When searching for a pocket knife that costs around $50 or less, many choose Kershaw knives. Their range just can’t be beaten for an EDC knife that won’t break the bank.

Now, value is always subjective but cheaper doesn’t always equal “crap”. If you comb through their offerings you’ll be able to find designs that have decent steel, a great lock and their patented “SpeedSafe” assisted opening. (Though you should  check if assisted opening is legal in your area!). You can also find several designs on our list that are still made in the USA.

All Kershaw products have a “Lifetime Warranty”.  Even if you break a blade by erm “Misadventure” they’ll replace it for just $10. What’s more, they’ll sharpen and clean your knife for free if you send it to their plant in Oregon.

On this page, we review 7 of the best Kershaw pocket knives for you and your wallet!

The Best 7 Kershaw Folders

KnifeImageFeaturesPriceOur Reviews
Kershaw Blur7.9" Total
3.4" Blade
Sandvik 14C28N
3.9 oz
USA Made
$54.22 Read Our Review!
Kershaw 1760 Skyline 7.4” open,
3.1” blade
Sandvik 14C28N
2.5oz
$32.11 Read Our Review!
Kershaw 1620 Scallion 5.75" Open
2.25" Blade
420 HC Steel
2.3 oz
USA Made
$27.65 Read Our Review!
Kershaw 1555TI Cryo6.5" Total
2.75" Blade
8Cr13MoV Steel
4.1 Oz
$22.80 Read Our Review!
Kershaw 1990 Brawler 7.1" Total
3" Blade
8CR13Mov Steel
3.9 oz
$22.71 Read Our Review!
Kershaw RJ II Total = 7.1"
Blade = 3.1"
8CR13MoV
3.2 oz
Check on Amazon Read Our Review!
Kershaw 1830 OSO Sweet 7.25" Total
3" Blade
Aus6a Steel
3.2 oz
$22.94 Read Our Review!

1o Tips For Choosing the Best Kershaw EDC

At first, you might be taken aback by the range of pocket knives Kershaw offers! They have many different blade types, steels, handles and a few different locks too. However, with a bit of diligent research, you’ll be able to choose the best Kershaw EDC knife for you – and your wallet!

In choosing the best EDC folding knife, you’ll probably need something that covers most (if not all) of the following points.

  1. Has decent steel
  2. Uses a strong, reliable lock
  3. Has a smooth opening system
  4. Is light and concealable
  5. Is easy to sharpen
  6. Has a blade length around 3″
  7. Fits your hand well – and stay in it!
  8. Is able to be open right or left handed, even with gloves
  9. Has a “Quad Carry” pocket clip for left, right, tip-up and tip-down carry options
  10. Is legal to carry

You might disagree with some of the above. Regardless, to get the best EDC pocket knife that suits you, make 3 or 4 key points and go find it!

We hope our reviews below will make your search easier.


Kershaw Pocket Knife Reviews

Our reviews were tailored towards people searching for the best Kershaw EDC knife.

Practically all of the blades featured employ the “Kershaw Speedsafe” feature. That means they can be opened one-handed with either hand. A key component to be the top EDC knife.

We also stuck to our bullet points and choose knives around 3″ in length. There are a number of reasons for this. Here are just three.

1) A 3″ blade will do most of the work an EDC knife (even in self-defense) will undertake
2) A 3″ pocket knife is lighter, more concealable and comfortable to carry 24/7 in any clothing
3) Many jurisdictions stipulate a folder must be 3″ or less.

Of course, if you’re spending $50 or less you’re going to have to make some compromises. The most important one will be steel. It’s true that good steel can literally make or break a knife. But it’s not the only component. The heat treatment process and blade design are of equal importance.

Some of the designs we review were made in China with Chinese steel.  Let’s get real. If you want great steel buy a Benchmade and pay 4-5 times the price of the blades below.

Another trade-off is the slightly softer steel is easier to sharpen than “premium steels”. The trick is to find ones that won’t chip, break or otherwise let you down. As part of our research, we checked forums and customer reviews extensively to see how the knives held up in the “real world”.

We believe you won’t be disappointed with any of the Kershaw pocket knives on our list.

Let’s begin.


Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Review

To put it simply, the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur may be the best assisted-open folder money can buy.

