Kershaw Ken Onion Avalanche Pocket Knife Review


Those of you who have read my reviews may realize that I am a bit of a knife nut. I am. And this knife is one of the better users to come out of the Kershaw factory in the last few years.

Another design by Custom Maker Ken Onion from Hawaii, this one is the Avalanche and was released about the same time as the Boa. The general pattern of this knife is similar to the Blackout and Whirlwind knives which are lower end models with cheaper materials and steel.


Blade Steel – CPM-440V Black Ti Coated

Handle – G-10

Blade – 3-1/8″

Closed – 4-1/2″

Weight – 4.5 Oz.

The CPM-440V (now renamed to CPM-S60V) was a hot steel at the time, and has now lost in popularity to CPM-S30V, which was developed by Crucible Steel as a Cutlery steel. It is the first steel made exclusively for Cutlery. CPM440V is still a wonderful steel, and has a very high level of wear resistance, but it takes forever to sharpen and with a manual sharpener that means cramped fingers if you wait too long between sessions.

The Avalanche features rough textured G-10 handles which have phenomenal grip, but also grip very tightly to your pants when clipped, to the point where if carried daily for a month or 2, you will have shredded pockets! I know this from experience, yes! I solved this by sanding down the part of the G-10 handles that is under the pocket clip area.

This knife, like most from Kershaw and Ken Onion these days also has the Speed Safe Assisted opener mechanism, which fires the blade out automatically once you push it open about 1/8″. Most of the newer Kershaws have a “trigger” which protrudes from the back of the knife and is part of the blade.. it facilitates easier usage of the Speed Safe technology. However this knife being older, does not have that, and the thumbstuds must be used. That is unfortunate since this is such a great simple design that could benefit so much from the “trigger”. New knives like the Kershaw Bump are very pricey ($180US+) and demand a premium when new… while older knives like this Avalanche can be purchased for a mere $60US.

The quality of the knife is excellent. There are a few imperfections such as the machining marks on the edges of the Titanium liners, but the liner lock engages positively on the blade tang and there is no blade wobble.

Overall I would say this knife is a superb value for the money, and with a little sanding can be made for excellent day-to-day carry tool.


Source by Corwin K

Agnes Brown

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