Kershaw Portal Review – A Decent Budget Knife Option

Kershaw Portal

The Kershaw Portal is one of KAI's new knives for 2016.  This is one of their budget line knives and is made in China.  Kershaw has done another great job with their cheaper line of knives this year.

If you're on a limited budget and just want a good EDC knife then the Portal might be just the knife for you.  So let's jump in and take a look at this knife.​

Knife Specs

  • Kershaw Portal Model 8600
  • 3.3 Inch Blade
  • 4CR14 Blade Steel
  • Glass Filled Nylon Handle Scales
  • Hollow Grind
  • Drop Point Blade Design
  • SpeedSafe Assisted Opening
  • Right or Left Side Tip up Pocket Clip
  • 4.3 Ounces

What I like about the Kershaw Portal

Ergonomics - The handle on this knife is great ergonimically.  Your hand really locks in nicely with the way it curves down.  There is really no hotspots when using this for extended periods of time.

Speedsafe Opening - While I'm not a huge fan of having spring assisted knives on higher end knives, I think it's great on cheaper budget blades.  Smooth, fast, and snappy pretty much sums up this knife.  I feel like Kershaw has stepped up their game with their Speedsafe knives this year.

Handle Texture - While I'm normally not a huge fan of glass filled nylon scales, it's done really well on this one.  There is enough divots and lines to give you a really solid grip on the knife.

The Looks - While it doesn't add much in the way of function, this knife looks really great.  The stonewashed finish seems a little darker on this knife compared to Kershaw's normal blades.  Also the most striking feature in the lines that run through the length of the handle through the blade.  It's a very nice look.

Hollow Grind - Not a blade grind that you see very often on Kershaws but this blade has a nice hollow grind.  Hollow grinds are my favorite when it comes to EDC knives because you can get them really sharp.  This is a good grind for slicing packages and cutting open boxes.

What I don't like about the Kershaw Portal

4CR14 Blade Steel - 4CR14 steel is a step down from Kershaw's normal budget steel in 8CR13MOV.  Now it does come at a $5 - $10 cheaper price than comparable other Kershaw Chinese knives.  

You are going to need to sharpen this knife more.  It's not a deal breaker but I would of gladly paid the extra $10 for 8CR13MOV steel.  

Black Hardware - Now this one is just a personal preference for me.  I'm not a big fan of bladed coated hardware of blades.  It tends to chip and show wear easier than satin or stonewashed finishes.  

Though I will say that the black hardware does work with this knife's overall look and design.  The fact that the pocket clip also doesn't have the Kershaw name looks good on this knife.​

  • Ergonomics
  • SpeedSafe Opening
  • Handle Texture
  • The Looks
  • Hollow Grind
  • 4CR14 Blade Steel
  • Black Hardware

Final Thoughts

Overall, you can't go wrong with the Kershaw Portal 8600.  Stylish looks, great ergonomics and the fast SpeedSafe assisted opening really make this knife shine.  If you are looking for a cheaper budge knife then add this one to your list.  You won't be disappointed.

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