koli Koa Pass
                And a couple of trails that remain nameless to me
                Also, it is significant to note that the knife was used in many other places including the Arabian Desert where it survived being exposed for 5 hours in a sandstorm. Later the knife was used in the rugged Michigan Wilderness
                Tahquamenon Falls
                Two Heart River near West Branch, MI
                Brule, River Michigan Wisconsin Border
                Presently, the Appalachian Mountains and the day hikes taken.
                Buchanan county bike/walking trail
                Breaks Interstate Park

                I initially purchased this knife to use while serving in the military. A friend of mine had spoken very highly of this knife and after using it for a short time, I quickly fell in love. I had bought this knife in approximately 2001 with the sole intention of using this knife onboard a military ship, but ultimately ended up using it for more than just work. To date, this knife has been carried in a wide variety of conditions from tropical conditions near the equator, to sand storm conditions in the Arabian Desert, and to the bitter cold of a Michigan winter.

                Besides being used on traditional cutting tasks, I utilized the knife as a scraping device when I needed to remove dried on paint, scuffs, or other blemishes that simple rubbing would not fix. The knife's sharp edge allowed it to scrape dried paint from floors and other areas it did not belong. As stated, opposite the hex nut fastener that secures the handle to the blade, there is a hollow eye/rivet that fastens the other end of the knife's handle together. Because of this I could safely tie the knife off and not worry about dropping it while using the knife at a height where dropping it would be treacherous.

                As a result of constantly opening and closing this knife, I eventually wore out the speed safe/assisted opening feature. The knife stopped opening as quickly, and required a bit more effort to open. This is where the previously mentioned hex-nut fastener comes into play. I learned that by tightening this nut, I could increase the resistance of the action. This was effective, but was difficult to get it exactly the way I wanted. After playing with the tension nut, it was adjusted to what felt like the knife was operating normally. A draw back though is that once I started tightening the bolt, it seemed that the knife needed to be tightened frequently. Eventually all the adjusting was not enough, I tightened the hex nut as tight as it could go and the speed safe/assisted opening would no longer work

                Although I got some use on my infrequent day hikes, I was able to continually subject this knife to field tests in environments that are much harsher than a typical wilderness environment because of my past military service. While onboard ship this knife was subject constantly to the salty air that I worked in. I maintained the communications equipment and was cutting rope, wire, and other items that exceeds a hiker's needs but are common onboard a Navy ship. This knife held up to these harsh conditions and I actually wore my first one out from playing with the speed safe opening device and not from cutting. Kia was great about it, I sent in the old worn out one and they sent me a brand new one.

                Shipboard life aside and after a couple of deployments overseas, I realized how useful my knife could be on the day hikes I occasionally took. I started taking my knife with me on these day hikes while living on the island of Oahu. There are really only about 3 day hikes I ended up taking while living here that are worth mentioning. Those hikes consisted of simple day hikes on the Pali Highway Trail, a hike along an unknown trail that led to two different waterfalls and through a bamboo forest, and finally the last and most significant hike I took while living in Hawaii was when I had to the privilege of hiking The Koli Koa Pass on the Schofield Barracks Army Post in Oahu Hawaii. During all these day hikes, use of my Kershaw knife was limited to cutting some of the bamboo trees growing along the unknown trail and I experience quick easy cutting

                Upon my relocating back to Michigan, I had plenty of opportunities to subject my knife to what could be considered more realistic backpacking situations. Also, I have had the opportunity to use it on more in depth trips than just day hikes; I have found myself using my knife on my increasing outdoor adventures. Specifically, once on a 3 day canoe trip down the Two Heart River near West Branch, Michigan , and the second time was on a 3 day canoe trip down the Brule River on the Michigan, Wisconsin boarder. This knife performed admirably while in camp and on the water. It was clipped to my pocket and easy to access to open packaging, cut branches, cut ropes, fashion tools from the cut branches, mainly sharp sticks to make tent stakes and cooking instruments. This knife has no problem cutting through ropes and wood objects that are normally associated with camping. I am yet to use it to fillet a fish, because we never seem to be able to catch any fish. However, I have used it during other food preparation and consuming activities and it has easily and precisely cut through normal food items. In addition to canoeing and camping, I have used this knife on a few day hikes and geo caching trips my wife and I have taken. I can not specifically say what it was used for during these smaller trips but I can say it's always there when I reach for it. Even if I don't have an opportunity to use this knife, it is so light that I don't notice that I'm carrying it; but I will notice when it's no longer within an arm's reach.

