Review: Kershaw "Chive" by Ken Onion

Cruentus

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Hey knife lovers! Now, I know a lot of you on this board collect knives, and would spend $100, $200, $300 on a good custom blade. Some of you will go even higher then that. I like knife tactics better then I do the blades themselves, so I only know what is nessicary about the blades to get by. So I won't be discussing the type steel or craftsmenship, and I won't be discussing your knives that cost over $100. I'll let the real collectors give the more in depth reviews on the higher priced commodities.

I am going to give reviews on functioning blades that are relatively inexpensive. Blades that are of a decent quality, but that any martial artist could get their hands on w/o having to worry about breaking their budget.

Anyways, I was at a Wall-Mart on the West side of the state (Michigan) over the weekend. The Fiancee' and my future mother in law was looking at fabrics that were on sale. This means that I had a good hour to kill. Considering that looking at fabrics for an hour was just way more fun then I could handle, :)rolleyes:) I decided to look around the store. So, being as male as I am, I migrated to the camping/hunting/firearms section of the store.
While looking at some reasonably priced rifles and shot guns, I decided to see what they had in stock for blades. They actually had a better then flea market grade stock of tacticle folders.

I then noticed the Kershaw label. I didn't know that Wall-mart carried Kershaw! It is not my favorite label, but they make some pretty decent knives sometimes. So, I decided to look at the "Chive."

Here is a link to some pics. of the knife: http://www.islandsecuritystore.com/...ml?OVRAW=Kershaw&OVKEY=kershaw&OVMTC=standard

I would like to call this one the ultimate "executive" folder. For a guy who wears a suit all day, like me, this is a great carrier. The blade is only about an inch and a half in length, with only a 2 1/2 to 3 inch handle. It is small and light, and easy to carry with a suit.

As you can see in the picture, the blade shape is a bit unique, with a slight "wave." This design makes it ideal for thrusting or slicing. Now for those of you who study knife tactics, you know that the capabilities of a small knife should not be underestimated, and in many cases the smaller blade is more of a worry then a larger one.

I'll cover a little about "grip" on this smaller knife here, because not everyone will know the proper way to handle a small blade, being used to larger "trainers." The grip on this blade is most useful with the blade up with sharp edge facing away from your body, with the index finger behind the blade, with the handle secured firmly between the middle finger and thumb. You can also grip this blade with the thumb behind the blade, or thumb on the handle behind the "ramp" of the blade. The handle is too small to execute an "ice pick" or reverse grip with blade facing towards, or away from body, and I don't find the shape of the handle condusive to having the blade up with sharp edge facing towards the body either (unless your "clipping"). These other grips can be modified to make work, but could be dangerous to the holder. The blade is most comfortably held with blade up and outward facing, with fingers supporting to prevent slipping. You can do a blade up grip, with the edge facing off to the side (to the right or left) w/o putting yourself into danger, but because the blade is so small this isn't advantagious from a tacticle standpoint. If you know how to "clip" (where the blade is upward with edge facing your body, and thumb is out and used to grab a wrist, or body part, while the blade cuts while the thumb grabs) this little blade is good for that also.

What I liked the most about this tool, however, is that it is designed to be able to open quickly. All you have to do is press on the back ramp "button" or ramp on the back of the handle, and it opens automatically. There is no "flipping" needed or gravity needed. The mechanism technically is not spring loaded, so it should be perfectly legal in your state. If drawn appropriatly and with little practice, this knife should open just as fast as any switch, gravity, or automatic opener out there; if not faster. This mechanism is why I prefer the "finger behind Blade" grip; I can open the blade quickly just by pressing with my index finger, and I am ready for action with little grip adjustments needed.

My only critique on this tool is that the belt or pocket clip is "nose up", when it needs to be "nose down." A "nose down" so it can draw more quickly. An easy adjustment can be made however. As soon as I get to the hardware store, I can turn the clip around; it has screw holes on the other side of the handle so I can do just that.

Total cost for this knife at wall-mart: 29 buck plus tax!

So, I would say that for someone who wants to carry a vary small blade everyday, the Kershaw Ken Onion Chive is the best bang for your buck, and the best tacticle baby knife you can buy. So, see if your nearest Wall-mart carries this blade. You will see for yourself why I would consider this the ultimate "executive" carrier.

:asian:
 

arnisandyz

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I picked up a scallion, its a little larger than the chive, but still small.

I like it. The opening mechanism works good as mentioned and the size is perfect for light carry.

Don't think I'll ever use the locking feature (locks the blade closed) or the thumb stud. Don't know why they even put it on the knife. I got the half serrated version and when I use the thumbstud, my thumb ends up on the bottom part of the blade because of the "assist" opening. You could probably get used to pulling the thumb back once the motion is started with practice though.

andy
 

Phil Elmore

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I recently purchased one of the assisted-opening Onion/Kershaws at Wal*Mart for under 30 dollars, if I remember the price correctly. This one's partially serrated with a 2-1/2 inch blade.

The opening mechanism is very fast, which gives the knife good "Wow!" factor and leads to lots of openings just for fun. As has been previous mentioned, the thumb studs are unnecessary -- and even unsafe, as the spring assist is so powerful that you run the risk fo cutting your own finger if you try to thumb open the blade and then lose traction as the blade takes off.

The serrations are strange -- they are rounded, rather than pointed like teeth. I do not prefer this configuration as I don't think the rounded teeth have the same "grab" and "bite" that pionted serrations have.

My knife was configured for "tip down" out of the box, which is preferable because it is safer. There do not appear to be any screw holes for reversing the clip, either for "tip up" or left-hand carry.

The bolt-action "safety" is, to my mind, useless. It cannot be easily activated while drawing the knife and has a tacked-on, afterthought feel to it.

