Iconic Knives: Spring Assisted Style

On the main blog I update—the Knife Blog—I did a post on the most iconic knives. There were a lot of historical knives included in addition to iconic knives from specific brands. For this blog though, I wanted to include knives that are iconic of the spring-assisted branch of the knife world.

I didn’t do a full-on survey, but I asked some trusted employees at Blade HQ what knives they think of when they hear the words “spring assisted knife.”

Everyone’s answers were either from Kershaw or from Zero Tolerance, so if you think about it, I guess Kershaw and ZT are the iconic brands for spring assisted knives. Here are the knives they chose and a little bit about them.


Spring Assisted Iconic Knives

Kershaw Leek

Kershaw Leek

The Kershaw Leek isn’t just a popular spring assisted knife; it’s also the most iconic Kershaw knife in general (according to a survey we posted on Blade HQ’s Facebook page a week ago).  The knife is designed by Ken Onion, and it has a lot of things going for it. For example, it’s the ideal size for everyday carry (about 7 inches long overall with a 3-inch blade).

There are a ton of different Leeks available, so you’re going to find slight variation between the different Leek models. For example, some of the Leeks have a liner lock while others feature a frame lock. It’s also available in lots of different colors, so between the different color options and the two different locking mechanisms, you’ve got quite a bit of say in how your Leek looks and functions.

Last but not least, it also has Kershaw’s SpeedSafe mechanism which we all know rocks. The SpeedSafe mechanism is fast, dependable, and lots of fun to use.


Kershaw Cryo

Kershaw Cryo

The Kershaw Cryo, for me, is the knife that comes to mind when I think of Kershaw. It’s a really amazing bang for your buck, which is always a plus. You get a lot of quality and functionality out of the Cryo for a great price, and it’s a Rick Hinderer design.

This knife is another great option for everyday carry, and it comes in two sizes: the Cryo (6.5 inches long with a 2.75-inch blade) and the Cryo II (7.75 inches long with a 3.25-inch blade).


Zero Tolerance 0566


According to our survey, the Zero Tolerance 0560 is Zero Tolerance’s most iconic knife. The 0566 just so happens to be a slightly smaller version of the 0560 (7.70 inches long with a 3.25-inch blade compared to the 0560’s 8.75-inch length and 3.75-inch blade).

The 0566 is another great Hinderer design and it’s made in the USA. It has a frame lock and can be deployed with spring assisted action via either the flipper or thumb studs.

Zero tolerance knives are amazing because they’re rugged and can handle a lot. When you have a rugged knife combined with spring assisted action, you’ve got yourself a winner.


Kershaw Scallion


The Kershaw Scallion is a pretty compact knife. It’s just 5.875 inches long and has a blade that totals 2.25 inches in length. It has Kershaw’s SpeedSafe opening mechanism and while it’s great for everyday carry, it’s also great for hiking because it’s compact and lightweight. Like the Leek, it’s available in lots of colors so you’re sure to find the right color for you.


Kershaw makes great spring assisted knives, as evidenced by this list of iconic spring assisted knives. What spring assisted knife is iconic for you?

If you’re in the market for a new spring assisted knife, be sure to head on over to Blade HQ where there’s a great selection of assisted opening knives.

What is a spring assisted knife?

Even if you’re really into spring assisted knives, chances are you don’t know much about their background or history. In fact you may have even found yourself thinking, “What is a spring assisted knife?” The truth is, I didn’t really know much about the history of spring assisted knives either until just recently, and it’s pretty interesting. Take a look at the history and mechanics … Continue reading

Kershaw Leek Composite


You know the Kershaw Leek. You might even have one in your pocket right know. You’ve probably never seen a Kershaw Leek quite like this one before though: This is the Kershaw Leek Composite. The whole knife, blade and handle alike, feature Kershaw’s BlackWash finish. This Leek has a 3-inch blade that’s made of Sandvik 14C28N and D2 steel. The overall length is 7 inches … Continue reading

CRKT Cobia Matthew Lerch Spring Assisted Knife


If you’re really on top of things in the knife world, then you know BLADE Show just happened. Shot Show happens in January and that’s where manufacturers typically showcase most of their new product for the year. However, BLADE Show is obviously more geared toward knife manufacturers, and there’s still some new product that’s released at the show. This year, there was actually quite a … Continue reading

Limited Edition Benchmade Mini Barrage – New for 2014


You’re probably already familiar with the Benchmade Mini Barrage, but this is a new, limited edition Mini Barrage that’s pretty awesome: This Mini Barrage is new for 2014, and it’s got all of the nice features you’d expect to see in the Mini Barrage—like the AXIS locking mechanism—but its handle is a little bit different than what you find on the original Mini Barrage. On … Continue reading

H&K Nitrous Blitz


The H&K Nitrous Blitz is a pretty sweet spring assist. Honestly, my favorite thing about this knife has got to be the swedge—it looks sick, and it sets the knife apart from your normal everyday folding knife in terms of looks. In terms of function, though, the Nitrous Blitz is equally amazing. The knife uses a “spring assisted Nitrous mechanism” that is “built directly into … Continue reading

Zero Tolerance 0770


I don’t think I’ve met a knife enthusiast who doesn’t like Zero Tolerance. Zero Tolerance knives are extremely tough and functional, and when you pair that with a great design, you’ve got yourself a pretty amazing blade. While I’d say that ZT makes more manual folding knives than anything else, the company also makes some really great spring assisted knives. Some of them you’ve already … Continue reading

Teal Kershaw Leek


We just got this new Leek in at BladeHQ: (Image from Instagram. Follow us!) You’re probably pretty familiar with the Kershaw Leek, so I’ll skip over most of the specs. All you really need to know is that like all Kershaws, the Leek is a terrific bang for your buck. It has excellent action and materials, and it’s a great option for your everyday carry. … Continue reading

New BlackWash Kerhsaw Knives


I know you’ve probably had your fill of SHOT Show updates, so this will be the last one for a while. I’ve already covered several new Kershaw blades for 2014, but there are a few more I wanted to show you. BlackWash seems to be Kershaw’s new finish of choice for this year, and can you blame them? BlackWash looks particularly awesome, and it’s featured … Continue reading

New!: Kershaw Camber


The Kershaw Camber is another new knife you can look forward to in 2014! The Camber has a stonewashed premium S30V steel blade, so it has great toughness and wear resistance, but the hardness is also quite good. The overall length comes to 7.20 inches with a 4-inch handle and a 3-inch blade. The aluminum handle has great texturing that provides a secure grip, and … Continue reading