Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guns and Gear Review #14: Kershaw Nerve and Brawler

Hey folks, it's your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp here, bringing you another two for one review.

Now, I first want to apologize for not being more active with the site in the last couple months. I am struggling for things to review that I think would interest you all. So, with that in mind, I bring you my review of the Kershaw Brawler and Nerve.

First up, the Brawler.

I purchased this knife for 20 dollars US just before Christmas last year at a local big box chain store and it came in a special "tactical" combo pack with an LED flashlight and a tactical pen. The light and pen were basically extras and they are fairly good for the money, but they aren't the focus of this review. The knife is what I was more interested in. So, let's get to it.

The Brawler (or the 1990 Brawler, as it's called on Kershaw's website) features a 3 inch modified tanto style blade, Kershaw's patented 'SpeedSafe' assisted opening feature, and a black glass-filled nylon handle. The steel used in the blade is 8Cr13MoV with a black oxide coating to protect it. It also features a four position pocket or belt clip.

My first thought upon buying the knife was "Did I make a good purchase ?" because I have made some boneheaded purchases in the past (See my purchase of the M-Tech/Maxam kukri). Well, my fear was unfounded because the Kershaw Brawler is a well made knife. It's part of Kershaw's budget line of knives sold at various sporting goods stores and big box stores along with some of Kershaw's more expensive choices.

I've done some cutting tests with the Brawler and have even carried it around as part of my EDC. Still, while it's a good knife in its own right, it didn't replace my CRKT Hammond Cruiser as my main EDC knife. That's mostly because I'm kind of stubborn when it comes to swapping out things that I feel work for me. I may just have to rotate my EDC knives, though.

Would I recommend getting a Kershaw Brawler ? Yes, I would. Even if you can't find the tactical pack I bought, the knife alone is well worth the 25 dollars you can find it going for. And if you look around, you can get the knife for less than that.

Now, onto the second part of this Two for One special.

The Kershaw Nerve.

This knife was actually the most recent purchase and it was also an impulse buy, one of which I'm actually happy with. I paid around 21 dollars US for it at a local sporting goods store.

Yet another part of Kershaw's budget line of knives, the Nerve features a 3 1/8 inch half serrated/ half plain edge blade with a bead blasted finish and CNC machined G-10 handle scales. The G-10 scales have a rough texture and almost a ripple type look to them. I'm actually kind of wondering why Kershaw didn't call the Nerve "The Ripple" because of the way the scales look. Of course, they probably already produce a knife called the Ripple, so that could be why. I should mention that both the Brawler and Nerve are liner lock style knives. The Nerve, unlike the Brawler, only has a two position pocket clip. Meaning you can only configure it for right hand blade tip up or blade tip down carry. It's not a problem for me since I carry my knives in my right jeans pocket. My left jeans pocket is reserved for other parts of my EDC, like my wallet. The 8Cr13MoV blade steel is the same used in the Brawler, but on the Nerve it's sharpened to a very scary degree. I'm not saying the Brawler isn't sharp (it is very sharp), but the Nerve's blade is scary sharp. Case in point, I did the same thing most guys do when testing a blades sharpness. I ran the blade over my arm and shaved off a good sized patch of hair with zero trouble. In that regards, I have no problem saying the Kershaw Nerve is the sharpest knife I have ever owned and this is a factory edge which makes it even more surprising. Most knives I get have decent factory edges, but the factory edge on the Nerve blows them all out of the water. Not even the Brawler had this sharp of a blade. Heck, not even my Kershaw Crown is as sharp as the Nerve and it's got a really sharp blade.

I've done more cutting tests with the Nerve aside from the arm hair shaving thing (which we've all done at one point in our lives, right guys ?) and it's awesome at every one of them. So, I'd definitely recommend getting a Kershaw Nerve while you can because I've been reading that Kershaw is actually discontinuing the Nerve along with a few other knives. So, I'll probably be picking another one up here in the next few weeks, assuming I still can.

Both the Kershaw Nerve and Brawler get the 12-Gauge Chimp Seal of Approval.

That will do it for this Two for One review special and be sure to check back often. Even though I may not have anything to write about, I still check the site from time to time and enjoy reading the comments you all leave. So thank you for stopping by and reading my posts and if you like what you read, become a Friend of the Chimp. Also, recommend the site to your friends, family and whoever you'd think would be interested in it. 

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.