You’ve done it. We’ve all done. I’m talking about using our knives as a mini pry bar. Attempts vary in both effort and precaution, but the results are often the same. You break off a knife tip or bend and damage the blade. The Kershaw Barge knife has a specific design that gives you an inexpensive EDC (every day carry) solution to that problem. Hopefully, by the end of reading this prying knife review, you’ll know whether or not one makes sense for you.
This is also an inexpensive knife, so it’s also a solution for those of us who need something easy to carry in places where we don’t want to bring our go-to EDC. That might include gator hunting, fishing, or any activity that might end with my favorite knife on the bottom of a lake.
Kershaw Barge Knife Overview
The first thing to note about the Barge is its disproportionate length in comparison to the squat 2.6-inch blade. There’s good reason for this. The Kershaw Barge specifically provides prying capabilities. To do that with ample leverage, it required a solid length of steel that could be adequately pressed between the steel frame.
The prying end of the Barge is indeed reliable, and we were able to get some good leverage from it. It also terminated into a large flathead that could serve as a screwdriver in a pinch. It won’t work for fine screws, but larger ones will turn just fine.
This Month (August 2016)
Our Tool Giveaway Features the Kershaw Barge!
This is a manual open knife, and a thumb stud is provided to swing open the blade. To use it one-handed, you’ll need a brisk flick of the wrist that you can get used to with practice. There’s constant tension on the blade thanks to a ball bearing in the frame lock.
Speaking of the frame, it’s made from a similarly stonewashed steel. On one side Kershaw added a glass-filled nylon handle grip that has a nice texture. It’s roughly similar in composition to the durable plastics used in most cordless power tool housings.
The short pocket clip is effective, though we needed to loosen it up a bit. It was a tad too tight out of the box and presented a tough challenge for jeans and work pants. Once placed, the knife sits respectably low but not hidden. The Kershaw Barge knife pocket clip is reversible for left or right, tip-down carry.
Kershaw Barge Knife Specs
- Manual open with thumb stud
- Frame lock
- Reversible pocketclip (left/right, tip-down carry)
- Steel: 8Cr13MoV, stonewashed finish
- Handle: Glass-filled nylon, steel back
- Blade length: 2.6 in. (6.6 cm)
- Closed length: 4.7 in. (11.9 cm)
- Open length: 7.3 in. (18.5 cm)
- Weight: 5.4 oz. (153.1 g)
Using the Kershaw Barge Knife
The blade on the Kershaw Barge is made from 8Cr13MoV steel with a nice stonewashed finish. I like this steel because it’s easy to sharpen (we use a Lansky sharpening system). The downside is that it doesn’t hold an edge for nearly as long as an SV30 or SV35 blade. After cutting open several cardboard boxes I could already feel the edge had diminished. Still, you can reclaim the edge in just a few minutes, and it’s hard to criticize at a $35 retail price point. For comparison, I’ve had the Zero Tolerance 0095BW knife doing the same work for months and only the very tip has become dull. Of course, that knife dwarfs the retail on the Barge by over $200.
I used the Kershaw Barge knife as my EDC for a couple weeks and found it to be quite handy. From jimmying a window screen into position to tucking in 3/8-inch foam backer rod around the perimeter of a room where I was installing Pergo Outlast flooring installation, it did well. There’s good jimping on both the base of the blade, and further up the spine. Plus, you can flip it around for a great grip when using it for prying.
If you find yourself constantly looking for a flat edge or something to pry with, it’s hard to deny its appeal. If you want a longer-lasting edge, you may need to spend a bit more for a hardier steel blade.
Barge Prying Knife Review Conclusion
For $35, you get a great-looking knife that functions well for daily use. This would make a great travel knife (not on a plane, lol) and certainly a good gift for any enthusiast.