Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable: #10 Kershaw Blur

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In June, we took a survey to learn which pocket knives our readers believe should never be discontinued. Respondents were asked to name as many or as few pocket knife models as they wanted, and no brands or blades were off-limits. 404 respondents named a total of 268 models and the average respondent named 4.1 pocket knives. 62 out of 404 respondents said the Kershaw Blur should never be discontinued.

In his storied career Ken Onion has worn many hats, but he is probably most well-known for his work with Kershaw. From 1998 to 2008, Onion was Kershaw’s Premier Designer. It was during this time that he designed the SpeedSafe assisted-opening mechanism and many of the knives that use it. Among the classic Kershaw/Onion designs, the Kershaw Blur is one of the most important.

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Onion began his knife making career seven years before joining forces with Kershaw. A lifelong inventor with over 30 patents to his name, Onion apprenticed under Stanley Fujisaka. He made his first knife in 1991 and has been an unstoppable force ever since. The Kershaw Blur is based off of an Onion custom knife of the same name. It retains the original’s curves and class, but in a more streamlined, utilitarian way.

Onion pays attention to the details, and it’s the little touches on the Blur that really make it special. The angled, textured thumbstuds work perfectly in conjunction with the SpeedSafe mechanism, making deployment on this assisted-opening knife totally thoughtless. The Blur also set a high standard for ergonomics, and many knives since have emulated its “narrow at the pivot, wide at the palm” handle design. Compared to other Kershaw/Onion knives like the Leek, the Blur’s larger blade, wide handle, and Trac-Tec inlays make it suitable for hard and even tactical use without trading off its value as a pocketable, mid-size EDC.

The Blur has also become a place for steel experimentation for Kershaw. It’s a platform to debut new steels for the customer looking for something a little bit different. The Blur has appeared in S30V, 14C28N, and BDZ1 steels, among others.

The Kershaw Blur comes in a variety of flavors including a standard drop point, or a more tactical tanto blade shape. Either blade is available stonewashed or coated, with partial serrations or plain-edged.

Visit KnifeNews tomorrow to find out which model is #9 on our list of the Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable.

Knife featured in image: Kershaw Blur

#25 Microtech Ultratech 14/404
#24 Emerson CQC-7 15/404
#23 Victorinox Cadet 18/404
#22 Benchmade Adamas 20/404
#21 Zero Tolerance 0562 21/404
#20 Cold Steel Ti-Lite 24/404
#19 Opinel No. 8 25/404 
#18 Zero Tolerance 0350 28/404
#17 Cold Steel Voyager 30/404
#16 Case Trapper 41/404
#15 Ontario RAT Model 1 43/404
#14 Benchmade Mini Griptilian 53/404
#13 Spyderco Manix 2 54/404
#12 CRKT M16 57/404
#11 Kershaw Skyline 58/404
#10 Kershaw Blur 62/404
#09 Cold Steel Recon 1 63/404
#08 Spyderco Endura 4 70/404
#07 Chris Reeve Knives Large Sebenza 21 75/404
#06 Kershaw Leek 76/404
#05 Benchmade 940 78/404
#04 Spyderco Delica 4 79/404
#03 Benchmade Griptilian 81/404
#02 Buck 110 Folding Hunter 90/404
#01 Spyderco Paramilitary 2 94/404