Kershaw Knives designs and manufactures a wide range of knives, including pocketknives, 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 from 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.
Kai USA Ltd. has three lines of products; Kershaw knives brand of sporting and pocketknives; Shun Cutlery, handcrafted Japanese kitchen cutlery; and Zero Tolerance, a lien of premium and professional knives.
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. Working with Ernest Emerson, Grant and Gavin Hawk, Frank Centofante, Rick Hinderer, RJ Martin, and many more.
In 2002, Kershaw released a Steven Seagal model featuring stingray leather on the handle. In 2004 Kershaw developed a multi-tool for the National Geographic Society with national Geographic filmmaker Bryan Harvey. Kershaw has also released models in collaboration with Jeep, Orange County Choppers, the American Professional Rodeo Association, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
With Kershaw, you know that you are going to get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Even their inexpensive models are impressive and durable, because everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, and reliable.
Kershaw was founded in 1974 to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be product to own, carry, and use. This has meant that every Kershaw knife must be of the highest quality. From pocket knives, to hunting knives, to a special edition run, Kershaw has always chosen appropriate, high-quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship.
Today, we will be discussing the Kershaw Ember Assist knife with a CarboNitride finished clip blade.
The blade on this Kershaw knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. This is a popular budget brand of knife steel that is made in china. Its composition is close to the Japanese steel AUS-8. When this steel has the correct heat treatment, it will retain the edge sharpness for a long time while also maintaining its good corrosion resistance levels. Knives made with this steel are easy to sharpen and keep sharpening well. Overall, this steel is well balanced with regard to strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. However, the best characteristic that it boasts is how inexpensive it is. For the cost, you get a good steel. However, you do need to remember that you do get what you pay for, so when compared to some of the more premium steels, this blade is not going to measure up.
The blade has been coated with a titanium carbo-nitride coating. This is an abrasion resistant ceramic coating that is formed by adding a small amount of carbon to the TiN coating during the deposition process. The carbon makes the coating harder and gives it a lower friction coefficient. This coating does produce an attractive gray blade coating that increased the blades hardness, helps maintain the edge, and increases the overall lifetime of the blade.
The blade has been carved into a modified clip point blade shape. Clip points blades are one of the two most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The blade is formed by having the back edge of the knife run straight from the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. It ten turns and continues to the point of the knife; this cut-out area is referred to as the clip and is curved. The clip was named because it looks like the knife got that specific portion of the blade clipped off, and the blade style was named because of this portion. Clip point blades are very versatile because of the large belly that it sports, which is ideal for slicing. This blade shape is really designed for piercing, because it does feature a thin, sharp point. While this thin sharp point does allow you to pierce effortlessly, it is also one of the only drawbacks to this blade style. Because it is thinner, it will have more of a tendency to break or snap. The clip point blade does not have the strength that a drop point blade boasts.
The spine of the blade has an ergonomic top groove for your index finger when you are making close cuts.
The handle on this knife is made out of 410 stainless steel. This steel is a 12% chromium martensitic stainless steel and when heated it hardens to achieve optimum strength and edge retention. Because of these qualities, it is commonly used in manufacturing cutlery. This steel is proven to withstand the effects of environment conditions, water, mild chemicals, and the acids that you will find in food. This steel also exhibits good heat and oxidation resistance. Sandmeyer Steel says, “The everyday rigors placed on cutlery demand a material that exhibits excellent strength, lasting durability, and resistance to mildly corrosive environments. For this reason, 410 stainless steel has become a staple in the manufacturing of knives and flatware. It is also utilized in cutting applications in industrial food processing. The alloy’s chromium composition protects surfaces from the acidity of food and the corrosive properties of water, while the material’s high strength and hardness make it an ideal substance suitable for a variety of mechanical applications.”
The handle has been finished with the same titanium carbon-nitride coating, which means that the color of the handle and blade are exactly the same. This also means that the life time of the handle will be extended because of how well protected the steel of the handle is.
The handle has an elongated finger groove, which helps give you a comfortable grip on this knife. Right after that, there is an extremely shallow and slightly more elongated groove that gives your fingers a comfortable place to rest, even if you are using this knife for long periods of time throughout your day. Near the butt of the handle, opposite the spine, there is a row of jimping that allows you to have a better grip on this knife. This jimping is needed because the handle is smaller than your typical knife handle, since is this knife is such a compact knife. The angles and contours of the Ember’s handle give it an edgy, tactical look.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip on this knife is a three position clip, which means that the user may position the clip for tip-up or tip-own carry on one side and one-position carry on the other. The clip and the rest of the hardware on this knife is black, which contrasts nicely with the blade and the handle. The clip is a deep carry clip, which means that your knife will be easier to conceal. The only disadvantage that some people find with a deep carry clip is that it takes a fraction of a second longer to remove from your pocket.
This is an assisted opening knife that is equipped with Kershaw’s SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism as well as a flipper. The Ember is also equipped with a frame lock 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. This was originally designed by Hall of Fame knife maker Ken Onion, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives flew off the shelves. Today, most major knife companies offer some sort of assisted opening knife, but none can match the popularity or proven durabily of Kershaw’s original. The heart of a SpeedSafe is its torsion bar. When the knife is 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 thumb stud or 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 flipper is a protrusion on the back of the blade that the user can pull back on, or flip, in order to move the blade easily out of the handle. On the Ember, the flipper is very triangular. When the knife is opened, the flipper actually acts as a finger guard, adding an extra element of safety to this Kershaw knife.
In a frame lock knife, the knife handle, or its frame, consists of two pates 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, or the tang, and prevents the blade from 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 the 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 blade on this Kershaw knife measures in at 2 inches long, with a handle of 2.8 inches long. When the knife is opened, its overall length is 4.8 inches long. The Ember assist weighs in at 2.2 ounces. This is a smaller knife, which is perfect for your new favorite EDC—its big enough to take on almost anything and small enough that it isn’t going to be a hassle to have with you at all times.
This stylish assist knife is big on looks and just the right size for a pocket, briefcase, backpack, or purse.
When Kershaw is talking about this knife, they say: “Kershaw and Rick Hinderer have teamed up to bring you a smaller pocketknife with plenty of style, the Kershaw Ember.
The first thing you’ll notice, of course, is the Ember’s size. The blade is just two inches long and, when closed, the knife is a compact 2.8 inches. But the next thing you’ll notice is the Ember’s striking looks. Angles, contours, matte-grey coating, and black hardware give it a tactical look-and-feel that we think knife users will really warm up to.
For easy opening, the Ember features SpeedSafe® assisted opening and a handy, built-in flipper. The modified clip-point blade has an ergonomic top curve, which gives the user a convenient place to position an index finger when guiding the knife’s edge in a close-cutting situation. A sturdy frame lock secures the blade in position for safe use.
The blade is heat treated to Kershaw’s demanding specifications to bring out the very best qualities in the steel. Titanium carbo-nitride coating on both blade and handle give the Ember a matte grey finish. Black hardware, including the three-position pocket clip, enhances this little knife’s look.
Easy to carry in pocket, briefcase, or backpack, the new Ember from Kershaw and Rick Hinderer packs a lot of style into a small package.” The Ember is long on style and class. Once you get it in your pocket you’ll see why it just may become your favorite every day carry pocket knife. So come on over to BladeOps and pick up your new favorite EDC today.