Speedsafe Assisted Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review

Thanks for stopping by to read our Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review.

The excitement was almost palpable when Kershaw announced a partnership with Rick Hinderer. For years Rick has been a backbone of grail knife manufacturers, with his XM series of midtech/custom knives (based on your definition) being on everybody’s “would kill for” list. We mere mortals, finally, with the introduction of the Kershaw Cryo and Cryo II, who could notjustify or afford dropping close to 4-figures on a folding slab of steel.Finally, we are able to get a slice of the Hinderer experience, regardless of how awesome and sexy it may be.

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review

The Kershaw Cryo and Cryo II are two look-alike birds of a feather: their size being the only difference. The Cryo II, which I have, is 20% bigger than the Cryo, so if you like the Cryo IIkeep that in mind, yet for any reason wish it were just a little bit smaller.

Aesthetically speaking, right off the bat, let me begin by saying that the Kershaw Cryo knives, are very “Hinderer-like.” However, although the knives are Hinderer-like, I see the Kershaw Cryo knives being 100% unique and different from any of Hinderer’s other work, the more I play with my Cryo II.They are frame lock folders that feature the Hinderer lock bar stabilizer and flipper deployment. Therefore I would never mistake the Cryo knives for a true Hinderer knife as they certainly do have Hinderer features. Whilst this statement may seem obvious, just like the CQC-6Kafter the Kershaw/Emerson collab on knives, you can figure out why I anticipated there would likely be more overlap in terms of overall functionality and design.

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review – Weight

The Kershaw Cryo II feels just as sturdy as its 165g (5.8 oz.) infers,in hand. Without a doubt the Cryo II is a heavy-duty beater knife; it is definitely not designed as a considerate gentlemen’s everyday carry option.

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review – Clip

Interestingly, having its pocket clip, blacked out hardware, lock bar stabilizer and writing on the blade all on this side, the knife is aesthetically very busy on the reverse/pocket clip side. Part of me wishes Kershaw had preferred to keep the Cryo as neutral and minimalistic as the other side of the knife, which strikes all the right marks for me with its matte uniform design.

Rather than a spanto ground blade, however, what we have is an approximately lean hollow ground blade with a very remarkable acute tip.The 8.3 cm (3.25 inch) blade is somewhat similar to the XM design by Rick.

The various scrawls detail the knife designer (Rick Hinderer), the knife manufacturer (Kai/Kershaw),the place of origin (China) and the steel used (8Cr13MoV).

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review – Blade

I prefer to have more rather than less information about my knife, however I do feel that being on the blade of the knife all this information is a bit misplaced. It’s a Rick Hinderer design for $45 shipped to your house,concerning the inevitable groans from people who do not like China made blades. You have two alternatives here: deal with it or save up for the real thing. Options are always appreciated in any case so thank you Kershaw and Rick for this collab.

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review – Handle

For me, the adjust point on the Cryo II is too far back into the handle, however what would you be able to expect with full (410) stainless steel construction and to remove some weight,no pockets machined out. It certainly makes its presence felt in the hand and if you like that sort of thing, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I would go for a lighter construction, particularly if toughness and durability is not affected.

The tip looks far more fortified than in the hand. I would not call it a needle tip, however it’s certainly very stabby, and I would not suggest meddling with it. Not that I generally advise meddling with knives anyway.

The Kershaw Cryo II has a pocket clip that is of the deep carry variety (when affixed tip down). Not the most attractive clip I have ever seen, however it’s perfectly functional. It can be connected in all 4 positions, so if you are left handed, this one is going to suit you just as well as the rest of us.

The Cryo II is basically invisible,in pocket. It’s incredible, if you want a discreet alternative for a folding heavy duty EDC knife.

As specified before, the Kershaw Cryo II’s blade is ground exceptionally lean.The Cryo II came razor sharp out of the boxlike most Kershaws. I had expected similar performance to the Kershaw Volt SS, but surprisingly, it’s an extremely good slicer, nearer to the Kershaw Tremor than anything else I own.

