Test ad

Disappointed with Kershaw

vwb563

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2007
Messages
2,683
Everytime I look at the Kershaw's online I see more and more China made cheapos than new USA made knives. And even with their USA made ones they're using lower grade blade steels than before it seems. Am I the only one seeing this and becoming disappointed with Kershaw?
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
4,704
No you are not, a thread like this comes up every time they release a new catalog.

They have an entire line of USA made autos now using CPM154. The new Link/Dividend are 420hc as a value play but the Link is available in S35vn and the Dividend is still new this year but I'm sure variants will continue to come.

Their USA line is very successful so you have a lot of evergreen products (blur, leek, scallion, shallot, chive, skyline etc) combined with relatively new products that have been around a few years (knockout, camber, etc).

The USA facility is at capacity as a result. The Chinese made knives see considerably more churn in products.
 

sharp_edge

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
4,734
Mostly you are not. BUT, for USA made high quality knives with good materials, you should look at the high end line of KAI: Zero Tolerance.
 

jstn

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
3,167
I don't mind if they put out a lot of low end stuff, as long as they keep making good high end stuff as well. ZT puts out what is in my opinion the best flippers out there, with excellent materials, at a great price point. KAI has a wide selection and I just steer clear of the China-made junk.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
955
Your not alone but they are still producing some hall of fame USA made EDC type knives like my beloved Kershaw Skyline. I am grateful they have not stopped doing what they do very well and they keep doing it here, in the USA. Someone should ask who keeps buying the low end stuff? Learn them better and the low end goes away. (Wishful thinking)
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
5,798
Welcome to the Great Depression 2.0
There is hardly any option to stay afloat but to
Feed the market with far cheaper if not affordable products
Sucks, but it's the way that it is.
Sign-o-the-Times-Title-Card.jpg
 

vwb563

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2007
Messages
2,683
It just hate seeing so much China made stuff in the Kershaw line. I'm not saying the China stuff is no good but it's definitely not on par with the USA made stuff. Then I see a few new American made models that I like but then I start looking at the their specs and see 420 as a blade steel. 420 is ok but certainly not on par with s30v or s35v or even 14c28n like my Leek has. Just seems like KAI is downgrading the Kershaw line of knives. I guess it's all part of the master plan to push quantity over quality. At leat they do offer limited runs of some models in the better steels. I love their ZT line and steels they offer. I'd actually like to see more exotic steels offered like s90v in the ZT models.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
62
Consider yourself lucky. Why would Japanese company make any efforts in manufacturing in USA?
 
Joined
Feb 18, 1999
Messages
5,907
Consider yourself lucky. Why would Japanese company make any efforts in manufacturing in USA?

ZT is also owned by KAI. Everything isn't an anti-American conspiracy.

Are you aware that Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have extensive manufacturing in the USA?

Jim
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Messages
17,165
ZT is also owned by KAI. Everything isn't an anti-American conspiracy.

Are you aware that Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have extensive manufacturing in the USA?

Jim

Only because it pays them to. Labor in Japan is just as high as the USA. Plus they would have to ship from Japan too.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
123
Have they stopped manufacturing in Japan altogether?
My first knife was a Black Horse (10th B-day gift from dad) which I'm 99% sure was made in Japan.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
3,016
I have several China made Kershaws and they all are fine knives. I have both TS/LL and AO's, all were centered well, locked up well and were basically sharp OOTB. Of course I always have to put a final hone on my new knives regardless of maker.
I've no problem at all with Kershaw.

Rich
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
2,477
I wonder why there only putting 154 in their autos. I would love to see it in other offerings. Is that kind of the business model. Kershaw cant make knives too appealing to guys like me because it may stir me away from ZT.
 

tueller

Basic Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
1,245
Every now and then it's nice to have a cheap option out there to play with. For example I can't afford a real Emerson so the kershaw/Emerson series even though made oversees, was a way I could try out a similar design. I find spyderco to be the best knife at the price point I can afford. Now that I have kids even benchmade, ZT, etc tend to be too much for me. So as long as a company is honest about materials, location of manufacture, and designs, I say let capitalism prevail.
 

Dknight16

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
905
Kershaw's budget offerings are prolific and often interesting. You can find these Kershaws just about anywhere. I think it's a great strategy. My only complaint is now they have downgraded the steel from 8Cr to 3Cr. Suddenly not interesting to me. But to the casual buyer? No knowledge = no problem.

They still offer a nice number of USA models with good steels. Many of them absolute classics.

And then you have ZT. Production knives that can challenge many of the mid techs.

If you can't find something interesting and affordable for you in the Kai family, you aren't looking hard enough!
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
919
I am a huge Kershaw collector and I agree 100%. Kershaw has not made an interesting design for a few years! I really miss the USA made zing/NRG/offset models. Zt is killing it but Kershaw has been going downhill sadly.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
16,964
I'm not thrilled with the direction Kershaw has gone, but they still come out with at least one thing I want per year. Speaking of which, the Induction just hit and I need to grab me one. ;)
 

Mo2

Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
6,630
Everytime I look at the Kershaw's online I see more and more China made cheapos than new USA made knives. And even with their USA made ones they're using lower grade blade steels than before it seems. Am I the only one seeing this and becoming disappointed with Kershaw?
Yes Kershaw has gotten worse. I will only buy the USA made ones now after getting a shitty made and designed natrix. It's because the factory in China that they are using. Maximize profits you know. They just see sales numbers.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
4,704
Welcome to the Great Depression 2.0
There is hardly any option to stay afloat but to
Feed the market with far cheaper if not affordable products
Sucks, but it's the way that it is.

It just hate seeing so much China made stuff in the Kershaw line. I'm not saying the China stuff is no good but it's definitely not on par with the USA made stuff. Then I see a few new American made models that I like but then I start looking at the their specs and see 420 as a blade steel. 420 is ok but certainly not on par with s30v or s35v or even 14c28n like my Leek has. Just seems like KAI is downgrading the Kershaw line of knives. I guess it's all part of the master plan to push quantity over quality. At leat they do
offer limited runs of some models in the better steels. I love their ZT line and steels they offer. I'd actually like to see more exotic steels offered like s90v in the ZT models.

Kershaw USA has the $60-120 range covered pretty well with automatics and legacy USA made stuff. The Link and the Dividend were created as a budget USA made option. Hence the 420hc.

ZT covers the $150+ range with USA made awesomeness.

Chinese Kershaws cover the sub $40 value knives that compete with other China made knives in most big box stores. For the most part, they are not geared towards enthusiasts, hardly anything in that price range is. They are the Toyota Camrys of the knife world, geared towards non-enthusiasts who just view the product as an appliance.

If you can sell every Blur, Skyline and Leek you make, why would you give up production capacity to introduce new USA made knives (remember the Piston and Echelon?) that might not sell. They just tried with the Camber too. Until a new USA model unseats one of the big three, the status quo is unlikely to change.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
878
The market dictates a lot of this and this awesome iPad I am using was made in China.
My awesome Tilley hat was made in Canada, my Gerber Strongarm was made in the US, my Toyota pickup was assembled in Ohio, my Tissot was made in Switzerland,etc, etc........it is how the world is.
 
Top