36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2006
I've got a relatively small knife collection (maybe 15 blades), but this is the one I tend to carry every day. I've got a few Kershaws, and the speed-safe opening is what initially attracted me to the brand. That said, while it's a cool way to open the knife, I've ultimately decided it's mostly a gimmick. I find it's just as fast, and somewhat easier, to open the knife with the thumb stud.
My collection has 3 other kershaws: two chives and an avalanche. The leek is the best size for a carry/defensive knife. The blade is long without being cumbersome, and the shape is sleek and manageable. The knife is also good for chores, although for anything really heavy, I'd use a bigger blade like the avalanche or the blur.
The black finish is nice -- although truthfully, my leek is titanium oxide (rainbow). One of my chives is black, though, and the finish is sleek and holds up well.
This knife is definitely worth the price.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2010
The knife is rock solid, well made of first class materials.
NOTE THE DESCRIPTION ON AMAZON'S PAGE IS OUTDATED : Steel on the LEEK is 14C28N and not 440A stainless steel as advertised!
The Sandvik steel (same used for scalpels and other high precision medical tools) This swedish steel has improved corrosion resistance over traditional 13c26. The hardness of the steel falls more and less into the 59-60 Rockwell category. The Framelock can be a little hard to manipulate at first. The Speedsafe, opening assisted blade is fast and can surprise you, be careful with the sharp tip and edge of the blade when opening!
I own other Kershaws and all of them have a production date stamp on the blade (i.e. OCT 09), near the edge of the handle (or scale), this one does not have that stamp of production. Another difference when compared with other Kershaw LEEK is that this particular blade has the normal imprint of the Kershaw logo on the handles and the text underneath that reads "SPEEDSAFE USA" instead of the traditional KEN ONION USA that acknowledges the designer of the blade and the speedsafe technology used on the knives. (see pictures)
The carrying clip can be limited and awkward, this clip is to be used tip up (right handed) or tip down (left handed) or simply you can remove the clip altogether, clip is secured with a couple of #6 torx screws. (To adjust the blade use #8 torx). The smooth finish on the scales does not interfere with the grip of the knife, way better that the stainless steel version of this knife and less grip than the G10 LEEK)
The Knife comes inside a plastic bag on a little -red-white and blue- Kershaw cardboard box (not on a plastic shell hanging rack display) , with basic instructions, warranty information and patent info too.
Overall the Knife is solid! If you are looking for a Every Day Carry knife (EDC) that can be classified as a gentleman's knife, this one is for you. Keep in mind that despite the high quality of the steel, the design of the blade makes the tip a little fragile, do not pry open cans or throw the knife against a tree.... You wanna hunt, or play Rambo...well, this is not the right knife for you then!
After more than 2 weeks of heavy use, cutting, chopping, peeling and scrapping, the blade edge still razor sharp! (BTW, Kershaw will sharpen and service your Kershaw blades for free, just pay one way shipping to them and you'll have you knife pampered by their staff!).
44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2006
Overall this is a great little knife. It opens fast, is very sharp and holds it's edge well and feels good in your hand. The liner lock is great. I have used some others and absolutely hated them because they were so hard to operate. This one is smooth as silk and located in a great position. Very nicely designed.
I did make a few changes which required going out and buying a torx screwdriver. First,I reversed the pocket clip because it came the facing the opposite direction I was used to on my Spyderco knives. Second, the safety had to go. I found it slipped to the "on" position on its own so the knife did not open when you expected it to and was hard to disengage quickly. Not because it was difficult to operate, rather it is tiny and hard to find blind. If you like the safety though, it definitely does prevent the blade from opening accidentally.
Speaking of safety...the knife arrives razor sharp. I opened my package and promptly sliced a finger badly enough to leave a scar. The tension that the blade is under requires some force to overcome and gives it a different feel when closing the knife from a regular lockback. Be sure you fingers are nowhere near the blade. I am now in the habit of disengaging the lock and closing by pressing the back of the blade against my thigh.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2012
I love Kershaw knives. I've had many, and I've loved all of them. But this particular Leek doesn't hold up to the name.
I bought this Leek specifically because of two previous Kershaw Ken Onion knives I've owned.
