Kershaw Boa without speedsafe?


knife law moderator
Dec 25, 1998
I really like the looks and feel of this knife. It really speaks of quality. I am not too keen on the speed sfae and would like to see a version without it. Aren't they making a knife that is available with and without it? I realize that a lot of people probably really like the speedsafe and don't understand why I don't like it. I just don't.

Dennis Bible

Dennis - sorry to say, the Boa is not available without the Speed Safe. The only Onion knife that Kershaw is making without the SS is the Blizzard. It's identical to the Whirlwind but with green Polyamide scales; its just your everyday liner lock. I supposed you can buy a Boa and take it apart and remove the torsion bar. I've never tried doing that, though. Not sure how well it would work.

Proud member of AKTI, NCCKG, NCKK, and SCAK

In memory of James K. Mattis

I am with ya on the SS. I kinda hate the thing. It a great gimmick at first but after a few months it doesnt work. Have u looked at the Commander. Pretty much the same shape blade. I will say Kershaw is using a better blade material. Just wish they left out the speed safe.


Follow The Path of Fantasies.
I've taken my torsion bar out to see what it would be like. The main problem is that the torsion bar helps to hold the blade closed, much like the locking bar of a lockback folder does. So without the torsion bar, I didn't have much confidence that the blade would stay closed in my pocket. You could use the little safety lock I suppose, but it seems like something else that I'd forget to do on a regular basis. It's also makes the knife less convenient to use when you need to open it one-handed. I'd like to see a "manual" Boa as well.

My Custom Knife Collection

Member NCCKG, SCAK, and AKTI

Deo Vindice
I'll second (or third) the motion, I love Ken Onion's ergonomic handles and flowing lines, but find the SpeedSafe mechanism more of a hazard than a benefit, both from a safety standpoint and a legal one. On the other Kershaw SpeedSafe knives I've played with, I find my thumb ends up "chasing" the thumb stud around, risking a nasty slice on the blade; the Boa, with the "trigger" sticking through the other side is a lot more safe and secure in my hands, but I fear it will make it look even more like an auto to LEO's. My understanding is that Kershaw did some legal research before putting the SpeedSafe mechanism into production and found it officially passes as non-Auto in various states (don't quote me on this, I could be misremembering), but as Jim Mattis often pointed out, even if you're ultimately proven right, if the officer hauls you down to headquarters on the mistaken belief that what you've got is an auto, basically your whole day is ruined anyway

So, I'd love to see a non-Speedy Boa; it could still be as fast as the various CRKT Carson flippers, but would be less likely to cause legal and safety problems. That said, I may end up buying one of the current multicolor ones before long, but I don't know how often I'd actually carry it, given its current form...

Carl /\/\/\ AKTI #A000921 /\/\/\ San Diego, California

Think this through with me ... Let me know your mind
Wo-oah, what I want to know ... is are you kind?
-- Hunter/Garcia, "Uncle John's Band"

[This message has been edited by Carl Jacobsen (edited 01-14-2001).]
I'm not trying to change anyone's opinions on "Speed Safe", but I'd like to offer my own experience, for what that's worth... :-}

I have occasionally had problems with regular thumb-stud openers where my thumb slips off the stud part-way through the opening arc and ends up pushing against the bottom edge of the blade. I know it's just clumsiness on my part, but knowing it can happen keeps me from getting too fast on the draw. A good sharp blade can do a lot of damage that way.

My initial experience with "Speed Safe" knives was that they made the problem even worse. It's almost impossible for your thumb to keep up with the stud which tends to land it on the blade at the end of the usual semi-circular opening arc. However, I also discovered that if I trained myself *not* to follow through everything worked and I never came close to the blade. Instead of arcing my thumb on the stud I just give it a short push outward (1/4") without moving the ball of my thumb on the frame.

If you're willing to treat "Speed Safe" knives as a new mechanism and learn a new opening method they are both fast and safe. The danger is that they look an awful lot like a standard thumb-stud and invite you to use the same technique.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Carl Jacobsen:
... but find the SpeedSafe mechanism more of a hazard than a benefit, both from a safety standpoint and a legal one. On the other Kershaw SpeedSafe knives I've played with, I find my thumb ends up "chasing" the thumb stud around, risking a nasty slice on the blade;

I almost sliced my thumb several times on the Boa. My thumb ends up on the edge of the knife.

I can appreciate the design but really would prefer a non speed safe version. Opening with a thumb stud is fine with me. I can do without the assistance.

Dennis Bible

Hey guys,

i know you are very used to your std. thumb opening mechanism probably SO used to it that your hand is trained to do the same thing for the boa. this is where you get in trouble. true, if you dont want to "re-train" yourself the boa can bite you. i have to say that even though i was also trained i just took a little time to find the best way to flick my thumb and i have NEVER had a problem with the thumb following the blade and i use mine frequently.
now, i love it, and i never get it confused with a std. opening knife
hope you find the same true