Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Knife Review: Kershaw Cryo G10

The Kershaw Cryo G10.  A really good little knife.
My review of the Kershaw Cryo G10 has recieved a fair amount of traffic since I posted it, so I wanted to update the review, and provide some pictures.

If you want a one sentence review:  This is a good little knife available for a very affordable price.

If you want more, read on.


I originally bought the Kershaw Cryo G10 (I'll just call it the G10 from here on out) because I was having a hard time getting my hands on a Lone Wolf T1, and the G10 fit a lot of the criteria I wanted for a very affordable price.  The small size of the knife and affordable price makes it a good choice for travelling.  If it get's lost it's not going to be the end of the world.  There is no shortage of varying knife laws around the country and world, but for travelling purposes I think that the 2.5 inch blade on this knife would help avoid legal trouble.

This should not be taken as any kind of official claim regarding knife laws in any jurisdiction.  There are laws in some places against carrying a locking blade.  There are laws against assisted opening knives.  There are laws against carrying any kind of knife in some places.  So be aware of the laws wherever you might travel with a knife.

When I traveled to Easter Island for archaeological work, I read up on what I could find regarding knife laws in Chile (Easter Island is a part of Chile).  In at least Santiago, it is illegal to carry a knife, but small pocket knives are generally given a pass.  I figured that of the various knives I owned at the time, that the G10 would be the least likely to cause any problems.  So for my trip to Easter Island the G10 was my knife, and it ended up performing excellently.

While in Easter Island I needed to prepare my own food, and the knives that were provided were very dull.  I ended up using the G10 for all of my food prep needs as well as normal pocketknife duties.  The G10 turned out ot be a very capable slicer, and the handle was comfortable during extended use.  In terms of a knife for everyday carry (EDC) this knife proved to be capable of everything I threw at it despite its small size.


From the Kershaw website
  • Flipper, thumbstud
  • SpeedSafe® assisted opening
  • Frame lock, lock bar stabilizer
  • 4-position deep-carry pocketclip
  • Steel: Stainless steel, stonewashed finish
  • Handle: G-10 front, 410 back, stonewashed finish
  • Blade length: 2.75 in. (7 cm)
  • Closed length: 3.75 in. (9.5 cm)
  • Weight: 3.7 oz. (104.9 g)
The G10 is a version of the Kershaw Cryo that has a G10 (resin reinforced with layered fiberglass) handle scale on the non-locking side.  This provides grippier handle than the all metal construction of the original Cryo.

The knife was designed by Rick Hinderer, and looks like his knives.  It also has his patented lock stabilizer.

The blade material is listed as stainless steel on the Kershaw site, but is described elsewhere as 8Cr13Mov.  I own a few knives with 8Cr13Mov blades, and I have to say that the steel on my G10 has performed better than any of my other 8Cr13Mov knives.

The clip is described as a four position clip, but on my knife at least, there were only two positions pre-drilled.  Right handed tip up or right handed tip down.

The clip is also a deep-carry clip, which can be a problem in some places because almost all of the knife is concealed when it is in your pocket.



Too short:

Another quarter inch of blade and handle would make this a much better fit for me.  I have pretty big hands, and this does not fill my hand.

Opening Mechanics:

The assisted open seems unnecessary, it also makes the thumbstuds totally superfluous.  The thumbstuds are a hazard on this knife.  They make it harder to get out of your pocket, tear up the pocket, and if you do try to open the knife with the thumbstuds it is very easy to cut your thumb due to the amount of force needed and the small size of the knife.



Everything about this knife is stiff out of the box, and use doesn’t change that much.  The assisted open is stiff.  The thumbstuds are too stiff to use.  The frame lock is stout and stiff.  But the blade is stiff when deployed.  The stiffness also seems to translate to a solidity when the knife is deployed.  I would ideally like easier deployment, but this is not a big deal on this knife.

