Kai USA Ltd is the leading producer of premier blades in Japan and has been for over 100 years. They also produce houseware, razor blades, and a variety of other products in Japan. They have a commitment to innovation and make sure that they take an innovative approach to every aspect of their product development. That includes research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions.
Kershaw is a sub brand of Kai and just like Kai, they also have a commitment to innovation. Along with this commitment, they have pioneered many of the current technological standards in the knife industry. Kershaw developed an assisted opening mechanism that they called the Speed Safe, and this was the first assisted opening knives on the market. Later on, they introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in their Blade Traders. Lastly, they have recently introduced a Composite Blade technology, which enables them to combine two different types of steel into one blade. This gives the user the best of both worlds with their blade, because they can have a long lasting edge and a very strong spine. Kershaw vows to keep bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife using public.
Kershaw had a founding mission in 1974 to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. To complete this founding mission, Kershaw knew that they had to build every Kershaw knife to meet the standards of the highest quality. From hunting knives to special collector’s knives, Kershaw has chosen appropriate, high quality materials and has remained dedicated to their intensive craftsmanship. Kershaw has extremely tight tolerances and state of the art manufacturing techniques, which combine to ensure your Kershaw knife with provide you with a lifetime of performance.
One of my favorite things that Kershaw has said is, “If this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back.” That shows the confidence that Kershaw shows in their knives and supports a reputation that they have formed over the decades. One of their newest knives is called the Agile.
The steel used on the Agile is 8Cr13MoV. This steel belongs in the Cr series of steel and is a Chinese steel. The series has quite the collection of different formulas, with 9Cr being the strongest and most durable. The 8Cr steel falls closely behind the 9Cr and is most commonly compared to AUS 8 steel. However, between the two steels, AUS 8 is the superior one. 8Cr steel is an average steel that is going to get the job done and provide you with a great blade. However, you do get what you pay for, so the 8Cr steel won’t excel at anything. I would say that the favorite characteristic about 8Cr steel is how inexpensive it is, which drastically reduces the cost of the overall knife. This steel is relatively soft though, so while your edge won’t last as long as some other steel formulas, it will be incredibly easy to sharpen. Another benefit about this steel is that it is very resistant to rust and corrosion.
The finish on this knife is a stonewash finish. This is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, which is most commonly small pebbles. This is the part of the process where the finish gets its name. This process creates a very textured or rugged look. Then, the steel is removed and smoothed over, then polished. This type of finish reduces glares and reflections, while preserving the overall look of the blade overtime. The best feature that this finish type can boast is how easily it hides scratches and fingerprints that accumulate over time. The stonewash finish cuts down on maintenance time, while providing you with a manly look.
The Agile boasts a modified drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is created by having the unsharpened edge, or back, of the blade slowly curve down until it meets the sharpened edge, creating a lowered point. The lowered point is one of the drop points key characteristics and is also where it gets its name. The lowered point provides the user with ultimate control over their cuts, which is one of the reasons that this blade shape is so loved among hunters. The hunter does not have to worry about the blade piercing any of the organs or damaging the meat of their game that they are skinning. The lowered point also means that the point is broader than you would normally find. This provides you with extra strength behind the tip, so you won’t have to worry about the tip breaking or cracking during the heavier duty tasks that you put this knife against. However, the broad point of this blade shape is also one of its only drawbacks. Because the tip is so broad, it reduces your stabbing capabilities to almost nothing. While this is an advantage in most situations, there are a few situations where this will not be ideal. The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes that you are going to come across while blade shopping. One of the last reasons that it is such a versatile worker is because of its large belly. The large belly spans across the sharpened edge of the blade and provides you with plenty of length for slicing. The drop point blade shape is so loved among the knife communities because it prepares you to take on any of your daily tasks, while also arming you against the unexpected or emergency situations that you are bound to come across.
