Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife Review

Thanks for stopping by to read our Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife Review.

I was gobsmacked when Kershaw first announced the Emerson collaboration: I could not believe that in a couple of months I could buy a bonafide Emerson design for under $50. Naturally, I was really inquisitive, skeptical even, about what the final product would be. That being stated, I have got to say I have been in awe, as soon as the CQC-6K came out of the packaging and into my hands. This knife is the game changer of 2014: I don’t say this lightly, and it seems I am not the only one who thinks so, judging by the rapidly fluctuating stock levels at Amazon and other online dealers.

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife Review

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife Review

The Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K, are designed by Emerson, just like the majority of the Emerson/Kershaw line of knives, then fabricated by Kershaw, a fact proudly stressed on the incredible looking packaging. The Emerson/Kershaw line of knives is more than an association, it’s more comparable to a true partnership, which means that, in practice, for 30 bucks what you are getting is a trustworthy Emerson design in your hands, just as Ernie Emerson expected.

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife – Size

When I initially picked up the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K, I was stunned at its weight. Despite the fact that it’s an EDC friendly folder, with its blade length scaling in at 8.2 cm (3.25 inches), it weighs in at 142 g (5 oz.). While this isn’t literally boat anchor heavy,it’s not at all as light as an EDC, as I had expected. I’ll have to accept that pictures make it look shrewdly lighter than it truly is. That being stated, this knife is so well put together in hand that the weight nearly makes me feel like quality is behind that weight. Placebo? possibly, yet I still like it.

A good amount of the weight comes from the solid stainless steel frame lock: as the lock up is fantastic, it’s a worthy sacrifice of lightness.

This knife, however I’m sure you have seen already, is a true and true Emerson. From a distance, you would seriously never realize that the CQC-6K was produced by Kershaw: the main giveaway being the Kershaw logo on the opposite side of the blade. Hardly can a knife look utilitarian and yet be so magnificent at the same time. Ernie Emerson is known for his extraordinary sense of aesthetics, and that is absolutely been passed down to this Kershaw association love child. The CQC-6K is unmistakably worthy of the Emerson name.

The 8cr13MoV clip point blade highlights a gorgeous two-tone finish. Flats are left glossy with the grind marks driving away from the tang to the tip, and the hollow-ground section of the blade has a perfect heavy stonewash. Competing with knives at every price range it is one of the finest looking blades in my entire collection.

The knife features a bunch of little quirks, besides the gorgeous blade finish, that really brings up the appearance and feeling of quality. There are the perfectly shaped G-10 scales, and the scalloped jimping all over. Similar to the Emerson skull on the pocket clip, there are also those little Emerson detail touches, all truly bringing home how much care went into this great under priced folder. Not a detail was saved in making this knife. With the design, Emerson went all out; just as if they were manufacturing the knife themselves.

Considerably, the balance is not as handle-biased as I would have accepted. No, it isn’t neutral, but I don’t really notice that anymore after using it for a few weeks.

As most of you know, my favoured blade grind has always been an ideal, lean full flat grind. This makes the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K an exception for me. However, its hollow ground 2.7 mm (0.11 inch) thick blade is perfectly tapered, I would say it’s more of a saber grind than anything else. It’s not a super slicer, but it’s no slump either. In spite of that I wouldn’t utilize it for food preparation, for everyday use. The 8Cr13MoV blade is attaching its edge just fine.

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife – Swedge

Thanks to its swedge, the point is nicely tapered. Taking into account how beefy the overall knife is I would say it’s possibly one of the most acute on the market. I have recently reviewed the CRKT Ripple, and in the meanwhile that has a more needle-like point, the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K, with its combination of leanness and toughness in all the right places, would make a more efficient tactical knife in kind of all the aspects.

The pocket clip does not carry deep and is the stereotypical Emerson one. This is necessary for utilization of the Emerson Wave.

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife – Hardware

Talking about the hardware, I will not be surprised if it came directly from the Emerson warehouse. To the few Emersons I have handled it’s almost identical in function and style. Very much utility-oriented with no fascinating proprietary screw heads. If I wanted I could dismantle this in the field with my Victorinox Swiss Classic. Just love it.

The centering on the knife was off, when Elise snapped these pictures of the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K. After few days of playing with it, it’s now dead centre and hasn’t displaced since then. Looks like this knife is magically self-centering. Fit and finish is remarkably nice, and I would have said it was in the $100+ price range, if I handled it without seeing the price tag.