Designed by legendary knife maker Ken Onion, the Blur leaves little to want. The knife employs Sandvik 14C28N steel with extremely durable diamond-like carbon coating.

The blade is 3.4”, within legal limits for most states. And the handle is approximately 4.5”. This makes the knife large enough for even large handed users to get a firm grip while also being easily carried and concealable.

The handle is made from anodized aluminum and has a high-friction grip material interspersed. This allows for a very light 3.9 oz total weight, adding to the knife’s ease of carry.

It also features the Onion-designed Speedsafe quick-open mechanism. This auto-assist device allows for lightening-like open times using any hand from any angle. But watch out, this feature may not be legal in all jurisdictions (please check yours!).

Like all Kershaw knives, the Blur makes use of the patented Liner Lock system. This time-tested, blade-locking device is undefeatable within any kind of normal operating envelope. This translates into a knife whose open blade will never experience an uncommanded closing no matter the forces at work. That’s good news for fingers.

If you need convincing that the Liner Lock won’t let you down under stress – click the thumbnail to see for yourself.

One minor complaint with the Blur is the reversible pocket clip does cause the knife to ride fairly high in the pocket. In practice, this can mean the knife will not be effectively concealed from certain angles.

But the final word on the Blur is that it may be the final word on folding knives. Ken Onion didn’t become the youngest member ever to be inducted to the Cutlery Hall of Fame for nothing. If you don’t have one of these, get one. You won’t regret it.

The latest online price for the Kershaw Blur is just  $54.22

Pros:

  • Speedsafe opening system
  • Sandvik 14C28N steel
  • Anodized aluminum handle
  • Lightweight at 3.9 oz
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Ken Onion designed

Cons

  • Pocket clip causes knife to ride high


Kershaw Skyline 1700 Review

From the moment you get the Kershaw Skyline out of the box, you’ll know you got a steal on some steel.

Three things that make a great EDC knife are steel, locking system and how well it opens. The Skyline’s 3.1″ blade is made from premium 14C28N Sandvik stainless. The blade pictured is It’s a drop-point with a tactical, non-reflective finish.

The Skyline features Kershaw’s famous liner lock, which can withstand hundreds of pounds of force and 100g accelerations without issue.

A reversible pocket clip gives you tip up or tip down carry options. The opening flipper is ambidextrous too, so it’s a great tactical knife for lefties.

The handle is textured G10 with good hand contours including a prominent finger choil. It’s been aptly described as a mid-size knife with a large-size grip. This can make a real difference if you have large hands or are using it with gloves.

At 2.5 oz, the Kershaw Skyline is one of the lightest knives you’ll find. It’s also just 4.25” closed. All this makes it a great option for EDC. You won’t even notice it’s there. It also comes with a reversible pocket clip.

If there’s any complaint it’s that the knife is so small and lightweight that it necessarily lacks the robustness of heftier blades. That’s unlikely to be a problem for most. But you wouldn’t want to hit the deep wilderness with nothing but a Skyline.

That said, for the price , it’s a phenomenal bargain. It also could be the best tactical EDC that Kershaw manufacture.

Pros

  • Liner Lock
  • Flipper opener
  • Sandvik 14C28N steel
  • Textured G10 handle
  • Lightweight
  • Made in USA

Cons

  • Too lightweight for some


Kershaw Scallion Review

If you’re searching for a smaller EDC with a sub 3″ blade, the Kershaw Scallion is tough to beat. A big advantage it has over other “Budget Blades” is that it’s American made, t00.

The Scallion’s  small, 3.5″ closed size and its 2.3 oz lightweight make the Scallion perfect emergency knife you can carry, reach and deploy quickly. It built well enough that it ‘ll have no problems doing the work of a larger blade.

I always believe that the Best EDC knives should always be able to be opened with one-hand and quickly. Well, like many of Kershaw’s offerings, the Scallion features the renowned Speedsafe System. This means you can open it quickly with either hand via the thumbstud or flipper.

The Scallion’s 2.25″ 420 HC steel blade is Stainless, and American made.  This is the same steel that Buck Knives predominately uses. 420HC sharpens and holds an edge well. You needn’t worry about corrosion, either.

