Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Review
Cons: Flat handle profile
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
As an all-metal knife with a "high traction" handle, the Kershaw Blur stands out. Top it off with smooth operation, proven blade design, and an assisted opening function, and you've got a pocket knife that is right in contention with the best of the best. Full-sized knives with assisted-open function, multiple carry options, and excellent blades will always do well in our scoring matrix. This is because they do well for the user.
Blade and Edge Integrity
There are many variables that inform the blade and edge performance, especially over time, of a pocket knife. A knife designer often starts by selecting the material. The steel chosen is often where assessment of a blade ends. We like to look more closely, as good designers are also looking more closely. The material must be shaped, ground, sharpened, and heat treated. Each of these steps has a profound impact on the eventual edge integrity. Finally, every blade, no matter what the manufacturer says, must be resharpened periodically through its lifespan. The Blur has an excellent blade. The steel holds an edge longer than you might otherwise expect, the hollow ground blade feels precise and thin in food and light tasks, while the steep edge bevel won't break down in rougher work.
We tested the hybrid straight/serrated version. It can be purchased with a fully straight blade, also. Since straight blades are easier to sharpen, we generally prefer those. We recommend serrated blades for those cutting tons of rope and webbing.
The Blur is "full-sized," with dual thumb studs and a spring-assist that allows for an easy one-handed opening. The flat profiled aluminum side plates are textured.
This size (overall length of 8 inches, handle length 4.6 inches) is suited to most hand sizes. Our only ergonomics wish is that the side plates were a little more rounded. Two other high-scoring Benchmade knives (Griptillian 551 and Editors' Choice Mini-Barrage 585) have a handle profile that, overall, fills the hand more readily. For heavy use, a rounded handle profile is better than the flat shape of the Blur.
You can carry the Blur a few different ways. Of course, you can drop it loose in a pocket. In this way, the aluminum edges of the blade and the pointed glass breaker will likely accelerate wear on your pocket fabric. There is an included pocket clip that can be reversed for either tip up or tip down carry. Finally, there is a lanyard hole in the pinky end of the handle. Weight and bulk, overall, are typical for full-sized pocket knives. The .4" thickness is lower profile than most full-sized knives.
Every knife that scores better than the Blur in this metric is quite a bit smaller. As compared to the other full-sized knives it is the lower profile stature and the reversible pocket clip that set it apart.
The only other feature on the Blur is the "glass breaker." This is just a steeply sharpened, hardened-steel nub on the pinky end of the handle. Accessible whether the blade is open or closed, one can use this to lead a swinging fist through tempered glass. We have never tested this attribute of a pocket knife, but trust the experience of those that have.
It is rare to find a high-end, mass-produced pocket knife with full aluminum scales. This attribute, plus the Blur's light hinge and smooth locking mechanism, lends a confidence-inspiring feel to the Blur. In many product categories, our three month test period is enough time to draw out durability concerns. With pocket knives, a type of equipment that is often handed down through many generations, at three months of even heavy use, we are just scratching the surface. We had no problems with the durability and construction quality of the Blur. Our only wish is that the construction included a feature to lock the blade closed. Assisted opening blades are more prone to accidental opening than "regular" blades.
Knife prices are all over the map. Both Kershaw knives we tested that have assisted opening blades and the same steel in that blade are a good comparison. The Kershaw Leek is almost $50 cheaper than the Blur. Now, you might choose the Blur over the Leek for size, blade stoutness, and the glass breaker included with the Blur. Nonetheless, it is tough to justify the additional cost of the Blur.
The Kershaw Blur is super stout. The all-metal handle and thick blade add weight but inspire confidence. The thin handle profile and configurable pocket clip suggest everyday carry suitability.
— Jediah Porter