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Kershaw Highball XL

old4570

Lofty Wiseman
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Wow!
I saw this a few days ago , and was wondering - How did this fly under my radar ?
From a styling perspective ( looks ) , the highball ticks all my boxes .

First Impressions :

The knife feels like it's about the right size for a folder , also an appropriate weight for it's size and presence .
Walk N talk is excellent .
The blade runs on a BB pivot , making it smooth .
The clip does not feel overly intrusive and comes off easy enough .
There is enough weight for the knife not to go un noticed in the pocket , unless you use the clip .
The knife is ticking a lot of boxes , except for the frame lock tension or lack there off !

Warning :

The knife is GLUED shut ! So if you want to re tension the frame lock ? You need to disassemble the knife .
This means dealing with the glued screws .
There is a plastic frame spacer at the back of the knife , use to much heat ( I used heat ) to break the glue and you may melt the spacer .
I BBQ'ed the spacer a little as I really wanted a knife that does not gravity open .
And even with heat applied , those screws were BOSS tight . ( good glue )

With the frame lock tightened , there is little to complain about ( pre edge retention test ) .

Making the Purchase :

The Kershaw Highball XL runs around $55 USD as a starting price + Postage to around $80 USD + Postage .
Here in Australia you are looking at around $100 to $120 + Postage ... ( AUS dollar )
Except for one place I found ( Xhunter ) , where I was able to pick it up just under $90 AUS bananas .
55 USD is around 76 AUS bananas currently for a comparison and 80 USD is around 110 AUS bananas ...
I can buy a decent D2 knife from around 50 bananas ( Import ) , so I am really looking forward to seeing how the Highball performs on the rope ( edge holding ) .
Is it all looks and no go , or does it have some giddy up (?) .
 
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old4570

Lofty Wiseman
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This is getting toward the tail end of re grinding the bevel .
50% of the blade is still FUBAR ( Towards the handle )
Butt .... I really wanted to clean up the blade where I slice rope .

Kershaw Highball XL Does it get the award for the worst FACTORY bevel I have seen for 2021 ?
It was horrendously ground . And for such a small blade , I spent a good hour grinding and 50% is still FUBAR ..
That wet stone grinder is both a blessing and a curse !
Curse in the sense it shows just how rubbish a bevel can be = And then I have to clean it up .
Factory edge put to the rope shortly ! ( Edit video )
 

old4570

Lofty Wiseman
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Factory ( FUBAR ) edge at the rope ... ( FUBAR Bevel of the year award ? )
 

old4570

Lofty Wiseman
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I was afraid of it !
Pay $$ for a knife , and get ripped a new one ...
This knife is supposed to be D2 Tool Steel , not Butter Steel ...
After some 200 slices on the re ground edge , the knife was struggling badly .
I was very generous and took it to 250 slices ...

Call it a 200 slice fail or a 250 slice fail ...
The Kershaw Highball XL failed to live up to the D2 hype !
Decent D2 falls into the 400 slice range , NOT the 200 slice range ! Unless of course it's BAD D2 ... Or maybe not D2 at all ? ( Like that has never happened ) .

So ? ......... What to say about the performance ?

The Highball is simply a Overpriced / Underperforming knife ! ( For me )
Putting the Highball to the guided knife sharpener and the diamond sharpener ...... The steel is soft for D2 ...

Soft blade material , terrible factory grind , poor edge retention , seriously overpriced for what you get ! ( Such is my opinion after testing the Highball )

The knife is all looks !
 

old4570

Lofty Wiseman
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That’s a shame mate.
Just cos you pay , don't mean you get good performance ..
Buying a knife is like buying a lottery ticket , you might win / lose / or break even ...
Worst of all is when a cheap knife kicks a more expensive knife to the curb ..

One has to wonder , why buy anything but cheap knives ( sometimes )
But 2020/21 , has proven to me that money dont mean squat when it comes to knives ..
Almost all the pricey folders have disappointed with poor to terrible performance .

It would be nice if - The more you payed = the more you get
Rather than - The more you pay = The larger the RIP !

This is why most knife reviews out there BLOW !
No repeatable performance testing .. ( or no testing at all ) Just look at the knife , fidget the knife , and call it great !
And why I wanted to test this one ...
 
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