Klein is expanding their selection of folding knives as they move forward in product development. What’s new about the Klein Spring-Assisted Pocket Knife is the spring assist part of the design. While we’ll certainly go into more detail about that, it’s more than just how the knife opens that makes or breaks it.
In a departure from my normal M.O., let’s start with price and value before moving into the other parts of this review.
Price and Value
The reason I’m starting here is to set the expectations early. At just under $30, this is not a premium price point, so you shouldn’t expect a premium design. The trade-offs can be anything from materials to build quality. Regardless, let’s keep in mind the price as we move through its features.
The blade material is 440A. It’s an inexpensive steel that is susceptible to corrosion and doesn’t hold an edge very well. The upside is that it’s a very easy steel to sharpen and takes a decent edge. Klein takes a step forward here with a black oxide coating that will help protect against rust.
The knife has a 3.5″ modified drop point style blade that angles down to a reasonably sharp piercing tip that balances well with the slicing belly that is a good general purpose design.
Like it or not, this Klein spring-assisted pocket knife goes for a partially serrated edge. It gives you some rope/cord cutting ability, but most guys prefer the edge to be fully plain or serrated, not half and half.
The handle uses anodized aluminum for construction – one of my favorite materials next to titanium. There is some decorative texturing to it that adds to the look, but not the grip. Light jimping on the liner lock and back end of the blade offer a slight help, but it’s not going to do much to stop a sweaty finger from sliding.
Near the back, you’ll find a standard lanyard hole that you see on most knives these days.
As a spring-assist model, the Klein 44223 has a nice, snappy action. I’m a bigger fan of a finger flipper than I am the thumb studs, but that’s mere personal preference and not a knock on the design. Like I see on most assisted knives, there’s a small amount of play in the blade that doesn’t affect its function.
There’s no getting around the clip placement on this model, though. It’s a deep carry, right side, tip down configuration and there’s no chance of moving it. As an EDC, that can be annoying on a couple of fronts. Primarily, the tip down placement means you can’t pull the knife out and flick the thumb stud for the quickest deployment. The fact that you can’t carry tip up negates the issue of right side only placement since there are thumb studs on both sides of the blade. However, the clip is nice and strong, so it will be tougher to bend out.
That might be purely intentional on Klein’s part to promote a safer user experience. Another feature they add is a safety switch near the midpoint of the handle. If you like it (or your job policies require it), great. However, most spring-assisted knives don’t have one and it’s hard to see most EDC knife users using it.
The liner lock does a good job of holding the blade in place. It’s as thick as most liner locks and slides over into the middle of the blade where it has almost zero chance of slipping.
The overall ergonomics of this Klein spring-assisted pocket knife are very good. I like the rise in the handle that positions right at the joint between my palm and thumb.
At 5.3 ounces, it’s a good weight – not too heavy, but heavy enough to give you some reassurance in the built quality.
The Bottom Line
For a $30 knife, the Klein Spring-Assisted Pocket Knife ain’t bad, as they say. I like the overall design and the build quality is excellent. The trade-off you’re making over more expensive knives is going to be in the blade steel quality along with a one-position clip that may irritate some users.
Klein Spring-Assisted Pocket Knife
- Pocket Knife has 440A stainless steel, versatile drop point blade knife with both a fine and serrated edge
- Liner lock keeps the knife open
- Spring-loaded opening mechanism enables quick, easy deployment of the blade
- Low-carry pocket clip allows the knife to sit low and out of the way
- Safety lock keeps knife closed when stored
- Dual thumb studs for both left- or right-hand opening
- Lanyard hole for tethering
Klein Spring-Assisted Pocket Knife
- Model Number: Klein 44223
- Blade Type: Half-Serrated Drop Point
- Blade Material: 440A Stainless Steel
- Handle Type: Skeleton
- Handle Material: Anodized Aluminum
- Lock Style: Liner Lock
- Weight: 5.3 oz
- Blade Length: 3.5″
- Overall Length: 8.1″
- MSRP: $29.93