Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kershaw Skyline (1760)

This won't take long. The (1760) Kershaw Skyline is a very good EDC knife and is well worth what I paid for it. You really can't go wrong with this blade.
There. I told you it wouldn't take long. There's no reason to read any further but...
If you want to check out my long, rambling review then feel free to read on.

Let's start with the specs since they're obviously secret and impossible to find on the internet.

Blade Length:     3.125"
Overall Length:   7.375"
Closed Length:    4.24"
Weigth:                2.3oz
Blade Steel:        Sandvik 14C28N, Bead Blasted Finish
Blade Type:        Spearpoint, Bead Blasted Finish
Pocket Clip:        Reversable Tip Up or Tip Down (Right Side Only)
Blade:                 Hollow Ground
Lock:                  Liner

Made In The USA (Hell yeah... how often do we see that in 2012?)

The Kershaw Skyline is a very high value knife. That's becoming less true however as time passes.  Just a couple of years ago the Skyline was selling for $30 at Walmart. They now average about $40-$45 online and I haven't seen them at Walmart in a long while. I had heard that they were discontinued but see that they're still carried on the Kershaw website. Perhaps it's the OSO Sweet that I'm thinking of.
So while I like the knife, I think that it's rapidly approaching the point at which you can get better blades for the same price. It was an outstanding knife for $30 and it's still a pretty good knife for $40. Add another $7 for S&H and some people would start looking at other models and manufacturers.

At 2.3oz this is a very light knife. I hate carrying a lot of weight in my pockets and if you're like me you won't even notice that you have the 1760 on you. Considering that you get a 3 1/8" blade the 2.3oz weight is pretty impressive. BTW, the blade to handle ratio is very good. I hate it when you have huge handle and a 1/2" shorter blade. It just seems like a waste.

The Skyline comes with G10 scales and doesn't have any liners. This holds the weight down and doesn't seem to sacrifice strength. There's a solid feel to this knife and usually strength is equated with weight. It's great that the manufacturer is able to keep the weight down without making the knife feel "Cheap" or flimsy.

This Kershaw's handle has an OK texture but I wouldn't call it grippy.  In general, I like G10 material for knives. If it is used however, I would prefer the manufacturer to go with the high traction texture that Cold Steel uses. I have no idea if there is a price difference in the two versions but I would always prefer more traction if it's available. I know that some will say that the rougher G10 will shred your pockets but 15 minutes of sanding under the pocket clip will take care of that.
There's a deep groove for the index finger and this really helps to lock the knife in your hand despite the so-so traction of G10 scales.
Don't get me wrong. I don't think that this is a slick or hard to grip knife. I think that most people will have no issues keeping a good grip on it in daily tasks. It just seems like a waste to put G10 scales on a knife and not go with a rougher texture. That's just my opinion and as the Skyline has been selling for years it appears that I'm alone on that.

The blade is hollow ground and has a nice spear point shape. This knife is a flipper design and opens reasonably fast with a flick of the wrist. There are studs on either side of the blade but they are almost impossible to use and appear to be more of a blade stop than an opening method.

I'm not even going to try to fake it on the steel used. I'm not really familiar with Sandvik 14C28N. This is the only knife I have that uses it and I don't have any complaints. The edge holds up well and I haven't seen any rust. Even though I don't use my knives that hard, I have seen some of my other blades with 8Cr13Mov rust if I don't take care of them. The Sandvik 142C28N is supposed to be better steel and time will tell.

This isn't much of an issue with me but if you wear very tight clothes you'll appreciate the thinness of this knife.

The Skyline has a laynard hole and while this is seldom used it's always appreciated.

The pocket clip works ok, but is ugly, silver and doesn't allow for deep carry like the SOG's and some CRKT's. It's reversable for tip up or tip down carry, but if you're a wrong handed individual you'll be disappointed that it's right side only.
I'm a big fan of the deep carry clips and I'll probably knock every knife that sticks out of the pocket.

The blade locks up tight and I can't find any movement. I've had a couple of these knives, and the 1760 Skylines always have perfect centering and a tight lockup. I've never opened the box and found a dull Kershaw (in any model).

The liner lock keeps the blade solidly deployed and I trust it. I've seen some cheap Chinese knives that I would never use in a million years. It appears that not everyone can make a liner lock that works. I'm ok with the Skyline's lockup and have never had any complaints with any of the Kershaw locks. If I really need something more solid I'll buy a fixed blade.

The Skyline has been around for a few years and may be getting a bit stale. It still works fine, and is a great knife. Newer toys come out every year, and after a while it's time to update or get left behind.
I would love to see Kershaw offer the 1760 with more highly textured G10 scales, jimping, and a blackened deep carry pocket clip. It's guarenteed that I'd buy one. Different colors might help too (OD, desert tan, etc). A blacked out version like this Volt II would even be a big improvement. They do offer an attractive Damascus version but it's in a different price range.
When this knife only cost $30 it was a must have. Now that $40 seems to be the average price it's moved into the price range that has a lot of us shopping around and comparing.

So in conclusion, this is a good knife. I've bought two so my complaints must not be too bad. I've given some away and the knives were well recieved. It would be interesting to know how many Walmart has sold, and I can imagine it was truckloads when they were $30.
I had planned on putting this knife up against the OSO Sweet and Volt II since they were all similiarly priced, but once I looked at current pricing, I decided to merely say that the Skyline seems like a stronger knife and has a tighter lockup. Blade deployment is obviously slower, but I would suspect that if the three knives were used on a daily basis you would get years more use out of the Skyline.
Of course the OSO SweetVolt II  and Clash can all be found on sale in my area for $20. If you're a Kershaw fan it's hard to choose between buying two pretty good knives or one slightly better one. I think that an upgrade to the 1760 Skyline would take care of that.

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