                It is obvious that this knife was designed with right hand use in mind. I've always wondered if I was left handed if I would reverse the thumb stud to give it a left handed set up. The thumb stud attaches with a Philips screw, and I have reversed the thumb stud and used this in a left handed configuration. Initially I was concerned with changing this over because I felt the clip would get in the way but after trying it out to see whether or not it would work, I think it would be entirely possible to change the thumb stud around and use the knife in a left handed configuration without changing where the clip was installed. I am not left handed though, so no matter how I use it with my left hand it always feels awkward.

                Although I always want to have this knife with me, it is my understanding that the legality of this knife might be questionable in certain jurisdictions, I am reluctant to carry this knife from time to time, especially if I am uncertain as to where exactly I'll be and what the restrictions are in that area


                SUMMARY:

                During the knife's use it was exposed to ocean and tropical air, even with the engraved initials I have never experienced any type of corrosion on any part of the knife including exposed metal. Also, I have had no problem of putting an edge on the knife and it seemed to maintain its edge for a reasonable time. I did notice that after extended use the attached pocket clip will tend to catch on objects and after a few snags, the clip can start to stretch and lose its ability to clip securely to your clothing. Similarly, it is important to note the speed safe assisted opening will wear after time as well. If the knife is dropped on a dense surface from a considerable distance it will open on its own. A very short drop won't necessarily do it, but if it falls out of my pocket on to say a tile floor, then it will most likely spring open. Overall this is a lightweight, sharp, durable knife and if you add in the fact Kershaw stands behind their warranty, this knife is worth every penny. I would recommend this knife to others and would buy it again in a heartbeat.

                THINGS I LIKE:

                1. warranty
                2. blade's sharpness
                3. speed safe/assisted opening
                4. locking blade
                5. handle feel/grip
                6. belt clip
                7. light weight
                8. durability


                THINGS I DON'T LIKE:

                1. clip can bend
                2. speed safe/assisted opening feature will wear and fail over time
                3. legality varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
                4. handle cavity is difficult to clean and attracts dirt


                SIGNATURE:

                Daniel Casey
                Da wanderin' Yooper



                This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
                Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

                --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Ray" <rayestrella@...> wrote:
                >
                > OK Daniel,
                >
                > Much better. I was able to get through it ;-) I found just a few edits, which are below. But one thing your review needs is a Field Conditions, or Field Locations section. I know you mention them in the review proper but we like to see a separate section. Look at this as an example
                >
                > http://tinyurl.com/2l3dtn
                >
                > I see that you are using the Report Writer. That is a great way to do the HTML. After you fix the review you can put a HTML copy in the Owner Review Test Folder. It is found at the end of the list of reviews on the main page or here;
                > http://tinyurl.com/4mfwa
                >
                > Log in first then go to that location and follow the directions.
                >
                > If you require assistance with your upload, please ask in our Yahoo!
                > support group,
                >
                > BGTFileUploadHelp @
                >
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/?yguid=209560176
                >
                >
                > Please let me have a link to the review or at least the name once you have it uploaded, and REPOST the copy here again.
                >
                > Almost there,
                >
                > Ray
                >
                >
                > *** I think it would be entirely possible to change the thumb stud around and use the
                > knife in a left handed configuration without changing where the clip as installed.
                >
                > EDIT: where the clip "was" installed
                >
                >
                >
                > ***A few inches won't necessarily do it,
                >
                > EDIT: need a metric conversion, or just say "a very short drop won't do it"
                >
                >
                >
                > *** but if it were to fall out of your pocket on to say a tile floor, then it would most likely spring open.
                >
                > EDIT: the your thing. Change it to first person please
                >
              • Ray
                Hi Daniel, This is good. The only problem is that most of the photos are so out of focus as to be unusable. Can you retake those? Try holding the camera back
                Message 7 of 7 , Apr 8, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Daniel,

                  This is good. The only problem is that most of the photos are so out of focus as to be unusable. Can you retake those? Try holding the camera back from it a bit, or use the macro setting. Let me know when it is in the test folder again to check them out.

                  Ray
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