The Kershaw Cryo: Not for Me

In a first for Journeywind Junk, I’ve decided to return a knife. I know what you’re thinking – “Really? The Cryo? That’s the best budget blade Kershaw makes!” And you know what? I can’t really argue with that assessment. I wholeheartedly endorse the Cryo as a value-conscious EDC knife.

But as a matter of personal taste, this just wasn’t the knife for me. Here are the five things that kept it out of my pocket and, eventually, out of my collection.

5. The Look


Aesthetically speaking, I tend to prefer knives which feature different colors on the handle and blade. The Cryo is basted all over in the same matte gray finish, which I feel hurts the overall package. The blade profile is nice and the handle fills my palm, but the look just doesn’t do anything for me. I think a different color profile would really bring out the forms of Hinderer’s design. As it is, I sigh a little every time I pull it from my pocket.

4. The Action


I’m generally a fan of quick-deploying knives for daily use. And for knife users on a budget, SpeedSafe provides a welcome boost. Unfortunately, mine is pretty sticky. I’ve tried loosening the pivot, adding lubrication, and working the action, but one-handed operation remains a chore. While I do realize that this would probably wear in over time, it’s a strike against this particular knife.

3. The Disassembly

Like most knives equipped with SpeedSafe, the Cryo is a beast to maintain. In order to it apart, you’ll need either two of the same sized Torx bits or some other way to keep the back spacer screw on the opposite side from spinning. Getting the knife back together is an even greater chore, as shown in this excellent breakdown video. Keeping the greased-up SpeedSafe bar inside of its cage while trying to fit the knife back together can be a very frustrating process.

For me, tool maintenance is generally a happy activity. I put on a movie, spread out my gear, and hum away as I clean and polish components. With the Cryo, there was a lot more cursing than usual. And not from the movie.

2. The Weight


This knife is heavy. At 4.1-ounces, its heft offsets a lot of the design decisions intended to keep the Cryo in stasis once it hits your pocket. But that’s what you get with full-metal folders. You could make the argument that this enhances its durability, and I’d agree. But with 8CR13MOV steel, how long-lived are you really expecting this knife to be?

1. The Competition

You did this to yourself, Kershaw.

Final Thoughts


In closing, I’d like to emphasize that the Kershaw Cryo is an excellent budget knife. I know several folks who love them as EDC blades, and I can’t argue with its blend of form, function, and financial appeal. But what I can say is that, on a personal level, this knife has no future with me. It’s too heavy to be part of my casual carry, and I don’t trust 8CR13MOV as the steel for my jobsite tools.

Bottom line – The Cryo is a great knife. It just wasn’t so great for me.

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