For the amount of time I spend emptying my wallet on gear, ammo, and all manner of problem solvers, you’d think my collection of knives would be on par with the rest. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

I enjoy a great blade as much as the next guy, but over time I have learned to drift away from the looks of a knife and more towards the function. In my opinion, a good knife is simply one that I can expect to withstand moderate use for daily activities. Based on this need, I only carry a small collection of knives that fulfill a specific purpose according to my lifestyle.

My current everyday carry is a Gerber Air Ranger that I picked up on sale at a local sporting goods store close to a year ago. Lightweight and functional, it’s been my go-to folder.

Not anymore.

Kershaw Link – BlackWash | Initial Impressions

When I first got my hands on the new Kershaw Link, I knew I was going to be hooked. I immediately pulled the old one out of my pocket and gave this thing a test drive. A little over 2 ounces heavier than the other, this knife just feels like it belongs. It weighs in at 4.8 ounces, with a blade length of 3.25 inches. Closed length is 4.4 inches, with an overall length of 7.6 inches.

The one thing that immediately stands out is the black-oxide BlackWash™ finish on the blade itself, which gives it a worn look. As stated before, function over fashion. The BlackWash™ not only looks unique, but it goes a long way towards protecting the 420HC stainless steel drop-point blade.

The aluminum handles are anodized in navy blue, which normally isn’t my thing, but it just looks damn good in this case. The SpeedSafe® design and a solid flipper really makes this thing snap open in a flash. Best of all, the entire knife is American made. The company prides itself on manufacturing everything in Tualatin, Oregon.