Kershaw Knives partnered with Ken Onion for a series of knives, including the Blur line. We noticed these folding knives mentioned frequently for everyday use, so we decided to put them to the test to see how they hold up. This is what we found.
About Kershaw Knives
Kershaw Knives, based in Portland, Oregon, is a popular knife manufacturer. Started in the mid-1970s by knife salesman Pete Kershaw, they became a subsidiary of the KAI group in 1977. Today, Kershaw Knives is one line of products under Kai USA Ltd. and is responsible for sport and pocketknife models.
Kai USA Ltd. has two other product lines running parallel to Kershaw Knives. Shun Cutlery is a series of handcrafted Japanese kitchen cutlery, and the Zero Tolerance consists of a selection of premium and professional knives. Together, the three brands boast multiple awards, including several “Knife of the Year” honors.
Over the years, Kershaw partnered with several designers, including Ken Onion. The former United States Marine is known for developing the “SpeedSafe” assisted opening mechanism for Kershaw Knives. The demand for Onion’s knives contributed to Kershaw Knives’ expansion in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Kershaw Knives boasts more than 6000 knives in stock, competitive pricing, and options to customize your purchase. They also sell camping and survival gear, sheaths, and sharpeners.
What We Like Best
There are several options available in the Blur class, with several variations available for handle design and knife edge. We chose the basic black knife to get a good idea of how the blade handled and performed.
Another design option on the Blur is your blade edge. You can choose either serrated or smooth. According to our research, there’s not much difference between the two styles, so it comes down to personal preference. We chose a smooth blade to make sharpening easier down the line.
First off, the Speed-Safe assisted-opening system is a win. Ken Onion’s patented design makes for a smooth open with a push of the thumb. We didn’t feel a loss of control or stickiness in the mechanism, which made it easy to open and use with one hand.
Speaking of one-handed use, the Blur is lightweight, balanced, and sturdy. It isn’t heavy to carry around, but it’s sturdy enough to stand up to pressure and heavy use.
The handle is anodized aluminum, so it’s comfortable and durable with a chic appearance. Trac-Tec Inserts provide additional texture and comfort without irritating your hand. Kershaw Knives also included a reversible pocket clip, so you can wear it any way you like without it being awkward.
We really appreciated the blade design on this knife. The Blur’s slightly recurved blade is just slightly curved, but it’s sharp and effective. Made of high-performance steel and coated in DLC (diamond-like carbon), it’s extra hard and maintains a sharp edge.
One of the best aspects of the Ken Onion Blur folding knife is the price. Compared to other knives in its class, the Blur is more affordable without compromising style or durability. It looks sleek, feels comfortable, and works well in most situations.
What We Don't Like
Initially, we really loved this knife, but the pocket clip and locking mechanism need some work. We love that the pocket clip is reversible, but it is super snug, which makes it difficult to attach to thicker materials, like denim.
After a little heavy-duty use, the Blur locked up. We researched the issue and found that several other users experienced similar things, namely when cutting into wood.
Don’t get us wrong, the Blur worked well for most things you’d expect to use it for when camping and hunting, except for blocks of wood. The pressure seems to be too much for the locking mechanism and causes it to fail, which can result in cutting your hand.
The Bottom Line on the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife
If you’re looking for a versatile folding knife that’s comfortable and easy to wield, the Blur could be a good fit for you. Provided you don’t need it for heavy-duty activities (avoid using it with wood), the Blur is a handy little tool for everyday use.