Kershaw Leek Knife


December 8, 2007, 01:55 PM

Years ago my grandfather gave me a small knife that he called a gentleman’s knife. I was small and it had a sharp blade that served me well for a variety of tasks, but eventually I lost it.
Having purchased the SOG Flash II a couple of weeks before and falling in love with the opening assisted feature, I set to find a smaller knife in the “gentleman’s knife” category that will not print when using a tuxedo.

I settled for the Ken Onion’s designed Leek model by Kershaw, a stainless steel three inches blade, four inches overall knife, with flat profile and a clip on the right side for securing it to pockets.

The knife is extremely sharp, and the blade seems to leap at the small push of the index finger and lock securely. I use the index finger on the top of the blade extension on top, but it can also be opened with the thumb stud that is on the rear of the blade.
The knife also has a way to lock the blade for protection against accidental openings; slide a small button at the rear of the handle.
To close the blade you will need two hands. One finger is used to push the locking bar out of the way of the blade to close the knife.

Those forward assisted blades are really great! And the little Leek is a fine knife; I am pleased with my purchase of this fine gentleman's knife.


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December 8, 2007, 09:59 PM
I have the Kershaw Chive, which is the smallest variant of Kershaw's AO(Assisted Opening) Ken Onion line. Also a great little knife, and due to the small blade weight the AO is lightning fast.

I wasn't as thrilled with the full-size Kershaw Onions, as I felt the AO was quite a bit slower on the 4" blades, but I really like the Chive/Scallion/Leek.

There are also knifesmiths who can put a veneer of stone/wood/bone over the top scale on the small Kershaws. I once saw a scrimshawed bone Chive, and it was gorgeous. On my list of things to get when I'm wealthy enough to splurge $100 on ornamenting a $30 knife.

December 9, 2007, 06:26 PM
The Leek is my everyday carry knife and I'm looking at the Chive to pick up next.

I've had the Leek for quite some time and it's been a great knife - congrats on your purchase.


December 9, 2007, 08:26 PM
I'm the opposite of DFW1911. I have a Chive and have been toying around ww/the idea of getting a Leek. Great little knife, tough as nails, and it's the perfect size to ride around in the pocket of the pants I lounge around the house in. Never know it's there until I need it.

December 9, 2007, 09:37 PM
I have had a leek for 2 years nd have had a few problems with it. The screws that hold the pocket clip on kept backing out, and I kept on tightening them back. I eventually stripped the screws so badly that I could no longer tighten them down. I called kershaw, they sent my a new clip and 2 sets of screws. I put lock tite on the screws this time. Well, the next thing that happened was that the pocket clip got caught on something, and pulled way far away from the knife. Now it isn't tight enough to stay clipped on my pocket and slides off every time I sit in the truck. I'm going to send it to kershaw for repairs, as I love the thing when it's at it's best.

December 10, 2007, 04:15 AM
The Leek is available in two distinct locking formats: the frame lock (like the one pictured above) and the liner lock, which is used on those versions that have colored scales over the frame.

If you examine them side-by-side, you will see that the frame-lock version has thicker sides, and the section of the frame used to lock the blade is also noticeably thicker than the liner segment in the other one.

I have found that, if you really want the Leek to stay open, you can squeeze the frame a bit (when it's open) and the locking side will snap into full engagement with the heel of the blade.

In that state, ain't nothin' gonna make that blade close.

To unlock it from this state requires a bit more pressure than the normal unlock-and-close effort.

On examination, this does not seem to stress any components beyond design tolerances.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Those of you with the frame-lock version might let us know if you find this to be true for you as well.

Pax Jordana
December 10, 2007, 09:35 AM
I submit that the lamb's foot knife is the only knife blade design suitable for self-defense for anyone that calls himself a gentleman.

But only because leek threads have been done to death in the past few months. Thanks to the OP for the effort that went into the review, and to Arfin for wrecking my fingernails trying to get my leek closed after trying the framelock trick.

So I guess this thread *did* have educational value, I learned never to trim them this short again. Arfin, the pocket clip gets in the way on a framelock leek but if you squeeze on the locking bit itself it'll do the same thing.

