OK, I want a Ken Onion Knife,,,, which one?

Aug 22, 2000
HI, just decided to stop lurking and start asking. First off, I LOVE this board!,
now enuff dat shtuff.
I am getting a Whirlwind mail order soon (pending UPS) and as I look deeper and read some of the past threads, I am starting to wonder why that one is not mentioned much. And then I do price comparisons, and it is a lot less expensive than the others by Ken and Kershaw.
anyone know why? care to fill me in?
Polyamide handle and 440A blade steel. Both are a big step down in strength and durability from the G-10 and 440V used in the Random Task or the Aluminium and 440V (I guess I should say S60V) used in the Boa. You get what you pay for.

James Segura
San Francisco, CA
Greetings from a fellow lurker. I don't have a Whirlwind, but I have a Blackout, which is very similar. The price difference between these two knives and the other models in the Ken Onion line has to do with the materials in the first place: zytel handles and 440A blade as opposed to G10 and ATS34. Also, I think I read somewhere that the 440A blades are stamped, while the ATS34 ones are laser cut, which would also raise the price of production.

This being said, the Whirlwind and the Blackout are pretty nice knives. I used to be very happy with my Blackout, but lately the assisted opening isn't working as it used to. It feels like the torsion bar went limp or something. The knife now opens smooth, like a regular linerlock and the lockup is solid, with no blade play, but I really miss the blade jumping out. I hope you have better luck.
Awright, newbies - enough with the specific, thoughtful questions and helpful, insightful answers.

What's the Herminator gonna do for fun?

Welcome to the forums, guys!

AKTI Member #A000832

"Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, the bear eats you."
The whirlwind is the least expensive Ken Onion "speed assist" knife (I think its the least expensive), but it is still an excellent knife. The materials used on the Whirlwind are not as high end as on the more expensive models (as others mentioned), but it still has an excellent edge and blade shape (IMO), and a very comfortable handle. I also love the black pocket clip, it is very low profile and the knife sits very deep in your pocket. The Whirlwind has been my daily carry for the last 6-months, and I probably open and close it an average of 10-20 times a day, no problems with the torsion bar failing yet (knock on wood).

When I first got the Whirlwind, I did have to play around with the tightness of the pivot screw a little bit to get the right blade tension though.

An excellent knife all around IMHO.

Thanks for all the feedback. Guess I will have to get more thna one, LoL. I Really want the Boa, but I can't find one for sale, and I wonder if its trigger finger assisted release qualifies it as an automatic. ie "button"
I see your point about the Boa's safety. I have handled two in store and I will say that the flipper feature is not hair trigger. You have to give it a hard, quick push to get to work. You can get Boa's at GP Knives or Knife Center of the Internet.
I recently purchased a Whirlwind and have been carrying hence. I love the knife, action and construction. You get what you pay for so I can live with 440A steel, polyamide scales, etc.

I understand Kershaw offers a great warranty on their products so send the knife back to the factory if you are still having problems with the action.

Have fun with the knife and remember, the economical price just allows you more assets to purchase additional knives!
1SKS was expecting Boas today...

AKTI Member #A000832

"Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, the bear eats you."
Yes, the Whirlwind and the Blackout are utilizing somewhat lower grade materials to cut down production costs and as result - price.
But they are still displaying Ken Onion design and Kershaw execution! Please look carefully onto Avalanche - it is refined version of Blackout made up of premium materials.

But new Boa definitely rules among Ken Onion - Kershaw knives and will rule some time more, until Whisper will appear

Sergiusz Mitin
Lodz, Poland

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 08-24-2000).]
I just got my first kershaw knife,a left handed random task,yesterday.I used it all day today at work and I am impressed and happy with its performance.It looks like it is very sturdily built out of high quality materials with very good fit and finish.Sometimes it seems like the more knives I buy the fewer I actually use.This one made the lineup.Oh,and thanks Roger at BLKW.
well, got my whirlwind in the UPS today. Could shave the hair on a gnats *ss with it, it is so sharp. tight as hell, I keep on backing out the pivot screw to allow it to actually open with one hand. Fun thing is with a new knife, ya end up opening it so much inthe first few hours that thumb gets SORE!
I just received a black BOA Yesterday and I'm in love. The index trigger is the way to go with the assisted openers. You never have any part of the hand close to the cutting edge while opening lightning quick .It works so well I think that knife owners will insist that it be added to the other models.The index trigger also prevents the thumb from following the blade when using the thumb stud to open the knife. Hold out for a model with the Index trigger. You'll be glad you did.

Ray Carr

[This message has been edited by speedrck (edited 08-26-2000).]