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Ti/ZDP Leek Mini Review

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Solstice, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Solstice

    Solstice Loaded Pockets

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    Hi Folks,
    Today I recieved in the mail a NIB, limited addition "flagship" Kershaw Leek, decked out in Titanium framelock handles and a ZDP-189 blade. As requested by Hatinthering, I am posting a "mini-review," because as much as I like knives, I am not qualified to go over the finer points such as blade angle, grinds, etc. A special thanks to Piripi for selling this item exactly as advertised, at a reasonable price, and with very quick shipping.

    First off, let me just say that Ken Onion's Leek design has been one of my favorites for over 3 years. The curves of the frame are elegant and lean, and the blade when open seems surprizingly large for such a small and thin knife. My only qualms with the design regarding the standard all stainless steel Leeks I have owned have been the relative weight compared to size, the slickness of the handles, and the fact that when pocket clip is reversed for point up, a bit too much of the knife sticks out over the pocket. The first 2 of these concerns are totally recified in this new version. The pocket clip issue is just a function of the design, and isn't such a big deal considering this knife will most likely be carried (if I decide to carry it) in a custom "Tactical Wallet" inside my pocket when it arrives (shout out to knuckleduster!).

    The all-titanium framelock affords this knife to weigh only 2.2 ounces (.8 less than standard) and the weight difference is definately noticable. As opposed to the G-10 version which is similarly light, the frame of this knife actually seems THINNER than the steel version, but I don't have digital calipers so I can't tell for sure. The reason I say the grippyness issue is resolved with the Ti is because it is matte and slightly granular- certainly not as grippy as textured G10, but retention does not seem to be a problem as it feels with the slickness of the steel. The Ti is also, of course, impervious to corrosion, which has reared it's ugly head all over my standard Leek now that I am in the more moister-rich climate of San Francisco. As this is a new knife, the speed-safe assisted opening is very fast, and I haven't encountered any sticking of the frame-lock leek upon release, nor clicking upon closing (both occasional phenomena reported by other owners).

    As everyone knows, ZDP-189 is perhaps the hardest stainless steel currently available, so, in theory, a knife made out of it can be wicked sharp and hold the edge. Unfortunately, this is not the case here, at least not yet. I have read over at bladeforums that some of these knives were incorrectly sharpened. I would not say that this knife is incorrectly sharpened, but it is certaintly not as sharp as my Spydercos or even other (440A) Kershaw knives. The blade will still cut things, but the edge isn't as hair-spliting as I would like. This is a bit disconcerning, because the only method of sharpening I have available to me is a standard Spyderco Sharpmaker with ceramic stones, which apparently are virtually unable to sharpen this type of steel. If anyone has any sharpening suggestions for me, I'm all ears. Otherwise, the blade looks gorgeous and has a shinier sheen when compared with other Kershaws. The bevel curves smoothly toward the hilt rather than the sharp drop-off seen on the standard leeks and looks even more graceful. The high chromium content in ZDP should hopefully keep the blade spot-free, but I do need to source some Tuff-cloth or the like.

    As this is a fairly expensive knife and a limited edition, I haven't decided whether I will be using this knife or keeping it as a collectible. I would like to use it (I am of the camp that tools should be used), but the less-than sharpness of the hard-to-sharpen steel blade are also slight deterents. For now, my Endura 4 wave will continue to be my EDC, but when I get that wallet, I may change my mind :).
     
  2. flashlight

    flashlight Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for the nice review.  O0 This is on my Wanted List. ;D
     
  3. Deaths Head

    Deaths Head Banned

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    Very accurate mini-review. One thing with my Ti with ZDP-189 is that the blade was not sharpened to the tip and the action was a little rough. More or less, the knife was brand new, but not in acceptable condition. At this time, the knife has been sent to Kershaw to get the defects fixed.
     
  4. TKC

    TKC Loaded Pockets

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    CONGRATS on the Ti & ZDP Leek!!
     
  5. Piripi

    Piripi Empty Pockets

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    Glad you received it safely, enjoy!!
     
  6. Deaths Head

    Deaths Head Banned

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    Just got my Ti with ZDP-189 Leek back, and the blade was fixed. It's great now.
     
  7. Hatinthering

    Hatinthering Loaded Pockets

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    Solstice -

    Thanks for posting your excellent review... I especially found interesting your comments about the grippy-ness of the handles
    as I would have thought they would be slick. I really wanted to buy this version of the Leek but I wanted a grippy handle. So,
    now I'm going to have to rethink this....

    Thanks again as this will help in my decision...

    Enjoy...

    Rob

    PS. I really enjoy carrying my G10 handled Leek in Dave's tactical wallet... that wallet almost seems made for this knife... a perfect fit.

    [​IMG]