Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kershaw Cryo 1555TI - Did You Forget?

Back in February, I discovered the Kershaw Cryo 1555TI and fell in love.  You might have read it in my other entry here.  I ordered it on the 25th of February, and just received it today, finally!  Did you forget?

Well, I surely didn't.  I have been waiting with baited breath for this thing and now that it's finally in my hands, I'm giddy.  To me, this knife is just so cool in so many ways.  It's the right color, right shape, right blade design, right clip design, etc.  There's not a lot of bad things to say about it.  But there are plenty of good things to say when it comes to this really high value blade.

Alright, let's start with the blade itself.  It is Chinese made 8Cr13MoV.  Since the steel type doesn't have a fancy name like VG-10 or Aus-8, let's examine this steel in detail and see what we have.  The 8 represents the carbon content, which is .80 - not a lot eh?  Maybe.  I don't know.  What I do know is that carbon gives the edge better retention and hardness.  It also resists wear really well and increases tensile strength of the steel itself.  Cr is Chromium, or Chrome for short.  Steels with Cr in them are generally stainless steel if the percentage is high enough, which is where 13 comes in.  The steel is 13% Chromium, which by definition makes this blade stainless steel.  Chromium increases hardness, toughness, resistance to wear, and most importantly (to me) resists rust.  Mo is Molybdenum, which in addition to making the steel tough and hard, makes it machinable, which really means it's easy to put a fine edge on the blade.  V is Vandium, which makes the steel a fine grain steel, and increases durability.  So what you have is a low cost, high performing steel that takes and holds a good edge, and won't rust out on you.  Made in China?  Who cares?  It's a global economy anymore anyway.  Besides, did I mention I only paid $32 for this bad boy?  Try buying anything in VG-10 for that price!  Okay, getting off track here.  The blade itself is 2 3/4" long, hollow ground with a good blade profile.  I like the classic shape.  The assisted opening is a Speed Safe flipper design with thumb studs on either side, which are reversible.  The edge is adequate.  I had no problem slicing paper and card stock with it.  I used it to cut out a coupon for a pizza.  Didn't need any effort to do so.  The tip of the blade comes in wide toward the end and then gets very precise right at the tip.

The all metal frame of this knife makes a bit heavy for its size.  Without actually putting it on a scale, I can tell you it weighs more than my Spyderco Endura4, and it's smaller.  Nutnfancy might take issue with that.  Personally, unless it weighs more than 6-7 ounces, I don't care.  Then again, I don't carry more than a couple knives at a time anyway.  The frame is held together with three stylish pillars on the back, and it's solid, with no attempt at milling whatsoever.  The lock is a frame lock, and if I'm correct, that black disk in the middle allows you to adjust lockup.  Kershaw calls it lockbar stabilization.  Okay, whatever.  So I guess as the frame lock wears, you can crank that sucker down to increase lockup.  That's cool.  I have never needed that with any of my liner lock knives, but it's a nice gesture anyhow, especially at this price point.  Moving on, there is some milled gimping at the front of the frame, and milled into the top of the blade that provides adequate traction for most utility tasks.

The pivot on this knife is good.  There is no side to side end play, nor are there lockup issues.  The stop pin is ideal for the sort of tasks you'd put this knife to, which is everyday light utility tasks.  There are no audible sounds to suggest it is loose in any way.  Overall, that's an A+.

So, if you've been paying attention, you've noticed the two holes on bottom of the frame, opposite the pocket clip.  Hmm, what could those be?  If you guess threaded holes so you can orientate the clip so you can carry in the proper direction, then give yourself a gold star!  Not only can you reverse the blade for tip up carry, Kershaw has milled the holes in the same spots on the opposite side.  Lefties rejoice!  For tip down carry, the knife will ride extra deep because the clip actually sits a 16th of an inch higher than the frame.  Tip up carry will see a little more frame sticking out of your pocket, and thats because they needed to make room to clear the lanyard hole on the end.  The lanyard hole ia actually the third pillar for the frame.  Good idea.  Every piece of hardware on this knife takes a TORX bit, so it is completely open construction; ideal for cleaning and field stripping.

On the opposite side of the clip, the closed knife is very clean and stylish,  There are no printed words anywhere, which is nice because you could actually pay a company to engrave something on this side, like your name, blood type, favorite color, etc.  It'd be cool to have the JEEP logo engraved on it.  When closed up like this, it's not very wide, and takes up very little real estate in the pocket as it rides.  The clip design is simple and elegant.  It holds fast to clothing without sticking out too much, which is a consideration when you're walking next to your car.  Overall, I'm impressed with how much knife you get for the money spent.  It's a bit heavier, but I'll take the weight penalty given the cool factor of this knife.  I'm not going to hard use it though.  I really bought it for the looks.  I have no problem just picking it up to do some light duty tasks with it and then eyeball fuck it before putting it away.  I really don't think it will have any value as a collector's knife, but value is only what the person who owns or buys it for is willing to spend on it.  Personally, I like the form factor enough that I was willing to drop an hour's worth of my paycheck to have something to admire for many years to come.

-James

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