Kershaw Speed Bump
« on: June 25, 2009, 06:45:16 PM »
Ok folks, I want to start adding knife reviews to the main site (in the knife section of course), got alot I want to cover and you know I like writting reviews. Here is one I want you to check out, I don't have time for pictures right this sec, maybe I will take some tonight. Right now I just want people to read it and give me their feedback.
Kershaw Speed Bump
Kershaw knives are famous for their quality, attention to detail and the collaborations they have done with various knife makers. One knife maker in particular has done a great deal for Kershaw and has helped define who the company is and its place in the knife market today. Ken Onion who is a knife maker from Hawaii has designed numerous knives which have been made into production and his designs are both function and simply works of art. With his invention of the “Speed Safe” system he has helped revolutionize the knife industry. Before the introduction of Speed Safe knives were either classified as manual or fully automatic.
Unless you’re a member of law enforcement or military you were unable to carry an auto due to laws governed by each state. Using a loophole in the law Ken Onion and other makers have created what is known as “assisted” opening knives. A spring is used to open the blade much like it is in an automatic folder, but the spring is not activated by pushing a button. Instead the knife is open like a typical one hand opening knife and once the blade is opened 30% the spring assisted mechanism propels the blade the rest of the way. The assisted knife design has been frowned upon because it pushes the envelope on what is to be considered legal or illegal in the eyes of the law. Still they continue to be made and carried by people from all walks of life. The assisted nature gives everyone that wow factor of having a spring opening system without feeling like a common criminal.
What separates Speed Safe from other assisted opening types is the spring is actually a torsion bar. The bar is a piece of spring steel which is pretty much straight and has a bend at either end. One end goes in the blade near the pivot and the other is located in a recess behind one of the handles. The torsion bar is compressed and holds that energy until the user moves the blade the necessary distance and then the bar releases all the energy by pushing the blade forward. It’s quite a simple design and I think it’s much stronger and less prone to problems than other styles of assisted spring systems.
Ok, so enough about the Speed Safe, let me tell you about the knife. The Speed Bump is the cost efficient version of the popular Spec Bump model. The Spec features textured G-10 handles and a premium S30V steel; whereas the Speed Bump has a plastic handle with rubber inserts and a blade made out of Sandvik 13C26N stainless steel. The Sandvik steel is quite popular and used in a great deal of knives made by Kershaw. It’s a good steel that has good edge retention and stays corrosion resistant for the most part.
The Speed Bump is quite large and has enough curves to make it sexy and dangerous. The blade is reminds me of something like that seen on the movie 300, it conjures up images of far away lands and epic battles. In reality it won’t see any battles but it will see plenty of action as a pocket knife used to do all kinds of cutting tasks you would encounter daily. The blade is designed so it has a stronger tip than you find on most knives and has a pronounce bump on the edge about half way down from the tip. This bump; which gives the knife its name is designed not just for looks but as an area that gives the user exceptional cutting performance. The bump gives the knife blade a bit more belly than a regular pocket knife and since the steel is thinner where the bump is located it cuts like your using a skinning blade. The tip since it is lower than a regular clip point style or hunter you have better control when doing controlled cuts, this also gives the blade strength where the tip may be used to do some light prying.
The handle of the Speed Bump is just as curved as the blade itself and is very comfortable to hold no matter how you grip it. The handle is also designed to give the user a better grip both in dry conditions as well as wet. The knife has rubber inserts on both sides of the handle which aid in your grip and don’t interfere like the skateboard style Kershaw used on the Storm models. There is a space to put a lanyard on this knife but due to the knife being only tip down carry; having one would only be beneficial if you’re tying it off so you won’t loose the knife.
Locking mechanisms are about as diverse as the knife designs these days. With so many to choose from it’s hard to tell what would be good and easy to use and not be complicated to the user.. The Bump models feature a new style of locking mechanism called the Stud Lock. The lock is comprised of a thumb stud that is not attached to the blade but it slides back and forth and it’s constantly being pushed forward by a spring. When the knife is opened the thumb stud is wedged in a recess of the handle which prevents the blade from closing. To release the lock you push the stud forward and close the knife like you normally do. The Stud Lock is arguably one of the strongest locks on the market today and it’s very reliable. It’s no wonder the Bump series have become to popular for Kershaw.
The only thing that really irritates me about the knife is the pocket clip. I realize the clip is designed to be as flashy as the rest of the knife and it mimics the contours of the knife blade. That might sound neat but it’s very wide and does not seem to work well for a pocket clip. The clip resembles something like a leaf and only takes up more pocket space than the clips found on the Storm models. I don’t feel there is enough tension or contact area for it to stay in your pocket and not get pushed out if it gets bumped (no pun intended). I know there are some after market clips that can be found if you look hard enough but the point is that more attention should have been paid.
The Kershaw Speed Bump is a very excellent knife with a great combination of organic design mixed with new product features. The Speed Bump makes for a great pocket knife and is definitely on the cutting edge of Kershaw design. If you’re looking for a blade that can handle a variety of chores and excel in cutting performance then I recommend you look into picking up this knife.