The scales are sloping impeccably, are very comfortable with some smooth jimping and for two slabs of steel. I also truly like the oversized lanyard hole – with absolutely no issue all manner of paracord will fit through it. In terms of size and implementation it is very similar to the Spyderco Paramilitary 2‘s lanyard hole.

No weight saving measures were employed on the Kershaw Cryo II scales,take a lookand you’ll see that for yourself. No skeletonizing here. I would have favoured that they processed some pockets in, I certainly won’t be complaining about the price, but obviously, more CNC-ing would mean it would cost more money.

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review – Coating

The coating utilized on both the bladeand the scales of the Kershaw Cryo II is advertised as a “carbo-nitride” coating.Centering and fit and finish is pretty much ideal.  I have never been a huge fan of coatings, particularly on stainless steel blades, however so far, I have noticed no wear of any sort on the blade or the scales, so whatever carbo-nitride is, gives the feeling that it’s pretty damn tough. Feels great to the touch as well, if that was a worry, do not be scared off.

Aesthetically, the Kershaw Cryo II emphasizes me a bit of a dark titanium with its pseudo-matte finish. Consider it as semi-gloss.

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review – Deployment

Like most of the assisted Speed Safe flippers by Kershaw, deployment of the Cryo II is lightning fast. The detent does not require much pressure to withdraw, and every single time it has deployed to full lock up.

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review – Lock

On the Cryo II lock engagement is rock solid.The lock bar settled on 50% after only a few flips, and no blade play in either direction. No change as of yet. Design appears to be extremely strong, I am pretty much impressed with how well the lock was provided. A good frame lock is a damn pleasure to utilize.

Almost like a choil, the flipper on the Kershaw Cryo II acts as a giant guard, securing your digits should the lock fail. It won’t however it’s nice having something there anyway.

The ergonomics on the Kershaw Cryo 2 in the saber grip are very neutral with some nice jimping for your thumb to lay on. I wish the balance was as neutral as the grip, however you can’t have everything in life.

Aside from the blade having a swedge, choking up on the Cryo 2 is pretty agreeable. The swedge is surely not sharp, but it’s not comfortable to hold either. the knife remains perfectly usable when choking up in any case.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this knife if you are planning on choking up a lot with your EDC. Designs that have deep choils are much better for that kind of thing, like the Spyderco Sage 2 for instance. I find that flippers add too much space between the blade and my hand.

Reverse grip on the Kershaw Cryo 2 is tranquilly neutral. Think of a flat, relatively straight banana, and you will have a good idea of what to expect. You are ultimately holding two slabs of steel with no real grooves or curves.

As is true of most flippers, pinching the Cryo 2 is less than ideal. This is not a design flaw, but an adjustment one must make with 99% of knives that deploy by flipper.

Almost forgot to mention, when disengaging a frame lock that little disc in the middle of the frame lock acts as a way to stop you from over extending your lock bar. Sounds like something obvious however somebody had to come up with it, and obviously, that someone happened to be Rick Hinderer. It works very wellin practice, and will genuinely make you question why all frame locks do not have this feature.

To get me in, a Rick Hinderer design at $45 was enough of a sales pitch. Specially at this price point I can’t find much to disagree with. Indeed, if you threw in an extra $30-50, the knife could have pocketed/skeletonized scales, have better steel, and perhaps KVT bearings instead of assisted deployment, however that is an entire different ballgame, and a very different price point.

Kershaw Cryo II Knife Review – Conclusion

The Kershaw Cryo II is an amazing knife from a fabulous designer made by a consistently reliable manufacturer. The knife features an incredibly beefy lock, a solid (if a bit heavy) build, and with a surprisingly lean blade. There is nothing much to say about the Cryo II, as there is nothing other than its weight that you can truly hold against it when you consider the cost.

You can’t go wrong buying it, if you like flippers, and love the aesthetics of this knife. Positively recommended.

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