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Knife Review: Kershaw Misdirect

Knife Review: Kershaw Misdirect

Posted by SD on Apr 30th 2020

The Kershaw Misdirect

Kershaw and their fans know that there is nothing that compares to a Kershaw. They have the award-winning technologies, they have the advanced materials, they have the solid sound of the blade lockup. All of this means that when you are carrying a Kershaw, you know that you are carrying the real deal.

So what does the real deal mean? Well, Kershaw says, “The real thing means value and plenty of it. With Kershaw, you get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Even our inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, reliable. That’s why we can back each of our knives for the life of its original owner against any defects in materials and construction with our famous Limited Lifetime Warranty.

“And yes, people do own their Kershaw knives for a lifetime. (Although, occasionally, a Kershaw has been known to get accidentally left at a campsite, lost in the garage, or permanently borrowed by a friend.)

“The point is, you can always look to Kershaw for everyday carrying knives that can tame any cardboard box and liberate any purchase from its plastic packaging, sporting knives that make hunting, fishing, watersports, and camping even better, work knives that won’t let you down, and tactical knives that ensure you’re ready for anything.”

They were founded in 1974 with the mission to design and manufacture tools that knife users were going to be proud to own, carry, and use. This means that each and every one of their knives need to be made with the highest quality. From hunting knives to collectors knives, Kershaw makes sure that they choose the high-quality materials and pair it with intensive craftsmanship to get a top-quality knife.

Not only that, but they have a commitment to innovation. They say, “Our SpeedSafe assisted opening knives were first-to-market. We introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in our Blade Traders. Recently, our Composite Blade technology, which combines two steels into one blade, gives knife users the best of both worlds by enabling us to use steel known for edge retention on the edge and steel known for strength on the spine. And we will keep on innovating, bringing new and better technologies and materials to today's knifemaking industry and knife-using public.”

The thing about Kershaw is that you know that you can rely on the products they create. And better than that, you know that you will be able to rely on them for years, even decades, to come. Today we will be discussing one of Kershaw’s newest releases. Set to release sometime this year is the Misdirect.

The Blade:

The blade on the Misdirect is made out of 4Cr13 steel. This steel is definitely a budget steel. That is the biggest advantage it has to offer: it is going to reduce the overall cost of the blade significantly. As a bonus, it is also highly stain resistant, which means maintenance is going to be a breeze. It hardens to an HRC level of 55-57, which is tough enough to get the job done, but it is not going to excel at much. It is a little bit softer, which is going to make it easier to sharpen. However, you are going to need to sharpen it more often.

  • Budget steel keeps the overall cost of the Misdirect down.
  • Easy to sharpen, but will need sharpening often.
  • Won’t excel at anything, but will get the job done.

The blade on this knife has been finished with a BlackWash finish. The Blackwash finish is a type of stonewashed 

Kershaw Misdirect

finish. To create the stonewashed finish, the blade is tumbled around in an abrasive material. ­this finish is going to hide scratches with ease, while also creating a blade that is going to have a less reflective nature than a satin finish would give. A BlackWash finish is created when the blade has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. One of the biggest advantages to this finish is that they are incredibly low maintenance. The original look of the blade is going to be preserved overtime, because of the fact that it hides the scratches and smudge that accumulate with time.

  • BlackWash prolongs the original look of the blade overtime.
  • BlackWash cuts down on glares and reflections.
  • BlackWash increases the corrosion resistance of this blade.

The blade has been carved into a reverse tanto. This shape has a spine that extends straight from the handle to almost the tip, which it angles down toward the tip. This does create a lowered tip, which does mean you will have a little bit more control over your cuts. The point is relatively broad though, which does mean you won’t have full piercing capabilities. The reverse tanto does have a slight belly. This slight belly is going to allow you to have some slicing capabilities. However, it is not going to be as significant as if you were working with a drop point or a clip point, which are designed for their bellies.

  • Tough tip that isn’t likely to break.
  • Slight belly for some slicing purposes.
  • Broad point does take away your stabbing capabilities

The Handle:

The handle on the Misdirect is made out of stainless steel that has been stonewashed. The stainless steel is durable, hard, and incredibly corrosion resistant. It will add a significant amount of heft to this Kershaw, which will make it easier to take on some of those tougher tasks. However, stainless steel is prone to scratches.

Some of these scratches are going to be hidden in the stonewashed finish, which does create a textured look to the handle. This works to hide scratches and smudges that do occur over time. This creates a lower maintenance knife. The stonewashed finish also adds a slightly more matte finish to the handle, which will cut down on glares and reflections.