One of the unique features about this knife was that the blade effortlessly blends in with the handle. This is because the handle is also made out of a steel. There are a variety of benefits to having your knife handle be made out of steel, one of them is because the steel is very resistant to corrosion. The steel handle also provides the user with extreme durability. However, there are also a handful of disadvantages to having a steel handle. The first one is that the steel handle has the tendency to be pretty slippery. To combat this and provide you with a solid grip, Kershaw has etched in a bunch of ridges in the palm portion of your hand. This adds texture to the handle, while still ensuring that it is a comfortable handle to use. One of the other common disadvantages to having a steel handle is that it tends to be pretty heavy and will weigh the knife down.
To match the blade on the Agile, the steel handle has also been finished with a stonewash finish. This helps to provide you with a well-worn, rugged look. This handle is two toned though, with a Black Wash finish being the second tone.
One of the most unique features about this knife handle is that it includes three interchangeable back spacer tools. You can choose from a bottle opener, a flathead screwdriver, or a lanyard hole. On the bottom of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole added. This lanyard hole juts out of the handle slightly, but won’t get in the way. There are a variety of benefits to tying a lanyard onto your knife, but one of best reasons is that it can help to secure your knife against loss. When there is a lanyard hanging off of your handle, you can easily attach your knife onto your belt, or onto a pack strap. This will keep your knife out of the way when you don’t want it, but provide you with easy access when you are ready to use your knife. The bottle opener and flathead screwdriver will also come in handy in a variety of situations.
The finger groove in this knife is more shallow than many of their other knives. However, Kershaw has added a finger guard to protect you from slipping and slicing your fingers or hands. Going towards the butt of the handle, there are two other finger grooves, which make this a very comfortable handle to hold. And the finger grooves will help provide you with a very secure grip in most environments.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip on this knife is stonewashed to match the rest of the knife and is kept in place by two small screws. All of the hardware is gray or silver to blend in with the rest of the knife. This is a three position pocket clip. When you carry your knife with the tip up, the handle has been drilled to carry it either on the left or right hand side. This helps to make the Agile ambidextrous friendly. However, if you choose to carry your knife with the tip down, the handle has only been drilled to carry it left handedly.
The Agile has the Speed Safe assisted opening mechanism. The Speed Safe opening mechanism was first introduced to the knife community by Kershaw. Since the time that it was launched, it has won numerous industry awards along the way. This mechanism uses a torsion bar to help move the blade out of the handle. It also allows you to open the Agile smoothly, and with only one handed. While it runs as efficiently as a switchblade, it is not a switchblade and does not have the strict laws surrounding it that a switchblade would. This knife features a flipper which then becomes the finger guard, or a thumb stud. So you can choose which opening tool you prefer and are most comfortable with. The flipper is a small protrusion that you push down on to add enough pressure to flip the blade out of the handle. The thumb stud is a small piece jutting out of the blade that gives your thumb enough traction to be able to push the blade out of the handle.
This knife also features a Frame Lock. This is a portion of the handle, in the knife frame, that moves behind the blade to lock it into positon during use. This is a safety feature of the knife and will protect you and your hand from your blade shutting in the middle of use. This comes in handy the most when you are performing some of the heavier duty or harder tasks.
This knife was designed by Rick Hinderer. The blade on the Agile measures in at 2.75 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 6.25 inches long. When this knife is closed, it measures in at 3.5 inches long. Because of the steel handle, this is a slightly heavier knife and weighs in at 3.9 ounces.
The designer of this knife, Rick Hinderer is known for the practicality of all of his designs. This practicality is proven in the Agile when he takes the practicality to perfection. Rick Hinderer has added three interchangeable back spacers to the knife, each one sporting a different tool. You can choose between a bottle opener, a screwdriver tip, or a lanyard attachment. This provides you with the tools to get a large variety of chores done and you easily attach it will a single hex screw. The Agile even comes with a hex wrench to make the exchange easy and smooth. If you don’t prefer using any of the tools, the knife can easily be used without the back spacer. To create a durable and long lasting design, he started out with a stainless steel that takes and holds a sharp edge. Then, to make it long lasting, he added a stonewash finish to preserve the look of the blade overtime. The stainless steel handle is durable, stain and rust resistant, and provides you with a fantastic grip. The handle is two toned to add depth and character. For convenience, the Agile features a three position pocket clip and Kershaw’s Speed Safe assisted opening mechanism. This knife is a game changer.