LTR - Kershaw Rainbow Leek knife - Arron Robinson
- LTR - Kershaw Rainbow Leek knife - Arron Robinson
Submitted for editing. HTML is available here:
Long Term Report - Kershaw Rainbow Leek knife
Name: Arron Robinson
Height: 5' 9.5" (1.77 m)
Weight: 230 lb (104.3 kg)
Email address: mouserar-at-gmail-dot-com
City, State, Country: Dallas, Georgia, USA
Date: 1 March 2006
Backpacking Background: Camping and hiking since 11, I've been in a
constant search for the perfect balance between usability, durability and
weight. These days my camping is generally a mix of Boy Scout style crew
camping, kayak or canoe camping or light to mid weight hiking. I generally
carry 20-25 lb (9-11 kg) and sleep in a hammock system.
3.1 oz (88g)
3 oz (86 g)
Length - closed:
7 in (17.7 cm)
7 in (17.7 cm)
Length - opened:
4 in (10.1 cm)
4 in (10.1 cm)
Length - blade:
3 in (7.6 cm)
3 in (7.6 cm)
Titanium Coated 410 Stainless Steel
Titanium Coated 440A Stainless Steel
The Kershaw Rainbow Leek is a folding knife designed by Ken Onion. The
handle consists of two steel plates about 1/8 in (3 mm) which have been
coated with titanium dioxide and hit with an electrical current, which
causes color variations in the surface finish. The handle also includes a
sliding locking mechanism as well as a clip, which can be repositioned on
the knife (more on this later) and a hole to accept a cord or lanyard. The
blade itself is a drop-point shape with a single edge. The blade has also
been finished in the manner of the handle, lending it a rainbow look.
Since mid January, I have continued to carry the Rainbow Leek daily. In that
time I have used it for a couple of day hikes as well as a weekend
The trip was in mid February on the Pine Mountain Trail in central Georgia.
Temperatures ranged between a balmy high of 50 F (10 C) and a low of 32 F (0
C). It rained darn near continuously, only stopping in the afternoon on the
second day long enough to set up camp.
In day to day use, the knife gets a lot of attention. The look is very
unusual and people tend to want to try it out.
Daily use of the knife has proven to be little concern as far as wear on the
knife. I have honed the knife on a few occasions, without issues. The edge
comes back to near razor sharpness with ease. There have been a few
instances where fruit juices or other sticky substances (adhesives, etc.)
have made their way into the action of the knife, slowing its opening. In
these cases, a soak in hot soapy water and a quick shot of machine oil or
silicone was enough to bring the knife back to its original snap when
In testing I have explored the following questions about the Kershaw Rainbow
Leek, in my time with the knife so far, I have come to the following
* What is the hardness of the blade like? The blade has held
up to considerable use and abuse. It has not bent or lost it's edge any more
than I would expect under constant use. Honing it back to a sharp edge is
quick and painless.
* I will probably occasionally need to use the blade to pry
small things a bit. Will the blade bend? The blade has held its shape well,
not bending or warping.
* Will the steel hold an edge well, or need constant
maintenance? Not as wickedly sharp as when it arrived, but still holding an
edge. Sharpens up well and is easy to maintain.
* Will the knife hold a sharp point? Ah, upon closer
inspection it would appear that the tile did a number on the tip of the
blade, which is now rounded off a bit. After a few additional sharpenings,
the point has returned.
2. Handle Construction:
* The only visible connection between the handle halves is 3
screws. Is there more holding the halves together? The strongest point of
contact between the handle halves is the main "hinge" screw of the knife
where the blade pivots. I do not foresee a problem with this.
* Does the handle have grip to it or does it slip? The finish
is smooth, but not particularly slippery. It is more slick than an aluminum
handle, but not any more slippery than another steel handle.
3. Opening/Locking Mechanism:
* Many sites are carrying this knife. Many claim that this is
the fastest legal opening mechanism available. I often need to be able to
use a knife one handed, and I wonder if this mechanism is that easy to use?
In fact, the Kershaw documentation recommends that this blade only be opened
one handed, due to the quick movement of the blade. Opening the knife has
become second nature, as is sliding the safety into place when returning it
to my pocket.
* Will it operate smoothly after continued use? So far, the
action has slowed ever so slightly. I have lubricated it and sharpened it
and the snap it came with has returned.
* Will it open unexpectedly? I did have the blade open while
pulling it from my pocket once; it scared me quite a bit, but did not cut
anything. I have not been able to duplicate this occurrence.
* The finish on this knife is beautiful. Will it wear off
easily? Not easily, but prolonged use against rock did scratch the finish.
* Does it add a texture to the blade? Nope.
* How does sharpening the knife affect the finish of the
blade? The very edge of the blade does lose its rainbow hues, but overall,
the use of the knife does not effect the look.
* Does it change if the knife is exposed to heat? Cooking with
the knife over both stove heat and open flame has caused no change in the
appearance of the knife.
Impressions After Long Term Testing:
The Kershaw Rainbow Leek knife is a beautiful knife which has a simple
design. It has held up to more than its share of use in the woods and out.
It has found a permenant place in my pocket.
1. The knife is beautiful, and a conversation starter to be sure
2. Reasonably light
3. Holds its edge well
1. I did have one scare of the blade opening while pulling it out of my
pocket. I am considering it a freak occurrence until it happens again.
Thanks to Backpackgeartest.org <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> and
Kershaw for the opportunity to share my experiences!
Sr. Technical Specialist, Prinect Management Solutions
Heidelberg USA Inc.
1000 Gutenberg Drive
Kennesaw, GA 30144
( Office: + 1 770 794 6168
( Mobile: + 1 678 772 7902
) Fax: + 1 413 480.4544
: E-Mail: arron.robinson@...
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- EDIT: LTR - Kershaw Rainbow Leek knife - Arron Robinson
Arron - a few little things to tweak, but nothing much -
My thanks to you, and all the other Kershaw reviewers, for making this
an easy and interesting test series to monitor.
Robinson, Arron HUS wrote:
>LTR - Kershaw Rainbow Leek knife - Arron Robinsonedit: speerhammocks ?? :-)
>Submitted for editing. HTML is available here:
>Long Term Report - Kershaw Rainbow Leek knife
>Name: Arron Robinson
btw - in the html, this is attached to an empty piece of text, just
before the following table - so you may have some trouble deleting it if
you use a WYSIWYG editor.
>Length - closed:edit: are those two measurements switched around ? Should it be 4 inches
> 7 in (17.7 cm)
> 7 in (17.7 cm)
>Length - opened:
> 4 in (10.1 cm)
> 4 in (10.1 cm)
closed, and 7 inches opened ?
>1. Blade:edit: should be "lost its edge" (no apostrophe needed here)
> * What is the hardness of the blade like? The blade has held
>up to considerable use and abuse. It has not bent or lost it's edge any more
>than I would expect under constant use. Honing it back to a sharp edge is
>quick and painless.
> * Will the knife hold a sharp point? Ah, upon closeredit: "the tile did a number" .... I remember the tile story from the
>inspection it would appear that the tile did a number on the tip of the
>blade, which is now rounded off a bit. After a few additional sharpenings,
>the point has returned.
FR, but since it isn't mentioned here in the LTR, it may be confusing to
the reader. I'd suggest either a one-sentence summary here, or a pointer
to the FR.
>The Kershaw Rainbow Leek knife is a beautiful knife which has a simpleedit: permenant -> permanent
>design. It has held up to more than its share of use in the woods and out.
>It has found a permenant place in my pocket.
Alex Tweedly http://www.tweedly.net
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