Kershaw Exclusive FDE Leek Spring Assist Knife Review

Kershaw Exclusive FDE Leek Spring Assist Knife
Kershaw Exclusive FDE Leek Spring Assist Knife
Kershaw Exclusive FDE Leek Spring Assist Knife

Kershaw knows that when you are carrying a Kershaw, you are carrying the real deal. They have award winning-technologies and advanced materials that show you that you have value and plenty of it. Kershaw says, “Even our inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, reliable. That’s why we can back each of our knives for the life of its original owner against any defects in materials and construction with our famous Limited Lifetime Warranty.

And yes, people do own their Kershaw knives for a lifetime. (Although, occasionally, a Kershaw has been known to get accidentally left at a campsite, lost in the garage, or permanently borrowed by a friend.)

The point is, you can always look to Kershaw for everyday carrying knives that can tame any cardboard box and liberate any purchase from its plastic packaging, sporting knives that make hunting, fishing, watersports, and camping even better, work knives that won’t let you down, and tactical 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 collectors’ 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 also has a commitment to innovation and even pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. Kershaw says, “Our SpeedSafe assisted opening knives were first-to-market. We introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in our Blade Traders. Recently, our Composite Blade technology, which combines two steels into one blade, gives knife users the best of both worlds by enabling us to use steel known for edge retention on the edge and steel known for strength on the spine. And we will keep on innovating, bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife-using public.”
Today we will be discussing the Kershaw Exclusive FDE Leek Spring Assisted Knife at BladeOps.


The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Sandvik 14C28N Stainless Steel. This steel is one of the newer developments in Sandvik’s range of knife steels. It has been created with an optimized chemistry that provides a top grade knife steel with a unique combination of excellent edge performance, high hardness, and good corrosion. This new steel gives the highest achievable hardness without affecting the microstructure of the steel. Because of this, the edge will stay sharp for long periods of time while also maintaining the high stability. This stability means that the blade won’t microchip, fold, or roll, which keeps the quality high while also making re-sharpening easy. This steel can be hardened to a 55-62 HRC, which is the ideal hardness for knives that are going to need super sharp edges while also maintaining good corrosion resistance such as heavy duty pocket knives (such as this one), hunting knives, fishing knives, or even chef’s knives. Sandvik is known for their high quality steels and this is their highest. With this steel, your knife is going to be able to achieve much more than the average pocket knife.

The blade has been finished with a black coating. The coating comes in handy because it prolongs the life of the blade. This is because there is a literal barrier in between the steel and the environment. The already high quality Sandvik steel is going to last longer than ever with this sleek lack finish on it. The wear and corrosion resistance of this knife are significantly increased with a good coating. The black coating also cuts down on glares and reflections which is ideal if you are using this knife in the field. On the flip side, once a coating gets scratched off, the steel is almost worse off than if it had never been coated. This is because it can then get rusted, but it also gets in the way of smooth slices. Unfortunately, most coatings are going to get scratched off over time.

The blade has been carved into a Wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe style blade is often confused with the sheepsfoot blade. This is because they do have some similarities and neither of them are super popular. The Wharncliffe is more like a standard blade shape that has then been turned upside down. This blade shape is going to have a totally flat cutting edge, while the spine of the blade is going to curve gradually until the tip forms a point. While this blade shape is not super popular, it is super useful. It is a great shape for an EDC because it works great in opening boxes and other similar chores. That being said, this blade shape does not make a good chef’s knife shape because it does lack a bely which makes it hard cut through foods. This blade shape does have a very fine point, which can be dangerous if you are using the knife to pierce through materials, especially when it comes to harder materials. Like a clip point blade, the tip of the Wharncliffe is not going to stand up to too much and you will need to be relatively careful with it.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife has been made out of anodized 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal that is often used in knife making because of how corrosion resistant it. While it is a low-density metal, it does still give the user the heft that you want backing you up without actually weighing you down. The most common type of aluminum is an alloy called the 6062-T6 alloy, which means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it has been T6 tempered. This alloy has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys.

