The Kershaw Blur has been around for years now, but it took me a ridiculously long time to finally get one. They always appealed to me but I always found the “latest and greatest” and put the Blur on the back burner. I’ve owned hundreds of knives over the years and finally decided to take the time to give the Blur my full attention.
With so many variants of the Blur over the years, it was difficult to decide which model to purchase initially. Then I thought about my love for the color OD Green and it was a no-brainer to get the DLC coated black blade with OD Green scales.
First things first: let’s go over the Kershaw Blur’s basic specifications.
|Specification Type||Specification Detail|
|Overall length||7.9 inches|
|Closed Length||4.5 inches|
|Blade Length||3.4 inches|
|Blade Thickness||.121 inches|
|Blade Steel||Sandvik 14C28N (other steels available)|
|Blade Deployment||SpeedSafe Assisted Opening/Thumb Studs|
|Handle Material||Aluminum w/ Trac-Tec Inserts|
|Locking Mechanism||Liner Lock|
|Pocket Clip Orientation||Tip-Up/Tip-Down, Right Hand Only|
|Country of Origin||USA|
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s go over what makes the Kershaw Blur a favorite for knife collectors around the world.
Kershaw Blur Review
Classic Drop Point meets Recurve: Ken Onion designed the Blur with a very interesting blade shape. Extremely sharp right from the factory, the slight recurve in the blade adds a touch of flair in aesthetics and functionality as well.
The slight recurve in the “belly” of the blade allows for easier cuts when processing common cordage such as paracord and small rope.
This particular model of the Blur is constructed from Sandvik 14C28N steel which has been a favorite for Kershaw for many years.
Sandvik 14C28N is a great middle of the road steel for everyday carry knives. 14C28N is incredibly easy to sharpen and maintain and holds an edge for some time.
14C28N is also durable steel which is a must for a knife you’re going to use daily for various tasks.
Certain variants of the Blur feature a DLC coating on the blade for added strength and wear resistance.
In addition to scratch and wear resistance, the DLC coating on the Blur gives it a nice matte black look.
Other variants feature stonewashed blades and more premium blade steels such as S30V.
The Blur has handled everything I’ve thrown its way to date. The tip is fine enough for piercing tasks while the wider belly slices through packages and food prep needs with ease.
As mentioned previously, the recurve in the blade gives the Blur a leg up over traditional Drop Point blades. The Blur has been able to cut thicker cordage and rope that other straight Drop Points have had a little trouble with.
If you’re looking for a knife to carry in any condition, the Blur is a no-brainer for me. It is robust without being TOO large and is incredibly secure in your hand.
The Blur’s scales are constructed from aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum scales with Kershaw’s patented Trac-Tec inserts inlaid for maximum traction. The Trac-Tec inserts are incredibly grippy and keep the knife secure in your hand without being aggressive.
Most photos make the inserts appear to be sandpaper-ish in nature, but they actually have more of a textured rubber feel in hand.
Although adding lanyards to large knives isn’t my thing, the Blur does include a decent sized lanyard hole for those who like to accessorize their blades.
I’ll stick with adding lanyards to my smaller knives, but it is a nice feature that Kershaw included on the Blur.
To save a little bit of weight, Kershaw constructed the Blur with an open-pillar design. Three stainless steel standoffs keep the Blur both visually appealing and incredibly durable.
These standoffs can also be replaced by custom titanium variants from a variety of different custom accessory companies.
Look, Feel & Ergonomics
I’ll be the first to admit that the Blur does not scream “look at me!” in a fashionable sense, but it is a great-looking knife regardless.
Most variants I have seen come with the DLC-coated black blade, but others come in a nice stonewashed blade finish which really shows of the Blur’s smooth lines.
Smaller “sweeps” can be seen flowing through the aluminum scales between the Trac-Tec inserts which gives the Blur a nice subtle visual flair. If you’re someone who prefers all black, the Blur comes in a full “blackout” variant which is very appealing to some.
As mentioned previously, there are few things that could make the Blur slip out of your grip once it’s locked in. I wear size Large gloves and the Blur fits my hand very well with a full four-finger grip.
In addition to the Trac-Tec inserts, the Blur includes jimping on both the spine of the scales as well as on the liner lock for even more traction when the knife is in hand.
I have recently begun to prefer pocket knives without any dedicated finger grooves or finger choils. The Blur’s ergonomics are seamless and fit very well in a variety of hand sizes due to its lack of any finger grooves or a choil.
Although the Blur has somewhat of a sweep near the liner lock that resembles a finger choil, it is not over rounded making it a great fit for many people.
Deployment & Lockup
When you’re ready to deploy the Blur to open up that next package from Amazon, beware! Due to the patented SpeedSafe assisted-opening technology, the Blur’s blade fires out with lightning speed.
There are arguments both for and against assist-opening blades, but I really have no preference as I enjoy many different deployment options.
The Blur is one of the fastest actions I have seen on an assisted-opening knife and it fires with authority.
Instead of a flipper or thumb hole, Kershaw opted to use the traditional thumb stud opening on the Blur. And I have to say I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Instead of traditional round thumb studs though, the Blur’s thumb studs feature a slight angle to them that allows the SpeedSafe technology to do its thing.
I wish more knife makers would include these thumb studs on their knives. It just makes opening the knife that much easier.