Despite my quibbles this is a great little pocketknife for the money. It's too small to really be a "tactical folder," but it's a fun little gadget that will make a great package-opener for Christmas presents.
 
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Cruentus

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Just to add on here...

I also have the Scallion, which is a bit larger, but same design. I agree that I don't like the safety either. The thumb studs on the bigger version of the scallion are much more useful then the chive.

PAUL
 

arnisandyz

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I was looking at the scallion a little closer. It looks like the thumb studs are also used as reinforcement "stops' that might prevent the knife from folding over backwards when heavy pressure is used when cutting (if your using heavy pressure with this knife your using the wrong knife). I'm with Phil, the thumb studs are a dangerous design that will take a piece of your thumb if your not used to the knife. If your hand is in position to use the thumb studs than its also in position to do the index finger opening. Dexterity in the index finger is much greater than the thumb, ever hear the term "I'm all thumbs?"

Andy
 

Phil Elmore

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I had the same complaint about what looked like thumb studs on the blade of the CUDA MAXX, which is designed to be opened with a flip of the guard. I was told that the studs weren't for opening at all, but served as blade stops. That may indeed be the case with the Kershaw(s).
 
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Cruentus

Cruentus

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Originally posted by Sharp Phil
I had the same complaint about what looked like thumb studs on the blade of the CUDA MAXX, which is designed to be opened with a flip of the guard. I was told that the studs weren't for opening at all, but served as blade stops. That may indeed be the case with the Kershaw(s).

It does look like the case, now that you guys mention it. I find the thumb studs useful for opening on the bigger version (scallion), but not on the chive because its too hard to hold and I feel at risk of cutting myself by using the thumb studs.

In either case, I find that my drawing ability has increased significantly in speed with the mechanism.

Serrations: Yes they are different. I found that out of the factory, my serrations on my scallion didn't have the bite I wanted either (my chive is not serraded). I found them very easy to sharpen though (especially on the spyderco sharpmaker I just got), and now they rip like no other. Perhaps "easier to sharpen" might be a benefit of this style of serrations. I would recommend resharpening this blade if you have serrations, if you have a good sharpening kit.

My knife was configured for "tip down" out of the box, which is preferable because it is safer. There do not appear to be any screw holes for reversing the clip, either for "tip up" or left-hand carry.

It appears finagleable (new word...heh). At first I thought there were holes to switch the clip, but it doesn't appear to be their design. But there are holes...I think I can use the holes that are there to finagle a tip down carry. I am going to try it sometime, and I'll repost and let you know my results! :D
 

arnisandyz

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Originally posted by Sharp Phil
I had the same complaint about what looked like thumb studs on the blade of the CUDA MAXX, which is designed to be opened with a flip of the guard. I was told that the studs weren't for opening at all, but served as blade stops. That may indeed be the case with the Kershaw(s).

On the scallion, they definately LOOK like thumb studs your suppose to use, they have a texture to it that actually increases the grip. (not really a texture, hard to explain to those that haven't held the knife but 3 real small studs one on top of the other that creates a texture). I think they could have achieved the goal of a blade stop with smaller/shorter studs that don't work as an opening device. I can almost see someone not familiar with the knife losing a piece of there thumb.
 

Cthulhu

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I just picked up a Kershaw Scallion as a late Christmas stocking stuffer. As mentioned before, it is a small pocketknife, with only a 2.25in. blade, though it is bigger than the Chive.

I'm the only one who likes the locking stud feature it seems :) Here's my reason: I'm not going to be carrying the thing around with me when I'm at home, which means I'll likely have it put someplace relatively out of the way. However, my daughter is infamous for getting into places relatively out of the way. I'm pretty sure she couldn't work the locking stud, so if she does get a hold of the knife, all I have to worry about is her throwing it at me as I don't think she could get that stud unlocked. The assited opening is pretty sensitive and it would be extremely easy for a child to flick the blade out if the lock was disengaged.

If the opening ramp were just a few millimeters higher, I imagine the Chive would work very similar to the Emerson Wave system. Pity. Either way, I like it. I foresee it being a very nice utility blade.

Cthulhu
 
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pknox

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A little bit off topic, but than again, maybe not...

Just curious, but with using names like Chive and Scallion, do you guys know if Kershaw makes kitchen knives as well? I was looking to give one (or, hopefully, a set) as a gift, and I wouldn't be surprised if the price and quality ratio would be similar if they made those as well. Do they have a website?
 

arnisandyz

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Originally posted by pknox
A little bit off topic, but than again, maybe not...

Just curious, but with using names like Chive and Scallion, do you guys know if Kershaw makes kitchen knives as well? I was looking to give one (or, hopefully, a set) as a gift, and I wouldn't be surprised if the price and quality ratio would be similar if they made those as well. Do they have a website?

"Chive" and "Scallion" are in reference to the Custom Knife Designer Ken Onion, nothing to do with preparing food. You can find a bunch of high quality kitchen knives here though http://www.1sks.com/store/kitchen-knives.html
 

OULobo

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Originally posted by pknox
A little bit off topic, but than again, maybe not...

Just curious, but with using names like Chive and Scallion, do you guys know if Kershaw makes kitchen knives as well? I was looking to give one (or, hopefully, a set) as a gift, and I wouldn't be surprised if the price and quality ratio would be similar if they made those as well. Do they have a website?

Not sure that they make kitchen knives, but the names Chive and Scallion are from the designer who's name is Onion.
 

OULobo

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Consequently, the website does have a large selection of fine looking kitchen knives.
 

OULobo

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Originally posted by Marvin
Whats the difference between the Leek and the Chive?

I bought a leek about two weeks ago. I think the differances include linerlock (chive) vs. framelock (leek) and a different blade design. I think the chive is the smaller version of the scallion.
 
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