In the Kershaw Knockout review I’ll be sharing quite a few photos and my thoughts on searching for sub $75 knives with high quality blade steel. In this case, the Kershaw Knockout is a sub $60 knife with a very high quality blade steel – Sandvik 14C28N. Although I love budget blades and carry many, my focus is now on purchasing knives that have better blade steels than you typically find in sub $50 knives. So I found the Kershaw Knockout to be a great buy at under $60. I looked around and had a tough time finding another knife at this price point with blade steel of this quality.
Note: I purchased this knife from Amazon.com for this review and it was not provided by the manufacturer.
The new olive-and-black Knockout has a “knocked out” section in the handle. This knocked-out piece in the anodized aluminum frame is replaced with a stainless-steel plate to form the sub-frame lock. The handle is very smooth, so if this is a knife that’s going to be used in wet weather it’s something to consider.
Here are some of the major tech specs for the Kershaw Knockout:
- Made in the USA
- Flipper, thumbstud
- SpeedSafe® assisted opening
- Sub-frame lock
- 4-position (tip-up/tip-down; left/right) pocketclip; deep-carry
- Steel: Sandvik 14C28N, DLC coating
- Handle: 6061-T6 Anodized aluminum
- Blade length: 3.25 in. (8.3 cm)
- Closed length: 4.6 in. (11.7 cm)
- Overall length: 7.9 in. (20 cm)
- Weight: 3.4 oz. (96.4 g)
Here is a closer look at the “knocked out” section of the knife’s handle.
If I only had one thing I’d change on the Kershaw Knockout it would be adding some frame jimping where your thumb naturally sits while holding the knife.
By using steel for the sub-frame lock and preserving the rest of the handle in aluminum, you get a larger knife and blade but preserve a lower weight. This makes it a solid choice for everyday carry.
According to Kershaw, the blade is a modified drop point in high-performance Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel with matte black DLC coating. The steel offers excellent corrosion resistance and harden-ability, while the coating protects the blade and enhances performance. The Sandvik 14C28N blade steel is what really makes this knife shine. Here are a series of conversations discussing the quality of this blade steel and comparing it to other blade steel offered in other brands. I personally loved what I heard so that’s why I purchased this knife to review.
The blade was extremely sharp out of the box.
The Kershaw Knockout uses Speedsafe assisted opening for fast blade deployment. The blade consistently locked firmly in place.
I’m not sure why, but if you prefer you can also open the blade with the pair of ambidextrous thumb studs. It’s much more satisfying to use the assisted opening.
The belt clip is tight and can be set for tip-up or tip-down carry. It sits deeper in the pocket for better concealment.
Another plus… this knife is made in the USA.
Kershaw Knockout Review Conclusion
If you are looking to make a step up in knife quality from lower priced ECD knives with lesser blade steels, the Kershaw Knockout is one to consider. If you already own better ECD knives and want to grab a bargain, this is a knife to take a closer look at.