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Kershaw Atmos Folder, by Pat Cascio

It’s a strange name for a folding knife, but we decided to check this one out and we’re glad we did! The Kershaw Atmos is worth a close look.

As long-time readers know, I prefer longer blades on my knife, and I really like a folder with a 3.75-inch blade. They just seem to fit my hand better and can do more chores, well, better! However, I’m not a knife snob, and just because a folding knife has a blade less than my desired 3.75 inches doesn’t mean I won’t check it out. Enter the Kershaw Knives Atmos. A quick run down is in order, before we report on the performance of this dandy little folder.

Made in China

The Atmos is made in China, for all you haters. It’s too bad you don’t believe great cutlery can be produced in countries other than the USA. You get as good as you want overseas and at a savings. Kershaw has been in business for a lot of years, and in order to compete in the tightly contested knife market, like so many knife companies have done, they have some of their knives produced overseas.

Outstanding KVT Ball-Bearing Opening

The Atmos has the outstanding KVT ball-bearing opening. You simply press on the extended flipper, and those super-smooth bearings open the blade in a split second. It’s very smooth. There is also an inset liner lock, for securing the blade in the open position.

Reversible Pocket Clip, Three-Inch Blade Steel

A deep-carry reversible pocket clip works for right or left pocket carry. It’s very nice, indeed. The three-inch long blade is made out of 8Crr13MoV stainless steel. This isn’t a high-tech steel, but it holds an edge a good long time and is easy to re-sharpen. I’ve had no problems at all with this stainless steel.

Handle of G10 with Carbon Fiber Overlays

I like the shape of the Atmos handle, which is made out of G10 with carbon fiber overlays. At one time, not all that long ago, G10 was used mainly by custom knife makers, because it is expensive to produce.

A Lightweight Folder With Some Outstanding Features

The closed length of the Atmos is right at four inches, and it weighs a mere 1.9 oz. We are talking a lightweight little folder with some outstanding features that are usually found on folding knives costing a lot more money. I especially like the flipper and KVT ball-bearing opening. It’s hard to find a smoother opening folder that has this feature. It makes one-handed opening all that much faster and easier.

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Can Carry In A Shirt Pocket and Tip Up

The pocket clip allows for very deep pocket carry. And, with this little folder weight at less than two ounces, it means that you can skip carrying it in your pants pocket if you want and carry it in a shirt pocket. You won’t even know it’s there, until you need it. The pocket clip allows for tip up carry, too, which is another nice feature. The flats on the blade are polished for a classy touch.

A Knife is a Tool

I keep reminding myself, and everyone I talk to about knives, that the knife is man’s oldest tool. So many people who are into survival or prepping only think that a knife is a weapon. Well, without a doubt, it can certainly serve in that capacity. Even a little folder, like the Atmos, can serve as a weapon, defensive or offensive. Still, a knife is first and foremost a tool in my humble opinion, and when testing smaller pocket knives, I keep this in mind.

My Small, Rural Homestead

My small rural homestead in Western Oregon isn’t much to look at, at first glance. We have more trees on our property than we care to have. We’ve had several logging companies come and look at removing some of the trees, for safety against a forest fire. Because of the location of many of the trees, they are difficult to retrieve once they are felled. One company said they’d do it and never returned.

In any event, we have quite a few fruit trees on our digs that we will, of course, keep. Each year we have more wild plums than we can possibly use. So we invite friends to come and pick all they want.

We don’t farm any of the land, nor do we have a garden because of the huge boulders just a few inches beneath the grass. Okay, we have mostly weeds in our front yard, not grass. However, I’m always outside doing some kind of chores.

Tested on Outside Chores

Many of these outside chores require a knife of some sort. I’m forever cutting back blackberry vines. They are super-tough, to be sure. It takes a very sharp knife to cleanly cut right through these nasty vines, so it’s always a good test of a sharp blade. I don’t care to use chemicals to kill my blackberry vines. We love eating them, especially the wife. So, we enjoy free foods on our land, and blackberries can be found all over Western Oregon. They are not native to Oregon, but they sure took root. The little Atmos could easily severe the thickest blackberry vines.

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Performance In our Household

I do a lot of the cooking in our household, because I enjoy it and I’m a really decent cook as well. So, there are always cutting chores at the kitchen counter. While the Atmos with the three-inch blade wasn’t ideal for cutting things, it sure did what I asked of it. I even used it at the kitchen table to cut steaks. That’s a rarity in our house. We are a burger and hot dog sorta home.

The Atmos would easily shave the hair off my arms. This is another good test of sharpness right out of the box. Slicing newsprint was another easy task. Cutting through rope was no problems at all, either. The little Atmos actually feels bigger in my hand for some reason, and I like that. It is a very classy-looking little folder. Even the wife commented on this.

Using a Knife For Self Defense

Now, as to using a knife, even a small folder like the Atmos, for self defense will do the job. However, it wouldn’t be my first choice, if I were being attacked by a bad guy. However, you need to remember, there are lots of vulnerable areas on the human body, not the least of which are the eyes. If an attacker can’t see you, they will have a difficult time harming you.

The arteries in the neck can easily be attacked as well as the hands and legs. Knife fighting in the big city really doesn’t call for a lifetime of training, either. Pick your openings and timing, and attack the attacker. Remember though, you will be held responsible for your actions. Always keep that in mind.

Saved the Best For Last, Retail Price

I’ve saved the best for last, on the Atmos. The full retail price is only $49.99, and if you shop around a bit you can find this dandy little folder deeply discounted on the ‘net. So, if you’re in the market for a new folder for yourself or as a gift, check the Atmos out. I think you’ll fall in love with it.

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