Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable: #11 Kershaw Skyline

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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. 58 out of 404 respondents said the Kershaw Skyline should never be discontinued.

Celebrated knife designers like Ken Onion or Rick Hinderer often turn out amazing designs when they team up with production companies, but a lot of great knives come from in-house designers as well. Several popular Kershaw designs, including the Knockout, the Link, and the Grinder, all came from the minds of in-house designers. But the most popular blade to come from their own team is the Kershaw Skyline.

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The Skyline was designed by Tommie Lucas, and was an instant smash hit. Lucas kept the design slim and trim, with a single liner under thin G-10 handle scales, and a narrow profile to keep the flipper tab from taking up too much pocketspace. The flipping action is smooth and consistent. The blade steel is 14C28N, a Sandvik product originally produced exclusively for Kershaw. 14C28N is a big step up from standard budget steels like AUS-8 or 8Cr13MoV. It sharpens easily, but stays sharp for a long time. It is a budget steel that might even satisfy steel snobs.

The Skyline is a knife with a wide appeal. The budget-friendly price and the fact that it was widely available in box stores meant that it ended up in the hands of a lot of non-enthusiast knife users. For the newbie, it can serve as an introduction to the world of pocket knives. For the knife knut, it’s a reminder that not all great knives need to cost three figures. Lucas now works with Shun, a kitchen knife brand under the same company umbrella as Kershaw. He may have moved away from folding knife design, but he left his mark on the industry with this modern classic.

The Skyline comes with either a bead-blasted or a blackwashed blade. Throughout the years Kershaw has released a number of special editions and limited runs, including a model with Damascus blade steel.

Visit KnifeNews tomorrow to find out which model is #10 on our list of the Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable.

Knife featured in image: Kershaw Skyline Damascus

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#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