Monday, August 5th marks Day 66 of our 100 Knives in 100 Days Giveaway. It is hard to believe we are entering the final third of our contest. We still have some great knives to come, including several customs and and a Zero Tolerance 0350 – the premium label of Kershaw’s parent company KAI.
Today we have the Les George designed Kershaw Innuendo.
Kershaw and custom knifemaker Les George teamed up to offer you a sharp knife that takes subtle inspiration from the dramatic lines of an exotic sportscar.
Inspired by the sweeping lines of a Lamborghini, the Innuendo’s smooth, stainless steel handle provides a solid, comfortable grip. Handle cutouts to the left and the right of the pivot help reduce the Innuendo’s weight and add visual interest. There’s more sportscar inspiration in the pivot—a custom-like addition that just might remind you of top-of-the-line tire rims.
The Innuendo’s 8Cr13MoV blade steel takes and holds a sharp edge, yet resharpens easily when needed. Titanium carbo-nitride blade coating enhances hardness and increases the overall lifespan of the blade. The 3.3-inch drop-point blade offers a healthy amount of belly so you can breeze through your slicing tasks. The Innuendo opens manually with a thumb disk. Once open, the blade locks into place with a sturdy frame lock, so you can work with confidence and safety.
With its reversible, deep-carry pocketclip, both leftys and rightys can enjoy the Innuendo’s sharp looks on their respective show sides. With this kind of style at a value price, this beautiful tool is great choice for budget users and enthusiasts alike.
I am going to combine these two sections for reasons that will become obvious in a minute.
I want to start by saying that I really like Kershaw knives, and the company has always been fantastic about supporting the blogging community. Off the top of my head I think I own 6 Kershaws, some of which have been sent to me as review samples and others like my Blur and D2 Composite Leek I purchased myself. In fact I bought my Leek twice since I lost the first and liked it so much I wanted another to replace it. I have also bought at least 2 others as gifts.
Kershaw customer service is second to none, and on the one occasion I had to send one in for service (the lock bar bent on my first Leek due to abuse in testing) they replaced it no questions asked. I have heard at least a dozen glowing reviews from people interacting with Kershaw’s Service Dept. and can think of no negative experiences in forums and blog comments.
That probably sounds like I am buttering up for a big “but”. Only kind of.
From the beginning of our 100 Knives Giveaway, I have been writing these pieces as actual reviews. I am being honest when I describe action, ergonomics, fit and finish, etc. If I see an issue I mention it. I am also not going to hide a negative but fair outside review, in this case by JT’s Knife Life. It seems to me like he got a bad knife that got through QC. It had lockup issues from what looked to be an ill-fitting lockup between the tang and lock bar. It had a few fit and finish issues as well. I will address both of these in a moment.
I watched this review and went back and examined both examples that Kershaw sent us to give away. First and foremost, neither of ours had any lockup issues at all. They functioned just fine, through about 50 cycles each. Unlike JT, who flipped his knife easily, I found the action a touch stiff. For me it would occasionally fail to flip all the way open when I flipped the thumb wheel. I imagine this will wear in slightly with time. It leaves me wondering if JT’s issue is simply the result of a loose pivot because I have experienced similar on other knives when the pivot works loose.
So while I respect JT’s review, and acknowledge that what he is saying about the lockup on his seems to be visually documented, I feel comfortable sending both of these knives out to the winners. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t.
As far as the cosmetic issues, I do concur with JT’s observations. They might exceed some people’s acceptability threshold – especially at the $49.49 MSRP. At the $27 or so I have been finding it online, I think it is just fine.
The two biggest issues JT highlights are the chamfering on the top of the handle, and the rough portion on the unused pocket-clip mounting surface. These minor issues, along with the ability to see a little of the grind lines under the coating on the blade were present on both knives. Neither would I consider a dealbreaker in a $30 EDC.
I care much more about blade wobble, or more specifically the lack thereof. Both of our examples were rock-solid in that regard.
JT never gets into the ergonomics, which I found just fine, and fairly good if you limit the pool to just thin framelock folders which are never the most comfortable. The pocket clip hits my palm in a good place between the pads at the base of my middle and index fingers. I like that the pocket clip is deep carry out of the box. I put a Pops Custom Clip on my Leek and Blur (and several other knives from other brands)
Blade centering is great on one and fine on the other. Well within the range I see on production knives at many price points. I don’t personally become picky about this until I am hitting the $75+ range.
I want to thank Kershaw for providing us with both of these Innuendos, along with the ZT, a Decimus, and a Concierge. Both of the latter knives were great. And frankly I think the Innuendo is a solid value, especially if you can pick it up at a good deal.