Customer Reviews

115
4.6 out of 5 stars
Kershaw 1550ST Blackout Partially Serrated Folding Knife
Size Name: 1550STChange
Price:$53.45 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 1550STVerified Purchase
I highly recommend the Ken Onion Kershaw Black Out to anybody looking for their first pocket folding knife, or to somebody looking to step up from a folding utility knife seeking a few more features and higher quality materials/craftmanship.

While I consider this knife to be an entry-level model, given it's price point, the craftsmanship and performance exceed expectations. Those who are accustomed to (or expect the quality of) excellent folding knives from manufacturers such as Emerson, Cold Steel, or Benchmade might not fully appreciate the value of this knife at under $60.

Handle: Polyimide, not G10 or Kydex. I have rather large hands, so it feels a bit small but not so much that it gets lost in my hand. There is little if any flex in the handle which has a metal liner. The knurling is fairly deep and sharp enough to provide very good traction when dry, adequate when wet/greasy. Great with gloves. Includes a lanyard hole which is big points from me. Held in the hand with blade retracted, the backstrap is smooth and rounded making for an excellent loaded fist. Likewise it is just long enough to protrude either side to be used as a tactical impact device in a hammer-fist or modified ridgehand. Probably not intended, but good to know if the chips are down.

Clip: Knife rides tip-down only, which I don't mind. Clip only attaches to one side. What I do like, is 1) the clip is very firm but well contoured and 2) the knife rides very low in the pocket. About as low as it can. That to me is a deal-breaker for a knife. There is some checkering under where the clip meets the handle, which does accelerate wear on your clothing or belt, but it's acceptable and could be modified.

Blade: The steel is quite good, Sandvik 13C26 (**this has since been improved, see "The Real Review's" comment below!) is used in razor blades, surgical blades and many knives intended for food industry use (i.e. heavier duty than the home kitchen). 13C26 is martensitic, which means it has been rapidly cooled (quenched) to trap carbon atoms in the crystaline structure, increasing hardness. Chromium content of the steel is a bit higher than many forging alloys. Generally the steel is very resistant to corrosion and provides good wear resistance, both of which contribute to edge retention. Comes razor sharp from the factory and is fairly easily sharpened with a basic stone, although a wetstone really makes this knife sing. The drop point makes detail work possible as a utility blade. The length and heft of the blade suit it well as a backup personal defense knife. I have yet to utilize the serations, but they are deep, aggressive and sharp. If they ever got dull, you'd probably be best bringing to a professional for sharpening. I like the blade coating, but depending on how you use the knife you may wind up scratching it from cutting various materials. This is no way degrades the functionality, but it doesn't look as slick as the knife does when it's new. That might matter to some people, not to me. The backside base of the blade has a few ridges that are in a perfect spot for your thumb to aid retention, a nice feature.

Assist Mechanism: Fast, easy to manipulate, relatively quiet. Easy to retract.

Locking Mechanism: Strong, practically no side-to-side play when locked. I haven't done spine hits to test the strength of the lock, but I have no fears that it will come loose unexpectedly even under harsh use.

This is the second Ken Onion Kershaw I've owned, the first was the straight blade version. Unfortunately, I lost that knife at a job site, sometime in the last couple weeks of a 6-month project! I tried a few other knives in the interim but wound up returning to the Ken Onion Black Out and decided to try the serrated version. Money well spent.

***UPDATE***

First use of the serrations.. not your typical use, but they performed well. Was eating an avocado and had to get the pit out. Stabbed it with the serrated portion of the blade and gave it a twist, popped right out.

I then decided it was time to give them a real test and found a dead 1" branch of maple. Went right through. Not the cleanest cut but the aggressive profile is a real wood hog.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2009
Size Name: 1550ST
I carry this knife as my daily use knife. I wear it with dress pants and with jeans, and it does not draw attention to itself. I work in a professional environment where carrying a knife would be looked at askance- but this slips into my pocket and is unobtrusive in a way that a knife with more tools on it would not. It is sleek, black, and subtle. Until I take it out to pop open a box or something like that, no one even notices it.

The speed stub is reversible, which is good for me as a left hander. What is not reversible is the clip- so when I take it out of my pocket, I still have to flip the knife over. That's the only real draw back of this knife. That would move it from four to five stars if they had just drilled holes on the reverse for me to move the clip.

The blade holds a edge, and sharpens up well. The tooth edge I haven't had much use for, but I am glad it is there.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2012
Size Name: 1550STVerified Purchase
This is my second Kershaw Ken Onion knife. I also own the tactical blur. I love the blur and wanted a marginally smaller knife of a similar design. Have to say I'm really disapppointed with the black out. The blade is great, just like my other Kershaw but the handle feels like cheap plastic. The blur feels so much better in my hand that there is no comparison. The pocket clip is reversible on the blur, not so on the black out. The blur also has a thumb stud for opening on both sides of the blade so you can open it with either hand. The black out allows you to place the single thumb stud on either side but then you can only open it with your strong hand. The thumb stud itself has a different feel. The blur has a flat side that allows the thumb maximum leverage. The black out thumb stud is round and is harder to push open.
Do yourself a favor and pass on this knife. Get a tactical blur. Much nicer and I actually paid less for it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2007
Size Name: 1550ST
This is a great knife. The blade deployment action is smooth and lightening fast. A solid pocket knife.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2011
Size Name: 1550ST
Keep losing the dadgum thing. First one cut half way through my index finger... later surrendered it at airport security after leaving it in backpack after camping. Lost second one somewhere in disaster zone in Joplin, MO... hope some deserving local has since found it. The other reviews pretty much sum it up. I just wanted to add my two cents and recommend this knife. Solid, streamlined, great strong blade, great locking mechanism. Just don't leave it in your carryon!
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2007
Size Name: 1550ST
Best non automatic knife on the market, Kershaw manufactures an EXCELLENT blade. Its the only knife I carry except for my Boker Auto. (For dress up occasions :) ) I have several Kershaws.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2009
Size Name: 1550STVerified Purchase
This is one of my all time favorite knives. It has a very lightweight (but quite strong) plastic handle, so you can easily carry it in your pocket all day. The assisted opening is very reliable. The shape feels good in your hand. And the serrations make short work of cutting tasks.

Joseph M. Vottis
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2011
Size Name: 1550ST
I am an Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy and this knife as lasted me 2 years and 2 deployments. I have used it for everything and anything including small surgeries when i did not have the proper instruments for the procedure (ie. Toenail removal, blister and wound debridement)
The one thing i love about this knife is that i can open and close it safely and efficiently with one thumb. It is completely safe yet very user friendly. I will buy another when mine becomes unservicable.
- If i had one suggestion to the manufacturer i would ask that they include a strap cutter in the knife for tactial use.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2008
Size Name: 1550ST
i've had this knife for 4 years now, use it everyday, its a great knife, takes an edge well, doesn't dull to fast, good metal. My spring did break for the assisted opening but not really a downer cuz it does have a life time warrenty and i'm just to lazy and don't care enough to get it fixed. But yeah overall amazing knife great for everyone!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 1550STVerified Purchase
well, the handle does seem to feel a tad 'lightweight', but it certainly is not lacking quality.

very sharp out of the box

looks great

works great

deducted 1 star simply due to how the handle feels, but i'd by this knife again in a split second........

so should you.....
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.
See all 3 answered questions


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.