Top 5 Best Kershaw Pocket Knives Ever Made for Self-defense

Since the year 1974, Kershaw Knives have been a household name in the knife industry. The company’s founder Pete Kershaw was once a salesman for Gerber – he left because he created new fresh designs. Kershaw has produced several products that have stood the test of time. Owing to the fact that they are synonymous with quality, choosing the best Kershaw pocket knives becomes a daunting task for some.

By the end of this review article, you’ll certainly not have any difficulties choosing a new Kershaw pocket knife.

So here is a list of the Kershaw knives we’ll be reviewing.

5 Best Kershaw Pocket Knives Ranking in 2021

RankName of Pocket KnifeWeightPrice 
#1Kershaw Unisex Brawler Knife – 19903.9 oz$
#2Kershaw 1660 Ken Onion Leek3 oz$$$
#3Kershaw Cryo Knife4.1 oz$$
#4Kershaw 1830 OSO Sweet Pocket Knife3.2 oz$
#5Kershaw Unisex Link Aluminum Blackwash Knife – 17764.8 oz$$$

1.Kershaw Unisex Brawler Knife – 1990

Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife 1990

As the name implies, the Kershaw Unisex Brawler Knife is a simple pocket knife fit for anybody. The knife has four features that endeared it to people. These features include SpeedSafe Assisted Opening, Flipper, 4-position pocket clip, and Liner lock.

The Kershaw Brawler knife comes with the highly revered Tanto blade. The tanto blade is most commonly found in tactical knives. Did you notice the pointed blade? That blade sears through the roughest obstacles you can ever think of.

The cutting capacity of the Brawler is second to none, thanks to the rigid and firm attachment to the handle. Sharpening the knife is a breeze, and requires not much effort since the blade isn’t serrated.

The Kershaw Brawler knife supports a one-handed opening system using the SpeedSafe technology. A gentle pull on the flipper will activate the Brawler’s opening mechanism which does the rest of the job. The flipper, in addition, serves as a finger guard where you can place your fingers as it provides additional protection when using the knife.

The Kershaw Brawler Unisex Knife weighs about 3.9 oz and is simply the perfect pocket companion. For some, the fact that it is made in Chine turns them off – its usefulness supersedes the location where it’s made.


  • Lightweight with a beautiful design.
  • Glass-filled and highly reinforced durable handle
  • Flipper also serves as a finger guard when using the knife.
  • Easy to sharpen the 3-inch blade.
  • The one-touch opening is spring assisted.


  • Spring function may break easily depending on what it’s used for.
  • Depending on your personal preferences, you may find the knife too thick.

2.Kershaw 1660 Ken Onion Leek

Kershaw 1660 Ken

The Kershaw Onion Leek 1660 knife is one of the best Kershaw pocket knives that has ever been sold. It became so popular that Kershaw had no other choice than to make several variants of it. The knife which unlike its counterpart, the Brawler, is made in the USA.

The Kershaw Leek as it’s otherwise known as, sports the frame lock locking mechanism. It weighs a paltry 3 ounces and comes with a razor sharp blade made from Sandvik materials. The blade length of the Kershaw Leek is barely just 3 inches although the knife’s length extends to 4 inches when it’s folded. When the knife is in use, the length stands at circa 7 inches.

The Kershaw Onion Lee is an apt description of an EDC – Every Day Carry. The blade seems more like it’s a modified version of the Wharncliffe blade and narrows to form a sharp tip.

Unfortunately, the sharp tip breaks easily – it’s so surprisingly fragile. You’ll also probably experience rolling when using the knife. These downsides, however, don’t deter people from embracing the Kershaw Leek wholeheartedly. As a matter of fact, the Random Leek which is a new variant is gaining popularity having addressed some of the flaws of the Onion Leek.


  • It’s lightweight and feels firm when held.
  • It has the Kershaw SpeedSafe assisted opening system.
  • Reversible pocket clip.
  • The blade is made from the ever-strong Sandvik and is easy to sharpen.
  • The stainless steel handle gives it a premium look.


  • The knife’s tip is very fragile and thus breaks easily.
  • You may experience blade rolling when using the knife.

3.Kershaw Cryo Knife

Kershaw Cryo Folding Knife 1555TI

Weighing 4.1 oz and sporting a 2.75-inch blade, the Kershaw Cryo Knife is a super stunning knife from Kershaw. Little wonder it made our list of the best Kershaw Pocket Knives.

