I've been collecting pocket knives for a decade now. I've purchased hundreds of knives for my EDC collection. Kershaw is one of the my favorite and popular knife brands on the market. The Kershaw Leek has been kind of the gold standard in the budget EDC knife for almost a decade now. I've owned it for more than 10 years now, and I want to share my experience with everyone who is looking forward to purchase this knife.
Kershaw leek was awarded as a knife of the year back in 2002. I'm going to be totally unbiased, and will not exaggerate the stuff in any manner. My review of the Kershaw Leek will not be one sided. I will share both the pros and cons and my personal thoughts on the knife itself.
Kershaw Leek Review - Overview
- Blade length: 3.0 inches
- Overall length: 7.0 inches
- Closed length: 4.0 inches
- Weight: 3.0 ounces
- Blade material: Sandvik 14C28N
- Handle material: Stainless steel
- Locking mechanism: Frame Lock
- County of origin: USA
- Price: About $40
This is a spring assisted knife & been around for so long. Initially, it had only one version but due to increasing popularity of knife, the various variants (color, steels, and finishes) of Kershaw leek were released.
And, as of now, I own standard version of the Kershaw Leek, Model 1660. So, my review is only for the Kershaw leek 1660. Here is how it looks like, pretty charming.
Blade & General Dimensions
Kershaw leek has an overall length of 7 inches whereas blade is perfect 3 inches, and it weights perfectly about 3 ounces. The blade is made of 14C28N Steel which is a stainless steel.
14C28N steel is made by a Swedish company that makes the steel exclusively for KAI USA/Kershaw Knives & it's the upper mid-range category of steels. In fact, I would say it's a high-quality steel.
It's a plain edge knife with a minus belly that connects to the tipping point of the knife. The blade is pretty sharp out of the box and the edge maintains high-quality resistance and hardness to the corrosion for a long time.
The kershaw leek's blade is pretty much similar to wharncliffe style. The tip is very sharp and can be used for piercing purpose. And, it is extremely easy to sharp.
However, the only downside of leek's blade is that it's tip is little fragile thus if you put some serious force, then the tip might get break down on the flour.
Though it might look super sexy, but the blade tip-point is still a concern if you want to use it for heavy work.
Kershaw Leek Blade's Rating!
- Holds Good Ege Retention
- Resistance to Corrosion
- RazorSharp Blade
- Easy to Sharp
- Blade's Tip is Fragile
Handle, Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The handle of the knife is made of Bead-blasted stainless-steel framelock handle. The handle feels comfortable in the hand. Since the handle is constructed with stainless, thus it's not much grippy.
Yea, you heard it right. Like most of the stainless steel knives, the kershaw leek's handle is also slippery. This is not a kind of knife that can you work with when hands are wet.
The reason behind its slippery handle is; there is no jimping/texture on the handle. As you can in the image, the handle is super flat without any jimping.
The handle is constructed with screws rather than those pins, so if you want to disassemble the knife, then you should be happy. Those screws can be easily removed with T6 Torx bit.
The handle is pretty thin, and without the clip handle is just mind-blowing. And, the jimping on the end point/thumb ramp, It grabs the skin and makes the handle feel comfortable.
The clip of the knife is long in the size, and good enough to glide the leek in your pocket and stick it like glue. It is reversible for tip down or tip up carry, but it is not left-handed/ambidextrous. I removed the clip and without the clip, it is just thick about 0.4" which is pretty amazing, isn't it?
Kershaw Leek's Handle, Clip & Ergonomics Rating
- Comfortable to hold
- Very thin handle
- Excellent Clip
- Clip can be diassembled
- Slippery Handle
Deployment and Lockup
The kershaw leek model comes with Speed Safe ambidextrous assisted opening system. You can deploy the blade out of knife with lightening fast speed.
The blade deploys very fast, and thus you've be careful, or it will cut your finger within a second. You can deploy the blade both sides either left or right.
If you're one of them who loves assisted opening knives, then you gonna love this knife else don't expect to take out the springs from the knife to make it non-assisted opening knives. A thumb aperture on the underside of the blade provides helps in gripping the knife, as well as providing a second way to guarantee that knife doesn’t flip closed on you during usage.
Overall, there is no issue in the lockup system, It's pretty strong, and live up to the expectations.
Kershaw Leek's Lock up & Deployment Review
- Deploy the handle with one hand
- SpeedSafe lock system for safety
- Spring Assisted Opening Mechanism
Kershaw Leek Review
So, these were the highlights of kershaw leek. I've discussed about blade, steel, handle, ergonomics, lockup, and deployment system. And, I'm pretty much sure you understood everything.
So, If I've to summarize kershaw leek knife in simple words, then I would say..
Kershaw leek is an excellent knife under 40$. You can't expect better knife than that for the same price. The steel used within the blade is a high-quality steel; thus it's highly defensive against corrosion.
The blade itself is sharp and have sexy curve near the tipping. It holds the edge very well and comes extremely sharp out of the box. It's Ideal for hunting, fishing, or working in situations where one-handed opening is useful.
The overall size of knife is 7 which is pretty good. Handle, deployment, and lock up system is also up the point. Though the knife tipping is fragile, but if you're not going to any any heavy work, then it's not a big deal at all. Yes, the grip is a concern especially in wet hands, but it's not worst and feels very comfortable to hold in the hand. I'm loving my Kershaw leek, and recommend this knife to everyone.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Slim, sleek, well made and great value
Cons: Thin blade tip, slippery handle
Overall: Excellent knife at amazingly less price