Kershaw Kitchen Knives, by Pat Cascio

Survival means different things to different people. Many only think of survival in terms of surviving out in the wilderness. That isn’t the only type of survival. Today, we are looking at a set of kitchen knives from Kershaw Knives and how they will help you survive your daily kitchen chores.

Ernest Emerson- The Real Deal

One of the most famous tactical knife designers in the world is Ernest Emerson. When many hear his name, they immediately think of his line of custom or factory-made tactical knives. They do so with good reason; this is what made Emerson famous. However, many don’t know that Ernest Emerson is also a very accomplished martial artist in his own right, too. In the past, I’ve spent many hours on the phone with Ernest, collecting background information on the theory behind his knives, as well as his martial arts background. Having spent more than 35 years actively involved in the martial arts myself, Emerson and I had a lot to discuss during our phone conversations. You can tell if the person is the real deal or a mall ninja. Emerson is the real thing.

Emerson Knives

Emerson knives have been featured in several TV shows as well as movies, and because of demand he no longer takes orders for his custom, hand-made knives. Instead, he opened his own factory, where his knives are made under Emerson’s close supervision. Now, with that said, even the factory-made Emerson Knives are in short supply. Many times, you will see that his knives are out-of-stock on his own website.

Collaboration Between Emerson and Kershaw Knives

Enter a collaboration between Emerson and Kershaw Knives that started several years ago. Emerson is designing a special line of knives just for Kershaw. While the Kershaw line-up may look identical to the Emerson line-up, they are slightly different in some ways.

Kershaw/Emerson Knives

I’ve tested a good many of the Kershaw/Emerson knives in the past, and I wrote several articles about them. Each one was a real winner, and they are priced “oh-so-right” as well. If you didn’t see the name– Emerson or Kershaw– on the blades, you wouldn’t know which factory was making them. It could be Emerson’s own factory or the Kershaw factory. They are just “that” good, if you ask me!

Emerson Kitchen Knife Set

Ernest Emerson knows that if a knife doesn’t feel just right in the hand, then it simply won’t sell or be used. Emerson always wanted to put his brain to work to design some kitchen knives that met his own demanding specifications and that would be affordable.

Enter the Emerson Kitchen knife set– a three-piece set, consisting of a bread knife with a blade that is 7.25 inches in length, a chef’s knife with a blade that is 7.75 inches long, and a paring knife with a blade that is 4.25 inches in length. All three blades are made out of DIN 1.4116 stainless steel with a satin finish.


Handle material on the Emerson kitchen set is glass-filled nylon, which is super-tough stuff. The design and curve on the handles of all three knives makes them easy to use and easy to hold onto, even during the most demanding kitchen cutting chores.

Light Weight

All three knives are light weight, with the Chef’s knife coming in at a mere 6.5 oz. The bread knife is 5.1 oz, and the paring knife is 1.9 oz.

Cutting Edge

What is a bit different about the edge on all three knives is that, the cutting edge is only at 16-degree angle. It is a very thin edge.

Testing All Three Knives

I recruited my wife to help me in the kitchen. Together we tested all three knives.

The Bread Knife

We like fresh-baked baguette bread from the bakery at one of the local grocery stores we shop. This baguette is not sliced. Thus, a good, a really good bread knife is called for, and the Emerson easily sliced through this loaf of bread with no effort. If you’ve ever tried slicing fresh-baked bread, you know it’s no easy task.

The Chef’s Knife

The chef’s knife came in handy during a recent BBQ and is always welcomed in the kitchen. Thick, large pieces of meat that need to be trimmed or sliced before cutting is a hard task, and you need a good, long blade on a chef’s knife to get this task done. Otherwise, it can be very frustrating, trying to slice through cooked or raw meat with a blade that is either too short or one that is dull, very dull!

The Paring Knife

The paring knife was my wife’s favorite and is used daily in the kitchen. She fell in love with it. She’s a country girl and spends a lot of time in the kitchen, where she uses a paring knife more than any other kind of kitchen knife.

Touch-up on Blades

For the better part of a month, we tested the Kershaw/Emerson kitchen knife set around the kitchen. Towards the end of that month, I thought maybe I needed to put a touch-up on the blades. The bread knife not so much as it is serrated, but I still I touched it up. That 16-degree angle takes a little thought to get the blade razor sharp all over again. It’s not difficult but just took a little extra time to keep the angle at 16 degrees.

The knives didn’t really need a touch-up, as they were still cutting extremely well, but I wanted to see how easily I could hone the blades. It wasn’t all that difficult, if you ask me. The blades are very thin and they flex, which is a good thing. The thinner the blade, the longer it will hold that super-sharp edge.

The blade on the paring knife just barely touched my index finger when I went to pick it up to re-sharpen it, and I mean that it just barely touched the finger. Just a mere touch drew blood. That’s sharp!

A Super Deal

I’d love to see a steak knife set come out of Kershaw with the Emerson well thought out design. It would be a great seller, especially when you stop and think how little these knives retail for– a mere $44.95 for the three knife set. That is a deal, a super deal, on professional quality kitchen knives. Pick up a set, and you’ll wonder how you got along without them. I promise!


  1. I like to survive in my kitchen with a Emerson folder, the CQC mini. As of yet, the CQC is the best EDC folder I have had. Do you think I could baton with these Kershaw/Emerson collaborations?

    Another good review, Pat.

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