One to Watch: Kershaw Injection
Tony Sculimbrene 08.19.13
When Kershaw announced at the 2013 SHOT Show that Todd Rexford was designing knives for them it was a pretty big deal. Todd has long been one of the very best and most well respected custom makers on the planet. His knives automatically sell for four figures and more on the secondary market. The two knives–the ZT 0801 and the Injection (made in two sizes, the 3.0 and the 3.5)–both have core flourishes that mark them as Rexford knives. The ZT is a $200 blade, while the Injection is around $40. I am more excited for the Injection (its easy to make an awesome knife for $200; $40 is a much stiffer challenge). Here is the Injection:
Obviously, I’d like better steel, as the Injection comes with the standard steel for Chinese made knives–8Cr13MoV. But other than that, the list of features seems really perfect for the mid-price, mid-size EDC market. “Rexford-designed” means that this is a knife with clean lines, an excellent blade shape, and a few nice touches, such as the decorative pivot. While you can’t expect the Injection to look like a multi-kilobuck Rexford custom, these three things were carried over. The pocket clip looks very nice as well–simple low snag potential.
But the best part of the Injection is a “feature” it doesn’t include. Among the Kershaw lineup, the Injection is a rarity as a one handed opening knife WITHOUT assisted opening. I get why people like assisted opening, but the truth is, you just don’t need it. A well made and well designed manual can open just as fast as an assisted opener. Reviewing the Kershaw Chill proved to me that you can make a fast knife without assisted opening. It is just another part that can break, that adds weight, and the mechanism tends to scare the bejesus out of people and attract unwanted attention.
The Injection 3.0 also has that “Golden Ratio” for pocket knives: 7:4:3. That is, it is 7 inches long when open, 4 when closed, all with a 3 inch blade. I have found over the years that this is perhaps the perfect size for an EDC knife. I like them a bit smaller, but I can easily carry a knife this size. Knives this size also happen to sell very well — not too big, not too small, and sitting quite nicely on the spectrum of various legal requirements (though, again, smaller would be just about perfect).
There are a few things I want to check out when I handle the knife. First, I really want to see how the pivot is made. The Cryo’s rough, junky pivot stands in contrast to the silken pivot on the Chill. I hope the Injection’s pivot is more like the latter, allowing for a “coin flip” flick open with the thumb stud. I am also curious about the cuts in the G10 handle. I want to see if they add grip or if they collect a lot of lint. Finally, I’d like to see the “decorative” pivot in person. There is only so much you can do with a budget of $40, but still this is perhaps this most signature trademark of a Todd Rexford design. If all of these things check out, this is a mid priced EDC knife to watch.