The Kershaw Barstow is a fine-looking knife. It’s not exactly old-school hunting knife or super modern tactical fighting knife. It’s more like it steeped out of the 1930s and is wearing a fedora and smoking a Lucky Strike. It really has a classy look to it. The spear point blade only has a single edge, but you can’t tell unless you look close. The reasons for a single edge are numerous. One is the safety aspect of the fact this is a folder and does require you to push the blade into the handle with your thumb. The second is some states and even counties have odd laws against what they call daggers. Daggers being similar knives with a double edge. With its small size, it’s meant to be a pocket knife, not the second coming of the Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife.
The blade is easy to sharpen and holds an edge very well. The thin blade and thick handle does throw the knife’s balance to the rear. This makes it very easy to control when making fine cuts. This sounds odd but it was actually to peel oranges because I could make such fine cuts I never knicked the orange past the skin. It’s also a great option for gutting fish as I found out last week when I filleted a few trout. A filet knife works better sure, but the Kershaw Barstow did the job good enough.
It slices and dices through most materials you’d toss at an EDC knife. I wouldn’t be comfortable doing any prying, but cutting and stabbing is easy. The blades simple design makes it very easy to sharpen, and this would be a great way to train a new knife opener in how to sharpen a blade with a stone.
A Knife With Class – The Kershaw Barstow
The Kershaw Barstow opens up with some real speed. No doubt the short and thin blade helps accelerate the blade out of the handle. The Kershaw Barstow uses Kershaw’s Speed Safe technology that makes it a manual knife but ensures it takes very little pressure to send the blade flying out. It certainly walks the line between automatic and manual.
The blade is outfitted with two flippers and the symmetry and design of the flippers looks great, but when it comes to function this is where I find my only flaw. The blade comes out of the left side of the knife, and the knife is so symmetrical it leads me to press the wrong flipper constantly. This is a minor frustration but bears mentioning.
It’s a unique knife, the mixture of black and blackwash with subtle bits of blue makes it look so damn good. Let’s not forget that function does follow form with this knife. If you want to class up your EDC, the Kershaw Barstow is for you.
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