There is something exceptionally "smooth" about Kershaw Knives. All of them that we have tested have both smooth hinges and smooth overall construction. Even with heavily textured (and therefore tractioned) handle scales, the Kershaw Blur feels smooth in your hand and pocket. It cuts smooth and opens even more smoothly. The assisted opening function works great. Our only wish is that the blade could be locked closed. Other assisted opening knives lock closed.
Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker ReviewPrice: $125 List | $54.36 at Amazon Pros: Stout, Assisted opening
Cons: Flat handle profile
Bottom line: A sturdy blade in a super-strong handle, with other attributes that flirt with both “everyday carry” and “tactical” usage.
Blade Style: Drop Point, hybrid straight/serrated
Blade locks closed?: No
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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. 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 Sandvik 14C28N steel in the Blur blade is the same as in our Best Buy Kershaw Leek. There, however, is where the comparison ends. The Leek blade is slender in all dimensions, while the Blur blade is far more stout. This informs much about the user's cutting experience and supports our assertion that there are many variables beyond steel type.
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. Both 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 Griptillian 551 has a configurable pocket clip, but is 1.5 times the thickness of the Blur, with other dimensions being essentially the same.
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.
Top Pick SOG Trident Elite has a glass-breaker and also adds a "notch cutter" to the tactical knife feature set. Only the other Top Pick, the Victorinox Classic SD has more features than the Blur and the SOG. For the most part, the knives we tested are one-blade affairs.
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.
Other top contenders in our review have wooden or composite handles. Even the Editors' Choice Mini Barrage 585 has a handle that, by comparison to the all-metal Blur, feels light-duty. The otherwise close competitor SOG Trident Elite also has a composite handle. The Best Buy Kershaw Leek is also all-metal, but the handle metal is smooth and slippery when wet.
This pocket knife is an interesting hybrid, application-wise. It has the glass breaker and assisted opening functionality of a "tactical" knife, but doesn't go the whole distance with a v-cutter. It is low profile like an everyday carry knife but has the higher weight of a more utilitarian tool. In the end, it is better suited to "everyday carry" over tactical or construction purposes.
Knife prices are all over the map. Both Kershaw knives we tested have assisted opening blades and the same steel in that blade. The Kershaw Leek, though, is half the cost of 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.
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Most recent review: May 31, 2018
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