Tag Archives: Knife

A Kershaw Knockout Knife and Streamlight Microstream LED Light Are In My Pocket These Days

I have quite a selection of folding knives that I use all the time for work – cutting open boxes, plastic pails, insulation, tubing, etc. It’s funny but I wind up rotating through them for one reason or another – it may be because one needs to be sharpened and is too dull (my ZT 0350 is that way right now) or because I just pick up the blade that is by my desk and drop it in my pocket as I head out to the shop. The same is true for whatever small light I am carrying. A while back, I posted about buying both a Kershaw Knockout and Streamlight Microstylus. I’m so happy with both that I figured an update was in order.

Kershaw Knockout

As mentioned, I did buy this blade some months back and posted about it For the last few months, my goto blade has been the Kershaw Knockout. It is a very decent medium sized pocket knife that has a 3.25″ blade made from Sandvik 142C28N steel. It is holding the edge remarkably well – I haven’t needed to sharpen it yet and am very impressed. Note, I use a Work Sharp Ken Onion edition sharpener to true up my blades and it can handle any steel.

The handle is very comfortable, The Knockout gets its name from the cut out in the handle where they rivet in the blade lock. It makes for a very easy to operate locking mechanism. I always like the flag they add to their American made knives also.
The blade is holding up great. You know, I don’t know the details behind the “Diamond Like Coating” – DLC – process but it is really impressive. I’ve beat my ZT 0350 half to death and that coating is holding up on that knife also. Also, you can see the Streamlight Microstream light.

The second reason is that it is remarkably light and thin. For its size, it really does not drag down my pocket. At the same time, the hande is big enough for me to get a firm grip to cut open plastic pails.

The third big reason is that it uses Kershaw’s “SpeedSafe” flipper mechanism for one handed opening. When I am working, being able to open the knife with only one hand is a huge benefit.

The Streamlight Microstream LED Light

I have bought a number of these little lights – my best guess is 6-8 of them. Simply put they hold up great and are at a very reasonable price especially given the quality. Here’s a blog post that I did after my initial purchase back in 201.

I have put at least four of them through the clotheswasher and as long as the base is on tight, they survive. If the base comes loose and water gets in then it is pretty much always game over.

This is a good photo both of the Knockout and the Microstream. The Microstream is 3.5″ long and has a diameter of about 0.6″.

What I can tell you is that I have never had one fail on me due to worksmanship. Dead battery, yes. The switch, body and LED have all held up just great.

I really like these lights because they are small, don’t weigh much, use regular AAA batteries and only cost $16.22 off Amazon. I should also point out that they produce 28 lumens of light and that little battery will last about 2-2.5 hours. I probably carry this light even more than I do a blade because it is just so handy and I can’t see as well as I used to.

In short, I am so happy with both that I wanted to post the update to you folks,


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Kershaw Thermite 3880BW – Cool Knife But It Was Discontinued in 2017 – Buy Now

The Thermite has been on my radar for a while because it is a Rick Hinderer design but I was in no rush to buy one. Then Kershaw announced they were discontinuing it in 2017 and that made me watch out for a deal. Their Amazon price is still only $21.59.

One of the the reasons I wanted one was that it had a 3.5″ blade but only weighed 4.9oz, in part due to the relatively light weight G11 handles. Add to this that it has the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening (AO) mechanism and it makes for a very decent utilitarian pocket knife. The blackwash finish is a nice touch.


The Thermite’s Specifications

  • Blade length: 3.5″
  • Blade Steel: 8CR13MoV – A nice mid-range stainless steel that Kershaw makes extensive use of. They treat it to a 58-59 Rockwell Hardness
  • Closed length: 4.9″
  • Overall length: 8.4″
  • Weight: 4.9 oz

Comparison Photos

In case you are curious, here are three other blades that you can compare the Thermite too. The top is the Cryo with the Titanium Carbo-Nitride finish (1555TI), next down is the Cryo II with a blackwash finish (1556BW) and the bottom knife is the Knockout with an Olive Drab handle and black DLC finish (1870OLVLK).