December 10, 2007, 04:32 PM
I often carry one of the knives shown below - or one of several Buck 110s. For protection, I feel a proper gentleman should do as I do - carry a proper firearm. I carry either an Airweight .38 0r .44 Special, legally, nearly everywhere I go. Should I be in fear of my life, I neither want to torture or mutilate my attacker - simply cease his life functions as quickly as possible. Doing so with a knife is both messy and, at times, slow - and can be very painful. I carry a knife as a tool.

Oh yeah, that bottom Leek is a 1660DAM, with a real Damascus blade, from a limited run in September. It is sharp - and a great 'attention getter', when used to open an envelope, etc. The Blur & Scallion were everyday residents in my watch and back pockets, respectively, for the last four years. I finally gained the ability to re-sharpen them - and my other former butter knives - with a simple affair - the Spyderco 'Sharpmaker'.

I tried the framelock trick on my Dam Leek - unlocking is a problem. My other Leek is a Black/Red (1660BR) just over 3 yr old here, with the liner lock. Nice knives - the ones made since July should have Scandinavian steel, an upgrade. At least now I can re-sharpen them!

Jorg Nysgerrig
December 10, 2007, 06:45 PM
I carry a frame-lock Leek and have done the same thing Arfin with lock in the past. Works fine for me. I really the frame lock version of the Leek because it is so thin. Even with the clip it is thinner than most knives without the clip.

To close the blade you will need two hands. One finger is used to push the locking bar out of the way of the blade to close the knife.

I often do it one handed, although it requires a little more dexterity than using both hands. I simply hold the knife between the tips of my middle, ring, and pinky finger against my palm at the bottom of my thumb. To give you an idea of the position, the tip of my pinky is basically touching the "safety". With my index finger behind the blade, I push the frame lock off with my thumb then push up on the blade. I continue closing it with my index finger until it has about 30 degrees to go, then I just reach my thumb over and finish the job.

December 10, 2007, 08:08 PM
Those of you with the frame-lock version might let us know if you find this to be true for you as well.

I've got 3 Leeks and a Chive, and I just tried the "push further to REALLY lock" trick to see if it works on mine; it DOES on 2, but not on the other two, so it's probably just a matter of tolerances. I almost always open and close all of them one-handed, just by squeezing the lock out, then pressing the back of the blade against a leg or the other arm to fold it in.

Pax Jordana
December 10, 2007, 10:54 PM
I often do it one handed, although it requires a little more dexterity than using both hands.

Iddnat funny, I was just thinking the same thing. I'm about 50/50 between Jorg's method and my own.. though honest to god I couldn't describe it, I'll have to make a video :-P

December 11, 2007, 10:59 AM

I agree with your post in general except for this statement: simply cease his life functions as quickly as possible.

I submit that you should have no goal as to this person's life, just that he or she cease aggressive action. I feel this is morally and philosophically superior and makes better legal sense as well.



December 11, 2007, 11:30 AM
My remarks often take a bit of artistic license in their tone. I do believe, however - and I am not a lawyer - that if you are in mortal fear of losing your life and can use lethal force, you should. In such an attack there will be one survivor - and one verifiable story.

I've carried knives for tactical defence... but no more. Even shallow slash wounds will cause muscle and nerve damage. Plunge wounds, particularly in the abdomen, will cause instant sepsis - and, perhaps, a lingering death - or even a life incontinent and on a colostomy bag. In the chest and you can 'drown' as a lung fills with fluids. The pain of a cut is horrific - that's why one of the functions of anesthesia, during an operation, is amnesia. Self defense and the right to torture and/or mutilate are not synonomous.

In Alabama, now having the 'no retreat'/'castle' law, you have the right to stand firm and defend your threatened life in your home and automobile. On the street, well, better get a lawyer. Any way you put it, if I ever have to take a life in protecting mine, I, too, will be destroyed, no matter the circumstances. YMMV. I am not a self defense instructor of any sort. These are my feelings, too, for whatever that's worth. That 642 travels quite a bit with me these days.


