Cheap knives are rarely a bargain, but the inexpensive folders from Kershaw are impressing me. I previously reviewed the Compound, which I still carry daily, and now take a look at the Kershaw Asset.
The Kershaw Asset assisted opening knife is a medium-sized folder that I found to be of good quality at a very reasonable price. In this review, I will explain why I think it makes for an excellent daily carry knife for the price.
The Kershaw Asset is available with a plain edge blade and with a partially serrated blade. The model I have is the one with a partial serration. In theory, this gives the user the benefits of both types of blades. Ultimately, I think it just comes down to what you like and your specific needs. I have knives of all types and each has a use.
The plain edge was reasonably sharp, but nothing to get excited about. The serrations were very sharp and easy cut through any material I tried.
The blade has a trailing point that curves upward similar to what is found on many fillet knives. While this gives the blade additional belly, I found it also gave the knife a very sharp point.
The blade does not have any jimping along the spine of the knife blade.
The blade is made of a Chinese stainless steel called 8Cr13MoV. This is the same steel used by Spyderco and other companies on less expensive lines of knives. Kershaw states that this steel is similar to the AUS-8A steel. I don’t claim to be an expert on steel, but many of the authorities I have spoken with say that 8Cr13MoV steel is very good for the money.
The Asset uses an assisted opening device called SpeedSafe. Essentially, a small part of the blade protrudes from the back of the knife when closed. Using a finger, you press down on the protrusion, which starts the opening process. The internal mechanics then take over, locking the blade open.
I’ve used the SpeedSafe on other Kershaw assisted opening knives, so I was familiar with the device. I like the SpeedSafe opening technique and have been very pleased with it in the past. On the Kershaw Asset, the SpeedSafe worked exactly as I expected.
The blade locks into place with a liner lock. The lock seems very strong and I could not get it to fail with moderately abusive behavior.
The handle is made of a black synthetic material. According to the packaging, the grip panels are made of G-10. The Kershaw website, however, generically states they are a glass-filled nylon.
Kershaw Asset Features
|blade type||trailing point, flat grind|
The Asset feels good in the hand and worked well for me. As I mentioned earlier in this review, I also have a Kershaw Compound. I like the Compound slightly more than the Asset, but I would not feel poorly equipped if my Compound was replaced by the Asset. Both knives perform well – it is just a matter of subjective look and feel.
The real downside to the Asset is that the knife has been discontinued by Kershaw. But, just because it has been discontinued doesn’t mean you can’t still find it. A number of the big box sporting goods stores are likely to have an ample supply of these knives on hand for a while.
For a while, these knives were sold as cheap as $18 each. Considering the very good build quality of the Kershaw Asset, that was an amazing price.
Like many knives, the run of the Asset was of limited duration. Kershaw no longer manufactures this knife. However, the knife lives on in our household.
When Kershaw discontinued this knife, I picked up two more on clearance through an online retailer. Having used mine from time to time, my wife took one as her daily carry.
Both her knife and my own have put up with a great deal of use in the past several years. They aren’t fancy knives, but they are solid workers that have held up well. I found they hold a sharp edge for a long time.
If you find one on some clearance rack, definitely grab it. The Kershaw Asset proved its worth many times over in our hands. I’m sure it will do the same for you. You can also check out all of my other knife reviews for some alternatives.
Last Update: June 5, 2022
The Kershaw Asset I reviewed in this article was purchased with my own money from a third party retailer. I have no connection to Kershaw.
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