When I opened my new Kershaw Blur, I noticed several things I immediately liked about it. This being a Ken Onion design, it is built with the knife user in mind. This is no fancy knife that can’t be carried and used. This is a hard charging, built to perform knife that is ready for action when you pull it out of the box. I immediately noticed the Trac-Tec grip tape inserts in the handle. These feel just a bit spongy when pressed with a finger tip and are extremely grippy. In another life, I rode skateboards. Each skateboard deck has grip tape on it. What you are looking for in grip tape is one that will keep your feet from slipping but won’t scratch the living daylights out of your hands when you grab your board in the middle of a jump or trick. Same deal with a knife. And putting my hands on the Trac-Tec grip tape insert, I can tell you–there is grip tape and then there is Trac-Tec. This stuff is amazing. It is soft enough that it doesn’t scratch and pull at your hand. But the texture really gives your hand a solid purchase on the handle. The next thing I noticed was how fast the blade opens when the thumb studs are activated. A slight start is all it needs and the blade comes blazing out and locks up nice and tight.
I chose to carry the 1670OLBLK. This means it has a black tactical blade along with a dark olive green handle. Here are some basics about the knife. The blade is Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel with a DLC coating. If you aren’t sure what DLC means–it means a Diamond Like Coating. It is a fairly durable black finish is reasonably hard and scratch resistant. It will scratch, but not easily. The handle is 6061-T6 anodized aluminum. In the case of my knife, it is olive drab. But the Blur is also available with handle colors of black, red and desert sand. The cheat sheet of specs is as follows–direct from the Kershaw Website.
- Made in the USA
- SpeedSafe assisted opening
- Liner lock
- Reversible (tip-up/tip-down, right) pocketclip
- Steel: Sandvik 14C28N, DLC coating
- Handle: 6061-T6 anodized aluminum, Trac-Tec inserts
- Blade length: 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm)
- Closed length: 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
- Overall length: 7 7/8 in. (20 cm)
- Weight: 3.9 oz.
The SpeedSafe system, if you don’t know much about it, is Kershaw’s proprietary spring assist system. It opens fast. I have had three Kershaw knives with the SpeedSafe and have been pleased with each one. One of the selling points for me was the fact that this is a USA made knife. A definite plus in my estimation.
So what I noticed quickly was how sharp the blade is on my Kershaw Blur. I haven’t ever had a blade with this shape belly before. If you are wondering what a blade belly is, check out my blog post from last week on Quick Knife Terms. The belly shape makes this a great knife for slicing actions. So with that in mind, I set to work slicing everything I could put my hands on. From apples to cardboard to little odds and ends around the office, I sliced a bit of everything. Here is what I quickly noticed. When I put the blade on the item to be sliced, I would place the part of the blade that is closest to my hand right on the item. From there, I would pull. The slight belly would “bite” on the item as I pulled the blade towards my self. It would bite deeply into the item and slice it just like I wanted. So I quickly realized, what the experts say about a belly on a blade is true. It actually assists you in slicing cuts. And the blade on my Blur sliced like a professional. After several days of slicing, it still is cutting with no issues.
The thumb ramps on the Blur are different than any thumb studs I have ever had before. They are angled. Oddly enough, at first I really liked this. Then I went through about a week where I didn’t like it. Now I am back to liking it. Here is what happened. When you put your thumb on these studs, the angle makes for a very natural thumb placement. The pad of your thumb gets a solid spot to rest and as you flick your thumb forward and up (the same motion you used back when you were shooting a marble as a kid) the blade snaps right open. This is especially nice for me. About 10 years ago I shot a 3.5″ framing nail through the joint on my thumb. It healed ok, but I only have about 80% strength in the thumb. Some spring assists are hard for me to operate because of this. Not the Blur. It is the easiest I have ever put my hands on. Then after a couple of days, I noticed I had several scratches on the back of my hand. I couldn’t figure out what was going on at first. Then I realized, the edge on the thumb studs was catching the back of my hand as I put my hand into my pocket where the Blur was resting. For about a week, I thought it was going to be a deal breaker. I was in love with the knife, but if it was going to slice my hand up–no joy. But after a week, I noticed I wasn’t getting cut anymore. Upon further study, I realized two things had solved the problem. I had begun to put my hand into my pocket at just a slightly different angle. And, over the now, 14 days of use, the thumb studs had smoothed just slightly. Not a ton, but just enough that they don’t snag my hand anymore. So problem solved.
The pocket clip on the Blur is in a normal position on the knife. By this I mean that it isn’t a deep carry pocket clip. Tip down or tip up, the pocket clip can be set either way. I use it tip down. I like the clip. It is a bit wider than many pocket clips. The knife also has a lanyard hole.
Had a bit of box work to do at work today. While I was at it, I figured I would cut a bunch of cardboard to see if the blade would stay sharp. The blade performs extremely well when the material being cut is supported. I noticed this the other day when I was cutting some thin branches off trees. It cuts extremely well when slicing. It works just as well on slice cuts whether you are pushing or pulling.
If you are looking for a high quality assist knife, the Kershaw Blur definitely fits the bill. Built tough with high quality materials, the knife is certain to quickly become an EDC favorite for you. The handle is relatively thin and very comfortable due to the Trac-Tec insert. The liner lock is plenty strong. The assist mechanism is blazing fast. The the blade is fantastic. The pocket clip goes tip up or tip down–whichever you prefer. And the knife is available in a variety of handle colors and blade finishes. Don’t forget to check out the newest Blur with a blackwash finish blade. Find your favorite Kershaw Blur on our website here. And let me know what you think of yours down below.