In Summary

It’s a cool knife and I’ll definitely be using it more. I really like the combination of light weight, size and balance. For the price, you can’t beat it.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Kershaw Cryo ii 1556ti

$24.99
End Date: Friday Dec-13-2019 20:19:11 PST
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1870OLBLK Kershaw Knockout speed safe Green aluminum handle plain blade NEW BLEM

$55.95
End Date: Saturday Jan-4-2020 21:10:16 PST
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Kershaw Knockout,, 18700LBLK Sandvik 14c28n. Steel. Speed safe.

$53.00
End Date: Monday Dec-30-2019 9:38:07 PST
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Kershaw Assisted Opening Pocket Knife Eating Tool and Multi-Tool Three Piece Set

$22.99
End Date: Monday Dec-23-2019 11:28:50 PST
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Kershaw Knockout 1870BLUSW Blue M390 USA Blades Limited Edition (DISCONTINUED

$175.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-2-2020 17:41:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $175.00
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Kershaw Cryo II Pocket Knives 1556TI

$24.98
End Date: Sunday Dec-29-2019 12:16:13 PST
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(8) Blue Titanium {> Screws <} for Kershaw CRYO folder 1555 Cryo ( NO KNIFE )

$16.88
End Date: Friday Dec-6-2019 15:23:19 PST
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Kershaw Knockout Folding Knife 3.5" Damascus Steel Blade Green Aluminum Handle

$107.49
End Date: Saturday Dec-7-2019 15:00:48 PST
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KERSHAW "usa" KNOCKOUT spring assist SUB-FRAME LOCK knife SPEEDSAFE edc KAI 1870

$65.95
End Date: Thursday Dec-26-2019 8:03:45 PST
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Kershaw 1870 Knockout speed safe black aluminum handle plain blade *BLEM*

$53.95
End Date: Sunday Dec-29-2019 23:05:38 PST
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Kershaw Scores a Knockout!

I’m pretty pragmatic when it comes to pocket knives. Looks matter but the knife must also be something I can use as a tool. For me, I am always having to cut down boxes, cut plastic, strip wires, and so forth and a knife may well get wet from rain, snow, or plumbing. Furthermore, I need something that I can readily carry in a pocket. Kershaw has made a knife I really like with their 1870OLBLK Knockout. Let me take a few minutes of your time to say why I am impressed.

Made in the USA

The first thing I noticed when the knife arrived was Kershaw’s proudly placing the USA label on the box. Many of Kershaw’s blades are made in China but the Knockout is made in the USA – Tualatin, Oregon, to be specific.

Usually, I get excited and forget to take photos right after I pull a knife from the bag. This time, I had the camera ready and took the following:

The olive drab handle and blackwashed blade really make a good looking combination. You can see the holes for the pocket clip if you wanted it positioned up front on the nose. There’s a generous thumb stud and the Speedsafe flipper lever protrudes from the bottom.
Here’s the reverse side with the clip plus use can clearly see the black colored sub-frame lock. The handle has three positions drilled and tapped so you can move the clip around. The stylized US flag is a nice touch just under the clip plus you can see “Made in the USA” on the blade through the sub-frame.

Specifications

The Knockout has some nice stats:

  • The blade is 3.25″ long
  • The blade steel is 14C28N. I appreciate blade steels and this is a pretty decent middle-of-the road steel made by Sandvik. It can take a keen edge, is corrosion resistant and holds up pretty well.
  • The blade is colored black using the DLC – Diamond Like Coating – process.
  • The handle is made from 6061-T6 anodized aluminum
  • The handle is colored an olive drab green
  • When closed, it is 4.6″ long
  • When open, it is 7.9″
  • Overall weight is 3.4 oz.

The Feel

It’s fairly thin and light. I wear XL-sized gloves and the knife fills my hand very nicely. The combination of a relatively tall blade and the weight of the handle gives it both a good heft and a balance that I like. It does not feel cheap by any means.

