Kershaw Les George Spline Flipper Assist Knife Review

Kershaw Les George Spline Flipper Assist Knife

Kershaw knives was founded in 1974 and has been making great knives ever since.

Kershaw and their fans know that there is hardly anything like a Kershaw. 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. 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, and reliable. That’s how can they back each of their knives for the life of its original owner against any defects in materials and construction with their famous Limited Lifetime Warranty. And yes, it is completely possible to own your Kershaw for a lifetime.

They say, “The point is, you can always look to Kershaw for every day 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’s founding mission was 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. They say, “Kershaw pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. 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 Les George Spline Flipper Assist Knife.


The Blade:

The blade is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. You may have heard that 8Cr13MoV stainless is basically the equivalent of AUS8A. And it’s true. For everyday use, even a serious “knife knut” would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a well-made 8Cr13MoV blade and a well-made AUS8A blade. Nevertheless, there are slight differences in the steel formula. While most other components are relatively equal, 8Cr13MoV has slightly more carbon for hardness and wear resistance and slightly less nickel. The key to blade performance for both of these steels is manufacturing quality. That’s where Kershaw’s expertise comes in. Kershaw precision heat-treats 8Cr13MoV steel to bring out its best high-performance characteristics: the ability to take and hold an edge, strength, and hardness. The steel has been hardened to a 57-59 HRC level.

The blade has been finished with a black-oxide BlackWash finish. This means that the blade starts out as a black oxide finish. This is a chemical bath that converts the surface of the steel to magnetite. Kershaw uses this coating on some blades and pocket clips, mainly for appearance, though it does add some corrosion resistance. Then, the steel undergoes a black stonewash finish. A stonewash 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 stain finished blade. A 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 a stonewashed blade is that they are lower maintenance and preserve the original look overtime, which means that it is going to require little maintenance.

The blade is basically a modified Wharncliffe. The blade does have a large and broad belly, which will help make slicing easier. This is also going to help make this a more versatile knife. The spine of the blade is almost straight until it curves broadly and sharply down to the tip. This creates a very broad tip that will give the knife plenty of strength. However, because the tip is so broad, the user is not going to be able to pierce or stab with this knife. Right where the blade begins and the handle ends, there is a row of thick jimping, which will help you have a more secure grip on the knife.


Kershaw Les George Spline Flipper Assist Knife
Kershaw Les George Spline Flipper Assist Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of steel. Steel is going to be a very durable material that is also very resistant to corrosion. However, it is not lightweight at all. In fact, it is one of the heaviest materials that you are going to come across. Plus, steel can be slippery, so the manufacturer has to incorporate ridges or grooves to provide the required friction. The overall benefits to a steel handle is that it is going to be strong, durable, and very resistant to corrosion. The cons to this knife handle material is that it is going to be heavy and it can be slippery.

The handle has also been finished with a black-oxide BlackWash finish. This creates a very rugged and well-worn look to the blade. The BlackWash is darker than the regular stonewash, which does also help to hide scratches and especially helps to hide the smudges that are going to accumulate over time.

The handle is pretty simple. About halfway down the spine begins a row of jimping that extends to the butt of the knife. This jimping is wide, but not as wide as on the blade. It will help give a very secure grip on the knife, especially when you are cutting. There is a finger guard, but because of the flipper, the finger guard is enhanced. Then, there is a deep finger groove, which provides a comfortable grip if you have to use this knife for long periods of time. The spine and the belly both curve slightly toward the butt of the handle.

As an added bonus, there is a lanyard hole on the butt of the handle. Many people like to use the lanyard to hang out of their pockets so that they can remove their knives more quickly than if they were using the pocket clip.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Spline does contrast with the handle because it is black instead of stonewashed. It is kept in place by two black screws that match the rest of the hardware on this knife. This is a deep carry pocket clip, which means it is going to sit lower inside of your pocket. This not only keeps your knife more secure, it also lets you more easily conceal the knife. The pocket clip on this knife also works to make this an ambidextrous knife by having the handle pre-drilled to allow for attachment as either a left or right handed carry. However, the handle has only been drilled as a tip-up carrying system.


The Mechanism:

             This is a spring assisted knife that uses Kershaw’s SpeedSafe assisted opening 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 push on the blade’s thumb stud or pull back on the flipper. SpeedSafe is built into many of Kershaw’s best-selling knives. 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 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.

To assist you in opening this knife, Kershaw has equipped it with a flipper. This 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. The flipper is ambidextrous by design, because it is on both sides of the knife. It also adds some key safety elements to the knife because once the knife is opened, the flipper acts as an additional finger guard. The biggest safety feature about this knife is that when the user is opening the knife, it keeps the fingers out of the path of the blade. This helps the user prevent any accidental slicing of their fingers. This is also very different than the thumb stud, which is known for making people accidentally slice themselves.

The knife is also equipped with a frame lock. Kershaw explains the frame lock by saying, “In a frame lock knife, the knife handle—its “frame”—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 (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 position. 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 this knife measures in at 2.9 inches long with a handle that measures in at 3.9 inches long. The overall length of the Spline measures in at 6.8 inches long when it is opened. This knife weighs in at 4.4 ounces.



             When Kershaw is discussing this knife, they say, “WHAT’S A SPLINE, ANYWAY? A spline is a numeric function that can define a curve. And Kershaw’s Spline, designed by Les George, is a knife with plenty of curves.

The first curve you’ll notice is the heavy curve of the blade spine. Essentially, the blade is a modified Wharncliffe version of Les’ Mini Harpy, but slimmed down all over to make it a lightweight carry. Les added a top swedge to thin the blade and lowered the tip to enhance its cutting power. The Spline offers a great all-around edge profile with exceptional push-cutting capability.

8Cr13MoV blade steel ensures the Spline’s blade takes and holds its edge, while Kershaw’s BlackWash finish gives it a matte finish and helps hide use scratches—because you are going to use it.

The Spline’s handle is steel, also finished in BlackWash, with curves that fit into your palm and give your index finger a secure curve to lock into while you work. The all-steel handles mean that the Spline also gives you a strong frame lock.

For quick and easy one-handed opening, just pull back on the flipper and the Spline opens with Kershaw’s SpeedSafe assisted opening. The pocket clip is left/right reversible and there’s a handy lanyard hole.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *