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Kershaw Chill

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Kershaw Chill folding knife

Fantastic knife that won't break the bank, or your heart, if you lose it.


  • Smooth flipper
  • Lightweight, G10 handle
  • Solid lock up


  • No jimping on top of blade...

I've had a knife in my pocket since Junior High. I see them as tools and use them daily at work, so my EDC knife is usually one of my five Swiss Army knives. When backpacking, however, I usually take a locking blade. Twenty years ago, that was the standard Buck.  About five years ago, I began adding to my collection, and believe I have found (at least for me) what I consider to be the perfect knife.

I've been drooling over a Chill since seeing one in an ad five years ago. Finally, my local Lowes added Kershaw to the CRKT knives they had been carrying for a few years.

I paid $19.99 for my Chill, which came in a tough, blister pack. I've only lost one knife since beginning my collection 30 years ago — and it was the most expensive knife I've ever purchased. I have an affinity for sub-$25 blades. What lured me to the Chill was the price and the blade — no serrations with a nice belly for slicing and dicing. The light weight (2.1 oz on my scale) was a bonus.

I'm torn between thumb studs and flippers as a means of deployment. I've gotten quite fond of the thumb stud on my CRKT Drifter, but also like the flipper on my Gerber Evo Jr.  With any of them, a quick flick with a smooth movement of the wrist, and the blade is out and locked.

That said, the lockup is solid, with no play at all in the blade. The blade pivot, pocket clip, and handle are secured with hex nuts which easily accept an allen wrench (though Kershaw recommends using a torx). The blade came perfectly centered in the handle when closed.

The steel is Chinese 8Cr13MoV with a bead-blasted finish. I prefer this finish over some type of coating, such as those on my other knives.

The only thing I would change would be to add a little jimping to the top of the blade, where your thumb would go when performing some cutting tasks. That said, the flipper easily keeps my hand from sliding down to the blade.

Overall, this is what I consider, the perfect backpacking knife. YMMV

If I had plenty of disposable income, sure, I'd opt for something made in the USA with better steel. But for $19.99, no other knife comes close.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19.99

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Price MSRP: $34.99
Historic Range: $21.99-$34.99
Reviewers Paid: $19.99
Weight 2 oz / 56.7 g
Blade Length 3.1 in / 7.9 cm
Overall Length 7 in / 17.8 cm
Closed Length 3.9 in / 9.8 cm
Steel 8Cr13MoV, bead-blasted finish
Handle Textured G-10
Product Details from Kershaw »

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