The flipper mechanism is solid and does a good job. The sub-frame lock does its job firmly yet is also is easy to unlock. You can’t say this for all frame locks – some can be more cumbersome to move out of the way than others. By using the sub-frame they can get the right geometry and tension to do the job yet also be easy to move out of the way to unlock the blade. This cut out, or knock out, that they did in the frame to hold the riveted in sub-frame is actually where the knife gets its name.

Look carefully at the handle and then look at your hand with the fingers bent just a tad. The handle’s curve and the bumps will conform to most hands very nicely. Your hand will index on the big finger groove they made for your index finger – no pun intended. In other words, your hand’s position will begin by putting your big first finger in that groove.

Kershaw’s Overview Video

Kershaw actually has a short overview video so you can see the blade at different angles.

Comparing the KnockOut to my Hogue X5 with a 3.5″ Wharncliffe Blade

Now, so you have a comparison, here’s the Knockout next to my Hogue X5 with a 3.5″ Wharncliffe blade, which is my most frequently carried blade now. I’ve given up saying every day carry because I seem to be rotating through a few but more often than the others, it’s the Hogue. We’ll just have to see if Knockout dethrones the X5 over time.

The Hogue X5 3.5″ Wharncliffe is striking to look at but let me tell you something really cool – the CPM154 steel is really excellent and the profile of the blade makes it excellent for scraping a surface with a relatively straight edge.

In Summary

It arrived quite sharp and I just did a few test cuts. At this point, I need to see how the Knockout holds up over time. As far as first impressions go, I really like it and will keep folks posted.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


1870OLBLK Kershaw Knockout speed safe Green aluminum handle plain blade NEW BLEM

$55.95
End Date: Saturday Jan-4-2020 21:10:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $55.95
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Kershaw USA KnockOut Sandvik Assisted Opening Olive Green Knife 1870OLBLK

$63.95
End Date: Sunday Dec-8-2019 16:32:21 PST
Buy It Now for only: $63.95
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Kershaw Knockout,, 18700LBLK Sandvik 14c28n. Steel. Speed safe.

$53.00
End Date: Monday Dec-30-2019 9:38:07 PST
Buy It Now for only: $53.00
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Kershaw Knockout Folding Knife 3.5" Damascus Steel Blade Green Aluminum Handle

$107.49
End Date: Saturday Dec-7-2019 15:00:48 PST
Buy It Now for only: $107.49
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Vortex 18700L Kershaw Knockout ODG Authorized Dealer NEW!

$64.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-4-2020 9:53:51 PST
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Kershaw Knockout Plain Edge Knife 1870 SANDVIK 14c28n, Made in USA - BLEM

$29.99 (0 Bids)
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KERSHAW "usa" KNOCKOUT spring assist SUB-FRAME LOCK knife SPEEDSAFE edc KAI 1870

$65.95
End Date: Thursday Dec-26-2019 8:03:45 PST
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KERSHAW USA 1870 Knockout Assisted Knife

$26.00 (14 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Dec-8-2019 18:55:51 PST
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KERSHAW Knife 18700LBLK KNOCKOUT Dark Olive Handle Black Blade Brand New In Box

$69.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-24-2019 11:39:37 PST
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Kershaw Knockout 1870BLUSW Blue M390 USA Blades Limited Edition (DISCONTINUED

$175.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-2-2020 17:41:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $175.00
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How to Lubricate a “Flipper” Folding Pocket Knife

I really like assisted opening folding knives.  For example, I routinely carry either a Hogue X5 that my wife and kids bought me for Father’s Day or a ZT 350.  I am working all the time and often find myself needing to cut something.  In the old days, that meant I would have to fish out my pocket knife, open it with two hands and get back to work.  Now, I find the knife, open and cut all with one hand – it’s way more fast and efficient.  There’s one catch though – you’ll notice the action can get slower/less efficient with time whether it is spring assisted or not.

There are two likely causes for this – grit/dirt/debris working into the action from your pocket and just plain use as well as a loss of lubrication.   This is actually really easy to remedy.