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife – Lock

The 4xx series stainless steel frame lock engages with force. This knife is a 3.25-inch tank and has zero blade play in either direction. I cut it in some 2×6 slabs of wood a couple of times and checked for slip or lock bar travel, and nothing changed. Well done Kershaw.

The CQC-6K’s steel frame lock and the steel liner have zero skeletonizing. taking into account its significant weight, no surprises there.

The thumb disc will not at all be my favourite method of deployment. I have got to say that I am spoiled by the Spyderhole, however it does function very well in terms of pure performance. You can always remove the thumb disc if you want to, like all Emerson knives. Simply unscrew the single Philips head screw.

The Emerson Wave is genuinely Ernie Emerson’s legacy to the knife world. It is extremely genius, elegant deployment system that has no spring or moving parts, yet works reliably utilizing the natural motion of pulling back your knife from your pocket.

Did you notice the hook above the thumb stud? Absolutely, it doubles as a handy ramp for your thumb to rest on, however that is actually the key to the Emerson Wave.

As you normally open the knife from its position hanging in your pocket, opening the blade with lightning speed, the hook catches on the pocket lip.

It should be noted that, at the right angle, it does take a little bit of practice to pull back the knife, and if you want the lock to engage solidly you will need to pull the knife out relatively aggressively, however in my experience, it just takes a couple of minutes of practice to have the Emerson Wave disengagement down to a fine art. Of course, I need not specify, but the Emerson Wave works decently on the Kershaw CQC-6K.

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife – Deployment

The delicacy of this deployment system is that the blade is out and good to go in one fluid movement. It’s the definitive deployment system for strategic purposes if you want to practice with muscle memory in mind at the same time not depending on a spring or other mechanical device, such as automatic knives, that could break down when you need them the most.

The Emerson Wave truly is lightning fast. One moment the knife is folded nicely in your pocket, and later it’s locked open in your hands: good to go.

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife – Choil

The Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K has no choil in the almost impossible event that the lock fails. That being stated, as the frame lock is very well implemented, I am at all concerned over this. With its beefy frame lock and sturdy grind, this knife is precisely suited for hard use and I wouldn’t stumble to push this beauty hard.

The standard saber grip is awesome. Any Emersons I have dealt with in the past have constantly struck me as having impeccable ergonomics. The Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K is no special case. With the Wave hook serving as a great resting place for your thumb it locks into the palm of your hand seamlessly. Once again, very well manufactured and designed. Subtle jimping and great contouring throughout, and is incredibly comfortable.

I will include that the few Emersons I have dealt with appeared, in my opinion, to have a predominant G-10 texture. The CQC-6K G-10 is grippy, yet not as much as an Emerson produced knife. Preferences will of obviously differ, however keep that in mind.

Choking up on the blade is not perfect. The CQC-6K has no choil, so it clearly was not designed with that in mind. As though it wasn’t obvious enough, the hook gnawing into the flesh of my thumb reinforces that fact.

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife – Grip

Comfort is fantastic in reverse grip. The Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K has a plastic back spacer that sits pretty much flush with the scales. While I do wish, this knife had an indistinguishable back spacer as the Kershaw Volt, it would conflict with the general Emerson styling, so I’m not all that frustrated.

Pinch grip is not perfect. Just like choking up, the CQC-6K was clearly not intended for this grip. Ernie Emerson is generally referred to as the father of tactical knives for a specific reason, as this is not your grandpa’s ol’ Case knife.

The Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K is as fascinating to ants as the Spyderco Sage 2 was to the bees. Take a look at that wonderful satin finish on the flat of the blade.

Kershaw Emerson CQC Knife – Conclusion

The Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K is a noticeable advantage in the knife industry, not just because of the frankly ridiculous low price, or who designed it, but because as far as EDC knives go it really is the whole package. From what I know, I totally love this knife and would argue that, this blade beats kind of every entry and mid-level knife that is available in production from literally any manufacturer.

If Kershaw and Emerson had agreed to price this knife at $100 rather than the $30 it’s normally at, I would have still bought it and thought it was the best charged folder under the sun. This knife is a legitimate steal at $30. I truly can’t emphasize how great of a buy this is more than to state it’s almost constantly out of stock now a days. This is one of the few Chinese made knives I can see being a collectible later on, and I know I’m most likely going to end up buying at least half a dozen more of them myself.

A stunning feat of engineering at its entry level price. 1200% suggested. Incredible job Ernest Emerson, and extraordinary job Kershaw. I can’t really wait to try more of the Emerson/Kershaw knives out.


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