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Knife Review: Kershaw Black Iridium Knife

Knife Review: Kershaw Black Iridium Knife

Posted by PT on Aug 14th 2023


The Kershaw Iridium is a beacon of reliability and efficiency in everyday carry knives. With its latest iteration, adorned in a sleek black PVD-coated blade, the Iridium retains its status as an exceptional EDC companion and takes a leap forward into the world of stealthy sophistication. As the knife enthusiasts eagerly anticipate new releases, the spotlight now falls on the Iridium with its dark allure and upgraded features. In this review, we delve into the world of this refined tool, exploring its specifications, design, blade characteristics, and the practical advantages it brings to everyday tasks. Join us as we unveil the Kershaw Iridium's subtle powerhouse with a black PVD-coated blade, and uncover the artistry and innovation beneath its surface.

Kershaw Black Iridium DuraLock Knife


Before delving into the heart of the Kershaw Iridium with its black PVD-coated blade, let's first lay out the technical foundation that defines this remarkable tool. The Iridium is designed to seamlessly integrate into the lives of modern individuals who demand performance without compromising on style. Here's a closer look at its key specifications:

  • Overall Length: 7.9 inches (20 cm)
  • Blade Length: 3.4 inches (8.6 cm)
  • Cutting Edge: 3.4 inches (8.6 cm)
  • Blade Thickness: 0.107 inches (2.7 mm)
  • Blade Material: D2 High-Carbon Tool Steel
  • Blade Finish/Coating: Black PVD Coating
  • Closed Length: 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
  • Handle Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum
  • Handle Finish/Coating: Black Anodized
  • Handle Thickness: 0.49 inches (12.5 mm)
  • Weight: 3.3 ounces (94 g)

This array of specifications provides an initial glimpse into the Iridium's physical attributes. Its compact yet functional design makes the Iridium strike an optimal balance between portability and utility. The black PVD coating on the blade adds to its visual allure and enhances its durability and resistance against wear and corrosion. The meticulously chosen materials and dimensions contribute to a tool that seamlessly accompanies you through everyday tasks, making it a valuable addition to your EDC collection.

Unveiling the Stealth: The Black PVD Coated Blade

Its distinctive black PVD-coated blade lies at the heart of the Kershaw Iridium's allure. This specialized coating isn't just for aesthetics; it's a testament to function and form. The choice of blade steel, D2 high-carbon tool steel, is a strategic move that marries resilience and sharpness. D2 steel is known for its exceptional wear resistance, making it a prime candidate for enduring the rigors of everyday use. This translates to a blade that retains its sharp edge for extended periods and maintains its structural integrity against the challenges of the real world.

With its sleek and stealthy appearance, the black PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it provides an added layer of protection against corrosion, which is crucial for a tool that is bound to encounter a variety of environments. Whether you're tackling tasks in wet conditions or navigating humid environments, the black PVD coating shields the blade from the elements, contributing to its longevity.

Secondly, the coating enhances the Iridium's aesthetic appeal. The contrast between the black blade and the rest of the knife creates a visual harmony that is both captivating and sophisticated. This isn't just a tool; it expresses meticulous craftsmanship and thoughtful design.

The spear point blade shape, with its symmetrically pointed tip and versatile belly, adds to the Iridium's versatility. It's a shape that effortlessly lends itself to both piercing and slicing tasks, catering to the diverse needs of an EDC tool. The satin finish, paired with the black PVD coating, gives the blade a refined yet rugged look, striking an appealing balance between elegance and utility.

The D2 steel blade is not just a functional component; it's a testament to Kershaw's commitment to crafting tools that stand the test of time. The Iridium's blade isn't just black; it's a bold statement of reliability, resilience, and style, ensuring the knife is as ready for action as its user.

Form and Function Meet: Design and Ergonomics

The Iridium's allure goes beyond its impressive blade; the seamless fusion of design and ergonomics truly sets it apart. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, the Iridium embodies a blend of form and function that elevates the user experience.

At first glance, the Iridium's black-anodized aluminum handle scale speaks of elegance and modernity. The subdued matte finish adds to its aesthetic appeal and offers a practical advantage – it resists reflections and glare, which is particularly valuable when discretion and focus are paramount.

Kershaw's DuraLock technology is a notable feature that takes center stage in this folding knife. This solid steel crossbar mechanism secures the blade in an open position, ensuring an extended reach and uncompromised safety during usage. To retract the blade, slide the DuraLock mechanism back, a user-friendly design that guarantees hassle-free operation.

The Iridium strikes the perfect balance between portability and utility with an overall length of almost 8 inches and a blade length of 3.4 inches. It's designed to excel in everyday carry scenarios, offering a compact profile without sacrificing cutting performance. The ambidextrous thumb stud and the KVT ball-bearing system enable smooth blade deployment with remarkable ease. While a flipper might have been an alternative, augmented by cutouts in the handle slabs, the thumb stud ensures a simple and intuitive opening mechanism.

The black-anodized backspacer enhances the knife's visual appeal, lending it a touch of sophistication and understated flair. This attention to detail, from the smallest components to the overall design, mirrors Kershaw's commitment to providing a comprehensive and enjoyable user experience.

