Kershaw Brawler Review: A Tough Folding Knife

In this Kershaw Brawler review, you can learn further about a good quality folding knife that doesn’t cost you a fortune. Despite the affordability, Kershaw Brawler offers several benefits and advantages, such as a stylish look, solid grip, versatile opening, and tough blade. So, should you get Kershaw Brawler? Find out below!

Continue reading below to learn more about:
– The comfort and ergonomics of Kershaw Brawler
– The features of Kershaw Brawler
– The blade quality and performance of Kershaw Brawler
– The recommendation on to buy or not to buy Kershaw Brawler

With a total length of 7.1 inches and a weight of 3.9 oz, Kershaw Brawler is not the most compact and lightweight folding knife. It is somewhat bulky. A person who prefers slim and stealthy knives will find a hard time when trying to get used to Kershaw Brawler in their pocket. However, Kershaw Brawler still falls in the category of pocket knife; carrying it in your pocket is not impossible. See also: Spyderco vs Kershaw.

The fit and finish are good. The handle does not have any sharp edge, and it has been ergonomically designed for a solid and comfortable grip. However, the liners and scales don’t precisely line up. The blade centering is close to the center, but not precisely dead on. This is because the knife uses nylon washers, which are soft and may deform over time. Nevertheless, these issues are purely cosmetic, and they will not alter the utility of the knife.

The black oxide finish looks very nice. Unfortunately, right out of the box, the blade grind is poor. It is uneven, especially around the sharpening choil. The edge is quite usable, but you should consider evening the grind and sharpening the edge before an actual use. You need an extra coarse stone for the task. Only afterward you can enjoy the real beauty of the knife.

The company has implemented their signature feature in this knife: the Speed Safe assisted opening. The lock-up is very solid and secure. The liners and liner lock make a good balance between strength and weight. Kershaw Brawler does not have a traditional stop pin; instead, the blade relies solely on the contact with the stops in the handle scales to keep it in place. The blade stops work very well. They are solid and secure.

There are two ways to open the knife, which are by accessing the flipper tab or the blade stops (which double as thumb studs). Interestingly, both of the two options work well. The thumb studs are easy to access, and they also allow quick and swift opening.

Traditional SpeedSafe models are often difficult to close because they use very strong springs for fast opening. The downside is that you have to fight the spring tension in order to fold the blade. Folding the knife with a single hand is awkward and very difficult. You need two hands for that. However, newer models including Kershaw Brawler use lighter springs. This is a good decision, as it allows a balance between consistent opening and easy closure.

Kershaw Brawler has a positive grip. The typical width for a full-size knife is 0.50 inches, but this compact pocket knife has an even wider handle. The width is about 0.56 inches. The stout profile allows for a more solid and comfortable grip. It fills the hand nicely, and it is virtually impossible to slip.

Despite the mechanical appearance, the handle is comfortable in the organic curves of a human hand. The texturing on the FRN handle scales is quite aggressive. You can find a recessed jimping on the thumb ramp, spine, and butt. The hard angular lines also ensure that the blade won’t slip during a heavy-duty activity. However, there are some hot spots on the thumb ramp and flipper tab; these spots provide traction, but they may feel a little annoying sometimes.

Blade Quality
Kershaw Brawler features a hollow-ground American tanto blade, which is made from the 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. This material is generally a good-quality budget steel. It is often found in cheap knives because of its low cost. However, it does have good qualities: easy sharpening, pretty good edge retention, and good strength.

The steel does not resist corrosion very well. The black oxide coating is added to enhance the corrosion resistance. The finish is certainly more durable than mere paint, but it will show wear quickly.

The tanto blade design is mainly designed for piercing. It has the maximum possible amount of material on the tip, which allows for the maximum thrusting durability. However, this design is not very good for slicing and skinning. You can still use it for such tasks, but you will need extra effort and attention.

Keep in mind that the blade requires some sharpening before its first use. You need to even out the bevel, and the tip can also benefit from some honing. Fortunately, the steel is easy to work with. You can easily get the job done if you have the right tools. Once you achieve a good bevel, maintaining the edge will be piece of cake.

Kershaw Brawler is equipped with a four-way pocket clip – an uncommon feature for a budget knife. This is something to be appreciated. You can adjust the pocket clip for the left hand or right hand, in a tip-up or tip-down manner. The clip is a medium-low carry type, which is similar with the clips on many flashlights.

However, note that the scale texture and the stiff clip may abuse your pants over time. As mentioned above, Kershaw Brawler is pocket-able. But if you prefer a slim and stealthy knife, you will not feel very comfortable with Kershaw Brawler.


- 3.25” tanto style blade made of 8CR12MOV stainless steel features excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance with black-oxide finish - Handle features black glass filled nylon scales, flipper, SpeedSafe assisted opening, thumb studs, 4-position pocketclip and secure liner lock - An excellent utility knife for many tasks including opening packages, piercing holes, cutting cords, opening cans, wilderness rescue and breaking down boxes - A reliable companion for any backpacker, first responder, hunter, angler, gardener, hiker or landscaper - Highly functional, stealthy, folding pocketknife is easily carried and ready to go in an instant

Kershaw Brawler is a good choice for a wide range of EDC tasks. It is not the best option if you prefer a slim, stealthy knife, but it is worth your money if durability, toughness, solid handling, and easy maintenance are among your top priorities.

Kershaw Brawler Review: The Specifications
Total Length: 7.1 inches (18 cm)
Folded Length: 4.1 inches (14.3 cm)
Weight: 3.9 oz (110.6 g)
Handle Material: Glass-filled nylon
Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV with black-oxide coating
Blade Length: 3 inches (7.6 cm)
• Liner lock
• Flipper and thumbstuds
• SpeedSafe assisted opening
• 4-position pocketclip (tip-up/ tip-down, right/left)

Kershaw Brawler Review: The Pros
– Cool and stylish look
– Very solid and secure grip
– Four-way pocket clip for versatile carrying position
– The blade is durable and easy to sharpen
– Inexpensive

Kershaw Brawler Review: The Price
Find the best price for Kershaw Brawler here!

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