After several months of heavy use in a variety of environments the stiffness really has not changed.  This isn't a terribly smooth knife, but as I said, the knife performs just fine.  This is not a $300 knife, it is a knife available for less than $30.  It performs admirably for the price range.


If you've read my blog posts you may have noticed that I have a bit of a fixation on jimping.  I really like the additional grip that good jimping provides, and I like the look of it.  Unfortunately, on the G10, the jimping is pretty much just for looks.  The edges of the jimping on the handle are smooted out, which means that they are easy on the hand, but don't provide any real additional grip.  The jimping on the thumb-ramp of the blade is also pretty smoothed, and does not stand out enough from the handle to provide any use.

The jimping looks good on the knife, but it doesn't really offer any performance.


Out of the Box Sharpness:

This knife came literally shaving sharp.  I had been working with trees the day it came in the mail and had some pitch in my arm hair, so I decided to see if the knife would shave off the pitch tangled hairs, it did no problem.

Edge retention and Cutting Ability:

Very good.  I know that 8Cr13Mov is not the most amazing steel, but I have been impressed with its performance on this knife.  After a month of heavy use remained nicely sharp. 

I brought this knife with me to Easter Island since I figured its small size would avoid any legal difficulties for a pocket knife.  I was in a fairly remote location, and the accommodations required we do food prep ourselves, unfortunately all the knives provided were extremely dull, so for several weeks I used this pocket knife to do all of my cooking on top of regular EDC duty.  This knife performed far better than I would have expected.  I had already found the knife to be surprisingly good for field duty, I didn’t think it would be any use for the kitchen, but it performed admirably.  I had not expected to be using this knife so heavily while in Chile, so I was very grateful for how well the edge has stood up to a lot more use than I anticipated.  The edge was not razor sharp after a few weeks, but still significantly sharper than any of the other knives that were available.  It was still sharp enough to handle tomatoes cleanly without serration, I’d call that usably sharp.

The edge stayed very sharp until two days before I left Easter Island.  Two days before I left I barbecued.  The cut of meat I barbecued was a big chunk of beef that had a lot of connective tissue and fascia.  I decided to separate the connective tissue.  Trimming the meat off of the connective tissue puts a lot of wear on an edge, so I was not surprised that it really dulled the knife.  The knife was still sharper than anything else in the kitchen afterward, but it had lost the fine edge.  It still cut a tomato, but with a little squishing.  Still for a knife that I bought for less than $40 I think this was tremendous performance and edge retention.

After I returned home I resharpened the knife.  After only a few minutes I was able to get the knife back to shaving sharpness.  Just a few passes on the fine side of my whetstone and a touch up with a steel, the knife was back to where it started.

So to sum up, excellent performance from the steel, and good cutting mechanics for a variety of uses.


Feels nice in the hand, but light in the pocket.  Good for hiking and everyday activities, but with enough heft to feel right for heavier use than its size might indicate.


Solid.  Rock solid.  If you try to use the thumbstuds the lockup can get sticky because it causes the frame lock to engage late, but with the assisted open the lockup is neither too late nor too early.  It’s like Goldi-Locks, just right.

Grip and Jimping:

The G10 scale gives this knife good grippiness.  Sadly the jimping seems to be more decorative than functional.  The jimping on the blade in particular does not stand out sufficiently from the handle and is not sharp enough to provide good grip.  But the blade is short enough that choking up on the blade is not a real issue.  Still, a nice looking satisfyingly grippy handle.


This knife is easily available for around $30 and can be found for less.  The knife is small, with a blade around 2.5 inches, and the handle is proportionate.  The small size means that you can't really get a full hand grip on the knife, but the good ergonomics of the knife make it a very capable tool despite it's small size.  I also think it is a good looking knife.

The G10 is not a perfect knife, but for the price range it is sold at it is a great value.  This knife won't break the bank, and I think you'll be happy with it.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful, what a website it is! This weblog gives useful information to us, keep it up.