Celebrities, chefs, and nationally-known knife designers all contributed to the large selection of folding and fixed blade knives manufactured by Kershaw Knives. Since 1974 Kershaw has sought the best designers and the best ideas of those who use knives professionally, creating sophisticated knives with ingenious patented mechanisms and high quality steel blades. You’ll also find occasional limited edition artistic pieces in the Kershaw line-up.
Once a salesman for Gerber Legendary Blades, Pete Kershaw had his own ideas about what makes the best knife and set out to build a company based on his own designs in 1974. Most of the early design work took place in Portland, Oregon, but Pete Kershaw contracted the manufacturing with Kai Cutlery in Japan. Kai Cutlery recognized the company’s potential and purchased the business in 1978, placing Pete Kershaw in charge of the North American operations. Under Kershaw’s leadership the company partnered with leading knifemakers like Ken Onion, martial artists like Steven Seagal, and even “National Geographic” magazine in order to come up with new concepts and better knife technology.
Kershaw specializes in folding knives, with many based on older slip-joint models and familiar styles like the frontier favorite, the Barlow knife. What most people will remember as a Kershaw knife is the more modern design, light in weight with composite grips and easy one-handed opening. The Kershaw line-up includes unusual knives like the patented “National Geographic” Carabiner Tool, a knife blade which folds into a carabiner clip; and the Alaskan Blade Trader, a field dressing kit with three interchangeable blades and a hunting knife design.
Designer Ken Onion created one of Kershaw’s most famous knife features, as well as many of the company’s most popular designs. The Ken Onion Speed-Safe allows fast one-handed opening with spring-assisted action in a style legal for most civilians to carry. Kershaw also manufactures knives for divers and a selection of filet knives for successful fishermen.