The first Cryo knife was unveiled in 2012 and it became the “Best Buy of The Year”, knocking off Rick Hinderer’s XM-18 knife which retailed for more than $300. The thin blade of the knife including the handles is coated in titanium carbo-nitride. The stainless steel frame of the knife is apt for it. This gives it a somewhat premium look and finish. Need I mention that the gray colored accents on the handle provide some sort of cool finish for it?

The knife’s blade tip is quite sharp and can slice through most sliceable materials in one deft move. The Kershaw Cryo is a superb portable EDC knife although, in some tough situations, it may disappoint you.

Slipping the knife in and out of your pocket is as easy as you can imagine. There’s a pocket clip that can be removed and inserted. The pocket clip allows for 4 corner carry. As soon as you take it out of your pocket, a simple nudge of the flipper deploys the blade. The Kershaw SpeedSafe technology plays a very vital role here. There’s also a thumb stud that provides a cushion for the thumb – the thumb stud here isn’t all that useful.


  • Sturdy and firm feel although weighing more than the other Kershaw knives.
  • Speedsafe assisted technology
  • Absolutely beautiful stainless steel frame coated in titanium oxide gives a premium look
  • Lightweight
  • A 4 corner carry pocket clip


  • The thumb stud on the knife is out of place; it’s not really useful.
  • Weighs more than its counterparts.

You also may like to read: 7 Best Case Pocket Knives: What Is The Good Quality & Price?

4.Kershaw 1830 OSO Sweet Pocket Knife

1830 Kershaw Oso Sweet Folding Pocketknife

The Kershaw OSO Sweet is arguably the first sweet knife from Kershaw. It also holds the title as the first SpeedSafe knife to be made in China. It features a liner lock and an indispensable reversible pocket clip. The 3.1-inch steel blade is supported by a glass-filled nylon handle that feels firm to the grip. The specific steel type used for making the blade makes it not only easy to sharpen but also wear-resistant. It also accounts for the decent edge retention of the knife.

The OSO sweet knife weighs just 3.2 ounces, a tad lesser than the Kershaw Cryo. The popular liner lock mechanism keeps the knife’s blade in place whether they are on or off duty. It also allows for the one-handed opening that often seems difficult on other models of the knife. Moreover, the conventional SpeedSafe Assisted Opening Mechanism is on hand to make the job of opening the knife easier for you.

The Kershaw 1830 OSO’s pocket clip is reversible – allowing for multiple carrying positions. One of the most amazing features of the Kershaw OSO knife is that it can be comfortably used by right and left handled persons with fewer hassles.


  • Lightweight and comfortable to the grip.
  • Razor sharp stainless steel blade that is easy to sharpen.
  • Smooth opening and closing of the knife.
  • SpeedSafe Assisted Opening technology and Liner lock mechanism keep the knife working efficiently.


  • The blade isn’t stainless steel and cannot be used around water.

5.Kershaw Unisex Link Aluminum Blackwash Knife – 1776

Kershaw Link Pocket Knives

Sitting princely at the 5th position on our best Kershaw pocket knives review list is the Kershaw Unisex Link Aluminum Knife. The Kershaw Link knife made it to the public domain in 2020.

The knife which is made in the USA sports a 3.3-inch blade and weighs about 4.8 ounces, making it the heaviest of them all on our list. It does, however, have a very light feel to the hand. The Kershaw Unisex Link knife can serve as an EDC although the weight will tell the difference.

The blackwashed and grey colored design makes it look rather simple but sexy – in a good way, of course. The handle is made from fiberglass reinforced nylon and from aluminum. Users are free to choose which one that appeals to them. Additionally, Kershaw offers the tanto blade version of the Link knife.

Sharpening the blade on the knife is easy because of its steel properties. The pocket clip allows for easy placement in any convenient pocket position. In one simple flick, the knife’s blade is released from its storage, ready for use. With Kershaw’s SpeedSafe technology and the liner lock mechanism, your knife is always a push away.


  • A reversible pocket clip keeps the knife in any suitable pocket position.
  • Kershaw offers the Unisex Link in various options, with a tanto blade and with an aluminium handle.
  • Speedsafe and liner lock mechanisms keep the knife safe and working fine.
  • Sweet blackwashed look with grey accents.


  • The knife weighs almost 5 ounces, this is a huge turn-off.


With this viable knowledge about these best Kershaw pocket knives, I’m quite certain that you won’t find it difficult choosing a Kershaw product either for personal use or as a gift to a friend or family member.