December 11, 2007, 11:45 AM
The thing is, using "lethal force" defensively rarely actually kills the person it's used on. (It would better be described as "potentially lethal force".) What the defender would definitely not want, are past statements that anyone that was a threat would be killed to be used against them in court. Once again, the safest, sanest thing to remember is we "shoot (or stab, bludgeon, hit, steamroll, whatever) to stop". Whether the threat lives or dies is besides the point, and their death is not our goal- staying safe is the goal.

Look at this quote again, and see if we can agree: Should I be in fear of my life, I neither want to torture or mutilate my attacker - simply cease his attack as quickly as possible.

A "righteous" shooting in the South may not even land you a night in jail, and I completely discount any suggestion that taking another human's life legally will somehow ruin your own.

I feel fine. :D

December 11, 2007, 03:41 PM
To get on with life, I will amend my statement to the form you presented...

I also must reiterate: I would feel guilt over dispatching someone else, righteously or not. They would no longer enjoy a sunrise or sunset, although they probably never did if they chose life-threatening crime as their avocation. I still feel guilty live baiting a hook. I was fortunate in the service (USN), I only carried a 1911 on patrol or watch. Still, my plan is to get through my life without directly taking another. Pushing a button making a large sheet of glass... yeah, I could do that!

Hey, back to the Leek... check around, maybe someone still has a 1660DAM - one site just ran out of them at $69.95 - a bargain for a sharp knife - and quite a looker, too. Thus far, my Christmas card envelopes have been impressed - as have my other Kershaw afficionados. For Damascus, and yes, look at the spine to see the super fine layers, so it is real Damascus, it is sharp!


December 19, 2007, 12:01 AM
Take my word for it, the best thing you can do with your leek is to turn the clip around the other way. See the pre-drilled and tapped holes up near the narrow end? This puts the knife in your hand in a natural grip with your finger on the shark fin as soon as you pull it out of your pocket.

December 19, 2007, 11:37 AM
I have sevral leeks. You could say I collect them.. If you truly want an gentleman's knife - check out ebay on the santafe stoneworks, they are gorgeous! I have a couple of damascus ones as well, I don't use them as they are limited. I applaud you on your choice :) I use a run of the mill 1660 w/ safety removed and partially serrated for a carry. I got a good deal on that one.

December 19, 2007, 01:10 PM
I have a number of Leeks as well, and turn the pocket clips around on all of them. I find it to be as close to an ideal comfortable daily carry knife as possible in terms of being thin and easy to use. So far I think I have three black, a silver, and a newly-acquired satin-finished with a modified tanto-style blade:

December 20, 2007, 01:22 PM
Kershaw upgraded the steel in many of their models recently. So look for the 'born on date' printed on the same side of the blade as the model number and KAI logo. At least on the leek. Look for Jul 07 or later to get the new 13C26 Sandvik steel.

Holds an edge a bit better than the old (420j) steel, but still sharpens well.

February 24, 2008, 01:41 PM
I bought a Leek yesterday.

Model 1660 (Jan 08) on the blade.

Model 1660X on the package.

Package also says the blade is 440A Stainless.

Website says Sandvik 13C26 stainless.

Which is correct?

How does 440A compare with Sandvik 13C26 stainless.



February 27, 2008, 03:27 AM
My brothers have Leeks themselves. They love the handiness of the knife and usually cite the security purpose. I went for something different and got a Scallion, which has been neato and I'm confident in it for self-defense. Still, like with any CCW, it means there's more responsibility on me not to lose my head in a situation.

February 27, 2008, 05:03 PM
I am a Kershaw fan. I got a Leek right when they started making it out of Sandvik steel, but mine was 440A. I called them and they exchanged blades for me. Then the Junkyard Dog 2 caught my eye, and I was allowed by them to mail the Leek back and get MSRP trade-in for $10 extra (paid $40 for the leek) I got a JYD2.

Am I a bum? Yeah, maybe, but I'm also a college student.

Anyway, Kershaw has some of the best customer service I've ever seen, and they make great and economic knives (all the way up to great and expensive knives of course).