First, several years ago I bought the Kershaw Centofante-Onion knife on Amazon. I was skeptical of the Tungsten DLC coating, but the shape of the knife and the overall look were appealing. When I got that knife, it immediately went into my pocket with my keys, and I was expecting that knife to be marked up and ugly-looking in a matter of days. To my surprise, the Tungsten DLC coating held up beautifully, and the knife's finish looked nearly brand-new even while rattling in my pocket for about 3 years. At that point, the pivot screw fell out and was lost, prompting me to look for another daily-carry knife. I have had and loved the Kershaw Chive knives several times (and the all-stainless model is by far the best), but I wanted something slightly larger.
Then, last year, I was given a plain silver Leek by my stepfather to put into my hunting bag. That's a great knife, and the exact same design as the knife under review. I liked it so much that I decided to carry a slightly larger knife in my pocket daily.
So I chose this knife. In operation, it's exactly like the plain silver Leek I like so much, but the finish is clealy NOT the same Tungsten DLC as on my earlier Centofante-Onion knife.
The finish on this knife is cheap. It's basically the same as plain black anodizing, and in a pocket with keys, the finish is ruined in a day. This is a huge disappointment.
You buy a black knife because you care about the finish. Don't buy this one. Buy the plain silver Leek linked to above... the handle is stainless steel and you won't notice scratches from keys or other things in your pocket. But you will be disappointed with this knife because the finish will be ruined the first time you use it. This was supposed to be my nicer-looking Leek for daily carry, but instead it's the ugly duckling.
I'm terribly disappointed with Kershaw on this one. They should have either kept with the real Tungsten DLC coating, or they should never have produced this knife in black.
- Fine design - the SpeedSafe works as it should, and this is a good usable size but still slim enough to carry in a pocket.
- Finish is worthless. Choose a different model of Leek.
UPDATE Xmas 2012:
My stepfather apparently recently purchased this same knife for himself. We compared the knives side-by-side. The finish on his knife is of much higher quality than mine. It's still matte rather than shiny like my old Centofante knife, but it's barely matte while mine is rough to the eye and touch. He purchased his locally, several months earlier than I did. I bought my knife from Amazon. His knife's finish is a lot better than mine, but I still wouldn't want his knife with that finish.
It appears that either Kershaw or their Chinese manufacturer are changing the finish, or they are having huge quality-control problems. Kershaw is supposedly known for the quality of their coatings, so this is troubling, and a personal disappointment because Kershaw is based near where I live. For now, I will stick to either the all-stainless knives, or the G10 or other composite-handled models.
UPDATE November 2013:
The finish on the knife, while still ugly, is actually pretty durable, and the knife holds its edge pretty well. Based on the first few weeks, I expected the black finish to be worn through to bare metal quickly, but it hasn't worn off anywhere. It does get marked up quickly and those marks don't really go away. It's a useful knife and I keep it handy, just not in my pocket. I'm raising my review from 2 stars to 3 to reflect that it's been useful and durable, just not attractive (and let's face it, this is supposed to be an attractive knife that you're proud to have in your pocket).
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2015
No big surprises at first glance. But as I handled the knife, the allure, the wide appreciation and reasons for its huge popularity started to become apparent.
From the first moment I put my index finer on the flipper and pushed. I realized almost immediately when it wouldn't budge, that it has the same safety lock as my old 2002 model Kershaw Chive, which is still going strong BTW. I usually am not a fan of blade locks on knives, even assisted ones. But the two Kershaws (Chive and the Leek), are both so damned sharp with very fine/sharp tips and are so easy to deploy, that in the case of these two, I can agree if not with the need, at least the option. I will continue to use the locks, as they won't be my "go to" defensive knives. And the lock can save the nasty little red line that appears seemingly out of nowhere when these two blades snap out. The blade is long since locked before the blood has time to appear. Did I say wicked tip?!?!?
I practiced so much and for so many years with the Chive that even after years of not carrying it, the muscle memory is still intact. I knew in a milisecond how to release the lock on the Leek. I like that the lock is small, unobtrusive and stays put in whichever position the user chooses. You can easily choose to never use it. But it was so easy and quick with the Chive that I wouldn't see it as hampering usefulness on a decidedly light, thin "Gentleman's knife". And even as old as the Chive is, the lock still stays put.
