Kershaw Scallion Assisted Opening Knife
By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff
Illustration courtesy of Kershaw USA.
The Kershaw Scallion is a lock-blade, assisted opening ("Flipper" in Kershaw speak) folding knife suitable for multiple purposes. Designed by Ken Onion, it is part of the Kershaw SpeedSafe collection. Packaging includes a fleece lined, soft nylon case.
The Scallion is large enough to field dress a deer (2.25" cutting edge) and small enough for pocket carry (3.5" LOA). It comes with a removable pocket or inside the waistband (IWB) clip for those who prefer that carry method. There are thumb studs on the blade, as well as a blade protrusion with which to flip the blade open. A frame lock keeps the blade open and a small safety stud at the rear of the handle keeps it closed. (Slide the stud forward to lock the blade closed.)
Kershaw Scallion models are available in several finishes and handle colors/materials, totaling some ten variations as of this writing. The blade is available with a plain or combo (half serrated) edge. All Scallions are proudly made in the USA and protected by a Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original owner. The test knife is stainless steel with a plain edge and a very attractive and durable titanium oxide finish that reflects magenta, green, blue and gold colors, making it a good match with the SIG-SAUER P238 Rainbow Titanium pistol we reviewed a year or so ago.
The Scallion's blade has a gentle "S" curve to its edge and is suitable for field dressing game, gutting fish and general purpose use. It is a pleasing and versatile blade shape. However, the blades double curve makes it difficult to sharpen on a whet stone. Probably a round diamond sharpening tool would be the best option. The blade is sharpened at the factory at an angle between 18 and 22-degrees and that angle should be maintained when you sharpen your knife. Alternatively, Kershaw offers free lifetime sharpening; just send the knife to their Tualatin, Oregon facility. They will return it factory sharp condition free of charge. The edge on a new knife is very sharp and cuts cleanly without excessive pressure.
The handle has a smooth, vaguely fish shaped, contour designed for easy and comfortable gripping. There are deep, but smooth, serrations to provide a secure thumb rest on the back of the blade and against the index finger of the gripping hand when the blade is open. These minimize the chances of the hand slipping.
We find our test knife's titanium finish exceptionally attractive. It is also durable and serves to protect the metal underneath.
The Scallion is an assisted opening folder, meaning that there is a spring that helps to kick the blade open. It is not a switchblade, because the spring is not strong enough to flip the blade all the way open and locked. Some finger pressure is also needed. However, the blade does spring about ¾ of the way open as soon as it is "over center," which only requires about 3/8" movement at the tip of the blade. That is why there is a safety lock at the rear of the handle, which should be used. The ease of opening (resistance) can be adjusted a bit by slightly loosening or tightening the screw that retains the pivot pin that retains the blade. A #10 Torx wrench does the job. Just finger tight creates enough friction to defeat the spring assist, so the screw must be set slightly loose for the Flipper function to work properly.
The blade flipping open is a bit surprising if you are not used to assisted openers, so be careful. Unwary owners could cut themselves when opening the knife. This is especially true if you use the thumb studs. Using the blade protrusion on the back of the handle, which is operated by the index finger of the gripping hand, keeps fingers farther away from the sharp edge of the blade. Also, make sure that the blade is fully open and locked before use.
Frankly, we think the assisted opening (Flipper) feature is superfluous, given the thumb studs that allow easy, one-handed opening without assistance. The Scallion is not big enough to be a "tactical" (fighting) knife, so what is the point of reducing the opening time by a fraction of a second? We would prefer it without the easy opening feature, which would also eliminate the need for a safety latch to keep the blade closed.
However, two groups of people would probably disagree with our assessment of the assisted opening feature. People with very short fingernails or long fingernails, who find folding blades with a nail nick difficult to open, are likely to appreciate the Flipper feature.
In summation, the Kershaw Scallion is one of those versatile, medium size, lock blade folding knives, like the Gerber Magnum LST Jr. and Sypderco Ambitious. There many such knives on the market, in various price and quality classes from excellent to indifferent. The Kershaw Scallion falls into the excellent category.
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