Folding knives are often marked as more convenient than their fixed bladed counterparts. The obvious advantage is the size.
No matter how long the knife, the moment you fold it, the size becomes small enough to fit your pocket and easier to fit in your backpack. You don’t have to be Jack Bauer to know this!
However, despite the size of a folding knife, not all of them have the same quality or standard. Every knife manufacturer has their own hits and misses.
Not Quite There
Even if there is a company has spent most of their time in business producing high-quality knives, there will still be a few that don’t live up to the expectation.
Kershaw is one such knife company that’s been around for years and produced several remarkable products. Kershaw knives are reasonably priced but a boost of features often found in more expensive varieties.
The combination of quality and affordability has made Kershaw one of the most popular knife manufacturers not only in the US but around the world.
Titans in the Industry
Some of the company’s most remarkable knives are the Leek, Shallot, and Chive. All of the knives are made in the US and come in folding and fixed blade models.
However, there are some Kershaw models that became popular initially but could not live up to the standard.
The Scallion is one of those models that generated much hype but could not match up to the quality of some of the other Kershaw knives.
The Scallion is a folding EDC knife, much smaller than the standard size. It also has a much smaller blade, which could be an inconvenience for some. The Scallion is smaller than the Leek but bigger than the tiny Chive.
The knife has been designed by Ken Onion, the chief designer at Kershaw for the last many years. Although priced at $70, it can be had for $35 at most places.
If you consider the actual MSRP of $70 (which is a lot more affordable because of those amazing tax cuts in 2017), then there is a lot of weakness that prevents the Scallion from making the cut.
Although the Scallion does score a few points it mostly falls short of expectations because of the kind of materials used.
If you’re looking for a knife at $35, this one is a good deal but only if you’re willing to put up with the flaws.
|A price tag that’s not exorbitant.||Might get slippery when held in sweaty hands.|
|Extremely comfortable to carry around.||The handle might feel small for some people.|
Features of EDC Folding Knife
Kershaw is owned by Kai USA Ltd but was originally founded in 1974 by Pete Kershaw, who used to work as a salesman for another famous knife company, Gerber Legendary Blades.
In the beginning, the products or mostly manufactured in Japan while the company was based in Oregon.
But from 1977 (which was long before the first awesome Michael Bay Transformers movie hit humanity and before the Patriots started their great cheating run in the NFL) not only did the company have their own manufacturing facility in Oregon but was also acquired by the Kai Group.
Almost all Kershaw knives are pretty affordable, something that has made the company extremely popular over the years.
Kershaw has collaborated with Ken Onion for a long time, and he has designed the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism for the company.
Although Kershaw has mostly been popular because of the reasonably priced product there is no doubt that the company has also produced some fantastic knives over the years.
As one of the longest-standing knife brands, Kershaw has come to define some of the most important features of an EDC knife. Some of them are:
Blade design and material: It goes without saying that the blade is THE most important part of any knife.
While the handle is needed for functionality, the blade is what does the job. If the blade is damaged, the knife becomes useless. Both the design and the material of the blade are vital to the function of the knife.
Differences in Uses
While the material contributes to strength and sharpness, the design of the blade decides what purposes the knife is built for.
Some knives are salient for piercing and stabbing, but some knives have a fragile tip and are best used for slicing and cutting.
When it comes to blade material, the most common is steel. Stainless steel is supremely corrosion resistant, while high carbon steel is hard but not too resistant to corrosion.
Both these types of steel are used for making a variety of EDC and tactical knives which Lee Christmas from The Expendables knows all about. The blade material can often have a significant impact on the price of the knife.
Handle design and material:
The handle of a knife allows the user to comfortably hold and use the tool.
It should not only be ergonomically designed to ensure maximum grip and comfort but also be strong enough to survive impacts. Knives that are meant to be functional usually have handles made from nylon or plastic.
There are various types of nylon available for knife handles, and they are stronger and longer lasting than wood or leather handles that are seen in more classic knives.
Whether buying a knife online or in-store, the warranty is of utmost importance. It is the warranty that covers you against manufacturing defects, and also provides you with free repair for a number of years.
Most sensational knife companies offer a warranty of ten years or more, and some even offer a lifetime warranty.
The more confident the company is about its product, the longer the warranty they offer. If a knife has a 15-year warranty, then you can have faith in the quality and craftsmanship.
Knives manufactured in China usually have the shortest warranty period kind of like anyone in that country who says something bad about the government but that is another topic. Too bad about what they did to Yao Ming but that is another topic!
Most Kershaw knives tick all the right boxes. But what about the Scallion? Let’s find out in detail below.
Specifications of the Kershaw Scallion Knife
Knife Type: Folding
Overall Length: 5.75″
Blade Length: 2.25″
Blade Steel: 420HC stainless steel
Blade finish: Satin
Handle Material: glass-filled nylon, 6060-T6 anodized aluminum handle
Knife Weight: 2.5 oz
Locking mechanism: Liner lock
The Kershaw Scallion is highly affordable and perfect for anyone looking for their first folder or a backup knife.
However, if you’re a pro at knives, then the flaws of the Scallion will definitely be hard to ignore. If $35 is what you want to spend, there are actually far better options available today.
