Kershaw are a quality knife manufacturer known for introducing a number of important innovations into the industry. They are also known for producing uniquely styled and quality knives in a number of different categories. They back up their products with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which means that you can expect a Kershaw knife to last a lifetime. I have been impressed with almost every Kershaw knives that I have ever owned. At last count I have 10 different models and each one is a top quality knife that I am proud to own. That being said, even though I hold this company in high regard, I expect any knife that holds their name to be top quality. On top of this Ken Onion is one of the most celebrated custom knife makers in the industry so his name brings an added prestige. Let’s find out if the Kershaw Leek series stands up to my scrutiny.
Overall length: 7 inches (178 mm)
Closed length: 4 (102 mm)
Blade length: 3 inches (76 mm)
Weight: 3 ounces (85 grams)
Blade Steel: Sandvik 14C28M stainless steel
Blade Edge: Partially serrated or plain
Approximate Price Range: $30-60
My Impressions and Review
As soon as you take this knife out of the box you can tell that it is a well-designed knife made from quality materials. The handle design is extremely ergonomic and the mechanism on this knife is first class. The handle is made from 410 stainless steel and comes with a pocket clip that can be configured to tip-up or tip-down and on the left or right depending on your preference. The handle is also ready for a lanyard if you prefer to use your knife this way. The main downside in the design comes from a usability point of view. The lack of texture on the grip and the polished stainless steel can make this knife hard to hold in the cold or wet.
The Kershaw Leek is a total of 7 inches in length when opened and 4 inches when closed. The blade is 3 inches and comes in smooth and partially serrated options. It is described as a modified drop point blade, and the shape of the blade on the Leek will not impress everybody. The cutting edge is excellent and this knife would be suitable for most general uses. The blade is made from 14C28M stainless steel, which Kershaw worked with Sandvik to produce as an upgrade to the 13C26 steel (which some users didn’t like). I believe that this steel is an improvement and the mix overcomes some of the shortcomings of the 13C26 formula. This steel is designed to hold an edge while being very easy to sharpen. However, as you probably know this combination has been very difficult to achieve for knife manufacturers over the years so I look forward to seeing how it will fare in the future. For the short time I have been using it I have found that it has held its edge well and sharpening certainly didn’t feel like a chore.
The blade features a thumb stud and, together with Kershaw’s patented SpeedSafe locking mechanism, provides for quick and easy opening of this knife. The spine of the blade also has Kershaw’s Flipper, which allows you to move the blade out of the handle even more easily. As you would expect the frame lock on this knife is super secure and the blade feels really secure during use and when it is followed. A Tip-Lock slider is used to lock the blade in the closed position when folded.
Kershaw certainly haven’t let down the Ken Onion name with the Leek series, as this knife definitely incorporates the quality materials and fine level of craftsmanship that this company is known for. It is a superb everyday carry (EDC) knife and has very little that lets it down. That being said, I am not a fan of stainless steel handles and this is really what lets the Leek down in my opinion. Apart from that, this knife should be on anyone’s short list.
The Kershaw Leek series ranges in price from about $30-$60 for the standard model. Upgraded models can cost up to $100, but there is a knife to suit anyone in this range. It is priced in the middle of the market where it has lots of competition from other quality knives, but I genuinely think that it is well worth the cost.
Conclusion and Rating
The good: Great mechanism, ergonomics, great blade (at this price point).
The bad: Stainless steel handle without texture for grip
Wrap up: This is a top quality knife and is suitable for knife collectors, outdoors enthusiasts and the budget conscious as well. If you are searching for a knife at this price point then the Kershaw Leek definitely needs to be on your short list.