Product Review: Kershaw Emerson Range

Kershaw Emerson Range

What do you do when you’re a top knife designer and maker but don’t have the capacity to fulfil an ever increasing backlog of orders? The ideal way to deal with this problem is to team up with a knife and tool maker like Kershaw who have the manufacturing capacity to take your brand to new markets.

That is what Emerson Knives did and the fruits of this partnership are glaringly obvious in the Kershaw Emerson range of knives.

As the pioneers of ‘tactical’ knives, Emerson were looking for a partner who understood their ethos and were trustworthy.

Where Emerson lead, others followed and now the ‘tactical’ knife is almost ubiquitous.

What you are getting from the Kershaw/Emerson collaboration is a range of solid tactical knives, entirely designed by Emerson Knives, but at a price that is much more accessible.

Let’s take a closer look at the Kershaw Emerson knives we currently stock on Blades.co.uk.

Kershaw Emerson CQC-11K D2

Based on the Emerson Rendezvous, the CQC-11K D2 now features D2 blade steel. This high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel is a great choice for a knife blade, offering good edge retention and hardness while being more corrosion resistant than other high-carbon steels. The Rendezvous was originally designed as a hunting knife, but the CQC-11K D2 is equally adept at survival, camping, and bushcrafting—or for just about any outdoor activity.

The CQC-11K D2’s big 3.5″ blade offers plenty of belly for skinning and other game processing, as well as superior slicing for a wide variety of in-camp tasks. For a secure and comfortable grip, the CQC-11K D2 has a G10 front scale with stainless steel back and is Emerson-contoured to fit the hand precisely. A robust frame lock secures the blade safely open during use. Naturally, the CQC-11K D2 is also equipped with the Emerson Wave Shaped Feature so that the folder can be opened quickly and easily as it is withdrawn from your pocket. You can also use the thumb disk for simple, manual opening.

A reversible pocket clip enables left-handed or right-handed carry.

you can buy the Kershaw Emerson CQC-11K D2 on blades.co.uk.

Kershaw Emerson CQC-9K

The big drop-point blade is 3.6 inches of black-oxide-coated 8Cr13MoV stainless steel for good edge retention, hardness, and wear resistance. There’s a slight recurve in the blade for enhanced cutting of rounded materials, such as rope, hose, or zip ties.

The handle is contoured to fit the hand (yes, even your big hand) like a glove. The front scale is textured G-10 for a secure grip. The handle back is steel, black-oxide coated, and features a secure frame lock.

This manual knife opens with a thumb disk or the famous Emerson “wave shaped opening feature” that lets you open the knife as you withdraw it from your pocket. There’s also a convenient hole for a lanyard and the pocket clip is left/right reversible.

You can buy the Kershaw Emerson CQC-9K from Blades.co.uk.

Kershaw Emerson CQC-6k

Kershaw Knives and Emerson Knives have joined forces on a series of knives that combine the precision engineering of Kershaw with Emerson’s uncompromising functional design.

The CQC-6K features a modified clip-point blade for versatile cutting ability. The blade has two finishes: a satin finish on the upper and a stonewashed finish on the grind. The handle’s front scale of textured G-10 offers a secure grip and the handle’s stainless steel back has a solid frame lock.

The CQC-6K is a manual opener using either the thumb disk or the patented Emerson “wave shaped feature.” This opening feature enables the knife to be opened as it is removed from the pocket. By the time the knife has been fully withdrawn from the pocket, the blade is deployed and ready for use. A small wave-shaped tab on the top of the blade is built to catch on the pocket seam, opening the knife as it comes out of the pocket. This instant-open feature is a favourite among military, rescue, and law enforcement knife users.

The pocket clip is reversible for left- or right-handed carry.

You can buy the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6k on Blades.co.uk.

We also stock the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K with D2 blade.

Kershaw Emerson CQC-4kXL D2

This “XL” Kershaw-Emerson now comes with D2 blade steel! D2, a high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel, is a knifemaker favourite and offers good edge retention and hardness, as well as being more corrosion-resistant than other high-carbon steels.

The CQC-4KXL D2’s big, useful blade comes in at just under four inches. For a secure and comfortable grip, the knife has a G10 front scale and steel back. A sturdy frame lock secures the blade open during use and releases easily to close. Of course, the CQC-4KXL D2 features the patented Emerson Wave Shaped Feature. It’s a small wave-shaped tab on the top of the blade is built to catch on the pocket seam, opening the knife as it comes out of your pocket. This instant-open feature is a favourite among military, rescue, and law enforcement knife users. Alternatively, you could just use the built-in thumb disk to open the CQC-4KXL D2 manually.

Kershaw has included a reversible pocket clip for convenient left-handed or right-handed carry.

You can buy the Kershaw Emerson CQC-4kXL D2 from Blades.co.uk.

Kershaw E-Train

The Emerson “wave shaped opening feature” is a fast, effective, and impressive way to open your knife.

The patented Emerson “wave shaped feature,” a small wave-shaped tab on the top of the blade that’s built to catch on your pocket seam, opens the knife as you withdraw it from your pocket. This instant-open feature is a favourite among military, rescue, and law enforcement knife users.

But it does take a little practice.

Enter the Kershaw-Emerson E-Train, our “Emerson trainer” knife. The blade is unsharpened so you can safely practice using the “wave shaped opening feature” without endangering either your pocket or your fingers.

The E-Train’s G-10 front scale is in “safe-training blue” for easy identification. There’s a left/right reversible pocket clip so you can easily carry it with you to train whenever you have a spare moment.

You can buy the Kershaw Emerson E-Train from Blades.co.uk.


Having spent a considerable amount of time with the Kershaw Emerson range I have to say that they have really grown on me. The ‘wave’ feature really is a game changer, pulling a knife from your pocket with the blade deployed is a revelation! They feel comfortable to hold and the choice of materials is high end, but without the big price tag.

If this is what collaborations between companies with differing but overlapping skill sets can produce, let’s have more!