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,


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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.


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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 share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.