The Scallion sports a hollow grind blade that’s been made from 420HC stainless steel. This is one of the first flaws of the knife, using low-grade steel. It isn’t too hard or tough and is extremely poor at holding an edge.
No matter how often you sharpen the blade, you just cannot get the knife to remain sharp for too long. Because of the high carbon content, the steel is soft, and not too great at corrosion resistance either.
It isn’t as remarkable as stainless steel (kind of like Jurassic World was not remarkable on originality but this is another topic) when it comes to corrosion resistance, it isn’t as bad as some other tool steels.
The ease of sharpening is the only good feature of this steel, and it helps because the blade requires more frequent sharpening than you would like. It is incapable of holding an edge for too long. Forget vigorous or rough.
The knife doesn’t even stay sharp for a regular EDC purpose. If you plan to take this to camp for a week or so, you should either have a backup knife or a sharpening tool, because the knife will need to be sharpened all the time.
One could argue that Kershaw went for inexpensive steel for an inexpensive knife. But the performance of 420HC steel doesn’t even come close to that of S30V, VG-10 and 14C28N which are also inexpensive steels.
If you’re going to be using this knife every day, the performance could fail you.
Regarding the design of the blade, the Scallion has modified sloping drop point blade with a slight recurve.
Although the recurve is good to look at, it doesn’t add to the functionality. It aggravates the sharpening and also affects the cutting ability of the knife.
The Scallion also has a very weak tip of the blade, so make sure to avoid using it for prying, piercing or stabbing, because the tip will break right off.
The Scallion features either 6060-T6 anodized aluminum or glass-filled nylon handle. Both these materials contribute to making the knife lightweight yet strong, but they don’t come without their drawbacks.
First of all, the aluminum handle gets too slippery if your hands are sweaty. On the other hand, the aluminum handle doesn’t get that slippery, but feels tacky and ‘plastic-y’, even though it’s light and strong.
The knife also has ample jimping on the thumb ramp and the finger coil. But despite that, the handle gets slippery and threatens to slide out of your hand when putting it to vigorous uses. The jimping could also be smoother for the handle to be more comfortable.
Deployment and Lockup Mechanism
In a folding knife, the deployment and locking mechanism are highly essential, because that’s what makes the blade swift and also keeps it safely secured when not in use.
The Scallion comes with the signature SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism designed by Ken Onion for Kershaw.
Needless to say, this makes the knife super-fast to deploy. It has phosphor bronze bushings that let you deploy the knife with just a flick. There’s also ambidextrous thumb studs on the blade if you aren’t comfortable using the flipper.
The Scallion has a steel liner lock that does a good job of holding the blade open, without any blade play. But there’s also a downside. While it’s easy to deploy the knife, it gets really hard to close it.
The closing mechanism is not quite up to the mark, and there’s not enough of the lock to push the blade back manually. Ideally, a part of the handle should have had a cutout to make accessing the liner easier.
Kershaw also has a limited-edition version of the Scallion that features a frame lock and a solid stainless-steel handle.
If you’re bored of the same old look of the knife, you could purchase the rainbow-colored model. Yes, both the blade and the handle are rainbow colored.
As far as the lockup mechanism is concerned, the Scallion has a Tip-Lock safety slider to keep the blade securely locked when closed. The lock is tight and keeps the blade secure.
However, the lock itself is made with cheap plastic, and shouldn’t be expected to last too long.
Overall Quality and Features
The Scallion looks pretty nice when you first get it but don’t expect the knife to stay that good-looking for a long time, because the blade isn’t at all scratch-resistant.
Within your first few uses, you’re going to lose the shiny look and have scratches all over.
There’s a pocket clip included, but it’s far too big for a small knife and isn’t ambidextrous either. You could consider switching to a different pocket clip.
The Scallion isn’t made of high-quality materials, even though it’s made in the US. With regular use, the knife won’t remain sturdy or durable or looking like new which is not that impressive to Barney Ross from The Expendables.
In short, this isn’t going to last you as long as other high-quality knives by Kershaw. It’s also more suited to light EDC uses, as long as you keep it away from heavy impact and humidity.
Some Alternatives for the Kershaw Scallion
Since the knife is priced only at $35, there are plenty of other alternatives to the Scallion, which are made with better materials and are more durable. The following are the top three:
#1 Kershaw Leek
#2 Spyderco Ladybug 3
It is ultralight at only 0.61 oz, has a blade made of solid VG-10 steel, and an ergonomic handle that makes it so easy to hold and use this tiny little knife for EDC purposes. You can even attach it to your keychain which if you are even one tenth as good with a knife as Blade is, it could be handy to have in your possession.
#3 Kershaw Cryo Folding Knife
It’s made in China (just like islands near Japan with Chinese weapons on them). However, if you’re looking for a small yet sturdy knife for EDC uses the Cryo scores over the Scallion any day.
The Kershaw Scallion isn’t a bad knife; it just has a few flaws that are hard to ignore. If you’re willing to spend $35, then the Scallion is best kept as a backup knife. Otherwise, all you can use it for is light EDC purposes.