Monday, November 21, 2016

Classic Revisited: Kershaw Skyline

Given the leaps and bounds the gear industry has taken in the past three years, I think it is worthwhile to check back in on classics to see if they have maintained their classic status or if they have been surpassed by newer stuff. I do go back and update old reviews and change scores as things change, but sometimes, like in this case, I think the update is worth its own, new post (in part, in this case, because there is a new variant). 

Here is the original review (to which this will be appended).  Here is the video over of this knife. 
Here is a link where you can (maybe) find the Skyline in Jade G10. 

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I have owned four Skylines. And the funny thing about them is that I never paid the same amount of money for any two. One was an uber limited, blue G10 blackwash version, so that makes sense that it cost a bit extra. The other three were all "stock" or scale swap versions. But the Skyline, when it was originally released, was radically underpriced for what it was, compared to the market. It was a $50 knife selling for under $30. Now it is a $50 knife selling for $50. So naturally a bit of the value has been siphoned away with each price increase. But the price increases, coupled with continuous good sales numbers indicate that the knife is, was, and likely always will be, a very competitive offering.

I have always commented on the fact that the Skyline is the best readily available knife. If you are in a knife store desert (like I am) and want a good blade you can either order online or get a Skyline. They are stocked by almost every Wal-Mart and since there are Wal-Marts everywhere, the Skyline is basically ubiquitous. I have found them at other Big Box places--Dick's Sporting Goods, Cabelas, and Bass Pro Shop. My local REI also has them on occasion. So, if you want to handle a knife before buying it, the Skyline is your best bet. Unless of course it is in a blister pack--CURSE YOU BLISTER PACKS!

So, is the Skyline still hype-worthy? After a week with the Blade HQ exclusive Jade G10 version, I can say without qualification that it is clearly still worth the hype. It is still a phenomenal knife. And even with three or four successive price increases, it is still a good value. If you don't have one or you are looking for a first EDC knife, start here. Its better than the Delica and better than the Griptillian, once you factor in price. The innovative asymmetrical scales save weight, the flipping action is still decent, and the blade steel, 14C28N, is my favorite non-PM steel and still the best value in cutlery steels.

Score: Unchanged at 19 out of 20

Trending Up: The brilliance of Tommie Lucas's design is more clear now than before. With the success of the Skyline you'd think there would be more asymmetrical knives, but there really hasn't been. Some historical distance confirms what I suspected all those years ago--this is really an ingenious design. The blade shape and handle are also still clearly superior to the competition. And oddly enough, the steel remains as good as it was three years ago--this is a very good steel for the money.

Trending Down: Mid-tier knives have started to run bearings and the flipping action on something like the CRKT Eros SS is leagues better. The lack of pivot bearings combined with the light blade make flipping a bit of an effort. Its still above average, but this is one aspect of the knife that is not aging particularly well.

3 comments:

  1. I bought a Skyline and a L10C for my nephew this past summer on the strength of your reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Do you mind posting a new link to the product page? It doesn't seem to work.

    ReplyDelete