As much as the Iridium excels in its functional attributes, it equally excels in its ergonomic design. While offering a premium look, the aluminum handle is thoughtfully textured to ensure a secure grip. While not as aggressive as G10 or Micarta, the aluminum scales offer a balance between style and practicality. Additionally, the Iridium's handle includes cutouts that serve as an effective choil, enhancing grip and stability during use.

Whether you're navigating intricate tasks or engaging in more demanding cutting operations, the Iridium's ergonomic design remains an unobtrusive companion that adapts to your grip, reducing hand fatigue and increasing overall efficiency. This amalgamation of thoughtful design and user-centric ergonomics ensures that the Iridium isn't just a tool but an extension of your capabilities, making every cut and slice a confident and comfortable endeavor.

Reliability and Deployment: DuraLock and KVT Ball Bearings

In the world of folding knives, reliability and ease of deployment are paramount. The Iridium takes these aspects to heart, offering two distinct features that elevate its performance to a remarkable level – the DuraLock mechanism and the KVT ball-bearing system.

The DuraLock mechanism, a signature innovation from Kershaw, underscores the Iridium's commitment to user safety and convenience. This solid steel crossbar technology secures the blade in its open position, essentially turning it into a fixed blade for the duration of use. This innovative approach not only guarantees a sturdy cutting platform but also ensures that the blade remains locked in place, mitigating any unintended closures that could compromise safety.

To retract the blade, slide back the DuraLock mechanism with a single hand. This intuitive operation makes closing the knife as straightforward as opening it. This is especially advantageous in high-pressure situations where efficiency is of the essence. The DuraLock technology eliminates any guesswork and potential snags when closing the blade, allowing users to focus on the task at hand.

Complementing the DuraLock is the KVT ball-bearing system, a hallmark of Kershaw's commitment to crafting smooth and responsive folding knives. The KVT system, or "Kershaw Velocity Technology," employs ball bearings to facilitate the blade's effortless deployment. The result is an astonishingly fluid motion that sets the Iridium apart from knives relying on traditional pivot designs.

This deployment mechanism, combined with the Iridium's ambidextrous thumb stud, creates a synergy that makes accessing the blade almost second nature. Regardless of your dominant hand, the thumb stud allows for swift and reliable blade engagement. Whether you're an experienced knife enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of folding knives, the Iridium's deployment mechanism ensures a seamless and satisfying experience every time.

The harmony between the DuraLock and KVT systems transforms the Iridium from a mere tool into a reliable companion. Whether you're opening packages, preparing food, or handling outdoor tasks, the Iridium's deployment mechanism becomes an extension of your intentions, adapting to your pace and requirements. This level of precision and reliability underscores the Iridium's distinction as an EDC folding knife that you can trust in any situation.

Functionality and Real-World Use

The true value of a folding knife emerges in its real-world performance – how it handles various tasks, adapts to changing environments, and becomes an indispensable tool in your daily life. The Kershaw Iridium, with its black PVD-coated blade, proves its mettle through its exceptional functionality and versatility.

The spear point blade design of the Iridium serves as a testament to its adaptability. With a length of 3.4 inches and a thickness of 0.107 inches, this blade strikes a harmonious balance between precision and robustness. The spear point shape, characterized by a symmetrically pointed tip and a moderate belly, offers a fine point for piercing tasks while providing ample slicing and cutting capability. This design ensures that the Iridium is well-suited for a wide array of tasks, from intricate detail work to more demanding cutting applications.

The black PVD coating on the D2 blade further enhances the Iridium's functional prowess. This coating not only adds to the knife's stealthy aesthetics but also provides exceptional durability and corrosion resistance. The PVD coating increases the blade's resilience against wear and tear, making it well-equipped to tackle tasks that might challenge other knives. From everyday utility tasks to outdoor adventures, the Iridium's blade confidently rises to the occasion, offering a reliable cutting edge that you can depend on.

In practical use, the Iridium shines across various scenarios. Its compact and lightweight profile, measuring 7.9 inches in overall length and weighing a mere 3.3 ounces, renders it an ideal companion for everyday carry. Whether you're navigating urban landscapes or embarking on wilderness excursions, the Iridium's unobtrusive presence ensures that it's always within reach when needed.

The ergonomic handle design of the Iridium deserves special mention. Crafted from 6061-T6 aluminum, the black anodized handle scales provide a comfortable and secure grip. The handle's refined contours and subtle finger grooves promote a confident hold, preventing any slippage during use. Additionally, the handle's minimalistic approach contributes to the knife's lightweight design, ensuring that it won't weigh you down during extended periods of use.

One particularly noteworthy feature is the reversible deep-carry pocket clip. This clip allows for convenient and discreet carry, accommodating both right and left-handed users. The Iridium's pocket clip, paired with its slim profile, ensures that the knife integrates seamlessly into your daily routine. Whether clipped to your pocket, attached to your belt, or tucked away in a bag, the Iridium is readily accessible whenever the need arises.

