12 Days of EDC Christmas, Day 12–Kershaw Skyline
Tony Sculimbrene 12.19.16
You have been busy. Really busy. Work has picked up and crazy stuff is happening. It is only now, a few days from Christmas, that you realize you have not crossed everyone off your list. That one buddy you meant grab something for is still there on your handwritten Christmas light without a checkmark beside his name. It is way, way too late to order something online. Despite what the 1.98 billion emails you have received in the last week telling you about super quick, delivered by The Flash himself at 99% the speed of light, you don’t trust that the gift will arrive on time.
Worse yet you will be seeing this friend for a holiday party soon. You can be there, empty handed, when you see him, or worse yet when he hands you a thank you gift. Oh damn it. What do you do now? Where can you go and what can you get? Well, if you are like me, pickings are slim for in-person EDC gifts. You can wander into a hardware store and cross your fingers that they carry Case knives (Texas Toothpicks are quite fun gifts). But as you drive to this holiday party all you are passing is one Big Box store after another. What will they have that will suit your friend?
That knife in the picture above is a special edition from Blade HQ, but even the widely available (like sold at Wal-Mart level of availability) Skyline is an EDC gem for a reason. The knife is odd and quirky in all the right ways, with great flipping action, a great blade steel, and a perfect pocket presence. This, my friend, is the gift to get the buddy when you can only shop in person.
The Skyline, designed by one of KAI’s in-house designers, Tommie Lucas, is a liner lock flipper. The blade steel is 14C28N, a truly great mid-priced steel from Europe. The knife comes with a pocket clip that was borrowed from the Strider/Onion collabs that populated the early line up from ZT. And the knife doesn’t weigh a ton thanks to thin blade stock and a single steel liner.
I have owned many Skylines and all of them have been great. The fit and finish is remarkable, especially given the price, usually around $50. I love the grind on the knife, the thin stock is reduced to a hair-whittling sharp edge thanks to the scoopy hollow grind. I also like the handle shape, as unconventional as it is. This is a sweet cutter in the hand.
There are a few drawbacks. The flipping action, while consistent and good, isn’t amazing, especially in a world populated by bearing flippers, even at the mid to low price range. I also don’t like the finish on the stock model. The Skyline above runs a good stonewashed finish, excellent at hiding scratches. The stock model runs a bead blasted finish, which is nowhere near as good at hiding flaws and abuse.
Make no mistake, regardless of where you buy it, the Skyline is awesome. But if you are in a jam and you live a knife store desert like I do, the Skyline is a great choice for an in-person purchase.