First, if a knife was oiled, I like to use brake cleaner to remove the oil or it will just attract more dust and debris in the future.  Brake cleaner cuts oil and grease quickly and does not leave a residue.  Now, be careful on real cheap knives.  Some plastics do not like brake cleaner but you will not run into a problem with materials like metals, epoxy laminates such as G10, Micarta and so forth.  The cheapest way for you to get brake cleaner is from any place that sells car parts – Auto Zone, Pep Boys, O’Reilly, etc.

Second, I blow out the mechanism with compressed air.  Since I have an air compressor, doing this at 60-90 PSI is really easy.  If you don’t have a compressor, a can of Dust Off or something like that will also work.

Third, I lubricate the blade mechanism with Dupont’s Teflon Dry Film aerosol.  This stuff is just what the doctor ordered to lubricate a pocket knife.  You see, oil causes dust, sand and other junk you do not want to get stuck in the action.  In short, yes, oil helps the blade open and close easily but stuff will stick to it.  Instead, use a dry lubricant.

Dry lubricants leave some form of slippery substance behind that is not a liquid.  In the case of the Dupont branded product I use, it leaves Teflon behind.  So the Teflon is suspended in a liquid that then evaporates away and leaves just the Teflon.  I spray it into the action, work the action to get it everywhere and evenly distribute it.  I then use a cloth to wipe off the extra.

The above three steps works great for me.  The one caution I would give you is to make sure whatever dry lubricant you choose to use really does leave a dry residue.  A while back I did some testing and found that the “3-in1” brand product does not leave a truly dry film behind for example.

I do the above for all my flippers and find it really helps.  I hope you find it useful as well.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Cost-Effective Sanding Belts for the Work Sharp Ken Onion Knife Sharpener

I’ve had a number of guys email me asking if there are affordable replacement sanding belts for the Work Sharp Ken Onion (KO) edition knife sharpener.  The short answer is yes.

The actual Work Sharp brand belts work very well but they are pricey.  A group called Econaway Abrasives is making affordable replacement belts that I’ve had very good luck with.  Note that the Ken Onion edition uses a 3/4″ wide belt whereas the traditional Work Sharp uses a 1/2″ belt.  That means the KO can use either but the traditional can’t use the KO belts.

6/1/19 Update:  I’ve also had good luck with belts from Red Label Adhesives.

There are other brands starting to show up as vendors realize there is a market opportunity for them.  Econaway and Red Label are just the two that I have first hand experience with and hope this helps you save some money!


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Got a Hogue X5 3.5″ Pocket Knife with a Wharncliffe Blade for Father’s Day!!

Well, my wife sure surprised me this year — she bought me a Hogue X5 pocket knife (SKU 34569) at Smoky Mountain Knife Works when we stopped at the store on Father’s Day. I carried it every day until we returned home on Wednesday.  For some reason I did not get more photos of the knife new out of the box.  The photos I am showing are all after 2-3 days of being in my pocket with keys walking all over the place.

I must say that I am disappointed that the finish on the frame scratched in a few places but this knife was always intended to be a working blade and not a shelf queen.  Standing up to keys is the least of my worries really.  It is interesting to note that the top of the blade that was exposed to the keys also shows zero wear relative to the frame.   We’ll see how the finish holds up over time.

I’ve been a fan of Hogue knives for a while – especially after a good friend bought one of their fixed blade models.  I had a chance to look it over carefully when it was brand new about three years ago and it was very well made.  He took it to Alaska and California used it a ton camping and climbing.  As for me, I’ve wanted a Hogue but the right opportunity never seemed to pop up until now.

So this is a almost new out of the box review 🙂  Let me start by saying that the X5 family of blades are very well made.  I was trying to decide on whether to get another Zero Tolerance (ZT), a Benchmade or the Hogue and finally settled on the Hogue that you see.

