Kershaw Camp 10 Knife Review

Kershaw Camp 10

Kershaw Knives designs and manufactures a wide range of knives, including pocket knives, sporting knives, and kitchen cutlery. Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd., a member of the KAI Group, headquartered in Tualatin, Oregon.

Kershaw Knives was started in Portland, Oregon in 1974 when knife salesman Pete Kershaw left Gerber Legendary Blades to form his own cutlery company based on his own designs. Early manufacturing was primarily done in Japan. In 1977, Kershaw became a wholly owned subsidiary of the KAI Group. In 1997 the U.S. production facility was opened in Wilsonville, Oregon. Due to an expanding market, the facilities were moved to a larger production site in 2003. Currently, Kai USA manufacturing facilities are located in Tualatin, Oregon with some goods coming from their Japanese and Chinese factories.

Kershaw has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers over the years to produce ground-breaking knives. Collaborations include working with Hall of Fame Knife Maker, Ken Onion on Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives, Ernest Emerson, Grant and Gavin Hawk, Frank Centofante, Rick Hinderer, RJ Martin, and more.

Kershaw was founded in 1974 to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. This has meant that every Kershaw knife must be of the highest quality. They use appropriate, high-quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Along with extremely tight tolerances and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, this ensures that Kershaw Knives provide a lifetime of performance.

Kershaw says, “if this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back. For design, innovation, quality, and genuine pride of ownership, Kershaw is the one.”

Today we will be discussing the Kershaw Camp 10.

Kershaw Camp 10
Kershaw Camp 10

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 65Mn steel. This is a readily-available Chinese steel that has been specifically designed to provide good wear resistance as well as high hardness. This steel has a medium-high carbon content which means that it is going to have a high degree of toughness and resilience. The steel also has manganese, which in addition to also improving the toughness and resilience, it also improves the hot-working characteristics of the steel. What does this mean? It means that it makes for a great steel for machetes such as the Camp 10.

The blade has been finished with a black powder-coat. There are a few very good reasons for having a coated blade, for starters, it increases the life expectancy of the blade. This is because it forms a barrier between the steel and the environment, so that the steel cannot rust or corrode as easily as it once could have. The coating will also cut down on all glares and reflections, which is key if you are trying to remain hidden. A machete such as this one implies that you are in stealth mode when you use it, so the coated finish was a good option. The coating also makes this knife sleek and can reduce the drag, making it easier to stab with this knife. The biggest drawback to a coated finish is that the coating is going to scratch off eventually. Whether that is caused because of time or heavy use, it will scratch off. At this point, you have to recoat the blade if you want the same benefits.

This is a large drop point blade, characterized by the slow slope from the handle to the lowered tip. This is a tough blade shape as well as a versatile one. The tip is lowered, which does add an element of control. With such a large knife, you are going to want all the control that you can get. The tip is also very broad, which adds strength to the blade. In the case of the Camp 10, it adds so much strength. You are going to want all of the strength you can get when it comes to a machete, because you are going to be taking on all sorts of the natural elements, which we all know are the toughest elements. The drop point blade also has a massive belly, which will allow you to slice with the knife. Because of the strength, size, and thickness of this knife, you will be able to slice through even the thickest of branches.

Like all good machetes, the blade is plain. This means that you will be able to sharpen it in the field if needed, because all you really will need is a couple good stones. The plain edge allows you to take on a wider variety of tasks, so you won’t be limited to just sawing through materials.

 

The Handle:

This is a full tang knife, so the handle is made out of 65Mn steel, but it does have a rubber over mold. The full tang makes the knife stronger and more durable. The full tang just means that the entire knife is made out of one piece of carved metal. There are no weak spots where the handle and the blade have been welded together. This means that the knife is less likely to break. When you are in the field or out on a mission, if the handle happens to break off or break down, you will still have the entire knife, just without the grip of the rubber over mold. With a full tang knife, you don’t have to worry about what material you are trying to cut through. Plus, you are going to use this knife for more than just cutting because of the strength, but we will get back to that in the mechanism section.

