Kershaw & Emerson


February 20, 2003, 04:05 PM
I've heard & read that the Emesons are the fastest opening blades available but I have not been able to find one I could ply w/ to find out. I have been able to purchase & use a Kershaw Blackout, which IMHO is pretty darn fast.
So, are there articles/reviews on these knives? Which on is faster?

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February 20, 2003, 05:20 PM
Emerson's Wave equiped knives are faster opening out of the pocket than any other folders.

Once in the hand it becomes a tossup.

Al Thompson
February 20, 2003, 07:12 PM
Yep. Tried it, converted me.

February 20, 2003, 09:28 PM
Are the mechanisms similar?

I've been playing/practicing w/ my Blackout and have gotten petty quick. Tough to imagine being faster & still keep all my digits :D

February 20, 2003, 11:06 PM
Mechanism is different, I don't know how the Kershaw works but you shoulda asked to see my Emerson last Saturday!!!

February 20, 2003, 11:28 PM
The Blackout is one of Ken Onion's Speed Safe spring assisted openers that completes the opening cycle for you after you push if part of the way open. The Wave is Ernie Emerson's hook-on-the-spine design that grabs the edge of you pocket as you pull the knife out and lever the blade open. The Speed Safe is spring assist while the Wave is mechanical leverage with your pockt as the fulcrum.

February 21, 2003, 12:22 AM
Kershaw. Wheww!!! Now thats fast.:)

Dan Shapiro
February 21, 2003, 12:47 AM
emerson video (

February 21, 2003, 12:57 AM
I'll try to explain the difference this way....on the Kershaw you have to grip the knife, draw it from the pocket, find the thumbstud and get the blade started. Granted, all of that can be accomplished pretty quickly, but if you break it down, that's what has to happen. With the Emersons, you grip the knife and draw if from your pocket. It actually comes out of the pocket open, just watch for yourself. Wave Video (

I'm a bit of a Microtech fanatic, but an Emerson Commander is on my short list of not-MT "must haves".


edited to add: Dan, it took me about 10 minutes to find that video again...but we were on the same page.

February 21, 2003, 06:10 PM
WOW! :what: I can see how that can be tough on pockets :scrutiny: So it's actually open before it's completely out of the pocket?

February 22, 2003, 12:44 AM
No, since it carries tip up, the blade can't swing open unless it's clear of your pocket.

Truthfully, tight pocket clips have done far more damage to my pocket edges than the wave ever has...

Don Gwinn
February 22, 2003, 09:39 AM
I haven't tried the wave. I'm not a big fan of the torsion-bar design, to be honest. I think most people used to opening a blade with a stud or hole tend to get their thumbs sliced at least a couple of times with the Onion design. It's neat, but it's not for me.

But yes, I would think the Wave would be faster than the torsion-bar opening.

Dave Williams
February 24, 2003, 12:49 PM
The only thing keeping my friends who've tried my Commander from getting one is the price. A lot of folks won't pony up the cash for such an expensive knife.


February 24, 2003, 01:53 PM
Wow! Now that was fast! How much is the emerson going for?

February 24, 2003, 02:28 PM
Learn the Brownie "Pop"
Faster than the emerson or an auto.
Opens upon clearing the pocket just like the emerson but you aren't relying on the crutch of the "hook" to grab your the back of the pocket as it goes by which could be missed [though unlikely, it does happen under induced stresses during training sessions.

It is one of the fastest to open from pocket unless you have trained to pop them as all my students can attest.

Yes, it's takes practice, but then you don't have the crutch to rely on. I'd rather rely on my own ability than a gimmick, but for those who refuse to train religiously on their presentations from pockets it is the next best thing I have found to date.

One of my students had the enerson commander and was quite fast with it, thought actually it would be faster than my "pop".
He now uses the pop and no longer carries the emerson as he no longer needs the crutch.

It's alll in the technique and practicing it until it is second nature. Doesn't take that long either, ,maybe a couple of hours tops but I have had students do it within minutes.

As well, if you know the "pop" you can carry any combat folder and produce the same results. You aren't limiting yourself to the one or two designs that have the crutch [hook].


February 24, 2003, 10:34 PM
and where can we learn more about this "Pop" as you speak of?

February 25, 2003, 09:34 AM
From myself or one of the students I have trained.

Send me a PM and we can talk further.

I'll try to get one of my students to post a reply here about his experiences and the learning curve of the "pop" being faster than the "hook" on the wave or commander.

He can relate the time it takes to develop the skills. [ hours, not days ].


February 25, 2003, 08:15 PM
The Emerson wave;) hands down!


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