Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kershaw Volt II review

Here's a quick and easy review on the Kershaw Volt II.  Yes, it's another EDC knife. That's probably all that I'll review for a while since I've got a ton of them and seem to get more with each holiday or birthday.
So let's start with some specs:

Overall length:     7"
Blade length:        3 1/8"
Closed length:      3 7/8"
Weight:    3.4 oz
Lock:        Liner lock
Opening:  Flipper design with Kershaw's
                   Speedsafe  Assisted Opening
Steel:    8CR13MOV
Handle:    Glass filled nylon
Blade:    Hollow ground

Here's a pic for size comparison. From top to bottom these knives are the Benchmade Mini Griptilian, SOG Mini Aegis, Kershaw Volt II,  Kershaw OSO Sweet and Cold Steel Mini AK47. There's very little difference in sizes and (To me) weights.

All things considered.....this is a good little knife for a great price. It seems to run $25-$30 online and one of my local gun stores routinely has it on sale for $20. You just can't beat this knife at that price point.  Is it a Benchmade? Nope. Of course you can get 4 of these for the price of one Mini Griptilian. For $20 you can abuse the Volt II and still not break the bank when it's time for a replacement.

So let's talk about a few more pros:
It comes from the factory razor sharp (As it should).
The jimping is just freaking outstanding.
The handle has a great shape for this size of knife.
Reversible tip up or tip down carry.
Easy to sharpen.
Locks up tight. I have no movement in mine when the blade is deployed.
Fast and easy opening. Great assisted opening flipper design.
Very good liner lock.

And now the Cons:
It's just a little thick.
Goofy looking pocket clip.
It doesn't carry as deep as I'd like but it's not too bad.
Mediocre corrosion resistance.
Right side carry only.
The handles are smoother than I like. 

I had a few rust spots on this knife after a couple of weeks of use. Much like my CRKT the spots were concentrated on the edge and the tip. A little sandpaper took care of them and a small amount of oil and care kept them from coming back. 8CR13MOV is an OK steel but it's not know for it's corrosion resistance.  You don't get the world for $20. As I said earlier this knife sharpens easily and it also holds an edge pretty well. I have average sharpening skills so if I can keep a decent edge on it then I suspect that most people can do the same.
I would however prefer the black version of this knife as I think that nitrided (?) coating would offer better protection than the bead blasted finish. The black version seems to run just a couple of dollars more online but I haven't seen many of them in stores.  I prefer the black pocket clip as well since the bead blasted pocket clip just shows too much for my taste.  BTW, the clip works well and I have no real complaints......other than it looks goofy as hell.  Again, for $20 I can live with it.
The handle is slicker than I would expect. I realize that it's not G10 but even with fiberglass handles you can do more with texturing. The OSO Sweet has a much better texture than the Volt II in my opinion and the spiderweb design gives a better grip. The handle's shape on the Volt II however are ergonomic and fit my hand very well for a 3" knife.  The jimping, the shape of the handle and the width of this knife all contribute to a decent grip even if the grip panels are a little slick.
The lanyard hole is where it should be and is sized right (believe it or not some aren't).
All in all this is a good knife and a value for the money. I'm not crazy about Chinese made knives but Kershaw seems to have great quality control in their Chinese products and let's face it. Not every needs or can afford a more expensive knife.  I'd recommend this knife to anyone looking for a good EDC knife at a reasonable cost.

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