Blade Coatings & Finishes
The coatings and finishes on Kershaw blades (and metal handles) are part of the knife’s design and aesthetic, as well as providing some protection against scratches, wear, and corrosion of the metal surface.
The knife blade is “blasted” or sprayed with a mixture of fine media, including glass and aluminum-oxide beads, under high speed and pressure. This smooths the blade surface and creates a soft, non-reflective, matte look. Depending on the media, this finish can produce a darker or a lighter blade color.
A chemical bath converts the surface of the steel to magnetite; it enhances appearance and adds some corrosion resistance.
Our BlackWash™ finish produces a vintage look like that of a well-used tool or favorite, broken-in pair of jeans. Kershaw products may have DLC BlackWash™ or black-oxide BlackWash™ finishes.
Cerakote is a high-performing, durable polymer-ceramic composite coating that can be applied in a variety of colors. The coating enhances abrasion/wear resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength, and hardness.
Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating displays properties similar to those of natural diamond, including hardness, wear resistance, and reduced friction.
The coating is applied as a fine powder and cured under heat. This creates a smooth, even, and tough coating.
PVD stands for Physical Vapor Deposition. Specialized materials are vaporized via a vacuum process. Then the vaporized material is deposited as a thin layer on selected objects. In our case, it enables us to finish our blades and/or handles with a thin coating that adds color and offers excellent wear and corrosion resistance.
A Kershaw satin finish will typically show a faint pattern of vertical lines across the blade. It is a shinier finish than bead blasting and somewhat lighter in color.
Blades are tumbled with ceramic “stones,” which gives the blade surface a desirable roughened or scuffed look. The look can be pronounced or subtle. The finish helps hide scratches and fingerprints.
Titanium Carbo-Nitride Coating
Kershaw also uses titanium carbo-nitride to produce an attractive black or gray blade coating that increases the blade’s hardness, helps maintain the edge, and increases the lifetime of the blade.
Sometimes Kershaw will combine two different blade finishes on a single blade, for example, satin finish on the blade flats and stonewash on the blade grinds.