Regular readers will know that, as a rule, I’m not a big fan of small folding knives, but the Kershaw Shuffle DIY little folder deserves a close look today.
Quite honestly, a mid-size or larger folding knife can do more chores better than a smaller folder can, most of the time. There are times when a smaller folding knife is called for. This is especially true when it comes to detail work. I’m a real sucker for a dual-purpose folder that can handle jobs other than cutting things. That is true as long as the added tools are high quality tools, not junk.
The Shuffle Overview
The original Shuffle was so popular that Kershaw came out with the DIY in 2017. They did it up right, too. The new Shuffle DIY model features a thumbstud for easy opening, and it works, too. I’ve had a lot of smaller folders that just didn’t work with the thumbstud for some reason. I had to hold the knife just right in order to press on the thumbstud before I could get the blade opened. We also have a liner lock to keep the blade securely locked open. And, the 2.4-inch blade is wider than what most smaller folders have. The pocket clip is a single position, and I’ll explain why shortly.
It has a few extra tools. We have a nice bottle opener, for opening those now hard-to-find bottles. There is a bit driver with a flathead and Phillips screwdriver bits, and a key ring, if you want to carry it that way, instead of clipped to your pocket.
I really like the bit drivers – one in Phillips head and the other is a Flathead. They lock securely in the bit driver on the butt end of the Shuffle DIY. Therein lies the reason that the pocket-clip is only on one side and can’t be used on the other side. The bit drivers are in the handle on the opposite side of the handle scales. It’s not a deal breaker, if you ask me. The bits are easy enough to remove from the handle scales. Just push them out and stick them in the bit driver.
Blade and Handle
The blade steel is 8Cr13MoV black coated oxide stainless steel, which isn’t a bad choice at all. It keeps the price of the knife down there, too. The gray colored handle scales are glass-filled nylon; it’s super tough stuff. The knife is only 3.25 inches when closed. When opened, it is 5.75-inches. With a weight of 3.5 oz, you don’t know it’s in your pocket because it’s so light-weight.
The blade came hair-poppin’ sharp right out of the box, which was nice! This folder can be an everyday utility folder. With the added bit drivers, it can accomplish a lot of jobs that would call for a couple of scewdrivers and a cutting edge, all in one small package that you can carry clipped to your pants pocket, or even a shirt pocket, or just loose in the bottom of your pants pocket. Believe it or not, I’ve seen folks carrying a small folding knife clipped to the brim of their baseball cap. Go figure?
Critical Opinion- Loved It!
One of the owners of the gun shop I haunt is a harsh critic when it comes to knives, very harsh. He can always seem to find fault in just about any knife I show him. I’ve told him a number of times that maybe he should become a knife designer like I am in my spare time. He’ll find it’s a lot harder task then he believes it to be. Now, with that said, this fellow really likes smaller folding knives in a big way. He fell in love with the Kershaw DIY sample, and I ended up gifting it to him after my testing. This is one small folder I will replace. It’s one of those little knives that really grows on you.
I spent more than 35 years in the martial arts, actively as either a student or an instructor. I hold Black Belt rank in five styles of martial arts, and I could claim a 10th Degree Black Belt, if I wanted to, based on my own style of martial art that I developed over the years, picking and choosing the best of the best moves and methods from the various martial arts I studied. But I don’t make any claims to many new moves. Most of what I used to teach were from other styles, with only a few of the moves that I developed on my own.
Knife for Defending Yourself
Many people believe that you need a great big “Rambo” knife to defend yourself with. Yeah, I’ll be the first to admit that a knife with a longer blade can get the job done quicker and easier when it comes to self-defense using a knife. However, a small blade hidden in the hand can be very effective at stopping an attacker. First of all, most knife “fights” don’t involve a lot of stabbing. Instead, it is usually slashing moves, and the blade is used against the hands/arms, face, and neck area.
Small Blade Can Be Fatal
A small blade used effectively on the face and neck of an attacker can prove very effective and even fatal, if that is what is called for, to save your bacon. So, don’t even discount an attacker who might only be armed with a small knife. It’ll kill you just as dead as a bigger knife can do. Remember, you must attack the attack. You’ll never win any fight if all you do is defend. However, I’m getting off the topic.
Tasks and Testing
You are limited with a shorter blade, with some of the tasks you can accomplish with a longer blade. There are not a lot of uses in the kitchen for a short blade folder. One task I usually put my knife samples through is slicing tough blackberry vines. Even those the Shuffle DIY was super-sharp, the blade simply wasn’t long enough to completely slice through one of these vines. The cutting edge was just too short.
When time came to cut open FedEx and UPS packages, the little DIY worked great. Then we have the bit drivers. I tightened a lot of loose screws without any problems. Of course, you are limited on your reach with this little knife, but for many daily chores the bit drivers worked great. What’s not to like here?
Handle Shape and Durability
The handle is shaped nicely, with scallops for your fingers to fit into perfectly. That feature made for a sure hold on this little knife. And, the glass-filled handle scales are tough stuff. You just don’t see them breaking or chipping, ever. And, if they do, Kershaw will make it right.
“Yes”, this knife is made overseas, so please save the hate mail. In order to compete today, most businesses simply have to have their products made overseas. If they don’t, they’ll go out of business. We live in a global economy, like it or not, and if you don’t like product made overseas then don’t buy them. However, you will more than likely walk out of Walmart or any big box store, if you want American-made products only. Sorry! I simply look at the quality of every product I buy and test. If the quality is there, then I’ll buy it. One of the most popular handguns is the Glock line-up and they are mostly made in Austria, which is overseas, in Europe. So, don’t ignore a good product because you don’t like where it’s made.
Supports American Jobs
Even though a knife might be manufactured overseas in Japan, China, or Taiwan, to mention a few, it doesn’t mean that product doesn’t support American jobs. There are on-the-dock workers who unload the cargo and the customs officers who inspect them. When a knife reaches its American headquarters, there are people in that factory who inspect every single knife before it is shipped out from their shipping department and put onto the UPS or FedEx trucks. These are job adding to our economy. Think about it.
The full retail on the Kershaw Shuffle DIY is $34.99. However, you can find it for about ten bucks less if you shop on the ‘net. It’s a lot of little knife for the money.