Kershaw Balisong Headlines 2020 KAI Lineup

Kershaw and Zero Tolerance have revealed their SHOT Show 2020 lineups. The first ever balisong from Kershaw leads a hefty batch of dozens of models. Meanwhile, Zero Tolerance is bringing out a sequel to the classic, discontinued ZT 0300.

Lucha Leads the Charge for US-Made Kershaws

The Lucha is Kershaw’s entry into the balisong genre. It’s a very classically-designed balisong, with a 4.6-inch clip point blade made from 14C28N. The stainless steel handles pivot on KVT ball bearings, and a traditional latch mechanism secures everything in the open and closed positions. The Lucha weighs 5.9 oz. and is designed by the in-house team at Kershaw.

There are other new US-made Kershaw models coming out this year. The Launch series of automatic knives continues with two more models. The Launch 12 is a shrunk-down version of the Launch 8, with a 2.5-inch blade. It’s releasing alongside the Launch 11, which is also spec’d for EDC with a 2.75-inch drop point blade and skeletonized aluminum handle.

Meanwhile, the Dividend line continues to grow with a Composite Blade model – a classic Kershaw look that first appeared on the Leek. This version fuses a D2 cutting edge to an N690 upper blade with a decorative line of copper. In addition, the Link is getting a high performance variation for 2020 in the form of a CPM 20CV-bladed model.

Small Knives and Traditionals Make a Return

There’s a definite push in the sub-3″ category for Kerhsaw’s Class of 2020. The Hub, Diode, Valve, and Gravel are all little knives rendered in Kershaw’s usual modern style. The Hub comes from the mind of Jens Ansø, who was also behind the ZT 0230 slipjoint.

A surprising element in the 2020 catalog is the influx of traditional slipjoint designs. The Culpepper, Gadsen, and Brandywine are all showcasing very traditional patterns, albeit ones made with current materials: G-10 covers and 7Cr17MoV blade steel.

Four New D2 Folders and a Fixed Blade

While the majority of the new knives are priced in typical Kershaw fashion with the expect Cr family steels to match, four models make a break for D2 steel and more elaborate construction/design. The enhanced materials does mean a slight increase in price, but even the costliest barely breaks $100 in MSRP.

The Highball is another EDC-sized utility cutter with a 2.8-inch clip point blade. A groove cut into the two-tone blade provides one- and two-hand opening options. This same opening mechanism can be found on the Norad, which has a larger 3.3-inch drop point blade and carbon fiber inserts on the handle. Both knives are stainless steel frame locks.

Dmitry Sinkevich makes a return to the Kershaw side of KAI with the Tumbler, modeled on his custom Headly knife. It’s 3.25-inch drop point flipper blade rides on a KVT pivot, and its 3D-machined G-10 scales have a carbon fiber overlay running from tip to tail on the center facet.

Finally there’s the Payout, largest of the four new D2 models with its 3.5-inch clip blade. Like the Tumbler it’s a flipper, and has a G-10 scale with large stainless steel bolster. An copper-colored, anodized pivot ring sets off the monochrome look and matches an angular overtravel stop on the back.

Kershaw also extended the D2 steel design philosophy into their newest fixed blade. Called simply the Camp 5, it’s a 4.75-inch long bowie knife with a rounded, ergonomic handle.

Additions to Core Category of Affordable Folders

Kershaw is many different things these days, but the concept of an affordable knife that many can afford remains key; five knives bolster this portion of the Kershaw catalog in 2020.

The Camshaft is 3 inch-bladed EDC knife equipped with the Speedsafe mechanism. The Husker has a 3-inch, banana-shaped blade that brings to mind the long-discontinued Pack Rat and an all-steel chassis. The Speedsafe-sporting Airlock is so named because of the big cutouts in its scales. Kershaw gave the Comeback a manual, KVT-powered flipper and a clean stainless steel look. The Believer appears to be a smaller variation on the Payout, with a similar profile and accents. It has a shorter 3.25-inch blade made from 8Cr13MoV steel instead of D2.

Zero Tolerance Expands 300 Line

The sole new Zero Tolerance model at SHOT will be the ZT 0308. As a spiritual successor to the ZT 0300, this one was designed with big knife aficionados in mind. It has a 3.75-inch drop point made from CPM-20CV, embellished by a harpoon-esque swedge. Its handles are a very classic ZT combo of G-10 show side/titanium lock side, both milled with a griddle pattern and with an accent cutout pointing out of the bottom side of the pivot. This 6.9 oz. beast comes with a clip, but ZT notes they chose the particular clip screw configuration so that the 0308 could accommodate many different aftermarket options.

Knife in Featured Image: Kershaw Lucha