Kershaw Boa


Designed by Custom Knife Maker Ken Onion, this is my favorite knife in the "Speed Safe" Series from Kershaw. Not only does this knife look excellent; it feels excellent as well. But there is much more to this knife than looks...


Size and Materials Kershaw Model 1580MC


The closed size of the Boa is 4 5/8 inches.

The blade length is 3 3/8 inches.

The handle/grip are 6061 T6 Aluminum.

The liners and pocket clip are 410 Series Stainless Steel.

The blade is CPM-440V

The weight is approximately 4.5 ounces.


Overall Feel and Appearance


The Aluminum handle/grip is dimpled for a more secure hold. The Jury is still out on that in my mind, however. If the "dimpling" were deeper than I would agree right away.

The knife is very comfortable in the hand, to say the least. It is comfortable in forward grips at a 45 degree angle, Natural or Saber, in a 90 degree angle Hammer grip, or in reverse grip, 45 and 90 degree angles [reverse grip "contoured" or natural and Icepick grip, respectively]. The knife is also comfortable, to my hand, edge down or up in forward. Edge in or edge out in reverse grip.

My hand is rather generic. I know some people are annoyed at the slightest protrusion of anything into their hand/palm. And I know that not everyone can appreciate a grip like Icepick, edge facing IN. But that is another story. I donít care about being mildly annoyed, I do care about pain, and I feel no pain in any of these grips with this particular knife.

That having been said, the ramp serrations for a more secure grip in forward-Saber are effective as they are on most folders. They are always a nice touch on a knife. For utility use, they obviously allow for more accuracy and increased pressure during precise or tough cutting.

The Blade

What a beautiful and precise grind on my Boa! And considering that this steel [CPM-440V] is very hard to work with and finish, this blade sure puts the grinds and finishes on other production knives to shame. It almost sets the standards by which other production grinds and finishes should be judged.

Having said that, one has to wonder why other Makers cannot offer a true Satin Finish on their knives and instead play word games and refer to other finishes as being "Satin" when everyone knows they are not. Well, I try to post honest reviews and I try to offer up honest criticisms/observations on things and youíre getting it. If Kershaw can Satin finish a Production Knife with this incredibly hard to work with steel, why canít others offer a true Satin Finish on steels that are easier to work with?

Like Fox News, I report, you decide.

This is a very nice hollow grind and right out of the box would easily shave hair without scraping.

This curvy little wonder is a powerful cutter. Like the Emerson Commander, it can have a slightly shorter blade and still retain some serious cutting power because of the blade shape. A very nice little blade if you ask me. Does not look terribly "offensive" to some peopleÖ This leads us back to the handle.

FRUIT-Flavored Knife


This handle is WILD looking! Talk about a friendly looking knife! This thing just screams "Non-Weapon, Fashion Statement Pocketknife."

I like to call it, YUPPIEFLAGE, it reminds you of a Margarita instead of a Bloody Mary, you know what I mean?



Ken Onionís Patented "SpeedSafe Torsion Bar" is one of the things that make this knife very attractive.

All of the discussions about the SpeedSafe declare it to be legal and not a Switchblade. I agree that it is not a Switchblade. I am also very sure that there are a whole lot of people out there that would consider it a Switchblade.

It is a very fast and incredibly smooth and has some kick when the spring assist begins, which is only after a few millimeters of blade travel.

It is positive, but rather lazy when activated. The sort of opening that people routinely complain about on a Switchblade. In other words, it is not "fast and snappy" like say, a Microtech L-UDT. If this were a Switchblade, people would complain that it suffered from the knife equivalent of "Lazy Eye."

In fact, if it were not for the SpeedSafe Design being incorporated into this knife, because of the color scheme on this particular model, it would probably be The Ultimate "Politically Correct Every Day Carry" [PC-EDC] folder for under $150.00.


Two Locks


The Liner Lock is secure and what more can I say about Liner Locks anyway? Why waste my time typing out a few paragraphs singing the praises of it? Volumes have been written Pro and Con about it. The Liner Lock is a, "Love it or Hate it" type of thing. Iím not going to dwell on it except to tell you that is the lock in it! Could the steel liners have been a little bit thicker? Yeah, I think soÖ

The secondary locking device is to keep the Boa from firing in your pocket with the SpeedSafe Mechanism. It is simple and works well. There is a corresponding notch you can see on the guard. The guard, in the closed position, is the "Flipper" for opening the knife. The small notch is the portion of the blade that the secondary safety slides into to lock the knife securely in the closed position for pocket carry so nothing can activate the SpeedSafe. Another well thought out and nice touch to a very nice knife.

The secondary safety, a sliding safety, is located topside on the knife. Just a simple piece of plastic or G10, I donít know which, that is serrated for a secure purchase. It engages and releases easily with no "forcing" necessary at all.


Two Openers


I donít like thumb studs at all. On this knife, I donít even use the thumb stud. Why? Because it has a Flipper! Thatís why! Flippers are cool. All you have to do is run the side of your index finger down the back of the knife and the Boa opens, neat, huh? I think so!

Tagging the thumb stud lightly will open the blade, again, thanks to the SpeedSafe Mechanism. But the Flipper is where itís at. I canít believe this knife is not more popular. It probably sells very well for Kershaw but I donít know why more people do not sing the praises of this unique, well-made and designed knife.

It is a very cool pocketknife and I urge you to pick one up and hit the Flipper. You might just like it.

The following pictures are from the Patent for The SpeedSafe. This is obviously not a Kershaw Boa but should give you an idea of the SpeedSafe Mechanism.


Don Rearic

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