Way back – 3 years ago! – I wrote about my fondness for Kershaw’s Leek pocket knives. My rotation of folding knives has grown recently and so I felt it to be an appropriate time to revisit my elegant little Leek.
Basic Knife Specs
- Designed by Ken Onion
- 3-inch blade
- 4-inch closed length, 7-inch overall length
- 3.0 oz weight
- SpeedSafe assisted-opening design (ambidextrous)
- 410 stainless steel handle
- Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel blade
- Frame-lock closure
- Pocket clip (reversible and removable)
- Street price ~ $35
- Made in USA
Stainless Steel Handle
There are a number of handle options, but I opted for plain-Jane stainless steel version. The finish is smooth and satin in a way that fingerprints don’t stand out. Handle edges are all rounded and eased for user comfort, but they also give the overall shape a sort of elegant appeal.
My first Leek was the plain-edge version, and I eventually purchased the serrated version as well. I find the plain-edge blade much more useful for most slicing tasks, but the partially serrated blade comes in handy at times.
The blade arrived extremely sharp out of the box. Heavier users might want to brush up on their honing skills, but I never so much as stropped these knives. I probably should, but edge retention has been excellent.
The shape of the blade’s edge is a bit straighter than I am used to, but I have never found it lacking.
If you don’t know which blade style best suits your day-to-day cutting needs, stick with the plain edge version. If you cut cords, fabric, and other such materials the partially serrated version be a better option.
For a relatively compact knife, the Leek is impressively comfortable to use. All edges of the handle are rounded over to avoid pressure points, and finger-gripping points are grooved for increased grip. Who knew such a small handle would be such a pleasure to use?
Blade Deployment – SpeedSafe Assisted Opening
If you turn your attention to the spine of the closed knife, you’ll see a small triangular protrusion. To deploy the knife, ensure the safety tip lock is disengaged and then apply gentle pressure to the flipper mechanism. The knife deploys with a reassuring click.
You can also deploy the knife via the thumb stud, but I don’t like to as it feels a little less controlled.
Kershaw’s SpeedSafe is an assisted opening mechanism. This means that users must apply gentle pressure before a torsion (spring-loaded) bar will yield. Once that happens, the knife deploys smoothly and swiftly to the open and locked position.
Closing the Knife
Closing the knife involves using your thumb to push the frame lock out of the way before you can return the blade to its closed position. I usually do this with two hands but can do it with one hand if I have to. Closing the knife is a little different than with manual folding knives since you have to do a little work to reset the SpeedSafe mechanism.
Fit and Finish
The SS Leek has a beautiful bead-blasted finish. There’s absolutely nothing I can complain about.
Even the jimping is perfectly machined!
Kershaw and Ken Onion did a remarkably good job on the Leek’s design. It is elegant yet robust-feeling; the blade is sharp and effectively shaped; and the handle is comfortable yet compact. On top of all that, the knife is made in the USA. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s extremely affordable at around $35.
Bottom line, the Kershaw Onion Leek is a phenomenal knife at a great price point.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Both of the knives featured in this review were purchased via Amazon.
It is important to note that the Leek is NOT an automatic knife, switchblade, or gravity knife. Even so, make sure you know your local knife laws before thinking about purchasing one!