There’s also a frame lock which will please many. So many people like them because they’re strong yet easy to open (even with gloves) and also easy to clean. The last point is especially pertinent as dirt in the locking system is a particular vulnerability of pocket knives.

As well as a frame lock, it also has a tip lock. This is an added level of protection that stops the blade from opening in your pocket. It may only be 2.25″ but you wouldn’t want it sticking into your thigh – or god forbid anywhere else – whilst sitting down.

The GFN handle is slightly textured to make it a bit more grippy. The one pictured is “Black Matte” but the Scallion also comes in Camo, too.

The only real disadvantage with the Scallion imho is the pocket clip. It is not reversible and only comes compatible for right-handed, tip-down carry. So that’s 1/10th of people disappointed right away.

However, if you’re looking for a well-built, sub 3″ EDC knife that won’t scare the sheeple when you snap it out, you won’t be disappointed with the Scallion. As long as you’re right handed!

At just $27.65 on-line, it won’t break the bank, either.


Kershaw 1555TI Cryo Review

Want a world class folder for a discount price? The Kershaw 1555TI Cryo will punch that ticket.  Designed by renowned knife maker and first responder, Rick Hinderer, the Cryo is perhaps the best folding knife at its price point.

Aside from the patented Speedsafe system, this knife was designed from scratch for one thing: accomplishing missions. While it looks darn good, the Cryo is all business. Whether you’re cutting through seatbelts, breaking plate glass or slicing thick rubber hoses, the Cryo has you covered.

The Cryo is intended for the EDC carry role and has been designed accordingly. At 4.1 oz, it’s one of the lighter folders available. And the versatile, 4-way reversible pocket clip adds to its utility. It can be carried facing up, down, to the left or right. It also sits quite low in the pocket, enabling concealment under almost any garment.

The blade is short but lethal. At 2.75”, it ‘s going to be legal in most states. If you’re looking to carry something bigger than the original Cryo, check out the 3.25″ Cryo II.

The Cryo also features the ambidextrous Speedsafe assisted opening system. This system gives otherwise sluggish folders fixed-blade readiness. Beware though. While technically not a switchblade, it may be regarded as such by law enforcement so please check your local City and State bylaws.

As you’d expect with a cheap folder, the Cryo has Chinese 8Cr13Mov steel. Still, this is roughly equivalent to U.S. 440C so it’s pretty decent. It has a hardness of about 60 and will hold an edge under vigorous use. It’s titanium carbo-nitride coated, so rust won’t be an issue.

The only real complaint with this knife is that it is made in China. That’s how they offer it for 4-5 times the cost of something Benchmade.

The latest price online for the Cryo is just  $22.80

Pros:

  • Designed by a first responder
  • Speedsafe assisted opening
  • Quad-carry pocket clip
  • Sub 3″ blade legal in most states
  • Deep- pocket carry

Cons:

  • Made in China


Kershaw 1990 Brawler Review

The Kershaw 1990 Brawler is a great EDC knife with a price that’s hard to beat. Granted, its black, modified tanto blade may put some looking for more utility off. But if you’re after a lightweight tactical folder with a decent fit and finish it does the job.

Let’s check out some features and specs. The 3″ blade is made from 8CR13Mov steel. It’s got an overall length of 7.1″ and is 4.1″ closed.

With a hardness rating of about 57, this isn’t the best blade steel but it will hold a decent edge. This is particularly true if it’s not being continuously used. However, the softer steel also makes it extremely easy to sharpen.

And aside from looking extremely cool, the black oxide coating protects against corrosion. The handle is GFN (Glass Filled Nylon). It’s textured and features a partial finger choil which makes for a very solid grip.

The knife also has Kershaw’s patented Speedsafe opening system. This is a very fast, spring-assisted opening device that gives the knife a readiness comparable to fixed blades. You can use either the thumbstud, or the flipper on the spine.

The “Speedsafe” system makes the Brawler fall under the “Assisted Opening” category. This might not be legal in some places, so please check out your City and State bylaws to check the legality in your area!

Another added safety device is Kershaw’s Liner Lock. The Liner Lock ensures once the blade is locked open it’s almost physically impossible to unlock by any means other than hitting the unlock switch. This provides great peace of mind that your knife won’t accidentally open in your pocket (some do!).

