Kershaw has been a big name in the knife industry for a long while now. Founded in 1974, these knives have earned a solid reputation among end-users. The Tualitin, Oregon based company offers a lifetime warranty on their knives- even the most inexpensive models. Having heard of Kershaw many times over the years, I was excited to take a crack at testing one of their blades. The model for evaluation: The Westin.
Inspired by the character Michael Westin from the t.v. show Burn Notice, this blade was designed by Les George. When the Westin jumps out of your pocket, it reveals a 3.5″ blade made from 8Cr13MoV steel with an asymmetrical blade grind. The edge flips out using the speedsafe feature and locks in place when a small piece of the frame moves in behind it, the handle is half glass filled nylon and half stonewashed steel.
I’ve had this knife for a couple months now and have carried and used it every day. Whether cutting notches in wood, using it on projects in the garage or taking a slice out of lunch the Westin hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. Normally after a couple months, a lesser quality assisted open knife will lose the force with which it opens or will occasionally fail to lock up. This Kershaw knife operates as smoothly as the first day I pulled it out of the box. The glass filled nylon handle is secure in hand and doesn’t get too slippery when wet. The Westin came out of the box with a very sharp edge, though there was one (tiny) ding out near the tip. After a couple months of constant use (and a little abuse) this blade is still exceptionally sharp.
Coming in just under $45 the Kershaw Westin is a great mid-sized assisted open folding blade. The Westin has convinced me that the reputation Kershaw has earned is no longer just rumor or gossip, it is now for me a tangible fact. I will keep using this for my EDC carry blade with the confidence that it is made well and will last quite a long time.