Kershaw 1220 Reverb Knife Review

The Kershaw Reverb


Kai USA, Ltd has been a premier blade producer for over 100 years now. Kai makes sure that they take an innovative approach to product development. They make sure that they take an innovative approach to coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions.

Kershaw is a sub brand of Kai USA, ltd and they also always take an innovative approach to every part of their production. In fact, Kershaw has pioneered many of the technologies and materials that are now the standard in the knife industry. For example, Kershaw’s Speed Safe technology were the first assisted opening knives in the market. Another example is their interchangeable blades in Kershaw’s Blade Traders. And one of their most recent groundbreaking innovations are Kershaw’s Composite Blade technology. This is when they combine two types of steel into one blade, which truly gives the user the best of both worlds. They can use a steel known for its edge retention on the edge of the blade and a steel known for its strength on the spine of the knife. Kershaw vows to keep innovating and bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife suing public.

In 1974, when Kershaw was founded, they mission was to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. To complete this mission, they know that all of their knives have to be made with the highest quality materials. They choose appropriate high quality materials and are dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Kershaw has extremely tight tolerances and state of the art manufacturing techniques to ensure that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

Kershaw knows that their knives are excellent and 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.” One of Kershaw’s newest releases is called the Reverb, and it will sell you on Kershaw knives or just reinsure you about how great they are.


Kershaw 1220 Reverb
Kershaw 1220 Reverb

The Blade:

The steel that is used on the Reverb is 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel and actually comes from the Cr series of steels. The highest quality steel in this series is actually the 9Cr steel, with 8Cr steel falling close behind it. The biggest advantage about this type of steel is how inexpensive it is. When you are looking for a budget option that will get the job done, this is a great steel to go with. However, you do get what you pay for, so while the steel will be able to get the job done, it is considered one of the more average steels and won’t excel at anything. 8Cr steel is most commonly compared to AUS 8 steel; with AUS 8 steel being the superior out of the two kinds. 8Cr steel is a little softer than AUS 8 and doesn’t hold an edge as well. On the flip side, because it is a little softer, this steel is extremely easy to sharpen and a beginner would be able to excel at sharpening this type.

To make this steel harder and more durable, the finish that Kershaw chose is a PVD coating. This is a Physical Vapor Deposition coating, where the particles of coating are applied in a vacuum like environment. This type of coating is actually chemically bonded to the steel and vastly improves the hardness and durability of this steel. It has been said to make this steel scratch resistant. Because it is chemically bonded to the steel, it will not scratch off like any of the other coating finishes would. One of the last benefits about this type of coating is that there are no thicker deposits of the coating whereas a painted on coating could run or be applied unevenly. The PVD coating also provides you with protection against many of the elements which is perfect because this knife is designed for backpacking, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The PVD coating on this knife is a dark gray color.

Kershaw used a different finish for the flats of the blade: a satin finish. A satin finish is used to enhance the lines of a steel and creates a slighter more matte look than if it had no finish on it. It does work to reduce the glares and reflections on the knife. This finish is created by sanding the steel with increasing levels of a fine abrasive. Because it takes time and work, it does add a little bit to the overall cost of the knife. The satin finish is a much lighter gray, almost silver, compared to the PVD coating, which creates a nice contrast.

The steel has been ground into a modified drop point blade shape. This blade shape is created by having the unsharpened edge of the blade slowly curve until it meets the sharpened edge creating a lowered point. The lowered point provides the user with more control over their cuts, which is why this is a popular blade shape among hunters. The lowered point also means that the point is going to be broader, and thus stronger than another point. Because of this, the drop point blade shape is able to take on a plethora of tasks that a different blade shape would not. The drop point style is one of the most versatile blade shapes that you are going to be able to buy, and one of the reasons for that is that it provides you with a large belly that has plenty of length of slicing or cutting. The belly is perfect for your everyday tasks. The drop point blade shape is going to help you be prepared for almost any situation, whether it is the common expected, everyday tasks or the completely unexpected or emergency situations.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of G 10 with a carbon fiber overlay front and a steel back. G 10 is laminate that is made of fiberglass. This material has very similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it can be produced for a much lower cost. To make it, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and then soaks them in resin, compresses them, and lastly bakes them under pressure. The material is very hard, tough, lightweight, and strong. G 10 is actually considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates. However, it is brittle. G 10 is a popular material because it is durable, lightweight, non porous and you can purchase it in a variety of colors.

