Kershaw Chive Assisted Opening Knife

By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff

Kershaw Chive Rainbow, approx. life size
Illustration courtesy of Kershaw USA.

The Kershaw Chive ( is a lock-blade, assisted opening or "Flipper" folding knife. Designed by Cutlery Hall of Fame Member Ken Onion (Onion = Chive, get it?), it is part of the Kershaw SpeedSafe collection. Packaging includes a sliding-top, lined, metal storage box.

The petite Chive is the little brother of the previously reviewed Scallion model. At less than three inches long, it is just the right size for comfortable pocket carry. It comes with a removable pocket or inside the waistband (IWB) clip for those who prefer that carry method. There are thumb studs on both sides of the blade, as well as a blade protrusion (from the back of the handle) 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 Chive models are available in three finishes and handle colors/materials, including stainless steel (silver) handle and blade, stainless steel blade with pink aluminum handle and rainbow titanium coated stainless steel blade and handle. All Chives are proudly made in the USA and protected by a Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original owner.

The version reviewed here is stainless steel with a plain edge and a durable rainbow titanium oxide finish that reflects magenta, green, blue and gold colors. This finish is not only exceptionally attractive, it serves to protect the steel underneath.


  • Model: Chive Rainbow
  • Item #: 1600VIB
  • Type: Assisted opening folder
  • Blade material: 420HC stainless steel
  • Handle material: 410 stainless steel
  • Finish: Titanium oxide
  • Blade length: 1-5/16"
  • Closed length: 2-7/8"
  • Overall length: 6" (blade open)
  • Weight: 1.9 oz.
  • Country of origin: USA
  • Designer: Ken Onion
  • Features: SpeedSafe, frame lock, thumb stud, pocket clip
  • 2013 MSRP: $109.95 (about $70 discount retail)

The Chive's blade has an "S" curve to its edge and is suitable for general purpose use. It is a pleasing and versatile blade shape. However, the blade's double curve makes it difficult to sharpen on a whet stone. Probably a round, diamond dust 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, rounded contour designed for easy and comfortable gripping. Serrations provide a thumb rest on the back of the blade when the blade is open. These minimize the chances of the hand slipping. Due to the knife's small size, only the index, middle and ring fingers of a medium size man's hand will fit on the handle.

The Chive is an assisted opening folder, meaning that there is a spring that helps to kick the blade open. The blade springs 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 tiny Torx wrench will do the job. 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 can be a bit surprising if you are not accustomed 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, ensure 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 Chive is a relatively small pocket knife, not a "tactical" knife, so it is hard to understand the need to reduce 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 or very long fingernails, who find folding blades with a nail nick difficult to open, are likely to appreciate the Flipper feature. We must admit it is impressive to see the blade snap open.

In summation, the Kershaw Chive in rainbow titanium is a small, smooth, easily carried and practical pocket knife. It incorporates an exceptionally durable and beautiful finish with an very sharp, easy opening, frame lock blade. Like all modern Kershaw knives, the Chive is made in the USA using the highest quality materials and state-of-the-art techniques. It is protected by a limited lifetime warrantee.

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