Kershaw Deadline Knife Review

Kershaw is a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai produces many items in Japan, some of the items being razor blades and premier blades. For over 100 years now, Kai has been the leading producer of the premier blades in Japan. Kai takes an innovative approach to product development, including their research, development, production, marketing, and distribution functions.

Kershaw was founded in 1974 and wanted to designed and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. To do this, Kershaw knew that they must offer the highest quality knives and materials. Kershaw always chooses appropriate, high quality materials, and their dedication to intensive craftsmanship shows. Because of their tight tolerances and state of the art manufacturing techniques, Kershaw knives will truly last a lifetime.

Along with Kai, Kershaw also has a commitment to innovation. In fact, Kershaw has pioneered the user of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today’s standard in the knife industry. Some of these technologies include their Speed Safe assisted opening knives. They recently released a new technology called the Composite Blade technology, which is when they actually combine two steels into one blade. This works to give the user the best of both worlds because they can use one steel that is known for its edge retention on the edge portion of the blade, while using a steel known for its strength on the spine portion.

Kershaw produces knives that you can be proud to carry, form every day carry knives to pocket knives and hunting knives, and even special collector’s knives. Kershaw has said, “If this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back.” Kershaw has just released a brand new knife called the Deadline, and it will be a game changer.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Deadline is carved out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from the Cr series of steels. The highest quality Cr steel is 9Cr, but the series ranges down to a much lower scale. 8Cr is one of the more commonly found in the series and it can be compared to AUS-8 steel. However, AUS-8 steel is the more superior out of the two. 8Cr13MoV steel is a little more prone to rusting and corroding and isn’t as hard as AUS-8. The biggest feature that attracts people to using this steel is that it is so inexpensive. When the steel goes through a proper heat treatment, it can stand up to most basic knife needs. This steel is easy to sharpen and don’t lose the ability to get a good edge over time. This steel also resists rust well. Because of the low cost, this is a very attractive steel. And, it can stand up to most tasks. I would describe this steel as being average, because it does have enough properties to stand up to things, but it does not excel at anything either.

The steel is finished with a PVD coating, but the flat portions of the blade have been finished with a satin finish. A PVD coating is a Physical Vapor Deposition, and is sometimes known as a Thin Film Deposition. This process is environmentally friendly and provides the steel with a durable finish. The end result is a hard, ceramic-like layer on the surface of the steel. This layer is actually chemically bonded to the metal surface, which makes it last longer than most coating finishes. Because this type of coating is so hard, your blade becomes virtually scratch resistant. One of the other big benefits to having a PVD coating is that there are no thick portions where the coating all ended up resting, such as in the grooves or around the edges. When a coating is painted on, like many are, the coating can run and then dry unevenly. With a PVD coating, you won’t get that result. The PVD coating on the Deadline is a deep gray that is very matte.

The satin finish on the flats of the blade is created by sanding the blade in one direction using increasing levels of a fine abrasive. The satin finish shows off the lines of the steel, which gives the steel a very modern or industrial look. The satin finish also cuts down on glares and reflections.

The Deadline has a blade shape of a modified Wharncliffe with a swedge top. The Wharncliffe blade shape is a lot like a standard blade shape, except that it is turned upside down. The sharpened edge of the Wharncliffe is completely flat. And it is the spine of the blade that drops gradually until the tip forms a point. With the modified version of the Wharncliffe shape, the top is less of a curve and has a few more angles to it.  This blade shape has a shrouded history, because no one is entirely sure how it came to be. However, one of the most popular stories of the Wharncliffe’s history is that the pattern originated many years ago from some of the patterns used for the Scandinavian Seax Knives. This blade shape is a very useful one and is perfect if you work in an office environment—you can easily cut open boxes and envelopes. However, this blade shape does not excel at preparing food or skinning anything, because of the lack of belly. A Wharncliffe blade is a sailor’s dream, because they are much less likely to do accidental damage with it, such as piercing through the sails or their own hands. This is because the point is a “false point”. Although the majority of you probably aren’t sailors, this is also a great knife to have around in an emergency. You can easily cut someone out of a tight spot or out of their safety restraints without having to worry about cutting the victim. However, this “false point” is also a drawback to the blade though, because you have no stabbing or piercing capabilities, even if you need them.

