Welcome, avid knife enthusiasts and novices alike! If you’re reading this, you’ve come across the marvel that is a Kershaw knife blade or perhaps even purchased one of your own. From the beautifully crafted blades to the precision engineering of their mechanisms, Kershaw knives exemplify quality and craftsmanship. However, to truly appreciate these works of art, it is crucial to understand how to open and close them safely and effectively.

This guide aims to provide you with that knowledge. We’ll delve into the specifics of various types of Kershaw knives, focusing on their unique opening and closing mechanisms, safety precautions, and maintenance tips.

Indeed, knowing how to handle your Kershaw knife correctly not only ensures your safety but also enhances the knife’s lifespan and functionality. So, whether it’s a Kershaw snap-on knife, a Kershaw cryo knife, or a Kershaw SpeedSafe knife, let’s arm ourselves with this essential knowledge, shall we?

How to Open a Kershaw Knife?

Learning to open a Kershaw knife is much like learning to play a musical instrument. It requires a mix of skill, practice, and understanding of the tool. It’s not just about having a firm grip on the pocket knife but also understanding the mechanism behind the blade tang and the right way to use your index finger. This process, when mastered, becomes an effortless art.

Let’s explore the techniques for various types of Kershaw knives, ensuring you are well-equipped to handle any style you come across.

Opening A Manual Kershaw Knife

A manual Kershaw knife is one that requires physical effort to open the blade, and these often employ either a thumb stud or a nail nick. In the case of folding knives, understanding the mechanism of mid-lock becomes crucial.

Thumb Stud Method

The thumb stud method involves a protrusion on the blade that allows you to push or flick open the knife with your thumb. Here’s how to do it: Place your thumb on the thumb stud, apply pressure, and smoothly swing out the blade. Remember, confidence is key. A hesitant motion could lead to mishandling.

Nail Nick Method

The nail nick method, a more traditional approach, involves a small cutout in the blade where you can insert your fingernail to pull open the knife. Find the nail nick, insert your nail, and gently pull the blade open.

Opening An Assisted Opening Kershaw Knife

Assisted opening knives are designed for ease and speed, primarily utilizing the SpeedSafe technology.

SpeedSafe Technology and Its Usage

Kershaw’s patented SpeedSafe technology involves a torsion bar that helps move the blade out of the handle, enabling smooth and quick blade deployment. To use it, apply pressure on the thumb stud or flipper. The SpeedSafe technology will then take over, swiftly opening the knife.

Opening An Automatic Kershaw Knife

Automatic knives, or switchblades, are designed for ultra-quick, one-handed opening.

Push Button Operation

In an automatic knife, the blade is released by the push of a button. This button is usually located on the handle. When pressed, the blade springs out in an instant.

Safety Measures Specific to Automatic Knives

Automatic knives, given their swift nature, require extra caution. Ensure that your fingers are nowhere near the blade’s path when deploying it. Always point the knife away from yourself and others when opening.

How To Close A Kershaw Knife?

Having successfully opened your Kershaw knife, it’s equally important to know how to close it properly. Much like the opening process, closing a knife requires both precision and care. As with opening, different types of Kershaw knives have different methods for closure.

Closing A Manual Kershaw Knife

Manual knives generally use either a frame lock or a liner lock mechanism.

Frame Lock

In a frame lock knife, the knife handle—or frame—includes a cut-out slot. This slot releases a section of the frame that moves into position behind the blade to lock it open securely. To close a frame lock knife, push the frame to the side and fold the blade back into the handle.

Liner Lock

A liner lock has a leaf-like spring from the liner of the handle that moves into position behind the blade to lock it open. To close a liner lock knife, you need to push the liner to the side and fold the blade back into the handle.

Closing An Assisted Opening Kershaw Knife

Closing an assisted opening knife involves similar steps as a manual one, with an added layer of caution due to the SpeedSafe technology. Gently press the frame locks aside, then carefully fold the blade into the handle. Remember, the torsion bar will want to resist, so use a controlled motion.

Closing An Automatic Kershaw Knife

Automatic knives usually employ a button release for closing.

Button Release

To close an automatic knife, you press the button release again. This action will disengage the lock, allowing you to fold the blade back into the handle carefully.

Safety Measures for Automatic Closing

As with opening, closing an automatic knife calls for extra caution. Make sure your fingers are clear of the blade’s path when folding it back into the handle.

Safety Measures Before Opening

Before you open your Kershaw knife, consider these key safety measures.

  • Checking the Surroundings: Ensure that you have ample space around you and that there are no individuals within the range of the knife’s blade.
  • Proper Holding of the Knife: Your grip on the knife should be firm yet comfortable. Avoid holding the knife too loosely, as this can lead to accidents.
  • Ensuring Knife’s Condition: Regularly check your knife for any signs of damage. Operating a faulty knife can lead to unwanted accidents.

Safety Measures Before Closing

Before closing your Kershaw knife, these safety considerations should be kept in mind.

  • Checking the Blade: Inspect the blade to make sure it’s free of any debris or material that could interfere with the closing mechanism.
  • Holding the Knife Properly: Maintain a secure grip on the knife while closing it to ensure it doesn’t slip from your hand, causing potential harm.


We hope this comprehensive guide has equipped you with the essential knowledge on how to open and close a Kershaw knife safely. With a mix of skill, understanding, and regular practice, you’ll become adept at handling these beautiful tools.

Remember, a well-maintained knife is not just an effective tool but also a safer one. Always adhere to safety precautions and maintain your knife’s condition to ensure longevity and functionality. And remember, as with all things, practice makes perfect. Here’s to many years of safe and satisfying knife use!


Eliza is a culinary maven with an undeniable passion for the art of cooking and a deep understanding of all things kitchen-related. She is a renowned kitchen expert and a source of inspiration for aspiring chefs around the world. With years of hands-on experience and a knack for creating delectable masterpieces, she has established herself as a leading authority in the culinary industry.

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