The rubber over mold is tan, which pairs perfectly with the black portions of the rest of the knife. The rubber over mold makes this knife more comfortable to hold, because it adds a little bit of width and softness. The over mold is also intensely checkered so that you don’t have to worry about your grip slipping when you are in the heat of things. When you are using a machete, chances are you are in a strange or extreme environment. The grip of the over mold ensures that no matter what your environment is, you will have a strong and secure grip on this huge knife.

The handle has two large finger guards on each side of the handle, to ensure that you don’t cut yourself. The spine of the handle bulges out slightly to give you a more comfortable grip. The belly of the handle also bulges out slightly to give you a comfortable grip so that you can hold on to this knife for long periods of time if needed.

In the butt of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole carved in. This is crucial because a lanyard will help secure tis knife against loss. If you need to field dress any animals, the lanyard will give you a little bit more safety during that task. You can also wrap the lanyard around the handle to give more texture no matter what you are trying to accomplish. Lastly, if you are worried about visibility or losing your knife, you can tie on a brightly colored lanyard, or a bright piece of flagging onto your lanyard.

 

The Mechanism:

The Camp 10 is a fixed blade, which has plenty of benefits. For starters, they are stronger than other knives and also bigger than other knives. You can find a fixed blade in almost any size, from small, to ginormous just like this one. All of them are going to have extremely strong blades. Next, fixed blades don’t break because there are no moving parts on a fixed lade to break. Fixed blades are also easier to maintain, because you do not have to worry about the hinge like with a folding knife. Plus, cleaning is very straightforward and very simple. All you have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and oil the blade occasionally. This makes it a great option if you are going to be in nature for long periods of time—nothing can get in the handle, rusting and breaking down the mechanisms. Then, the biggest advantage to this fixed blade is that it is a superior survival tool. Because of the strength and versatility, you can use this knife for a wide variety of tasks such as cutting, digging, splitting wood, using it as a first aid tool, using it to prepare food, using it as a hunting weapon, hammering, or even a prying tool. The thickness of this knife will come in especially handy when it comes to hammering and prying. All in all, though, you can’t really go wrong with the Camp 10.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this Kershaw knife is made out of Glass-Filled Nylon, or GFN. This is the same material as Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon. They are both a thermoplastic material which is very strong, resistant to bending, resistant to abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, it is super cheap to make and thus purchase. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. All of these characteristics lend well to high volume manufacturing and hence the lower cost.

One of the reasons that it is so strong is because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. This is different than G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which are all similar materials, but have the fiberglass strands aligned in a single direction. Some of the benefits are that it is strong, tough, inexpensive, and requires zero maintenance—perfect for this low maintenance machete. The cons of the knife are that it has a cheap plastic feel to it and it has less grip than G-10 does.

The sheath also includes a belt loop, making this knife very easy to always have on you and out of the way. The sheath is tan, which matches the handle, with black loops, which match the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 10 inches long, with an overall length of 16 inches long. This knife weighs in at a hefty one pound and 2.3 ounces, which gives you the heft to take on virtually anything. When the knife is in the sheath, it weighs in at 1 pound and 8 ounces.

 

The Conclusion:

Kershaw says, “The popular Kershaw Camp 10 machete has been widely praised for both value and durability. And while its original black-and-gray color scheme looks great in the filed or in the backyard, we thought we’d try this favorite in a new color, too. This new black-and-tan color scheme was inspired by a Camp 10 that was put to work and got all dusty in the process. Turns out, it looked pretty good doing it. The new ‘Camp Tan’ as the designer likes to call it, has all the features of the regular Camp 10, but with a tan handle and sheath. From clearing brush to making kindling, the Camp 10 Tan is the ideal outdoor and survival tool. Cut, slash, hack, split, scrape—just about any task you ask of it, the Camp 10 Tan can handle. The full-tang Camp 10 Tan is made of 65Mn carbon tool steel for toughness and wear resistance. A black powder coat protects the steel and makes maintenance easier. With its rubber over mold, the Camp 10’s handle is super-grippy and provides and extra-secure, contoured grip. The handle has a built-in hand guard and is drilled in both front and rear so you can attach a lanyard either place—or both—for carrying versatility. The new Camp 10 Tan comes with a matching tan molded sheath with handy lash points and nylon straps. It attaches to pack, belt, ATV trial box, or saddle bags with ease.” Pick up this brand new Kershaw machete today at BladeOps.

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