KAI USA has released some nice products this year and TFB has had a bead on them since the SHOT show. We were able to get a few of their new blades for a closer look. It is clear that KAI and ZT have really tuned into their consumer base. As a gun and knife junkie, I am really pleased with their latest offerings.
The KERSHAW Siege Tomahawk and the Zero Tolerance 0630 Emerson collaboration are two great examples of what this lineup has to offer.
Here are the specifics from Kershaw’s website.
• “Wave shaped opening feature”
• Thumb disk for manual opening
• Reversible clip (left/right)
• Frame lock, hardened steel lock bar inserts
• Steel: S35VN, stonewashed & satin finish
• Handle: G-10 front, stonewashed titanium back
• Blade length: 3.6 in. (9.1 cm)
• Closed length: 4.9 in. (12.4 cm)
• Weight: 6.3 oz. (178.6 g)
KERSHAW Siege Hawk
• Nail puller built into handle
• Handle may be used as a pry bar
• Steel: 3Cr13, black-oxide coating
• Handle: Riveted glass-filled nylon scales, K-Texture™
• Blade length: 4.0 in. (10.2 cm)
• Overall length: 16 in. (40.6 cm)
• Weight: 1 lb. 1.6 oz. (902 g) (with sheath: 2 lbs. 3.5 oz., 1005 g)
KAI USA Zero Tolerance knives were a success from the beginning, and this blade is no different. Another Emerson/ZT mash up, the 0630 is a solid EDC knife with a slice friendly blade design and handle similar to some of the other 06XX models.
The 0630 is constructed of Crucible S35VN steel. It’s strength and edge holding properties are super steel worthy as well as sharpening friendly for the end user. The blade design is a full bellied up swept drop point with a small false edge along the back. A really attractive blade altogether and should prove to be a useable design overall.
The blade also features a thumb disk for one handed opening, as well as the wave shaped opener inspired by Emerson knives. The Wave opener is addictive. It really is a joy snapping this thing out of your pocket. I was uneasy about some of the pocket opening features initially. I believe this design however seems to have it right. It has a definite release point, and does not get hung or caught unexpectedly. It took no time at all to get used to the action. I did notice it did not seem to work as well with my military pants pockets that are designed to allow a hand in and out easily, and required some more deliberate movement compared to my jeans or 5.11s. Consider your wardrobe if you want to get a wave opening knife but it comes highly recommended by this writer.
The handle is a G10 and titanium mix with a frame lock on the titanium side. The lock is tipped with a replaceable steel lock bar insert. Titanium is great but when matched against S35VN it could suffer over time. The lock bar insert was a great solution to the issue. The handle and back portion of the blade feature some rounded out jimping for a positive grip. The pocket clip is reversible for left handed users and held in place with 3 Torx screws. The pivot pin is robust and fitted positively in the titanium side of the handle with a hex nut design. The lock up and action are butter smooth and exhibit a definite tactile feedback when fully closed. You really couldn’t ask for better.
The 0630 is a great size for constant use. It is flat and thin enough to stay out of mind when stowed in a pocket but large enough to be useful when deployed. I never felt under equipped anytime I pulled the blade out. The do it all blade design can adapt competently to most of whatever is asked of it. The blade grind leaves a polarized satin finish that compliments the stonewashed flat nicely. The satin finish does create texturing that can hold moisture, and I found some specs of surface rust when I didn’t maintain the cleanliness of the blade like I should. Nothing that a quick wipe of light oil didn’t fix. I did submerge it in the Pacific saltwater several times after all.
The knife is long enough to cap with your thumb when closed and use to improve a hammer fist strike. Those who find themselves choking up on the spine with their thumb may feel a bit hindered by the wave opener. Well worth the trade off if you ask me.
The ZT line up has had a thumbs up from me for a while now and the 0630 is no different. They are quality and useful designs that use top grade materials and features from the best in the industry. All this at a price and availability that is within reach of anybody.
It seems that the Tactical Tomahawk market is getting more and more crowded every year. With so much competition there seems to be more innovation and integration of features that set these hawks apart from one another. Which of course is a good thing. The KERSHAW Siege seems to blend a good street price with clever design scheme.
The Siege is cut from 3CR13 Stainless steel and features a black oxide coating. The Handle is listed to be a glass filled nylon but feels more like TPE/Sorbothane type shock resistant rubber material. The Hawk’s head features a full bellied edge that is almost knife like in sharpness. The opposite end is a tapered pick design. There is a hole in the center and the head appears to be designed as a makeshift handle should you use it for prying tasks. Included is a sheath that seems to
be on par with other Hawks in this price range and has double stitching on the belt loop. It will also retain the tool without the snaps. Unlike some other designs that would allow the hawk to fall to the ground if it came unsnapped while being worn on a belt. The Bottom of the handle is a Pry bar/nail puller design which I will expand upon a little later.
At first I was a bit skeptical of the steel choice, but the 3CR13 steel proved to be more than adequate. I thrusted the pick end into cinder blocks, propane tanks, bamboo, galvanized steel sheets, truck tires, aluminum cafeteria soup pots and wooden pallets. I was very pleased to see the black oxide finish and the tip hold up tremendously well. I did notice that penetration was not always what I hoped however. I guess I can attribute this to both the fact that I am not exactly the Hulk, and the pick is a bit shallow in design. If it was designed after the beak of a Kiwi rather than that of a pelican, it may have poked through some of those materials with fewer attempts. Nonetheless it did perform admirably, and held up swing after swing. It could fill the role of some type of emergency break in or extraction tool and is better to have, than not have in such a case.
The blade Also performed admirably as I swung it through a variety of objects such as plastic pallets, wooden crates, coconuts, freshly downed trees including an abusive amount of cross grain chopping. The blade, like the pick, seemed to be unphased by the abuse, and still has the knife like edge. I have to say, for the price, I was really impressed at how well the cutting tools endured through some hard use.
The pry bar end was the last to be tried. Although it would be nice to have in a pinch, it needs to be a bit longer to truly be useful aside from an emergency use of some kind. The handle is rather thick and blocks use of the pry bar and nail puller as the photos demonstrate. in addition the forks are thick which makes them strong, but also makes it difficult to drive under and between whatever the working material is. I tried the to use the head as a handle and it worked rather well. I wrapped a section of paracord around the head to save my metacarpals some agony.
The good news is, the handle which is hinders the pry bar feature, does allow you to get the most of the hatchet feature as it extends down far enough to allow the user to maximize the momentum of a swing.
I couldn’t resist throwing it a few times. It’s long handle seems to cancel out the weight of the hatchet head. This caused it to revolve slowly and had trouble sticking at times. Once I got the proper distance worked out, I was rewarded with the “thunk” of the blade sticking into the stump. I would leave this sport up to the Siege’s light handled cousins however.
I had fun with the Siege, and as I said before, It comes at a very attractive price point and has additional features to rival some of it’s pricey competitors. Well worth a good look if you are in the market for a “tacticool” Hawk for sure.