Saturday, January 23, 2016

Kershaw 6034T Emerson Designed CQC-7K Knife - Review

Kershaw 6034T Emerson Designed CQC-7K Knife
While I've owned many Kershaw knives over the years, this is the first actual Kershaw that I have reviewed (if you don't count the ZT reviews). This Kershaw 6034T Emerson Designed CQC-7K caught my eye when a saw the announcement from the shot show and a snatched one up as soon as it came out. At a sub $30 knife I admittedly wasn't expecting much; I was surprised. When I received in from Amazon, and opened it, I was pleasantly surprised by not only the weight but the fit and finish was also surprisingly good. It wasn't up to the fit and finish of their own USA made Zero Tolerance nor that of a good Spyderco but for a $30 knife, it was good. Top this off with the fact that it had an Emerson opener and you have a winner in my book.


The 3.25 inch blade on this knife is made of  8Cr14MoV steel. 8Cr14MoV is a common steel coming out of of China and in the same class more or less as AUS-8. It sharpens easily but edge retention is no where near that of VG-10, S30V, CPM-154, etc. While this one came with a Tanto blade which in theory is better for stabbing out of control car doors and angry car hoods, in my opinion, it's not as utilitarian as a regular clip point blade that comes with the Kershaw CQC-6K . The thumb disk and Emerson Wave for opening is familiar from Emerson's own knives and work just like they do. I've never been a fan of the disk for opening and think Spyderco's hole or thumb studs work better but the disk works none-the-less. The wave on this knife works great! It works so good in fact, I'd venture to say it works better and smoother than my real Emerson. Throw in a few Emerson graphics and the blade looks pretty good and functions pretty good as well. It did not however hold and edge as good as some of my other higher priced knives with better steel; but that was expected. Fortunately it sharpened very easy. The blade thickness of 0.11 inches made it sufficiently thick for most EDC tasks.


The lock on this knife is a Chris Reeve Style frame lock without the over travel disk. The frame by the way is made of 410 stainless steel. This alleviates the concern that some folks have had about Titanium frame locks locking against a stainless blade. The concern I've heard and read is eventual lock wear.  I own several Titanium Frame locks and have never seen this issue so I don't know that I subscribe to it. Either way, the concern has caused many knife companies to place a stainless steel cover or shim over the lock face on many titanium framed knives. Since this knife frame is made of 410 stainless, there should be no concern with this issue. It locked up tight with no play in up and down and minimal play side to side. Again, pretty good for a $30 Chinese made knife.
The frame lock on the Kershaw 6034T Emerson Designed CQC-7K Knife

Fit and finish was pretty dang good for a knife of this price. This IS NOT your typical $10 Chinese made junk you find at your local convenience store. This is a real, usable knife with slight blade play but otherwise F&F was very good.


Again, possibly because this knife had to be signed off on by both Kershaw and Emerson, the ergo's on this knife were pretty dang good for a 7.75" (opened) knife. The rounded edges and soft jimping are a pleasure to hold and use. I'm impressed.


The Emerson opener on this little knife was is in my opinion as good as or (dare I say) better in some respects than my actual Emerson. Combine that with the smoothness of opening and you can open this little knife reliably every time with a proper draw from the pocket.
The Emerson Wave Opener and thumb disk on the Kershaw 6034T Emerson Designed CQC-7K Knife

The pocket clip is well done on this knife. It is long enough to allow for sufficient flex to make insertion into the pocket easy. Combine the clip with the smooth 410 stainless frame and you have an easy knife to draw from the pocket while staying in place when and where you want it to. The only ding is that it is only reversible not the four positions like some knives.


From the pocket utilizing the Emerson Wave, this knife pops open like a champ and locks solidly into place. Opening with the thumb disk can be done easily but no were near as flickable as a Spyderco's spyderhole or even a thumb stud.


The uses of this knife are pretty much limitless. There are some tasks that a clip point such as the Kershaw 6034 Emerson Designed CQC-6K could accomplish better but this blade will accomplish most of your day to day chores. Unfortunately, the 8Cr14MoV blade steel limits its use as a survival or even a camp knife. It's somewhat soft for those tasks which require sharpening and sharpening in those scenarios isn't always an option. I think you'd want something that holds and edge a bit better.
The Kershaw 6034T compared to the Spyderco Delica with the Emerson Wave
Compared to the Spyderco Matriarch 2 with Emerson opener


For what this little knife is, I really liked it. It's found in many places for around thirty dollars, has decent steel, has an Emerson Opener, good frame lock, opens extremely smoothly, FAST from the pocket and the fit and finish is decent. The dings are the steel, slight blade play and made in China. If you can live with the small dings against it, I think it's a pretty good little knife. You won't find a better looking, faster opening or useful knife in the $30 price range. If this is your price range, get one! You won't regret it. It makes very good gift knife which is what I eventually used it for.
You can't find a more useful or better looking knife at the same price..get one!


  1. Nice review! One other thing is that these knives use teflon washers, which are more easily cleaned and tend to be smoother, although they can crush and also can allow a little blade wiggle when compared to a phosphor bronze washers. I agree 100% that these are a great deal for the money and then some!