My Every Day Carry Knife: The Kershaw Ken Onion Leek

kershaw_black_leek_textWhen looking for a daily carry knife I look for three things,

  1. durability,
  2. ease of use,
  3. and size.

So when I received the Kershaw Leek, designed by the legendary Ken Onion, as a gift two years ago I was quite pleased.

My knife has been through it all, paper, wiring of all kinds, meat, vegetable, wood, plastic, and even sheet rock. I’ve carried it in mundane spaces like the office and through rides down rapids swimming beside an over turned canoe, and it’s weathered it all.


The Leek does require some maintenance, especially if you pocket carry the knife. It has a lot of crisp edges which are wonderful for maintaining grip, but also great at gathering pocket lint. I find myself blowing out the lint every week.

It’s pretty good at keeping an edge, but if you’re consistency cutting material known to dull knives, you will find yourself sharpening this blade every other week or so.

I mentioned grip earlier. I’ve somewhat large hands — can palm a basket ball most of the time — and this knife feels better in hand than any other knife I’ve had.

The Speed Safe assisted open operates just as advertised allowing you to open this folder with one hand; either hand.

Tech Specs

  • Made in the USA
  • SpeedSafe® assisted opening
  • Frame lock
  • Reversible (tip-up/tip-down, right) pocketclip
  • Steel: Sandvik 14C28N, DLC coating
  • Handle: 410 stainless steel, DLC coating
  • Blade length: 3 in. (7.5 cm)
  • Closed length: 4 in. (10.3 cm)
  • Overall Length: 7 in. (17.9 cm)
  • Weight: 3.0 oz.

As of this writing you can pickup this knife for $75 – $100 which is more than fair for the build quality. At that price I’ve not been hesitant about using this knife every day. If you’re an Amazon Prime member it’s going for $38.38 right now.

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Multi Tool on a Budget

Tim Leatherman

Ever since Karl Elsener  started producing the Schweizer Offiziersmesser, “Swiss Officer’s Knife”, in 1891 human kind has been producing multi-tools. Today, everyone from adventurers, military types and do-it-yourself enthusiasts have found various multi-tool configurations have become essential parts of their packs and tool kits.
While the Swiss Army knife has always been centered around the knife, Tim Leatherman chose to make pliers the core of his multi-tool platform and a new legend was created. He started production in 1983 and new models have been produced every year since.

I’ve owned several Leatherman models and every one has been stolen. While that’s very frustrating for me, it certainly says something about the tool’s image and desirability. I’ve certainly been happy with each model I’ve had and keep purchasing replacements.

Today there are about 30 different models of Leatherman so you’re sure to find one that will fit your need and wallet. Today we’re going to take a look at one of the more economical models, the Wingman. As of this writing you can pick one up from for about $35.

L_Wingman_ADThe Wingman was created in 2011 and has 14 tools. It’s a little heavy at 7oz. so you ultralight backpackers probably won’t want this model. However, the diy person or casual camper or backpacker on a budget will love this model. It’s put together well with very little play allowed in the joints. In fact when you first get yours you’ll find the tension and friction of the moving parts to be just slightly to tight. Leatherman’s are known for this and will loosen to be just right with some use. I personally think this is indicative of Leatherman’s attention to detail.

Like all Leathermans, the primary tool is the plier assembly. This model effectively gives you needle nose pliers, standard pliers and wire cutters. The plier’s are spring loaded which makes single hand operation pretty easy. Other tools included are a knife, file, wire striper, bottle opener and the list goes on. See Below.

While Leatherman has other models which have more tools, and some with tools more suited for camping, the Wingman is an excellent starter / budget conscience model.

Tech Specs

2.6 in | 6.6 cm (Blade Length)
3.8 in | 9.7 cm (Closed)
7 oz | 198.4 g (Weight)

Tools Included
Spring-action Needlenose Pliers
Spring-action Regular Pliers
Spring-action Wire Cutters
420HC Combo Knife
Package Opener
Wood/Metal File
Spring-action Scissors
Small Screwdriver
Medium Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Ruler (1.5 in / 3.8 cm)
Bottle Opener
Can Opener
Wire Stripper

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