Kershaw Ricochet - review

Nov 25, 1999
Kershaw Ricochet

It was very different opinions expressed at these forums on Kershaw knives and Ricochet knife particularly. So I decided to express my opinion also.

Blade has very elegant and at the same time useful shape. It is drop point with pronounced belly in first (from tip) quartet and the straight rest of the edge. I used this knife during about month for most common work/home cutting chores and found it very comfortable to use. The belly serves nicely if the shallow precise slicking is needed, for ex. to slick the sticking tape on the package. The straight part works greatly for precise whittling, for ex. pencil sharpening. I'm not a hunter but I asked my friend expert-hunter is this blade useful for game animal gutting and skinning? By all menace, he said.
The blade has high hollow grind with thin and very sharp edge, minimum flat area and full-length false edge. Grind is performed flawlessly, with clear, distinct lines. Finishing is medium-fine grit satin, grinding marks are directed across the blade on hollow part and false edge and along the blade on the flat area. It looks nice but unfortunately is not visible on my pictures.

Blade steel is CPM 440V hardened to 55-57 HRC according the catalog. Out of the factory box the edge was decently shaving sharp, with clearly visible sharpening marks - some kind of micro-serration. I did not any special edge retention tests with factory sharpening. I simply cut with this knife all I needed to cut, mostly it was paper and plastic envelopes, cardboard, packing straps, synthetic and natural lines.

It was really difficult to deprive this thin edge of sharpness. When it finally lost shaving abilities I decided to make the color pencil sharpening test, I had an opportunity because my kids once again asked me to sharpen their pencils. I resharpened the edge using my DMT Diamond Whetstones and finished it to really hair-pooping sharpness using SPYDERCO Sharpmaker's fine (white) rod in bench stone mode.

After 30 pencil sharpening the edge was able to shave hair on my forearm, hardly but still! I had not more pencils to farther experimentation, sorry. Next time I'll prepare myself better.
Handle fits my medium-sized hand very comfortable and allows very precise blade control.

Finely checkered locking liner under the forefinger and also checkered blade tang with slight hump under the thumb are improving grip comfort and security. Thumb can be placed in front of this hump also, this provides additional leverage and blade pointing accuracy. I used this grip to sharpen the pencils.
Polished G-10 scales provide much more secure grip than I expected. Of course they are noticeable more slippery than textured G-10 scales on common tactical knives but I couldn't consider the Ricochet as a tactical knife. For utility daily carry knife the grip security is by far adequate. Polished G-10 looks nicely, for me at least. Of course - the beauty is in recipient's eyes, someone could disagree with me, but here I'm expressing my opinion only.

Nicely looking scales are very strong, polished or textured G-10 remains G-10. Additionally it is supported with reasonably thick titanium liners and almost full-length G-10 backspacer.
And what about locking mechanism and opening assist? Sometimes I have meet opinion that it is enough to touch lightly the thumb stud and the blade pops open like crazy making harm if it occurs in the user's pocket.
Nothing alike!
First - you must to push the thumb stud until the blade will be opened noticeable. Please look at the photo below.

This is the final position in which blade's opening assist is not launched. Just now the slight touch in opening direction causes that the blade pops open!
Second - you must to push the thumb stud up to this position with noticeable more force comparing with conventional liner lock.
Third - Speed Safe opening assist pulls partially opened blade (10-15 degrees) back into the handle. The opening angle when blade can be pulled back is fewer than with Axis Lock but it is considerably bigger than in case of conventional liner lock.
This additional resistance and blade pull back effect are working like safety device making Speed Safe mechanism really speedy and really safe. I carried and used this knife by month and I had no one unintended opening.
Lockup is very solid and positive, no blade play in any plane can be noticed when it is locked. Locking liner stays on the beginning of it's way along blade tang matching surface and remains a good deal of room for wear out. During one-month use and many hundreds of opening-closing cycles this position didn't changed.
It is practically no difference does the knife be opened normally using Speed Safe opening assist or with abusive wrist flip (opening assist plus inertia) - locking liner stays at the same place and is equally easy to disengage.
Pocket clip is designed for tip-down carry mode, however it is safer than tip-up one. Mat black finish makes the pocket clip less visible on the most kinds of clothing.

I would bore all my readers deadly if I would write about each knife - "nice knife", "great knife", "excellent choice" etc., etc. I don't want and at least I don't need to do it. To remain reliable and credible I must to write about drawbacks also. Or maybe I should say - about options, which I like less or do not like at all...

Sergiusz Mitin
Lodz, Poland

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 04-29-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 04-30-2000).]
Thanks for a great review with the picture used to show your points made.

Question, would you rather own this or a BM 730?

Is the a opening safe enough, in your opinion for an average person to just be opening and closing thoughtlessly?

Thanks Sergiusz!


"Life is nothin' but a series of fascinations"

Ok, and lots of hard work...

Sorry, friends - I made some mistakes in my review and now I can't edit my own message
I don't know why, maybe Spark knows?
However here is the picture which should be in the place of doubled first photo in this review. This one should be second.
<img src=">
And here is truncated part of my review, which describes knife drawbacks.

What drawbacks I could find on this knife?
First and foremost - why single-sided opening stud? It is a lot of imaginable situations when right-handed user could be forced to reach his knife with left hand. What the problem and what the cost would be to make opening stud ambidextrous?
Second - the pivot adjusting screw is made with the same header (torx # 8) on both sides. If you would need to adjust pivot retention you must hold the opposite header with the driver. Usually it is only one driver of each dimension in the driver set and here can be a problem. Fortunately not big force is needed to hold this screw, you can do it with alen driver # 6 as well.
Third and last - the rattling in the Speed Safe mechanism when knife is opened. It is so silent as I could to miss it if I wouldn't know it must to be.
However all this drawbacks are design options I do not like or I do like less. No one quality drawback I could consider testing this knife.

Nice utility knife, very handy and easy to carry. And who knows - maybe it could serve as gentleman's knife as well? I'm seriously thinking about replacing with Ricochet my current "knife for suit" - Kershaw Ti-Hawk.
Can it occasionally serve as defensive weapon? Why no? It is enough large and enough strong to make human a serious harm. And it is hands down the fastest man-opened knife I whenever held or used.

However in situation, which I honestly do not wish for anyone knife shape, dimensions or blade edge retention can not overweight your cool head, determination, proper techniques and good physical condition

Sergiusz Mitin
Lodz, Poland

[This message has been edited by Spark (edited 04-30-2000).]

I would like to thank you personaly for your wonderfully gracious review of my knife. Thank you!

It's always nice to hear that ones efforts are appreciated.

Aloha!!!Ken Onion
Thanks for your appreciation! I'm getting it as confidence because I'm not satisfied with my work this time. I don't know what's the matter but I can't correct mistakes in my review and post it in one piece. Sorry!
I can't wait when your Boa knife will be available. I saw and handled it at IWA'2000 gun show an I was impressed. Hope my review on Boa will be performed better.