A classy, comfortable, and still tenacious folder, the Kershaw Link may be built for tough tasks, but it performs them with grace

by Dexter Ewing; photos by Marty Stanfield, Marty Stanfield Photography

Kershaw Knives‘ Link series offers a good, solid working folder design at a great price point. The folder is stylish and has all the features that make single-blade lockblades so hot on the market now. You have a liner lock for easy, one-hand closing, a deep carry pocket clip for comfortable and concealed carry, a flipper tab for quick opening of the blade, and a highly usable blade design that promotes cutting efficiency. With a blade length of 3 ¼ inches, the Link is on the larger side of EDC folders, so it’s not going to be for everyone. But if you favor larger folding knives at a great value, the Link may be the one for you.

Currently, Kershaw offers the Link in premium CPM 20CV high performance stainless steel paired with an attractive OD green anodized aluminum handle. The blade’s flipper tab offers fast ambidextrous deployment, even while wearing gloves.

Starting with the blade, a modified drop point shape is used to optimize the cutting performance of the 20CV steel. The blade’s high, flat grind geometry gives the cutting edge some serious bite and the 20CV premium high performance steel offers muscle to go the distance and retain the sharp edge for your most difficult cutting tasks.

Speaking of sharp edges, Kershaw does an excellent job at putting a high-quality edge on their knives — one that you don’t have to “doctor up” prior to use. Just take the Link right out of the box and put it to work. For those of you not familiar with high-end blade steel like the CPM 20CV on the Link, there is a slight trade-off. On the positive side, you won’t have to sharpen the blade as much. The bad? When the edge does become dull, you might have to invest a good chunk of time to resharpen it due to the fact it is very wear resistant. The remedy? Time to shift from “sharpening” to “edge maintenance” by honing the edge frequently — kind of like a butcher does by using the butcher steel prior to every use. This way you can always maintain a sharp edge.

The Link’s stylish handle is machined from highly durable and lightweight aluminum, with double stainless-steel liners offering a solid backbone. All handle hardware, pocket clip, and liners are coated black to provide a nice, subtle blacked-out appearance that is quite sleek.

The pocket clip is one of the best in this industry I have seen, as it is a fold-over, deep carry design that does an excellent job at keeping the Link at the top of your pocket within easy reach. The clip is attached via two screws, so it is securely anchored to the handle. Lefty users, rejoice! The Link’s clip can be switched to the opposite side of the handle for easy carry; however, the clip cannot be switched from blade tip up carry to tip down carry, so tip up is the only method of carry. The handle’s surface sports clean, geometric machining patterns which makes the handle more aesthetically pleasing than just a flat handle. The handle edges are chamfered for a more comfortable grip, and that is ideal for those tough cutting tasks. In-pocket, the handle doesn’t feel bulky or uncomfortable.

In use, the Link is as handy as it is stylish looking. Depend on this knife to muscle through your toughest cutting jobs, with the 20CV steel blade consistently holding an edge for extended periods without maintenance.

Personally, I dig the color green, so green handle knives are right up my alley. There’s a lot of black handle knives on the market right now and having a splash of color is welcome. It’s dark enough to be subtle.

The handle is comfortable enough to hang onto during extended cutting tasks, and I found no hot spots to report. The chamfering around the radius of the handle does its job. The knife carries well deep in the pocket, but these deep carry clips can be good and bad at the same time. Good that the knife handle sits deep in the pocket. Bad in the sense that the knife sits deep in the pocket, making it a bit difficult to access in some situations. But for those who like deep carry, putting up with the access inconvenience is a good compromise.

The blade shape is adaptable to a lot of cutting tasks, and you will find yourself using the Link quite a bit.

If you are looking for a blade design that is useful without looking threatening, this is it. Style. Good looks. Very handy. Budget friendly. Solid feel. All these describe the Kershaw Link 17760LSW.

Dexter has been writing about knives for over 25 years. He currently serves as Field Editor for BLADE Magazine, and he runs a knife and tool sharpening service. Dexter has a passion for knives and knife collecting. His specialty is production (factory-made) knives and the trends and technology associated with them.

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