Kershaw Decimus Knife Review

From award-winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, when you’re carrying a Kershaw, you know you’re carrying the real thing. Kershaw says that the real thing means value and plenty of it. With Kershaw, you get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Even their inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, reliable.

Kershaw says, “You can always look to Kershaw for every day carrying knives that can tame any cardboard box and liberate any purchase from tis plastic packaging, sporting knives that make hunting, fishing, watersports, and camping even better, work knives that won’t let you down, and tactual knives that ensure you’re ready for anything.”

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. Whether it’s a hardworking pocketknife, a hunting knife, or a special collector’s edition, Kershaw always chooses 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 has a commitment to innovation and pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. Their SpeedSafe assisted opening knives were first-to-market. They introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in their Blade Traders. Recently, their Composite Blade technology, which combines two steels in to one blade, gives knife users the best of both worlds by enabling Kershaw to use steel known for edge retention on the edge and steel known for strength on the spine. And they promise to keep on innovating, bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife-using public.

Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd, a member of the Kai Group. For over 100 years, Kai has been Japan’s premier blade producer. Kai takes an innovative approach to product development based on the close coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a popular budget brand of knife steel. This is a Chinese steel; if you were comparing it to another steel, the closest in composition is a Japanese AUS-8 steel. This steel demonstrates very worthy characteristics of cutting. With a suitable heat treatment of steel, the products made of 8Cr13MoV steel retain the sharpness for a long period of time. This steel also has a high corrosion resistance, which is surprising based on the quality of the steel. Because this is a softer steel, the blade will keep sharpening well and be easy to sharpen. Overall, this steel has a good balance of strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. The biggest advantage that this steel has to offer is how inexpensive it is. While this is a cheap steel, it can stand up to daily wear and tear. But, this steel is not going to compare to the newer super steels that are on the block.

The knife has been finished with a BlackWash, which is also known as an acid wash. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. An acid stonewashing or black stonewash finish is a blade that has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blade is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime; the stonewashed finish hides the scratches that can occur with use overtime.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a spear point blade shape. This is a similar blade style to the needle-point blade because they are both meant for piercing and piercing well. However, the spear point blade is stronger and does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing. A spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. In contrast to the needle point blade, which has a very sharp but weak point, a spear point knife has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. Spear point blades contain a small belly which can be used for some cutting and slicing applications, but the belly is pretty small, especially when compared to drop point and clip point knives. The spear point knife is a really good hybrid knife, because it maintains a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. It combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while still maintaining some of the belly that you can be used for slicing. This is a very functional design.

The Decimus blade is plain edged, which is ideal for this everyday carry knife. The plain edge allows you to take on a wider variety of tasks. It will also give you cleaner cuts, be easier to sharpen, and will take a finer edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is stonewashed stainless steel with a glass-filled nylon overlay.

Stainless steel gives this knife high durability while being resistant to corrosion, but it is extremely heavy. Stainless steel handles tend to be slippery, which is where the glass-filled nylon comes in.

Glass-filled nylon is a thermoplastic material that is super strong, practically indestructible, and resistant to bending and abrasion. Plus, this is a cheaper material to produce. This material is so near to being indestructible because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. This material is similar to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, except that those materials have their fibers arranged in a single direction. This is why glass-filled nylon is so much stronger. This is such an inexpensive material to make because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. One of the issues that people find with glass-filled nylon is that it does not have a lot of character and feels cheap.

The handle is one of the more unique parts of the knife. Each side of the handle has a large flipper/finger guard that protects your knife from slipping, while also giving this knife a medieval look. Right after the finger guards, on each side, there are two shallow finer grooves. The butt of the handle tapers to a flat end. Near the butt, on the spine and the belly of the handle, there is a short row of thick jimping. This jimping will allow you to have a better hold on your blade while you are cutting.

The stainless steel portions of the handle are rugged and give the knife a well-worn look. The glass-filled nylon provides enough grip that you won’t have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hands in most environments.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is finished satin and slightly skeletonized. The clip is kept in place by two black screws that match the handle, and some of the hardware. The rest of the hardware is silver. The pocket clip is reversible with right and left handed carrying. However, the clip can only be attached for tip up carry.

 

Kershaw 1559 Decimus
Kershaw 1559 Decimus

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife that is equipped with SpeedSafe Assisted Opening mechanism, a flipper opening mechanism, and a frame lock locking mechanism.

Kershaw was the first to bring SpeedSafe assisted opening knives to market, launching a revolution in opening systems—and winning numerous industry awards along the way. Originally designed by hall of Fame knife maker, Ken Onion, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives flew off the shelves. Today, almost all knife companies offer some sort of assisted opening knife, but none matches the popularity or proven durability of the original. SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual pull back on the flipper. The heart of SpeedSafe is its torsion bar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife from being opened by “gravity;” it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, the user applies manual pressure to the flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade opens smoothly and locks into positon, ready for use. The SpeedSafe makes the knife very safe to use. When the user overcomes the resistance of the torsion bar, SpeedSafe assists in opening the knife. Once opened, a locking system secures the blade in position so that it does not close accidentally. When releasing the lock, the blade won’t snap shut due to resistance provided by the torsion bar. Since the torsion bar provides a bias towards the closed positon, it will normally hold the blade securely closed.

To open this knife, you will hold the knife handle vertically in one hand. Place your index finger on the top of the flipper and gently apply downward pressure on it. The Decimus will open quickly and easily, and the blade locks into place. The flipper is a small protrusion that extends out of the spine of the handle when it is closed.

In a frame lock knife, the knife handle consists of two plates of material on either side of the blade. To ensure a secure lock up, one or both of these plates is usually metal. When the knife is opened, the metal side of the frame, the lock bar, butts up against the backend of the blade and prevents the blade form closing. To close a frame lock knife, the user pushes the frame to the side, unblocking the blade, and folds the blade back into the handle. Like locking liner knives, frame locks are manufactured so that he locking side of the frame is angled toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias toward the locked positon. Both the blade tang and the lock bar are precisely angled so they fit together for a secure, reliable lockup. The thickness of the frame material blocking the blade open makes the frame lock extremely sturdy.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Decimus measures in at 3.25 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.5 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Based on Rick Hinderer’s Maximus, the new Kershaw Decimus offers a heroic look—and makes for a very distinctive EDC. The 8Cr13MoV blade is a single edge bayonet grid with BlackWash finish for a handsomely dangerous look. It opens quickly and easily with SpeedSafe assisted opening. The flipper itself is mirrored by a symmetrical protrusion on the back side of the knife, providing a short cross guard to keep your fingers safe. The handle is steel with a stonewashed finish and black, glass-filled-nylon overlays that have zigzag texturing inspired by the custom texture on the original Maximus and designed for both secure grip and good looks. As an additional detail, the handle also has a Hinderer-style filler tab with stonewashed finish. This new design from Kershaw and Rick Hinderer is sure to draw admiring glances every time you use it. The Kershaw Decimus will be your best friend throughout each of your days; able to take on almost any task that you throw at it. Pick up the brand new Kershaw Decimus today at BladeOps.