The reversible pocket clip gives a great variety of carry options. It’s a “Quad Carry” so can be worn either left, right, tip-up or tip-down. The factory default is tip-down, but if faster deployment is your preference you can change it to tip-up pretty easily. It also shows around 1/2 when in your pocket, so it’s discrete too.

The only downside is those with large hands will likely find the handle comes up just a little short. The Cryo II or Skyline might be better if this is the case.

But overall, this is a versatile and capable knife that you simply can’t beat on price.

Pros:

  • Speedsafe opening system
  • Liner Lock
  • Lightweight at 3.9 oz
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Glass Filled Nylon handle
  • Budget Price

Cons:

  • Small for large hands


Kershaw RJ II Review

Looking for a durable, high-utility folder that won’t cost you a fortune? Check out the Kershaw RJ II.

First off, this knife uses the fantastically fast Speedsafe opening system. Is it a switchblade? I guess it could be argued it’s not. But that’s probably not an argument you ever want to have with a cop.

Even so, if you’re looking for an auto opener, the Speedsafe system is the best of its kind. Not only does the blade rocket to the locked position in less than a half second, it’s locked by one of the toughest mechanisms in the business – the Liner Lock.

The 8CR13Mov steel used is a mid-line Chinese blade steel with a long track record of being used in folders. Combined with the titanium coated blade, it’ll get the job done fine.

A really nice feature of this blade is the partial serration. Some purists scoff at partially serrated blades. But the truth is that serration opens up a whole host of capabilities that just aren’t there with straight edges. Serration gets any blade a lot closer to being a truly universal tool.

The G10 handle provides phenomenal grip. It’s both beveled and contoured, mostly eliminating the possibility of slippage. It also comes with a fieldable, if short pocket clip.

The one drawback of this knife is that it’s made in China. Although at the end of the day, for the rugged quality you’re getting, you simply can’t beat the Kershaw RJ II price.

Pros

  • Speedsafe opening system
  • 8CR13MoV titanium coated blade
  • Partially serrated
  • Beveled G10 handle
  • Small & concealable
  • Liner lock

Cons

  • Made in China

Kershaw Oso Sweet Review

In the value for money stakes, it’s hard to beat Kershaw. When you consider what you get for your money, the 1830 Oso is just immense.

At 3″ it has the perfect blade length for EDC, it opens fast and has a decent locking system. What more do you want?

Good steel! I hear you cry. Well, it’s true the Oso’s blade is 8cr318mov and for this price that is to be expected. But if you know knives, you know the heat treatment process (and design) is as important as the steel itself. Kershaw

Kershaw believe they have both covered and have treated the Oso to be sharp, strong and hold a good edge. The general customer consensus since it’s launch around 5 years ago have been extremely favorable.

Like a lot of the more expensive Kershaw knives, the Oso has the “Speedsafe System”. This gives it the readiness of a fixed blade while retaining the ultra-compact size of a pocket folder.  It also means you can open the knife one handed with either hand. This makes it a great EDC blade.

The Oso Sweet also has Kershaw’s patented Liner Lock mechanism, too. Simply put, once this blade is locked in place nothing can dislodge it. You never have to worry about it suddenly collapsing onto a finger under heavy loading or acceleration.

Both of these features are also found on higher end Kershaw knives costing two – three times as much.

Moving on to the handle, it is a generous 4” and has a contoured, textured glass filled nylon construction. This makes the Oso easy to grip and also ensures those with larger hands will have no trouble getting a solid handle on the knife. You can also use it with gloves.

The pocket clip is a “Quad Carry” – configured for tip up / tip down, left and right carry. Again, for this price that’s another big plus.

Obviously, the drawback to the Oso is that it was made in China. However, Kershaw’s managed to get East Asian quality control to nearly U.S. standards. And hey, let’s face it, if all lower-end tools and hardware were made in the USA we’d all be paying three times as much on every trip to Home Depot.

Available for  just $22.94 online, the Kershaw Oso Sweet could well be the best EDC knife for the money.

Pros:

  • Speedsafe Opening
  • Liner Lock
  • Contoured GFN Handle
  • Quad carry pocket clip
  • Great Price

Cons:

  • Made in China