Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Knife News: Whiplash, bold new Kershaw fixed blade!

I was just perusing Kershaw's site and found this under "What's New". I'm assuming it was shown at the SHOT show this year, but this is the first I personally have seen or heard about this bad boy!

The following is directly from Kershaw's site:
"The new Whiplash has the kind of dramatic looks that are sure to turn a few heads. But, believe us, this is the kind of Whiplash you want. This bold, military-style fixed-blade knife has a built-in parachute cord lanyard. Pull the tab at the butt of the knife to release the elasticized lanyard, wrap it around your wrist, and you’re good to go. For an even more secure grip, the Whiplash features extra-large thumb notches and an oversized index-finger notch. For hardness and strength, the blade is 8CR14 stainless steel with matte-black PVD coating. Includes sheath for easy carry and storage."

VERY cool! And the best part is the MSRP is $59.95! Which means on better knife retail sites, it should be available in the sub-$50 range! Looks like, though the knife is USA made, Kershaw chose an inexpensive 8CR13MOV stainless steel, the type of stuff that many companies have gone to to decrease overall cost lately. Benchmade has been using similar steel on many of their redbox knives for a few years, and I believe Spyderco and their sub-company Byrd use a Chrome/Moly/Vanadium type steel on many models now too. In my experience, it's good stuff, probably won't outperform blades of S30V...but there are whispered rumors of Crucible Steel (makers of CM and CPM knife steels) filing for bankruptcy, so I'm sure a new super steel for cutlery applications is bound to rear its sharp and wicked head next year, and for many years to come. I've actually found that in many name brand knives, the bladesteels perform very similarly. Can I tell in a blind test between ATS-34 and 440C? Probably not. I think people (knife enthusiasts) get too hung up on the "buzzword" hot knife steel of the year. In my opinion, if a company has a well established reputation, and a knife seems to fit your needs, blade steel alone should never be the sole deciding factor! When I buy a knife I look for things like comfort, looks, and manufacturer rep (and warranty). Then I think about how, where or when I'll use it. Not like I need another knife. But hey, I'm in this for life, I'll never stop learning about purpose driven knives that are made to be used.

Anyhow, I'm sure we'll be seeing Kershaw's new Whiplash soon. Some manufacturers save some of their new model offerings until late summer/early fall, so appropriate buzz can be generated by the time the Christmas holiday season rolls around. I'm still waiting on Cold Steel's big Spartan Folder to be released! Rumor had it that it would be this I'm gonna get one as soon as I can find one and report on it, in full, right here.
Kershaw's site is HERE along with a link to their excellent Zero Tolerance knife line as well.

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