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Kershaw Skyline Review

I’m now about a month in to owning the first really real pocket knife in my life, a Kershaw Skyline. It replaced my old EDC knife, a Gerber Evo Tanto Mid combo edge which was a heck of a knife for being as skinny as it was and took a beating in the three years I carried it. However, it was never really sharp to begin with, and trying to sharpen the tanto blade on my Lansky kit was laborious and ineffective. The serrations, of course, couldn’t really be sharpened and were getting visibly dull.

So I traded it for its functional opposite: a Kershaw Skyline with a plain edge and conventional profile that is very sharp if a little bulky. I traded a knife that fit in my pocket well but couldn’t cut for a knife that’s a heck of a cutter but always getting out of position in my pocket.

The flipper opener works competently, although it did take some experimentation with where to position my finger on the comparatively large stud and exactly how to flick my wrist to get a consistent deployment. Unfortunately, if you don’t get the knife open on the initial flick, it’s tough to flick it the rest of the way out by rotating your wrist. You basically have to make a radial throwing motion like throwing a yo-yo to get it to deploy the rest of the way, although it does so with a satisfying snick.

The G10 grips feel good in the hand and contribute to the extreme lightweight of this knife for the size. It’s actually a tenth of an ounce lighter than my old all-metal Gerber so it definitely doesn’t bother me weight-wise. The clip can be reversed for tip-up or tip-down carry, but both configurations result in a pretty substantial protrusion above the level of the pocket it’s in; however, tip-up carry makes it easier to put your hand in past the knife since the flipper is buried in your pocket instead of poking in to the seam of your pants. Between the tension of the clip and the grippiness of the G10, this knife has some potential to shred your pocket, but the wide clip makes it pretty easy to pull the clip up as you put it away, even one-handed.

Closing the knife one-handed is another story. It’s definitely possible, but after using the knife and realizing how very sharp it is, I started to get a little more careful about closing it one handed, because if my fingers were in the way when I pulled the functional but unremarkable liner lock… Let’s just say I put a lot of value on my dominant shooting hand.

The knife is an excellent cutter, and Kershaw will sharpen any knife for free for life. You just pay to ship it to them and they sharpen it and send it back at no charge. If I use this knife enough to start to dull it, which a month of moderate use definitely hasn’t been, and don’t have any luck with the 14C28N blade on the Lansky sharpener, I’d be more than happy to let Kershaw put their wicked edge back on it.

I really can’t emphasize enough what a joy it is to cut stuff with this knife. It destroyed cardboard like no serrated knife could and with half the work.

However, for my purposes, the knife is just a little too wide in the wrong spots. Tip-down, the flipper sticks out the back, pushing the knife in to my pocket too far to put my hand in most times without adjusting it. Tip-up is much better but still sticks up above my pocket line a lot and puts the flipper poking in to the interior of my pocket. I considered selling the knife to fund the purchase of a new one, but the pros of its sharpness, light weight, and manufacturer backing mean I’ll just retire it from the carry rotation and turn it in to a bag knife, where its moderate size will make it easy to find.

It must be said that I don’t wear particularly baggy pants and have sworn an oath to never own another set of cargo shorts, but if I lived a different life and wore different pants, I could see a knife like this riding quite comfortably in a cargo pocket or a pants pocket with a more generous opening. If you’ve got room in your heart (and pocket), definitely take a look at the Kershaw Skyline. Recommended.

About Ben

Blog contributor. Active in IDPA and USPSA, and he won't flinch if you call him a rules lawyer. Ben is a beard wearing, bacon eating, whiskey drinking, motorcycle riding, coder.


  1. Have you looked at Spyderco’s? I have carried a Delica 4 for several years and it is fairly easy to keep (read touch up once a week) sharp. When I say sharp, I mean shave your arm smooth as a babies cheek in one pass sharp. I have gone as much as three months without sharpening it, and it still had a decent enough edge to cut rope with middle of the road effort. Just a plug for my favorite knives. Best place to find them for around $45 – $50 is on Amazon.

  2. Hey Ben,
    I actually reviewed the Spyderco Delica 4 just a couple days ago. It’s been my main EDC knife for a few years now.


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