Anodizing changes the microscopic texture of the surface of the aluminum so that a porous coating or film can be applied that will in turn accept a dye. Anodizing makes aluminum stronger and anodic films are much longer lasting than other surface colorations. Anodized aluminum knife handles are highly scratch resistant and fade resistant. The knife has been anodized a flat dark earth brown.

The knife has stainless steel handle liners which are going to give the knife more durability and resistance to corrosion. The stainless steel is not going to be a lightweight material for a knife, but because it is only the liners that are made out of it, it is just going to add the heft that you want from a knife and not be an annoying weight.

The handle is very simple. There are two portions of jimping right where the blade ends and the handle begins. These two sections are going to give you a little more control when you are cutting with this knife and a little bit better grip when you are holding this knife. The spine of the knife has a skinny neck before it bulges out which will fit nicely in your hand. The belly of the knife has an indent/groove right after the row of jimping that is going to give you a more comfortable place to rest your fingers while also keeping your fingers a little more protected. The belly also bulges out, which will lead to a comfortable grip—even for long periods of time. The butt of the handle does taper in and is rounded. As a bonus, this Exclusive Leek does have a lanyard hole carved into the butt.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is reversible for either tip up or tip down carry, although it can only be attached on the traditional side of the blade. This is useful because it helps the user carry it in the direction that they feel the safest. This is also a disadvantage because the user cannot carry this knife on the side that they feel most comfortable. The pocket clip is kept in place by two screws. All of the hardware on this knife is black, which matches the blade and contrasts with the anodization color of the handle.


The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife that uses a thumb stud as well as Kershaw’s SpeedSafe opening mechanism.

A spring assisted knife is a knife that is not fully manual and not fully automatic. You have to start opening the knife manually, but that will trigger the opening mechanism and it will finish opening on its own. This is handy because it does not fall under the strict knife laws of the automatic and it will be easier to open than a manual knife.

The thumb stud is a small barrel that sits on the blade right where the handle ends and the blade begins. The thumb stud on this knife is silver, which does stand out against the sleek black blade. This will help you see it no matter what the environment is. The thumb stud is easy to use and can be used with only one hand, which is a major advantage. The thumb stud is extremely simple to get the hang of, which does increase the safety of it. However, one of the biggest drawbacks to the thumb stud is that when you are opening the knife, it does put your fingers directly in the path of the blade. This had resulted in people getting cut on plenty of occasions. Keep this in mind when you are first getting used to opening the knife to avoid getting cut.

SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual push on the blade’s thumb stud. The SpeedSafe works through 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 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 position, ready for use. SpeedSafe® was specifically designed for sporting, work, or everyday situations where one-handed opening is preferable and safer. It’s safe, efficient opening has made it a popular choice for hunters, fishermen, and those who require the one-hand opening function on the job-site.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4 inches long. The overall length of this knife when it is opened measures in at 7 inches long. This is a lighter weight knife, weighing in at a mere 2.4 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel patriotic when you use it. You also know that you can trust this knife.



This exclusive to BladeOps variation of the Leek features a FDE anodized handle! The Kershaw Leek series has remained as one of Kershaw’s most popular spring assist knives thanks in part to its ultra-slim profile and versatile blade design. This liner lock designed model features Kershaw’s patented SpeedSafe™ system, which quickly deploys the blade via the ambidextrous spine flipper function or the built-in dual thumb stud feature. The Leek also includes a small slide safety located on lower-rear of the back handle scale to help keep the blade at bay until you’re are ready to use it. This model features a flat dark earth anodized aluminum handle, stainless steel liners, a Wharncliffe style blade in a black finish and a reversible pocket clip designed for tip up or tip down carry on the traditional side of the handle. Come pick up this new knife today at BladeOps.





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