The Kershaw Skyline has been in my every day carry rotation for quite some time now. It has been in my pocket on mountain bike rides, been tucked away in my backpack while hiking through the California coastal mountains, and even seen some action in the Nevada snow. It is a knife that brings everything you want to the table, but doesn’t come with many extras. Its strength it truly in its simplicity, and it can be had at a cost that is entirely reasonable. However, just because Kershaw didn’t outfit this knife with some of the usual gimmicks like Kershaw’s Speedsafe assisted opening or rainbow colored scales doesn’t mean it’s any less capable than some of their more high end knives. I really like the fact that the knife is made in the USA at Kershaw’s Tualatin, Oregon factory because it is so rare to see knives made in the USA at this price point. Additionally, as I write this the Kershaw Skyline gets 9.2 / 10 overall based on 13 reviews on the main site. A rating like that is pretty hard to argue against.
The very first thing you’ll notice when you pick up a Skyline is its weight. It is extremely light, tipping the scales at a mere 2.5 ounces. For a blade length of 3.1 inches, this is pretty damn good. The blade steel is Sandvik 14C28N stainless, which is typical of many of Kershaw’s knives. The steel takes an edge quite nicely, and holds it well enough. The blade is also equipped with a flipper, which is the primary mode of blade deployment on the Skyline. The flipper is good and provides lots of leverage, only requiring a quick flick of your index finger to get the blade out. Don’t be fooled by the thumb stud, it’s really just a blade stop. It’s not meant to be used to actually open the blade. The blade has a saber grind with a secondary bevel on the spine, so for the size it’s pretty robust. While I have never tortured mine, I have beat on it a little bit and it has never given me any issues. The handles are G10, which is popular in the knife industry and is known known for its heat resistance, chemical resistance, and water resistance. G10 is used in many military gear applications and is field proven. The G10 scales have a reversible pocket clip for tip up or tip down carry. This allows you to choose how your hand is positioned in relation to the flipper so you can minimize grip changes required to comfortably open the knife. The locking mechanism is a liner lock, which is one of my favorites. My knife exhibited no discernible blade play.
Build Quality and Ergonomics
As you’d expect for a knife made on the chaparral covered West Coast of the USA, build quality is excellent. Kershaw has good quality control procedures in place and they result in quality products. The knife is reliable. Ergonomics make the knife a good fit for my hand, and the knife is small and light enough to blend into my pocket nicely. There is no jimping on the knife to speak of, except for a little bit of texture on the liner lock. When the blade is deployed, the flipper acts as an extension to the choil which allows for worry free piercing.
So where would I recommend that you use the Kershaw Skyline? First and foremost, it makes a great EDC. It is unobtrusive so it makes an ideal candidate for use around the office or shop floor. Nobody is going to see it and freak out as a result. The knife is equally at home on the trail, and would make a great knife for hiking day trips where you might need a knife to prepare food or other basic wilderness functions. Additionally, it would make a fine knife for weekend camping or car camping as it has no problem whatsoever cutting through rope, twine, or general whittling. If you are the high adventure type who routinely makes trips to the deep wilderness under harsh or extreme conditions, I think you would want something a little more robust and geared towards survival. Kershaw does not market this knife as a survival knife, and rightfully so. For the tasks that most knife carriers perform day to day, the Skyline is a great choice. I am skeptical that it would stand up to repeated and heavy abuse, but this is no problem because this isn’t the reason Kershaw designed this knife.
Plainly put, the knife is high value. It’s made in the USA and performs great. What more could you want? At the moment, the knife can be had on Amazon.com for a reasonable cost. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a pretty nice deal for what you get. Of the 13 users who have reviewed the knife on our main site, the average was a 9.6 / 10 for value, so that should say something.
All in all, the Kershaw Skyline is a great folding knife that will treat you well in all but the most extreme conditions. The lightweight nature of the knife coupled with good ergonomics and the fact that it is made in the USA make it a winner. I would recommend it to anybody considering a new EDC knife.