From slicing fruits for a picnic to crafting makeshift tools in the great outdoors, the Iridium's functionality shines through. Its versatile design, combined with its high-quality materials and thoughtful features, positions it as an indispensable tool that effortlessly adapts to the demands of modern life.

As you wield the Iridium in various situations, its ability to seamlessly transition between tasks becomes evident. Whether you're opening packages, preparing food, or tackling unexpected challenges, the Iridium's reliability and performance make it an extension of your capabilities. Its functionality isn't just limited to the edges of its blade; it extends to how it effortlessly enhances your daily experiences, transforming ordinary moments into opportunities for success.

Class and Stealth in One: Aesthetics and Presence

While a knife's functionality is of paramount importance, its aesthetics play a pivotal role in defining its character and allure. The Kershaw Iridium, with its black PVD-coated blade, doesn't just excel in performance; it also commands attention with its striking aesthetics that seamlessly blend class and stealth.

The Iridium's visual appeal is immediately evident from its sleek and coherent design language. The black PVD-coated blade, with its deep, lustrous finish, exudes an air of sophistication and modernity. This finish not only contributes to the knife's sleek appearance but also serves a practical purpose by enhancing the blade's durability. The PVD coating's resistance to wear, scratches, and corrosion ensures that the Iridium maintains its pristine look even after rigorous use.

The blade's understated elegance is mirrored in the handle's design. Crafted from black-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum, the handle scales exude a subtle confidence that complements the knife's overall aesthetics. The minimalistic and refined handle profile, adorned only with discreet hardware and a black-anodized backspacer, evokes a sense of sophistication and purposeful design.

This fusion of class and stealth doesn't just contribute to the Iridium's visual appeal; it also has a tangible impact on how the knife is perceived in various settings. The Iridium seamlessly adapts to a wide range of environments, whether it's accompanying you to the office, a social gathering, or a weekend outdoor excursion. Its all-black design, devoid of unnecessary embellishments, allows it to blend into any context without drawing unnecessary attention.

In addition to its aesthetics, the Iridium's presence is equally noteworthy. The knife's design is a nod to modern minimalism, where form follows function with elegance. This philosophy ensures that the Iridium remains relevant and visually appealing, regardless of changing trends. It's a timeless design that transcends fleeting fads, making it a reliable and stylish companion for years to come.

Furthermore, the Iridium's presence is also defined by its practicality. Its lightweight construction and deep-carry pocket clip ensures that it's discreetly and comfortably carried, ready to spring into action at a moment's notice. Whether you're dressed in formal attire or outdoor gear, the Iridium seamlessly complements your style while providing a reliable cutting tool.

In conclusion, the Kershaw Iridium's aesthetics and presence are a harmonious blend of class and stealth. Its black PVD-coated blade and anodized aluminum handle create a visual symphony that transcends the boundaries of time and context. This knife doesn't just serve as a tool; it embodies a statement of style and purpose that resonates with those who value both form and function in their everyday carry essentials.


In the realm of everyday carry folding knives, the Kershaw Iridium, with its black PVD-coated blade, emerges as a standout contender. With a perfect fusion of form and function, this knife embodies the modern essence of what an EDC tool should be. Its remarkable specifications, the allure of the black PVD-coated blade, thoughtful design, reliable deployment mechanisms, and elegant aesthetics all combine to make the Iridium an exceptional companion for a wide range of tasks and environments.

The Iridium's specifications, from the blade length to the handle material, are meticulously crafted to offer a balanced and versatile tool. The choice of D2 high-carbon tool steel, known for its edge retention and toughness, is a testament to Kershaw's commitment to providing users with a reliable cutting-edge. The black PVD-coated blade not only adds a touch of stealth but also enhances the blade's durability and resistance to wear and corrosion.

Functionality meets style in the Iridium's design. The handle's minimalist yet ergonomic construction ensures a comfortable and secure grip, while the deep-carry pocket clip and ambidextrous features cater to various carrying preferences. The DuraLock technology and KVT ball bearings ensure smooth deployment and a secure lock-up, making the Iridium a dependable tool in critical moments.

Beyond its technical prowess, the Iridium's aesthetics shine. The black PVD-coated blade and anodized aluminum handle unite to create an elegant and modern look that seamlessly transitions between casual and formal settings. Its unassuming presence allows it to blend into any scenario, while its design ensures that it remains relevant for years to come.

The Kershaw Iridium, with its black PVD-coated blade, stands as a testament to the brand's commitment to delivering practical, stylish, and reliable tools for everyday use. Whether you're a dedicated outdoors enthusiast, an urban professional, or someone who appreciates the art of a well-designed tool, the Iridium offers an unmatched combination of utility and visual appeal.

In a world where choices abound, the Kershaw Iridium's qualities shine through, making it a compelling option for those who seek a folding knife that excels in both performance and aesthetics. As you embark on your daily endeavors, the Iridium will be right there with you, ready to demonstrate its capabilities and elevate your experience of carrying a truly remarkable tool.

Buy your Kershaw Black Iridium DuraLock knife today.