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Knife Review: Kershaw Livewire Review

Knife Review: Kershaw Livewire Review

Posted by PT on Jul 24th 2023


The Kershaw Livewire OTF (Out-The-Front) knife is a revolutionary addition to the world of pocket knives, designed and crafted by Kershaw Originals in collaboration with renowned custom knifemaker Matt Diskin. This technical review will delve into the Livewire's specifications, highlighting its unique features, including the cutting-edge CPM MagnaCut steel, the seamless OTF action, and the numerous benefits it offers users. As an American-made product, this knife reflects Kershaw's commitment to quality, precision, and innovation.


The Livewire boasts a well-balanced and functional design with impressive specifications:

  • Blade Length: 3.3 inches (8.4 cm)
  • Blade Material: CPM MagnaCut
  • Blade Finish/Coating: Stonewashed finish
  • Blade Thickness: 0.125 inches (3.2 mm)
  • Closed Length: 4.8 inches (12.2 cm)
  • Handle Material: 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Handle Finish/Coating: Black anodized
  • Handle Thickness: 0.48 inches (12.2 mm)
  • Overall Length: 8.1 inches (20.6 cm)
  • Weight: 3 oz. (85 g)

The Excellence of CPM MagnaCut Steel:

The Kershaw Livewire OTF knife is a pinnacle of innovation and performance, primarily due to its extraordinary blade material: CPM MagnaCut steel. Developed by Crucible Industries, CPM MagnaCut represents a new era in knife steel technology, combining a blend of remarkable attributes that elevate the Livewire to unprecedented cutting performance and durability levels.

One of the most striking features of CPM MagnaCut is its exceptional edge retention capability. This steel boasts an impressive ability to maintain its sharpness over extended periods of use, outperforming many traditional and well-established knife steels. Its superior edge retention ensures that the Livewire remains ever-ready for any cutting challenge, whether daily tasks, outdoor adventures, or emergencies. Users can rely on the Livewire to consistently deliver a razor-sharp edge, reducing the need for frequent sharpening and providing an unparalleled cutting experience.

Another defining characteristic of CPM MagnaCut is its remarkable toughness. This steel is designed to withstand rigorous use and demanding cutting tasks without compromising its structural integrity. Even when exposed to heavy-duty applications, the Livewire's blade retains its keen edge and resists chipping and damage, making it an ideal choice for those who demand precision and durability from their knives.

Furthermore, CPM MagnaCut exhibits exceptional corrosion resistance, ensuring the Livewire remains resilient and reliable in various environmental conditions. Even when subjected to moisture, humidity, or other corrosive elements, the blade maintains its sharpness and luster, preserving its cutting performance and aesthetics for a lifetime.

The Livewire's CPM MagnaCut blade undergoes a stonewashed finish, enhancing its appearance and practicality. The stonewashed finish effectively conceals any signs of wear, minor scratches, or scuffs that may occur during regular use, ensuring that the knife retains its original aesthetics and maintains a pristine appearance over time. Moreover, this finish adds a layer of surface protection, reducing the visibility of fingerprints and minimizing reflections, thus improving its discreet and tactical capabilities.

CPM MagnaCut's emergence as a top-tier steel is a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence in the knife industry. Its innovative composition and precision manufacturing process creates a blade material far exceeding traditional steel's performance. As the Livewire showcases CPM MagnaCut's true potential, users can experience the pinnacle of cutting-edge technology and craftsmanship in the palm of their hands.

CPM MagnaCut steel sets the Kershaw Livewire OTF knife apart as a true trailblazer in the realm of pocket knives. With its exceptional edge retention, remarkable toughness, and impeccable corrosion resistance, this steel ensures that the Livewire is a reliable everyday companion and a steadfast tool in challenging situations. The stonewashed finish adds functional and aesthetic benefits, making the Livewire a testament to American-made excellence and a valuable asset for discerning users seeking a knife that seamlessly balances performance, durability, and innovation.