The lockup on the Blur is superb. When dealing with liner locks it can be difficult to find the “sweet spot” when it comes to the placement of the lock itself when the knife is open.
The Blur’s liner lock sits just shy of a 50% lockup which is the ideal spot for most users. If the lock sits too far towards the scale the lockup is not secure or durable; if the lock sits too far to the “right” the lock will be difficult to disengage.
There is also ZERO blade play with all of the Blurs I have handled. Lockup is incredibly strong and I have put my Blur through a handful of various tasks that should typically be left to a fixed blade.
Due to Kershaw’s SpeedSafe mechanism, the Blur has somewhat of a “half stop” detent. If you depress the Blur’s liner lock while the blade is in an upward direction the blade will begin to fall until it gets to about the halfway point where it comes to an abrupt stop. You then have to manually finish closing the knife.
Fit & Finish
The fit and finish on the Blur heavily outweighs its price tag. From Kershaw’s beautiful anodizing on the aluminum scales to the detailed laser etched logos, you will be hard-pressed to find a better knife for under $100 with the attention to detail Kershaw puts into the Blur.
Even after several months of use and abuse, the Blur’s finish is holding up extremely well. I try to keep my knives in the best shape I can but some finishes wear more than others.
Other than a few small blemishes on the scales from rubbing against other EDC trinkets in my pocket, the Blur has maintained its appearance well.
We all know how pesky those small T6 screws can be on some pocket knives. They may come loose after using the knife a couple times or strip out when you go to disassemble for cleaning.
Kershaw does a great job and uses high quality parts to ensure that you will be satisfied for a lifetime when carrying their blades. Fitment is still phenomenal after months of use and none of the screws have backed out to date.
Blade centering on the Blur is damn near perfect. I’ll admit my OCD kicks in when I get a brand new knife in and I have to tinker for several minutes getting the blade “just right.”
The Blur took this frustrating task and showed me that Kershaw pays attention to their customer base and strives to make every knife perfect.
Here is where I am glad that companies make aftermarket parts for the Blur. I cannot stand the pocket clip. I like Kershaw’s effort in making the pocket clip reversible for those who prefer either tip-up or tip-down carry, but either way you slice it the Blur sits too far out of the pocket for my liking.
Aftermarket clips have become abundant for many popular knives and the Blur’s options are no different. MXG makes a wonderful deep carry pocket clip that makes the Blur sit much deeper in the pocket.
Deep carry clips are great for a more discreet carry when you’re around non-knife lovers and also keep the knife more secure in your pocket.
Although I am a sucker for a good deep carry pocket clip, it definitely hasn’t stopped me from carrying the Blur. Some prefer to have their pocket knives to sit above the pocket, and that’s all personal preference which I respect fully. In my time with the Blur, it hasn’t wiggled its way out of my pocket at all.
Kershaw Blur Variations
If I listed all of the variations that Kershaw has released for the Blur, you’d be spending the next four or five hours reading this article!
Current iterations of the Blur include the “standard” 14C28N blade with a handful of different colors including black, blue, OD green, and tan.
Other models feature premium steels such as CPM-S30V, Elmax, and CPM-154. These premium steel variants do come at a higher price tag but your time between sharpening and overall durability will be even better than the standard version of the Blur.
What are the Alternatives to the Kershaw Blur?
There are a handful of knives that I could compare the Blur to in price, ergonomics, and overall quality but it really is hard to beat for a “do everything” blade.
Another great option from Kershaw is the Model 1776 “Link.” The Link is very similar in overall size and features, but its blade steel and materials are a little bit different.
The Link features a 420HC steel blade in a more traditional Drop Point shape and the aluminum scales lack the extra traction given by the Trac-Tec inserts.
The Link is a great knife, but the Blur’s 14C28N steel is slightly tougher than the Link’s 420HC.
A newer addition to the SOG Knives lineup and a great contender to the Blur is the Flash AT-XR. We’ll be doing a full review on it in the near future, but the Flash also features an assisted opening blade, an ergonomic handle, and a deep carry pocket clip.
The Flash is about the same price as the Blur but its one drawback for some is the manual safety on the spine of the knife. The Flash AT-XR from SOG features a Drop Point D2 blade and GRN handle scales which are incredibly comfortable in the hand.
If you’re looking for a more “tactical” looking everyday carry blade the Flash is definitely one to look at, but most people in a day-to-day work environment tend to prefer a more discreet look which the Blur is better suited for.
- Durable blade steel that is easy to maintain.
- Open pilar construction for easy cleaning.
- Multiple blade steel options for those who prefer “premium” steels.
- Highly texturized scales that perform well in any environment.
- Fits well in different hand sizes; One-handed deployment and closing (Strong lockup).
- Made in the USA; Lifetime warranty.
- Only designed for right handed users.
- Blade shape can be difficult to sharpen for users who are new to sharpening.
- Aluminum scales can scratch easier than other handle scale materials
- Not legal in some states due to blade length/size restrictions
In a world full of options, it can be tough to pick a good pocket knife. The Blur has been around for about a decade now and has proven itself in that time. Knife collectors all around the world trust the Blur for its durability and overall quality. If you’re looking for a knife that will do just about anything, is made in the USA, and comes with a lifetime warranty, check one out today!