The 3.5″ blade is 0.15″ thick and is made from CPM154.  This is the CPM manufactured version of Crucible’s 154CM that folks into knives like – it’s relatively easy to sharpen, tough and corrosion resistant.  In short, the business end of the knife is made of excellent steel that is 57-59 on the Rockwell scale hard.  The blade was cryogenically treated and then finished in a black Cerakote.  By the way cryo treatments are fascinating.  Click here to read a great write up about them.

The profile is a stunning looking wharncliffe style.  Wharncliffe profiles have always caught my eye and there is a bit of history to them.  The Viking Seax blades are the first knives I have seen with this profile that is the reverse of most knives.  In terms of the name we often use today, the first Lord of Wharncliffe came up with the design in the 1800s and had Joseph Rodgers & Son him some pocket knives.

The blade is a spring-assisted flipper and it opens very smoothly.  You can see the round blade release button and a sliding lock behind it.   When the lock is engaged, the button can’t be pushed and blade is securely locked open.  I like spring-assisted blades by the way as I am always in some weird position trying to open boxes, working on machines, etc. where I can only get one hand free.

The frame of the handle is aluminum with a black G-mascus  G10 insert.  When closed, the knife is 4.75″ overall yet weighs only 4.66 oz.  I really liked the combination of size and light weight. Plus, the frame is remarkably thin so it fits in your pocket nicely and doesn’t feel like a boat anchor.

Now this knife is pretty new to me right now.  I haven’t cut anything yet but definitely will be as I have quite a list of stuff to get done and I’ll be cutting open boxes, plastic tubs, etc.  I’ll post updates plus I want to compare it to my ZT 350, my favorite EDC blade but I want more mileage on the X5 before I do that.

6/28/2018 Update:  Used it to cut 4″ diameter corrugated drain tube and a bunch of boxes.  It is very sharp – I didn’t touch the blade up.  Still going strong.  Like all flippers, when I got dirt in the action it wouldn’t flip until I blew it out.  Last comment – it has a real nice feel when I am using it – not awkward at all.  I wear XL sized gloves just for reference.

10/6/2018 Update:  This blade rocks.  It has really held an edge and the finish on the blade has held up remarkably well.  Only the handle shows evidence of scuffing so far.

If you are interested in how I lubricate my flipper knives, please click here.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Hogue X5 Folding Knife 3.5" Blade Spear Point CPM154 Tumbled Blue Aluminum

$178.46
End Date: Wednesday Jan-1-2020 21:20:38 PST
Buy It Now for only: $178.46
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Hogue 34559 X5 Flipper Folding Knife G-Mascus G10 Inserts Aluminum Frame Spear

$199.95
End Date: Sunday Dec-29-2019 14:36:27 PST
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Hogue X5 3.5"" Folder Spear Point Folding Knife 34579

$203.96
End Date: Monday Dec-9-2019 16:56:21 PST
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Hogue X5 3.5"" Folder Wharncliffe Folding Knife 34569

$203.96
End Date: Monday Dec-9-2019 16:27:17 PST
Buy It Now for only: $203.96
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HOGUE X5 3.5" FOLDER CPM154 SPEAR POINT BLADE TUMBLED FINISH 34574

$178.46
End Date: Sunday Dec-29-2019 18:36:35 PST
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Hogue X5 Button Lock Knife Tan Aluminum Handle Plain Edge 34554

$195.46
End Date: Thursday Dec-26-2019 3:59:07 PST
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Hogue X5 Black DLC Spear Point Flipper Folding Knife 154CM GMascus NEW

$191.99
End Date: Sunday Dec-29-2019 9:33:39 PST
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Hogue 34570 X5 Manual Safety Black Spear Point Folding Knife Pocket Folder

$178.46
End Date: Sunday Dec-22-2019 9:46:04 PST
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Hogue 34550 X5 Spear Point Plain Edge Aluminum/Black Folding Knife Pocket Folder

$195.46
End Date: Friday Dec-27-2019 10:25:22 PST
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Hogue Knives X5 Button Lock OD Wharn 34561

$178.46
End Date: Tuesday Dec-10-2019 15:50:15 PST
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