As a rule, I’m not a big fan of little knives – I’ve found, that for my needs, a require a bigger folding knife for my everyday use. However, this isn’t a hard-fast rule – there are some small folding knives that I like. My oldest daughter, when she was only about 3 or 4 years of age, gave me a very small folding knife, that I still have and use every now and then, the blade is only about an inch long, and on the opposite side of the handle is a file blade – that has been used so many times, I don’t think it can even be used as a nail file – still, I love the knife. I’ve said this before, but I’ll repeat it, I like a folding knife, with a blade that is between 3 and 4 inches in length, and a blade that is 3.75-inches seems to fit me perfectly. So, when it comes to small bladed knives, it has to offer something special for me to use it.
I know some locales have restrictions on the length of a folding knife blade, and for that matter, a length restriction on fixed blade knives if you are carrying one. I think something like an arbitrary blade length doesn’t have much to do with the usefulness of a knife when it comes to self-defense, or everyday use, either. With my martial arts background, and as a knife designer myself, I know the damage that a short blade knife can do to an attacker.
They Call it the Claw
Kershaw Knives introduced a new member in their “Launch” line-up for folders – they are all automatic opening folding knives, and with each new model they come out with, I just fall in love with another after another. However, I was determined to not like the Launch 10 – not because I didn’t like the design, I did. I just didn’t much care for the very short 1.9-inch long blade. Around the Kershaw plant, this little knife earned the nickname of “The Claw” because it kind of resembles a claw on a bird or perhaps a dinosaur’s toe nail. Whatever the case may be, The Claw is what it is called, and not the Model 7350. The hawkbill-style blade is probably why it is called The Claw because of the angular planes on both sides of the blade, as well as on the handle itself. It appears to be a very difficult blade design to manufacture, but I like it.
I open a lot of boxes and packages each day, just today, for example, I was paid a visit by two different FedEx drivers with packages. This isn’t all that unusual in my neck of the woods, at one time, I had three different FedEx drivers deliver packages to me within one hour – don’t understand how FedEx routes their deliveries, but we are in a rural area, so you’d think they could figure this out and put all the packages for one address on one truck. So, back to opening boxes and packages: I found the little 7350 – The Claw – really shined when it came to opening boxes. At times, I have to admit that, I’ve more than once went too deep when opening a box, and accidentally cut what was inside – bad on me! With the short blade on The Claw, I don’t have to worry nearly as much about this sort of thing.
As already mentioned, the blade is 1.9-inches long and made out of CPM 154 steel. That particular steel really takes an edge and holds it. And it is fairly easy to re-sharpen as well. Plus, the blade has a stonewashed finish on it – very attractive to say the least. The entire length of the knife, when closed is only 3.2-inches long. The handle material is T6 Aluminum, and it’s tough stuff, with the gray anodized coating on it. When the blade is opened, the overall length of the knife is a mere 5.2-inches long and it weighs in at just 1.08-ounces.
Automatic knives are not legal to own or carry in all jurisdictions. Research this for your locality, before you order one. Now, if you’ve ever owned an automatic opening folding knife, you will know what I’m going to relate; Every once in a while, the button will somehow get pressed and the blade will open in your pants pocket – not a fun thing! More than once, over the years, I’ve had an automatic opening blade pop open in my pants pocket, and it either cut the pocket, cut my leg or cut my hand. With The Claw, you don’t have much fear of that happening because the button is very low-profile, and its not likely to open until you pull the knife out of your pocket and deliberately press the button. There is also a pocket clip – and you can even carry this little folder in a dress shirt pocket, if you don’t want to carry it in your pants pocket – very nice touch – and it’s very low-profile.
I didn’t run The Claw though some of my usual tests that I do on a knife, for instance, no sense trying to slice through a thick blackberry vine with one swipe – just wasn’t going to happen with the 1.9-inch long blade. However, I did break down some cardboard boxes. Okay, it was a lot of boxes – and it cut the boxes down in size quickly and easily.
I tried The Claw on some poly rope, and as expected, it didn’t slice clean through on one try, but it did cut through the rope several times with a second or third pull of the blade. Cotton rope wasn’t a problem, so long as I gave The Claw a real hard pull, and then it cut through the rope. Opening mail was a piece of cake with this little folder – and to be sure, I’d call this folder a “Gent’s Folder” because it is small and very easy on the eye. You see, Gentlemen, use smaller folding knives, that the rest of us savage men do…LOL!
Useful for Self Defense
Of course, a knife is a tool, and as a tool, it has different jobs that it is called upon to do – not just cutting things up into smaller pieces. A knife can be used, as a last resort as a self-defense tool. And let’s be clear on this, I’m not advocating that anyone bring a knife to a gunfight. More often than not, you will probably lose the fight. However, a knife can be used against multiple attackers who are using their hands and feet to bring about your demise. The little short blade on The Claw, can easily – very easily – rip an attacker’s throat open and cut through the jugular vein or carotid artery, bringing the attack to an end. And, the short blade could also be used to cut the attacker’s hands and arms – and there are some serious avenues of attack in the wrists and arms – once again, bringing an attack to an end. Again, this would be a last resort use of a knife.
The guys at my local gun shop that I haunt always like checking out the latest cutlery that I get for testing, and the two owners, for their own personal reasons, like small bladed folding knives, and they both like automatic opening knives. The real problem I have with these two guys is that they also believe that knives are meant as screwdrivers or small pry bars. They are always walking around with knives with the tips broken off. This, when they have numerous multi-tools in the shop they could toss in a pocket or put in a sheath on their belt. But both loved The Claw.
Initially, I was sure that I wasn’t going to like The Claw at all. Boy was I wrong – it found a home in my left front cargo pants pocket for a long, long time – until it went AWOL on me. I don’t know where it went, but it got lost, and I miss it. I wouldn’t mind if someone gave me another one, as a Father’s Day present, or CHRISTmas gift.
Full-retail on The Claw is $149.99 – but its worth it, very well-made, and you’ll find yourself using it all the time. Just be advised, you can’t purchase this direct from Kershaw – there are many state and federal restrictions on owning an automatic opening folding knife. However, if your state and locale allow it, then seek The Claw out in your neck of the woods, I think you’ll find a lot of uses for it – just as I did!