Kershaw Livewire OTF Knife

Seamless OTF Action:

The Livewire's OTF action sets it apart from conventional folding knives. With a simple slide of the button, the blade swiftly deploys and retracts with authority, offering a rapid and reliable one-handed operation. The knife's internal OTF lock ensures the blade remains securely in place during use, providing users with confidence and peace of mind.

The Seamless OTF (Out-The-Front) Action of the Kershaw Livewire knife is a testament to precision engineering and meticulous craftsmanship. With significant research, thoughtful design, and rigorous testing, Kershaw's in-house team and esteemed custom knifemaker Matt Diskin have delivered a remarkable automatic deployment mechanism that sets the Livewire apart from the crowd.

When you engage the OTF action, it becomes evident that this knife is not your average automatic. The deployment is swift, precise, and utterly seamless, reflecting the high level of engineering expertise that went into its creation. The blade swiftly shoots forward with authority, revealing the impressive CPM MagnaCut edge ready to take on any cutting task. Closing the blade is just as smooth as the OTF mechanism retracts the blade effortlessly into the handle, ready to be carried safely and securely until the next use.

The heart of the Seamless OTF Action lies in its intricately designed internal lock system. Kershaw has engineered this mechanism to perfection, ensuring that the blade is held firmly in place during both deployment and retraction, providing a reassuring sense of stability and reliability. The internal lock engages precisely with a satisfying click, offering a level of confidence and trust that is essential for a knife designed for quick and responsive deployment.

One of the standout features of the OTF action is its incredible consistency. The precision manufacturing and tight tolerances of the Livewire ensure that every deployment is met with the same level of responsiveness and smoothness, time after time. This consistent action adds to the knife's reliability and enhances the user experience, making it a joy to operate the Livewire with each use.

Safety is paramount regarding automatic knives, and Kershaw has taken no shortcuts. The OTF internal lock has been engineered with the utmost care, ensuring the blade stays securely locked in the open position until the user intentionally retracts it. This feature prevents accidental blade deployment and instills confidence in the knife's usability, making it a dependable tool that can be relied upon in various situations.

The Seamless OTF Action is not just a mechanical feat but a testament to Kershaw's commitment to innovation and performance. Integrating this cutting-edge mechanism in the Livewire is a testament to the brand's dedication to delivering top-of-the-line knives that excel in form and function.

The practicality of the OTF action extends to its ease of use in everyday scenarios. Whether you need to quickly open a package, cut a piece of rope, or perform any other cutting task, the Livewire's seamless and swift deployment allows you to access the blade instantly, saving you time and effort. This rapid response capability makes the Livewire ideal for those seeking a reliable and practical everyday carry knife.

Additionally, the reversible deep-carry pocket clip enables you to carry the Livewire conveniently and discreetly, while the lightweight design of the knife ensures it won't weigh you down during everyday use. The smooth and effortless action of the OTF mechanism, combined with the knife's compact and ergonomic profile, makes the Livewire a joy to carry and use daily.

The Seamless OTF Action of the Kershaw Livewire is an engineering marvel that blends precision, reliability, and ease of use into a single, powerful automatic knife. The seamless deployment and retraction and the internal lock system offer confidence and consistency unmatched in the world of automatic knives. Whether you are a seasoned knife enthusiast or a first-time automatic knife user, the Livewire's OTF action will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression with its performance and functionality. With Kershaw's unwavering commitment to quality and innovation, the Livewire is a testament to the brand's dedication to delivering top-tier knives that inspire confidence and elevate the cutting experience to new heights.

The Handle, Curves and Texture:

The Kershaw Livewire OTF knife handle is a standout feature that contributes significantly to its overall functionality and user experience. The handle boasts a robust and substantial design with a thickness of almost half an inch, offering a solid bit of mass that enhances its ergonomics. This design choice also allows ample space inside the handle to accommodate the powerful springs necessary for smooth, reliable out-the-front (OTF) automatic action.