The next thing I noticed, different from my old Chive, and better, was the DLC on the blade and the black anodizing on the SS handles. It has a soft, yet slightly grippy texture, instead of being almost slick like the SS handles on the regular models. The sides and the jimping seem more effective because of the coating/finish. It seems like more of a difference than such a thin coating could make. I know that "feeling and opinion" are subjective, but I think most would agree this version gives a better feel of purchase and control.
Next, the thing is it's small, thin and light, but somehow still allows me a full fingered grip. Since it is on the verge of being too small for me I think you big handed guys might not get the same grip with your larger hands & fingers, but I know you'll still be able to appreciate the different feel between the coated, vs the plain. The thiness and lightness almost makes me want to put this in the left front pocket as EDC where I now carry the Byrd Cara Cara 2. It would mean a slightly heavier knife and a loss of 0.5" of reach, but the Leek is just plain nice to handle, hold, grip and deploy. And the tip is nothing short of scary!
Well, for now this is the flavor of the day as many new acquisitions are, but I can tell that the quality and craftsmanship with this one will cause it to be a favorite for a long time to come. And though I like to remove the pocket clip from a lot of my folders, this may be one that will keep its clip. It is so slim and it also covers the frame lock. Thumb or finger pressure on the cut out part of the frame lock on folders causes added resistance which can slow the deployment of the blade and sometimes keep it from locking up in the open position. We'll see after a while of handling it.
Some may think why go for a 3" blade when I can have a 3 1/2" or more. Well, I agree to a point, but I have observed after handling many knives, that the shorter the blade, the faster the deployment. So, like different bits turn different screws, different blades excel at different jobs. And while I used to always lean toward the bigger blade, since I've satisfied that itch I am now free to enjoy the plus side of smaller blades. I am attaching a comparison shot of blades with Leek and the Cara Cara 2. You'll love the Leek. It's just a great piece of work. Once you flick it, it's hard to put it down.
I have yet to actually "cut" anything with this beauty, but as need presents itself I will try and remember to crop in and update this review. For the time being, I say everyone is right about the Leek. And this new black DLC version in 14C28N? What's not to like?
Update: I had not planned on updating so quickly. Unfortunately I have to keep it real if I am to help reviews do what they are meant to do. And that is to deliver truth to the next person who might be planning to buy this or any other knife. Unfortunately just before the 30 day time frame had passed, the torsion bar broke in my Leek.
To be fair it had become my desk toy as do all other new additions and I had deployed the knife probably thousands of times. But still, I was disappointed that it broke this soon. I have other knives that I have flicked at least as much without breaking the torsion bar. And to Amazon's credit, as always they were quick to send a printable return label and UPS has already picked up the return knife from my home.
I should be getting the replacement that Amazon has already ordered, within the next 3-4 days. Hopefully the next one will last longer, as I do like the Leek design, blade and operation. I like everything about it except the short lived torsion bar. Will update again when I've had time to assess the replacement.
Update: I received the replacement. Seemed to take a little longer than usual. Maybe they were waiting to make sure they received the defective knife before shipping? I don't know. Anyway, the replacement knife is great. Got a very sharp edge on it. Just a little bit uneven on the grind from one side to the other, but not enough to send back over. If and when it ever goes back for a factory sharpening they'll take care of the slight difference I'm sure. AS of now it's back in the top spot for ADD flicking. We'll see how long the torsion bar lasts this time. Overall very nice, sharp and pointy. I love the DLC blade finish and the black anodizing on the handle/scales. Bottom line; Amazon stood behind the product and the sale. The pictures show right and left of the grind on the new replacement knife. As you can see, very little difference. Sharp as a razor and not enough to worry about. I'll stick with 5 stars, since there isn't a 4.9 star.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2008
Very nice knife. Very sharp. Very sharp, pointy tip. It will cut you if you are not careful (I have experienced this phenomenon, twice!)
A little small in the hand. Grip is a little "iffy".
It's a keeper until I find something better. ;-)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2010
Very subtle and dare I say.... sexy, was my first impression regarding the look. However, the Leek is amazingly functional because it really is a one-hand opener. Bought this for general use, but it is totally capable for a self-defense carry. Very well crafted and machined, smooth as silk operation. Some people prefer the speed-safe taken out (as you can remove it, yourself), but I think it works tremendously and is very well implemented, especially because the Assisted Opening mechanic work so dangerously well.