  • Stainless steel is durable and tough.
  • Stainless steel is low maintenance.
  • Stonewashed finish creates a much lower-maintenance handle.
  • Stonewashed finish cuts down on glares and reflections.

The handle is made up of angles, rather than curves. The spine and the belly are straight. There is a lanyard hole near the butt.

The Pocket Clip:

This is a three way pocket clip. This means that if you are carrying it for right handed carry, you can carry it either tip up or tip down. However, if you are carrying it for left handed carry, you can only attach the clip for tip up carry. This is a major advantage because it adds extra options that work to make you as comfortable as possible with the Misdirect. The clip is satin. It is kept in place by two black screws which match the rest of the hardware on the knife.

The Mechanism:

The Misdirect has been equipped with plenty of mechanisms to make it the best possible knife. It has a flipper, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe mechanism, as well as a frame lock.

The flipper works exceptionally well to enable fast and easy one-handed opening. It is also ambidextrous, because you can easily access it from either side of the blade, which does make it a little more friendly for left or right handed users. Kershaw explains how to use a flipper when there is a SpeedSafe mechanism present. “Hold the knife handle vertically in one hand. Place your index finger on the top of the flipper or thumb on the thumbstud. Gently apply downward pressure on the flipper or push outwards on the thumbstud. SpeedSafe opens the knife quickly and easily, and the blade locks into place. Keep fingers away from blade edge while closing.” This makes using the flipper easy and reliable.

  • Flipper is easy to use.
  • Flipper is ambidextrous friendly.
  • Flipper allows you to open the knife with only one hand.

The SpeedSafe mechanism is one of Kershaw’s most popular innovations. First off, they say, “Kershaw was the first to bring SpeedSafe® assisted opening knives to market, launching a revolution in opening systems—and winning numerous industry awards along the way. Originally designed by Hall of Fame knifemaker, Ken Onion, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives flew off the shelves. Today, almost all knife companies offer some sort of assisted opening knife, but none matches the popularity or proven durability of the original.” This is just a quick history of the SpeedSafe. Kershaw was the first one to get it to market and it never hurts to go with the original.

Then, they answer the question of “What is SpeedSafe?” They say, “SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual push on the blade's thumb stud or pull back on the flipper. SpeedSafe is built into many of Kershaw's best-selling knives. The heart of SpeedSafe is its torsion bar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife from being opened by "gravity;" it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, the user applies manual pressure to the thumb stud or flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade opens smoothly and locks into position, ready for use.” The good thing about the SpeedSafe is that it is easy and safe to use. It makes any style of knife a little bit easier to bring into play. While it is not a switchblade, which means that it doesn’t fall under as many legal restrictions, it does open almost as smoothly and efficiently as an automatic would.

  • SpeedSafe is safe.
  • SpeedSafe is reliable.
  • SpeedSafe makes opening a smoother job.

The frame lock is one of the heftier locking mechanisms. This is because it is made up of a portion of the handle (or the frame of the knife) which moves behind the blade to lock it into place when you are using the Misdirect. This also adds an element of safety, because it is not going to shut down on your fingers during use.

  • Frame lock is hefty enough to take on some of the toughest tasks.

The Specs:

The blade on the Misdirect measures in at 2.9 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4 inches long. When the Kershaw is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 6.8 inches long. This weighs in at 3.2 ounces, which is a great size for a knife that you are hoping to always have with you.


When Kershaw is describing their new knife, they say, “The Misdirect is part of Kershaw's popular Starter Series, value-priced knives that offer lots of style and solid performance. The Misdirect is no exception.

Its 2.9-inch blade is a perfect size for everyday cutting tasks. The reverse tanto style ensures the tip is effectively positioned for piercing cuts and enables the Misdirect to slice through tough packaging and open quantities of mail with ease. Kershaw coated the blade with black-oxide and finished it in BlackWash™, an attractive combination that can also hide scratches.

Access the capable blade with Kershaw's tried-and-true SpeedSafe® assisted opening, which helps you open the Misdirect with minimal effort. The efficient flipper double-purposes as a fingerguard when the knife is open. The stainless steel handle is smooth, sleek, and modern. Bead-blasting gives it a non-reflective matte finish that looks great. The Kershaw logo is lasered on the handle instead of the blade to maintain the Misdirect's clean and minimalistic style.

The Misdirect offers 3 pocketclip positions. A textured backspacer transitions into a handy lanyard hole at the end of the handle. If you're looking to get started in the knife world—without busting the budget—don't miss the Misdirect.”
Like I earlier mentioned, the Misdirect will be hitting BladeOps’ shelves this year. That means that soon you will be able to pick up one of your own. Until then, shop all Kershaw brand knives here