The front overlay is made out of carbon fiber. This material is made when thin strands of carbon have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. This is an extremely strong material that is also lightweight. However, it is one of the other expensive materials. Even though it is such a strong material, it is also pretty brittle. This is because all of the fibers of carbon have been woven in one direction, so they are strong in that direction, but when they get stressed in other directions they start to break apart. This has a heavily textured pattern that looks like a woven basket.

The back of the handle is made out of steel. This is an extremely durable material that is also very resistant to corrosion. However, it is not as lightweight as the other two materials. In fact, it is one of the heavier materials. Steel is one of the more slippery materials, but because it is just on the back, you will still have an excellent grip on your knife.

The finger groove in this handle is extremely shallow, but on the front of the knife, there is a cut out from the front overlay and the back, so you can place your finger in this groove. Because of this, you will have fantastic grip on the knife, no matter what the weather is. For an outdoors knife, you need the best grip that you can get.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is long and skinny. It is an extra deep carry pocket clip. This means that it will always be safe and secure inside of your pocket, plus, with a deep carry pocket clip, it is easier to conceal. However, it is also a single position pocket clip. The knife has only been drilled to carry your knife right handedly and with the tip of your knife up.


The Extras:

The Reverb actually functions as a multi tool. This knife has been designed to be an outdoors knife, and to be a great outdoors knife, you have to be able to use both of your hands in many of the situations. But, you also need to be able to have quick access to your knife while ensuring that it remains secure when you are not using it. To fulfill all of these needs, Kershaw has added a Carabiner Clip onto the handle of the knife.


The Mechanism:

This is a fully manual opening knife. Kershaw says that it has no assist, even the Speed Safe assisting mechanism, and it opens the classic, old school way. In fact, this knife doesn’t even feature a flipper or a thumb stud mechanism. There is a slight thumb groove to get traction on the blade to be able to push it open. Other than that, it is fully manual.

This knife also features a frame lock mechanism. This is a portion of the handle (the knife feature) that moves behind the blade to lock it into position during use. This is a safety feature of the knife. Because of this frame lock, you won’t have to worry about it closing on you or fingers during the heavy duty use.


The Specs:

The bade on the Reverb is 2.5 inches long. When this knife is open, it has an overall length of 6.1 inches long, but when the blade is closed, it measures in at 3.25 inches long. Because of all the lightweight materials that were used on the blade and in the handle, and the slim and sleek design that the Reverb sports, this is a crazy light knife. It weighs in at 1.6 ounces.



The reputation that Kershaw has earned over the past few decades is completely true. Kershaw knives are reliable and durable. This knife is going to be able to last a lifetime with you, through all of your outdoors adventures.

This is a super lightweight knife that is ideal for backpacking, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. With its lightweight design and no flipper or thumb stud to catch on anything, the Reverb is ready to go with you on your next outdoor adventure. The built in carabiner clip makes it easy to clip to backpack or harness.

To create such an excellent knife, Kershaw started out with steel that holds an edge for long periods of time and is a breeze to sharpen. Not only that, but the steel is extremely inexpensive and will keep the cost of this knife down considerably. To match the great blade, Kershaw had to design a perfect handle. They used G 10 to give you durability with a Carbon Fiber overlay. Both of these materials are durable and extremely light weight, which keeps the weight of the knife down considerably. This helps to make your knife light enough to take with you no matter where you go. The back scale of the handle is made out of durable, rust resistant steel. While this scale is much heavier than the other two handle materials, it doesn’t weigh the knife down because it is just the back scale.

The carabiner clip is the perfect edition to your new outdoors knife. The extra-long, extra deep carry pocket clip is just the cherry on top of a fantastic knife.

If you hike, camp, backpack, or spend much of your time in the outdoors, this is the perfect addition for your knife collection–find yours at BladeOps.