Chipping of the black finish coat should be expected and is normal. This is a serious blade and it comes very sharp! You seriously feel the grade of which this knife operates at. Again, it's a serious steel to pack no matter how you look at it. I still don't know how it'll stand up against hiking or camping use, but I will find out this year.
I live in California with pretty good knife carrying laws. A little research would show that the Kershaw Assisted Opening mechanics are totally legal as it does not fall into the 'switch-blade' category. Make sure you read up on your local laws to psychologically prepare yourself in carrying a knife like this one. Remember that if there's ever a confrontation with the authorities concerning this knife, a good rule of thumb is to express politely that you are carrying a knife that is legal under California law.
It is VERY important to be aware with current knife laws in your state.
I am completely happy with this purchase. Well worth the 35 clams. I'm sure you'll feel the same once you own this Kershaw knife.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2005
This is one of the best one handed opening knives i've seen. Kershaw's Speed Safe really is speedy. Having the options of using the index opener of the thumb stub makes it a rather versital tool. You get it sharp and thats how it stays. Overall, its a really study, reliable, and useful tool. Definately worth the price and you'll have it a long time.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2012
First purchase of one of Kershaw's made in the USA knives, already own a couple of their cheaper folding knives.
Pros: very sharp out of the box, with a real needle-like point; a nice, smaller size for easy pocket carry; steel and construction appears to be good quality
Cons: Speed Safe is not as quick or crisp as some of their other knives- it works, but the smaller tab gives you less leverage to really flick it out cleanly; the flat black finish looks cool and provides a little bit of a non-skid grip, but after just one day sharing my pocket with some reading glasses, a significant portion of the finish rubbed off, exposing shiny stainless steel underneath. Ridiculous! Very disappointed with Kershaw after previous good experiences. My advice- if you really want to get a Leek, avoid the black and get the all stainless steel version. I actually prefer my Volt over the Leek, even though it's bigger and I'm sure the steel is not as good, due to its superiority in function and durability.
Update 11/17/12: still not pleased with the finish problem but the Speedsafe action has loosened up a bit, so overall this is very high quality in construction and sharpness. Upgraded to 3 stars
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2012
In 1990, I purchased the Spyderco Endura first generation. This knife went everywhere with me. Even in my dress pants I did not use the pocket clip (dont want folks knowing that I carry a knife)but rather just carried it loose in my front pants pocket. The Endura was light and you forgot it was in your pocket. Like me...that great endura is now retired (and it still has its built in plastic clip intact). Currently, I use a three knife edc system. For the small utility folder, I've been looking for a high value gentleman's folder.
Previously, I looked at youtube videos and reviews on the leek and decided to buy it even though i prefer larger knives.
This blacked-out version just plain looks cool! And that is a must for it to be in my knife collection. Now, how about daily carry. I was concerned because I have large hands and that has caused me knife handling problems in the past with smaller knives. Also, I am one of those nuts that just enjoys playing with my knives while watching TV much to my wife's chagrin.
This knife is quickly becoming one of my favorite small EDC knives. Its well built, good looking and versatile. And sits in my hand reasonably well. I'll be honest with you, I still enjoy my larger folders a whole lot more and I have to really adapt to this smaller knife with different hand placement, blade deployment, etc. But I still enjoy the challenge of learning something new. I am now able to deploy the blade in a snapping fashion using the thumbstuds (and they are small). Also, I have other knives with lock safetys. I have never used them and never will. Let me explain.
I believe, if you have to deploy the blade in a hurry (think self-defense), trust me under stress you will not unlock that lock. An analogy would be carrying a semi-automatic pistol without a round in the chamber and/or having the safety on. Under heavy stress, you're only going to flick the lever or thumbstud trying to get that blade opened (and in the case of the gun...pull the trigger). If your blade is locked...oh well.
I do wish that this particular model wasnt so expensive (i bought mine new and cheaper on EBAY) but this is a very good small sized knife capable of handling most edc utility tasks including filling in as a defensive weapon. The small area of jimping at the top of the blade by the handle is not the best but not too shabby either. And this knife does look cool! Meanwhile this Leek stays in my left side levis pocket (not using clip) where i forget that it is until i need to use it or play with it while watching TV. Also, did I forget to tell you that this is a light gentlemen's folder that you can just throw in your front dress pants pocket and forget its there. Howver, as other reviewers commented, do not throw other items in there that will scratch and ruin the exterior black color on the handles!! Time to watch some TV....