I like the is bulkier, but it is essentially a grippy bludgeon before you open it. I don't carry a kubotan anymore, since I could just use my knife as a kubotan. I have also used the frame to break some glass and hammer in nails. It still functions flawlessly. There's no spring, but it opens fast!

Anyway, I chose it over the leek because if I can only afford one knife, I wanted it to be more rugged. YMMV, etc.

March 8, 2008, 09:23 PM
I just ordered a Damascus Leek from

Any of ya'll heard of them?
I've purchased a few knives from the big names out there, but figured I'd give them a chance.
They had a great price. I just hope they ship in a timely manner.


March 20, 2008, 07:24 PM
I've had my Damascus Leek I ordered from
for about a week now. It is really something.
The finish was a little dull, maybe a little dust from polishing/buffing maybe?
I put a little oil on the blade and wiped it down. Beautiful.
A very good looking damascus knife for $77.

Oh, the shipping from that place was pretty quick. I ordered it Saturday
night and it arrived on Wednesday.


March 20, 2008, 10:45 PM
Pharaohawk27.. I picked up a tiger striped Flash 2 .. What a neat nife (I also have one in Black) Nice and light, very easy to carry...

March 22, 2008, 01:16 AM
anyone ever heard of a kershaw sabortooth or something simmilarly named?

a guy i know show me one a few weeks back...

it has a really agressive looking blade shape and is partially serrated.

i am not shure of the name but i would recognise it is I saw it again...

March 22, 2008, 01:21 AM
also i have a kershaw vapor that has rode faithfully clipped to my pocket for several months now, even though the blade is stainless is starts to get a few small rust spots on it, and for the record, if i ever get the knife wet, i dry it off asap. and none of the other stainless knives i carry have this problem.

keeping the blade lightly oiled solves the problem, but has anyone else had this problem with kershaw knives, or stainless knives for that matter?

March 22, 2008, 04:13 AM
Icebones do you mean
Kershaw 4500ST Saber Tooth Knife
Kershaw Lever Action Serrated. 3 3/4" closed. Partially serrated stainless blade. Blade stays neatly contained within the handle until a simple downward stroke of your thumb on the lever partially opens the blade. Black injection molded Zytel handles with pocket clip.

like the one here

March 22, 2008, 07:53 PM
I bought a Leek yesterday.

Model 1660 (Jan 08) on the blade.

Model 1660X on the package.

Package also says the blade is 440A Stainless.

Website says Sandvik 13C26 stainless.

Which is correct?

How does 440A compare with Sandvik 13C26 stainless.

With the born-on-date of Jul07, Kershaw changed the blade steel to the Sandvik. So you've got the better steel. While it takes a pretty good edge, 440A is softer and dulls easier than 13c26.

In practice, the sandvik does stay sharper longer and takes just as keen an edge. I think Kershaw made a good choice in the change.

April 2, 2008, 03:41 PM
no man thats not it, it has a stainless handle, like a leek or vapor,

i might have been wrong about its name, but im shure it was some sort of feline name, like saber tooth, or something along those lines, thanks anyway.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 3, 2008, 12:39 AM
Love the fact, I'm majorly hooked on all of Kershaw's Ken Onion-designed assisted openers - here's an overview of all Kershaws:

At the moment I have:

1. "Leek", S30V blade, G10 handle (favorite everyday carry knife):

2. "Leek", 440A blade, Aluminum handle, smoke design (like this one except black and gray instead of black and red):

3. "Avalanche", S30V blade, G10 handle:

4. "Spec Bump", S30V blade, G10 handle (close second favorite everyday carry):

5. "Needs Work", Sandvik 13C26 blade, Polyimide handle (this is my latest acquisition):

and I plan to get the:

"Speed Bump":

and *possibly* the "Boa" and "Splinter"

In the past I have owned the Whirlwind and Scallion, and another Leek as well and liked them all.

The Spec Bump is without a doubt the coolest, but it's a tad on the big side for everyday carry.

May 2, 2008, 06:17 PM
I've never seen this one before today:

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