Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Review

If you’re in the market for a 24/7 kind of knife that can slice a piece of toast from a loaf of bread for your morning breakfast, cut open thick cardboard boxes in the warehouse at work, come quickly to your aid if you’re attacked while walking to your car at night, and then help you out on the weekend with some gardening chores, this Ken Onion named Kershaw pocket knife is the one that belongs in your pocket.

It is indeed a Ken Onion knife, so it comes with a known pedigree for quality and reliability. The remarkable one-handed opening mechanism gives this knife a particularly effective “from pocket to hand” capability that can either save you time or save your life.

Kershaw Ken Onion Blur pocket knife

Not only is the knife ideal for your needs, but it’s even won accolades from Phil, Willie, Jase, Jep, and Alan Robertson, better known as Duck Commander. In fact, Kershaw knives have been chosen as the official “Duck Dynasty” brand, embarking on a partnership that will issue a new line of knives in 2014.

Some of the knives may be available at the 2014 BLADE Show in Atlanta, Georgia. The line will include everyday carry knives, fixed blade and folding knives, and machetes. The women of “Duck Dynasty” will even get in on the act, as Kai USA will also include a household cutlery line of knives.

Below, please take some time to compare the Ken Onion Blur by Kershaw to some other worthy blades on the market.

Kershaw Knockout$$
Esee-3ESEE Knives 3P$$$
SOG-Flash-IISOG Flash II$$
Ka-Bar Fighting KnifeKa-Bar Fighting Knife$$
Kershaw-Shuffle-IIKershaw Shuffle II$
Spyderco Paramilitary 2Spyderco Paramilitary 2$$$

Blade of the Ken Onion

This every-day-carry Kershaw Blur is as appropriate for gardening and taking care of woody vegetation, bushes, and yard maintenance as it is for self-defense.

The blade tip isn’t narrow, and doesn’t have a lot of support, so it’s not going to be useful if you’re trying to open cans with it, or the tip might break. But it can be used to cut up cardboard boxes, Linoleum, or metal garbage cans. No complaints about dullness for the Kershaw Blur, because not only does it arrive sharp enough to shave with, but if you’re not careful, you can easily end up in the hospital emergency room needing stitches.

That’s not a flaw of the knife, but it does mean that you need to be vigilant both when using the knife, and when you’re storing the knife, so that it’s not used by someone who may be less than adept at knife safety.

Below, please take a moment to view some of the best-selling pocket knives currently for sale on Amazon:

1) Spyderco Tenacious
2) Kershaw Cryo II
3) Opinel No.7
4) Gerber Paraframe
5) Kershaw Knockout

As for the Ken Onion Blur blade itself, it’s built to last and keep its edge.  Constructed out of 13C26 stainless steel, this blade can take a beating, even if it gets buried in a mound of dirt, ends up underneath sand after a day at the beach, or you forget to take it out of your pocket before gathering up the clothes for laundry day. In fact, accidentally having this knife take a spin through the washing machine cycles won’t even dull its edge.

The Tanto blade is partially serrated, which makes it handy for cutting cable ties, rope, plastic packaging, and thicker cardboard, but as knife owners know, serrations do present more of a  challenge when it’s time to sharpen your knife.

This knife is 3-3/8-inch in length, and the blade can either be purchased smooth or serrated—depending on the knife owner’a needs.

What is SpeedSafe?

When Ken Onion was a Marine machinist, he dedicated years of research and development toward the creation of what became his patented SpeedSafe mechanism, otherwise known as the assisted-opening system built into many of Kershaw’s bestselling Ken Onion knives. Although almost all of the knife manufacturers offer a version of the assisted-opening knife, Ken Onion originated the technology, and the reputation for quality hasn’t diminished over the years.

When folded, this knife fits in the palm of your hand, so the speed of its opening could likely startle people who aren’t expecting it. You may have to reassure onlookers that it’s legal to carry the Blur, which may be switchblade-fast, but is legal to carry.

The Blur differs from a switchblade because the knife doesn’t open by pushing a button in the handle or by gravity. In fact, the actual SpeedSafe mechanism keeps the Blur from being defined as a switchblade.  However, it’s always wise to be aware of local restrictions on carrying knives in any location where you plan to use your knife.

In fact, the proof of the Speed Safe effectiveness comes in the fact that some people report difficulty with being able to manipulate the thumb button. But if you push straight forward with your thumb on the button, it’ll open for you, although it might take a little practice. The blade remains closed thanks to the spring assist and won’t open in your pocket unless you’re manipulating the mechanism.  And this safety measure is important, and I think that the SpeedSafe on Kershaw knives make this Ken Onion blade arguably the best assisted opening knife on the market and in its class that’s available today.

How Does SpeedSafe Work?

  • The torsion bar creates a bias to keep the knife in a closed position
  • To open the knife, the resistance of the torsion bar must be overcome
  • Apply manual pressure to the blade protrusion or thumb stud
  • When the blade is out, the torsion bar moves along its track
  • The blade opens and locks into position


The make of steel for the Kershaw Blur has changed over the years. For knives that were manufactured (or “born,” as it’s described in Kershaw terminology) after June 2008, 440A steel was used. Sandvik 13C26 was the steel for knives made between June 2008-July 2009. And knives made after 2009 no longer carry a date stamp, but are manufactured with 14C28N steel.

Textured Handle

No complaints on the handle. You could come fresh out of battle with the entire cast of the “Walking Dead” zombies and the no-slip, textured coating handle won’t come loose in your grip.

However, while you’re safe in a zombie attack, you need to remember to reserve one of your pockets for the knife, the whole knife, and nothing but the knife. The reason that the handle coating is so secure in your hand is because of its rough texture, so if it comes in contact with anything else that you have in your pocket, you can figure on the contents looking like they were treated with sand paper.


A downside is the pocket clip, which is extremely tight; in fact, it’s so tight that when you’re trying to draw it from your pocket, there’s a good chance that your pocket is going to come along. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about your knife falling out of your pocket.

Cleaning Your Kershaw Ken Onion Blur

If your knife is especially dirty, use mild soap and water to clean it. If the knife has surface dirt or debris, you can use a soft cloth or compressed air to clean it. In either case, make sure that you dry it thoroughly. After washing and drying, wipe the blade and the hinge with a light coating of oil; you can actually use a standard household oil, WD40, 3-in-1 oil, or gun oil.

This Kershaw Ken Onion pocket knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects, and the company will sharpen your knife at no charge when it’s sent for warranty service.  For it’s affordable price, the Blur’s quality is as high as the price is affordable; in this case, you’re getting more than you pay for when you purchase the Kershaw Blur.

For more on knife reviews, please check out our pocket knife homepage on Reliable Knife.  And below, check out a great video review of the Ken Onion Blur by Kershaw!

You Also Might Enjoy Our Other Articles:

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  3. Cold Steel GI Tanto review
  4. What’s the Best Kershaw Pocket Knife?
  5. How to Select the Best Kids Pocket Knife?

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