Initial Impressions - Kershaw Mini Task

Jun 9, 1999
I managed to pick up one of these beauties from eKnifeworks for $35. The only problem is that it's left handed and I'm right handed. Kind of dumb I know, but still, it was just $35!! I'll teach myself to ambidextrous for that price.
. Anyway, here's what I think of it after an hour of playing.

- Fit and Finish: Very nice. It has a satin blade finish, not quite mirror polished but very nice. I really like the patterned G-10 scales. They're pretty smooth, so I don't expect grip security to be phenomenal. I don't consider this an issue as it's more of a gentleman's folder than a full-blown tactical. The spacer between the handle scales appears to be made from G-10 as well. The liners and scales are perfectly matched all the way around. The hollow grind on the blade is nicely done, and it gives this blade a wickedly thin edge. The grind lines are reasonably symmetrical, meaning you have to look really closely to tell they aren't perfect. The factory edge is sharp, but noticeably asymetrical. That isn't a big deal for me since I own an Edge-Pro. OAL I give it a 8/10 for fit and finish.

- Lockup: The liner lock engages very slightly to the left of the tang (remember that the liner lock is reversed on the left hand knife). Long term, I don't know how it will hold up. The Speed-Safe opens the blade fairly gently, so it should't wear too quickly. It's solid, with absolutely no play in the blade whatsoever when open. It passed a light spine whack test without any failure or other ill effects. I consider light spine whack tests to be legitimate, even on a light duty knife like this. OAL lockup 8/10 solely because I don't know how it will fare in the long run. Already it engages farther over than my 6 month old M-16, giving me doubts about the future.

- Action: This is the infamous Speed-Safe mechanism. It's definitely got the neato factor down. When opened slowly with two hands, it holds the blade very tightly closed until the blade is opened about 1/3 of the way, then it snaps the blade out to about 2/3 of the way open, then the blade is left to its own devices. When opened one handed via the thumb stud, it takes considerable pressure to get started, then it snaps the blade open with authority. My only complaint is the tiny thumb stud. It's rough on my calloused thumb pad, but murderous on my fingertips. I discovered that the knife can be opened with the right hand by using the middle finger to open it until the Speed-Safe kicks in. After 20 or so openings, I developed a good sized tear in my the skin on my fingertip.
I'm counting on a callous developing there. Other than that the Speed-Safe is great. It holds the blade closed for those who might want to carry the knife in their pocket, but it opens it in a hurry when you want it out. OAL I give it a 9/10, detracting solely because of the thumb stud.