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Kershaw SAK?

 Ok, so it's not a Swiss Army Knife. That much should be obvious, but it should be of interest to any SAK collector because of it's SAK-like functions, and the fact that they are reasonably hard to find. I should know- I've been searching for one for years, and I finally found it on our own EDCSource of all places!


 

Not being a Kershaw collector (although I have enjoyed many of their designs over the years!) I can't say when this model was in production, although I can say it was discontinued some time ago. It's about the same size as a 5 layer Victorinox model, which comes as no surprise since this Kershaw, whose model number is 3030 also has five layers!

Inside those layers are a small wood saw, fish scaler with integrated hook disgorging tip, drop pointed main blade, scissors, can opener and bottle opener with integrated flathead. On the backside is a corkscrew next to the lanyard ring. The entire knife is dressed in black rubber scales with a molded in Kershaw logo. It weighs in at 145 grams (5.1oz) which makes it slightly heavier than the Wenger S557 at 127.7 grams.

So now for the important question- how does it compare to our beloved Victorinox and Wenger models? Well, the short answer is not to toss out your trusty Swiss Army Knife just yet. Since there were no directly competing models, I have had to test the Kershaw out implement by implement rather than as an overall knife- although I will have comments on it overall at the end!

WoodSaw: Despite the 3030 being as large as a Victorinox 91mm model, it's saw is actually shorter than Wenger's 85mm saw. The teeth seem almost identical to the bi-cut Vic and Wenger saws, although the saw itself is not as broad. To me, this equates to not being as sturdy overall. While it is functional, I don't think it has sufficient length to be all that useful.

 

Fish Scaler: Tragically I have no experience using a fish scaler from any company, so tragically I can't comment on it's usefulness.

Knife Blade: Kershaw's blade is quite sturdy, and broader than either Victorinox or Wenger's main blade. It also has a more traditional American style drop point compared to the Vic and Wenger spear type point. As a result, the blade has slightly less belly than the Wenger blade, but since it has less of a countour, it's slightly easier to sharpen. And, like Victorinox, the blade is a slip joint, not locking like Wenger's Packlock system.

Scissors: I was recently told in a meeting with the folks at Leatherman that Tim Leatherman's initial tools did not include scissors until he felt they could match the perfection of Victorinox scissors. That's a hard act to follow, although I have always considered Wenger's backspring system and self sharpening blades to be superior. That having been said, the Kershaw's scissors are functional but feel flimsy compared to the Swiss offerings.

Can Opener: The 3030 can opener is bulkier than either the Vic or Wenger can openers. It is more reminiscent of the oversized can opener found on old Camillus demo knives. Still, it functions well enough, and is basically a bigger version of the Wenger can opener.

Bottle Opener: Not as well formed as the typical Vic or Wenger bottle openers with integrated screwdrivers, the 3030's nevertheless performed well- too well, which is why this review wasn't posted last month as planned! Unlike the Swiss openers though, the Kershaw is lacking the wire stripper notch, which I don't hold against it since I have never really had any success using that notch anyway!

Corkscrew: I didn't try the 3030's corkscrew as it seems quite fragile next to the ones found on Victorinox and Wenger models. Being a difficult to find collectible, I didn't want to risk breaking it off- that and disposing of the three bottles of wine I would need to open to test these properly could have been habit forming!

 

Overall I can see the quality built into this knife. There's no doubt it would serve someone faithfully for a very long time, but for those of us used to Swiss precision, the 3030 is a bit rough. If you can find a good one though, it's well worth getting, at least in my opinion!