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Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Review

A sturdy blade in a super-strong handle, with other attributes that flirt with both “everyday carry” and “tactical” usage.
Kershaw Blur
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Price:  $130 List | $69.10 at Amazon
Pros:  Stout, assisted opening
Cons:  Flat handle profile
Manufacturer:   Kershaw
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 31, 2018
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 19
  • Blade and Edge Integrity - 30% 7
  • Ergonomics - 20% 7
  • Portability - 20% 6
  • Construction Quality - 20% 7
  • Other Features - 10% 2

Our Verdict

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. 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.


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Pros Stout, assisted openingGreat blade, classy wooden handleIncredible blade quality, assisted open, perfect combination of compactness/functionalityProven and well-respected blade, smooth, comfortable ergonomicsImmaculate materials, assisted opening, fully symmetrical performance
Cons Flat handle profileExpensive, no assisted opening functionPricey, blade lock mechanism not intuitiveLarge, no assisted openingLarge in your pocket, expensive
Bottom Line A sturdy blade in a super-strong handle, with other attributes that flirt with both “everyday carry” and “tactical” usage.A solid little knife for all-around “every day carry”. With assisted opening, this model would be similar enough to our Editors' Choice to really complicate our assessment.Immaculately constructed knife in a form-factor that is easy to carry and large enough for virtually every task.Full-size, basic folding pocket knife with immaculate construction.The full size version of our Editors' Choice is less portable with minimal but real gains in usability. If you know you need a full size pocket knife, the Barrage 580 is a great choice.
Rating Categories Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Benchmade 15031-2 North Fork Benchmade Mini-Barrage 585 Benchmade Griptilian 551 Benchmade Barrage 580
Blade And Edge Integrity (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Ergonomics (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Portability (20%)
10
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6
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
5
Construction Quality (20%)
10
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7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Other Features (10%)
10
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2
10
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0
10
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10
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10
0
0
Specs Kershaw Blur... Benchmade 15031-2... Benchmade... Benchmade... Benchmade Barrage...
Weight (ounces) 4 oz 3.2 oz 3.4 oz 3.9 oz 4.2 oz
Blade Style Drop Point, hybrid straight/serrated Drop point, straight Drop point, straight Drop point, straight Drop point, straight
Blade locks closed? No Yes Yes No Yes
Opening Style Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud Ambidextrous thumb-stud Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud Ambidextrous thumb stud Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud
Lock Mechanism Liner lock Proprietary (Axis) Proprietary (Axis) Proprietary (Axis) Proprietary (Axis)
Carry Style, in addition to loose in pocket Pocket Clip and lanyard hole Pocket Clip Pocket Clip and lanyard hole Pocket Clip Pocket Clip, lanyard hole
Blade Material Sandvic 14C28N CPM-S30V stainless steel 154CM Steel 154CM steel 154 CM stainless steel
Handle Material Anodized aluminum Stabilized wood Plastic Plastic Valox
Blade Length (inches) 3.4 2.9 2.9 3.5 3.8
Closed Length (inches) 4.6 3.9 4 4.6 4.8
Overall Length 8 6.9 6.9 8 8.5
Thickness (w/o pocket clip) (inches) 0.4 0.53 0.57 0.6 0.7
Other Features or Functions Glass breaker None None None None

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.

Performance Comparison


The texture on the Blur's handle shows readily here. For an all aluminum handle  this texture is unique and appreciated.
The texture on the Blur's handle shows readily here. For an all aluminum handle, this texture is unique and appreciated.

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.

Ergonomics


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.

For heavy use like whittling the Blur is plenty beefy  and the textured scales lend support. Our only wish for this application is that the handle were more rounded.
For heavy use like whittling the Blur is plenty beefy, and the textured scales lend support. Our only wish for this application is that the handle were more rounded.

Portability


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 dark color and mid-biased pocket clip of the Blur leaves it more visible on your pants than other knives.
The dark color and mid-biased pocket clip of the Blur leaves it more visible on your pants than other knives.

Other Features


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.

Construction Quality


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.

The Blur is solid  but nothing fancy. For this reason  we can heartily recommend it.
The Blur is solid, but nothing fancy. For this reason, we can heartily recommend it.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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