Kershaw’s Payload: A Multitool That’s a Knife First


Without a doubt, multitools like those from Leatherman and Gerber can be extremely useful. I’ve always kept one in my go bag and they have proved extremely useful to me in both my personal and professional lives. But all of the typical ones failed as knives. Sure, each of them had at least one cutting blade, but they were frequently pretty poor blades.

Kershaw is offering a new multitool that takes a knife first, driver second. Called the Payload, this tool has a familiar folding knife profile with a 3.3″ blade made of 8Cr13MoV steel. The plain edge blade opens via a thumb stud and has a liner lock. Kershaw designed the spine of the blade with a fair amount of jimping.


When the blade is closed, you can turn the handle around and release the spring loaded bit driver. Five bits are stored in the glass filled nylon handle: a #1 and #2 slotted, a #1 and #2 Phillips and a T-6 Torx. The entire package weighs less than 6.5 ounces.

The Payload has a MSRP of $49.99.

The Payload is not Kershaw’s first stab at a multi-tool. Also in the company’s current catalog is the Select Fire. This knife has a different configuration, but clearly was built around the knife as it has a blade superior to those on normal multitools.

Richard Johnson

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  • Austin

    I like the concept but not to fond of the blade shape in the one shown

    • Bill

      Done properly, the modified Wharncliffe/Sheepsfoot, or reverse tanto, depending on whose marketing you’re listening to, can be really utilitarian if you give it a try. I don’t know the precise geometry of this particular blade, but knives like the Benchmade Contego, some of the Hogues and customs by Osborne and Elishewitz can have really strong spines combined with fairly precise points.

      • Austin

        Its probably a good blade but I like the look of a spear point or drop point design

  • Scott Tuttle

    no pliers???!! 🙂 and $50 seems a bit high for one of their made in china knives.

  • Blake

    I guess this is a good solution if you must have one & only one tool.

    But personally I stick to the “horses for courses” mantra: I carry an Opinel folding knife and one of various cheap-but-decent cyclotourist multi-tools (depending on what I’m up to). The two together cost about 25 bux so I won’t cry if I lose or damage them, & they do the jobs they were designed for quite well.

  • alternator

    The blade steel makes it hardly worth carrying. At least Leatherman has a multi-tool with a blade of S30V. Poor blade steel is poor blade steel, whether it’s a knife with tools or a tool with a knife.

    • Kelly Jackson

      Knife nerds are the worst
      I bet you can’t even beat this knife with an 8lb sledge without it failing.

      • alternator

        I have to sharpen 8CR13MoV every 15 minutes, and even then it won’t take a decent edge. A good steel will take an edge twice as sharp and hold it 20 times longer. You get what you pay for.

  • Jwedel1231

    Have you ever tried a Leatherman? The blades may be relatively small, but they are decent blades. Put a good edge on it and it will work. I’m not willing to sacrifice the usefulness of the driver and the entire concept of pliers for a marginally better blade. I guess you could just carry pliers around along with this multitool, since I sometimes carry a better knife alongside mine.
    To each, his own.


    Kershaw made my favorite multi-tool, the A100. It was discontinued some time back, but had a pair of needle nose vice grips, an externally opening knife, hack saw, file, flat and cross-cut screwdrivers, bottle & can opener, and a ruler. Best tool ever. The knife could be used to stab into the ground or a log while holding time-fuse for calculating burn rates. The only improvement I could have made would have been to have cap crimpers on it, and perhaps a carbide scribe/glass breaker. Hands down better than any Leatherman or Gerber I ever used.

    • ODgreen34

      Never heard of this and now i must have one.