The pocket clip on the handle serves as an anchor point for carrying the knife and an index point for quick access to the switch. When positioned under your thumb (for right-handers, as it comes pre-configured), the clip conveniently aligns with the palm, providing a natural and intuitive grip for swift deployment.

Moreover, the handle features slight hourglass shaping on the sides, a subtle yet highly effective design element. This thoughtful contouring allows your fingers to fall into a comfortable and secure position when holding the knife. Combining these well-calculated angles and the OTF action results in a snappy knife that demands a solid finger placement during opening and closing movements, ensuring enhanced control and safety.

To further enhance grip and control, the anodized aluminum handle sports a fine texture, offering a bit of toothiness rather than a slick surface. While this texture provides some traction, Kershaw took it further by incorporating jimping into the handle design. The sets of jimping are strategically placed in two depths on the wide part of the handle. One set is deep and well-spaced, while the second set is more shallow.

Kershaw Livewire OTF, Back View

This jimping serves multiple purposes. Firstly, they play a crucial role in facilitating the smooth and reliable operation of the OTF mechanism, ensuring the blade opens and closes seamlessly. Secondly, and just as importantly, they significantly enhance grip during normal use. As the Livewire OTF knife isn't particularly large and does not fill the hand entirely, the additional grip provided by the jimping becomes highly valuable. Whether you're using the knife for everyday tasks or more demanding cutting jobs, the jimping offers a reassuring hold, giving you the confidence to easily tackle various tasks.

The handle design of the Kershaw Livewire OTF knife is a triumph of ergonomics and user-oriented engineering. Its substantial thickness, combined with the well-calculated angles and the incorporation of jimping, results in a knife that not only deploys with authority but also provides a comfortable and secure grip during use. The fine-textured anodized aluminum handle, coupled with the serrations, ensures that you can rely on the Livewire to perform admirably in various cutting tasks, making it a versatile and practical tool for everyday carry. Whether you need a swift and reliable automatic knife for quick deployment or a comfortable and secure grip for precise cutting, the Kershaw Livewire OTF knife excels on all fronts.

Benefits for Users:

  1. Swift and Efficient Deployment: The Livewire's OTF action enables users to swiftly deploy the blade with just one hand, making it an ideal choice for emergency situations and quick, precise cutting tasks.
  2. Everyday Carry Convenience: With its lightweight design and deep-carry pocket clip, the Livewire is exceptionally comfortable to carry daily. The reversible clip allows for right or left-handed tip-down carry, accommodating users' preferences.
  3. Versatility for Various Tasks: The 3.3-inch spear-point blade strikes an excellent balance between utility and tactical capability, making the Livewire versatile for everyday tasks, outdoor activities, and self-defense scenarios.
  4. Enhanced Durability: The handle's 6061-T6 aluminum construction and black anodized finish ensure remarkable strength and resistance to wear and tear. This knife is built to withstand rugged use and demanding environments.

Made in the USA:

Kershaw takes great pride in producing their knives in the USA, and the Livewire is no exception. Every aspect of Livewire's production occurs within the United States, from the initial design to the final quality control checks. This commitment to domestic manufacturing ensures that every Livewire carries the mark of American craftsmanship, precision, and ingenuity.


The Kershaw Livewire OTF knife is a testament to American craftsmanship and innovation. With its cutting-edge CPM MagnaCut steel, seamless OTF action, and user-oriented benefits, the Livewire excels in performance, reliability, and ease of use. Whether for everyday carry or outdoor adventures, the Livewire is a formidable companion, consistently delivering precision and functionality. Embodying the essence of American-made excellence, the Kershaw Livewire OTF knife is a top-tier choice for discerning users seeking cutting-edge performance in their pocketknife.

Buy your Kershaw Livewire OTF Knife today.