Kershaw Deadline
Kershaw Deadline

The Handle:

The handle is the Deadline’s most unique characteristic. The handle is carved out of a stainless steel. This material will provide you with excellent durability and resistance to corrosion. However, this is also not a lightweight material, so you will be able to feel it in your pocket. One of the other drawbacks to this type of steel is that it is pretty slippery and it takes a lot of work to carve enough texture to provide you with a solid grip. Because of this, the cost of the knife is going to be increased. The finishes on this handle are the same as the blade: PVD coating and a satin finish on the flats.

When the blade is opened, the satin finish from the blade blends perfectly into the satin finish on the handle. It makes the knife look seamless and smooth. The satin finish on the handle then extends down the center of the handle. On this center part, there are a couple of etchings near the palm area which will help provide you with a secure grip on this knife. The PVD coating is on the edges of the handle, and the dark gray color contrast elegantly against the satin finish.

To help provide you with a comfortable grip, even when you are using this knife for long periods of time, Kershaw has carved a deep finger groove into the handle. There are three shallower finger grooves that go past the deep finger groove for your other fingers to rest comfortably.

On the spine of the handle, there is a row of wide, shallow jimping. With all of the extras that Kershaw has added, you won’t have to worry about your grip on your blade for a second.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip matches the dark gray of the PVD coating. This is a deep carry pocket clip, which helps to keep your knife secure and snug inside of your pocket all day. It is also a reversible pocket clip, helping to make this knife an ambidextrous friendly knife. Although you can switch up which side you carry this knife on, you can only carry it tip up.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that sports a flipper mechanism. This knife also features Kershaw’s KVT manual opening system and a frame lock. The flipper is a triangular protrusion that comes out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. When you push down on this protrusion, it puts enough pressure on the blade and it flips the blade out of the handle. The frame lock is a portion of the handle that moves behind the blade to lock it into position during use. This is a safety feature on the knife, because you won’t have to worry about the knife collapsing in the middle of using it. This is truly a manual opening knife, and does not use any mechanical assist, even the Speed Safe mechanism. Kershaw says that this knife “opens the classic, old school way.”

The Kershaw KVT Ball Bearing opening system is on manual knives to make the deployment feel as easy as if it were assisted. The KVT system helps you to open your knife quickly, efficiently, and even with only one hand. Because of this, this is a truly ambidextrous friendly knife. When Kershaw explains this mechanism, they say, “While Speed Safe assisted opening uses a torsion bar to help move the knife blade out of the handle, KVT relies on a ring of ‘caged’ ball bearings that surround the knife’s pivot. When the user pulls back on the built in flipper, the blade rotates out of the handle as the ball bearings roll in place. KVT makes one handed opening quick, easy, and smooth as butter.”

The Deadline also features a tuned detent system. This is a feature that comes with the KVT Ball Bearing system. The feature helps hold the blade safely in the handle when the knife is closed. When you open the knife, you may notice a little “stickiness” just as you pull back on the flipper and before the blade rolls out of the handle on KVT ball bearings. With just a little extra pressure on the flipper overcomes the detent and the knife will open with ease.

 

The Specs:

This blade on this knife is 3.8 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 7.6 inches long with a closed length of 4.25 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.3 ounces. Matt Diskin helped to design this knife.

 

Conclusion:

Kershaw has been around since 1974 and has earned a fantastic reputation during the last few decades. They are dedicated to innovation, and have actually pioneered many of the current standards in the knife industry. They believe that everyone should be able to afford a high quality knife, so they set out to achieve that goal. They use high quality and appropriate materials for all of their knives. Kershaw carries anything from everyday carry knives to hunting knives and they even have a few special editions collectors’ knives. When you purchase a Kershaw knife, they know that you will be back for a second, then a third, and on and on.

Kershaw has recently released the Deadline, which is a high quality knife that will be the perfect addition to your knife collection. The steel they chose for the blade is inexpensive and will get the job done. They use a PVD coating to add strength and durability, bringing hardness to the blade and essentially making it scratch resistant. The modified Wharncliffe blade shape is useful in an office setting as well as when you need to use a knife in a cramped setting without worrying about piercing the victim. The unique handle adds a touch of character with its two toned finishes and unique etchings. This is a manual opening knife.