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Kershaw Ken Onion Leek 1660 Series Pocket Knife Review

Updated on August 26, 2011

Review of Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Folding Knife

Small Pocket Knives are really useful tools and I love to carry them around with me for everyday tasks and during backpacking trips, especially if the design and craftsmanship turn them almost into a piece of art as Kershaw Ken Onion Leek does.

The Leek knives are simply great, they are really sharp out of the box and they have an assisted opening mechanism, the speedsafe, that is extremely good. Only a push in the thumb stud and the knife deploys fast locking with a satisfying click. You will never tire of playing with it! Besides, another good thing about these knives is the variety of designs, handles and blade materials available to choose.

Contents in a Nutshell

Despite that I love Swiss Army Knives I can't help to be impressed with the Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Folding Knives: outstanding design, quality materials, an excellent finish, and a limited lifetime warranty make these small pocket knives one of the best to carry around.

First Impression of the Kershaw Leek 1660 Series

Kershaw Leek folding knives are slim and light with a good size to carry in your pocket. Perhaps, they are a little big to use on your keychain, but small enough to not look as a weapon. The thing that impressed me the most is the excellent finish, which emphasizes the smart appearance and tasteful design of the knife. The Leek fits great in your hand, better than any Swiss Army Knife that I have used, and open smoothly with only one hand. This is a welcome safety measure, think that in an emergency a hand can be occupied, holding something, or injured. Another interesting thing of the knife is that it locks securely when it's closed.

Features of the Kershaw Leek

The blade is only 3in long made of 440A stainless steel. A top-quality steel that guarantees a razor-sharp edge for a long time, but at the same time is not too hard for sharpening.

The Leek series include an assisted opening device, which allows the knife to be opened with one push in the thumb stud or Index-Open system. They call it Speed safe because the spring actually locks the blade when it's closed.

In the Leek 1660 the thumb stud allows an ambidextrous opening, but because the stud is a little small you must practice a couple of times until you get used to it.

Once the blade is deployed it is locked into position by the Frame lock preventing that the blade folds back accidentally into the handle.

Besides, the Leek Series include a Pocket clip, not for using in your belt, but to clip the knife with the handle inside your pocket and the pocket clip outside of your pants. This pocket clip could be removed easily of the knife if you have no regard for your clothes.

Kershaw Leek Models

There are several models to consider. All the models come with a plain blade, and same of them come with a serrated one too, but the true variety on these knives is in the handle style and finish:

Kershaw Leek 1660 Stainless Steel Handle

* The handle that I like the most is the 410 stainless steel of the 1660 model: a simple and sturdy no-nonsense handle, but with the beauty of a high-quality piece of equipment.

Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Pocket Knife 1660BB, 1660BR and 1660Pink

* The Smoked double-anodized aluminum handle in two colors for a lightweight knife. The model below is the smoked 1660BB Black and Blue. You can have the same model in Black and Red the 1660BR. Or a similar model the Kershaw Pink Leek 1660Pink, yes Pink!

Kershaw Ken Onion Black & Blue Leek Folding Knife with Speed Safe
Kershaw Ken Onion Black & Blue Leek Folding Knife with Speed Safe

Smoked finish Black & Blue color 6061-T6 anodized aluminum handle.


Kershaw Leek 1160CKT with Black DLC Coating

* The 1660CKT black Tungsten DLC coating which makes a Leek with a non-reflective surface of the blade and handle.

Kershaw Rainbow Leek 1660VIB

* The Rainbow Leek with its titanium oxide coating that produces a highly scratch resistant, brilliant, rainbow finish. Excellent quality, not my first choice, though.

Kershaw Ken Onion Rainbow Leek Folding Knife with Speed Safe
Kershaw Ken Onion Rainbow Leek Folding Knife with Speed Safe

Blade Steel: 440A stainless-steel titanium-oxide coated. Handle: 410 stainless-steel titanium-oxide coated.


Kershaw Ken Onion Leek 1660G10

* The 1660G10 model features a textured black G-10 handle for better gripping. It is the lightest Leek so far, only 2.3 oz.

Is There any Complaint about these Small Pocket Knives?

The overall answer to this question is: no! I can't find a single fault in any of these knives. Of course, it is always the matter of personal preferences. I prefer that my pocket knives have other useful tools besides the blade, like scissors or screwdrivers. But, if I were searching for a folding knife and not for a multi-tool, you would not have to work hard to convince me to buy one of these knives.

Another thing worth mention here is that the blade tip is thin. So, it could break if you use the knife for things that it is not designed for, like throwing it to a target for example. So, next time that you fancy being Jim Bowie, use other knife or you will have to send your Leek to Kershaw asking for a replacement :=)

Actually, the major complaint that I can think of is that they are so beautiful that you have to think twice before using them for fear of scratching them, even when you know that they can take a lot of abuse without damage!

With respect to the price, they are certainly not cheap, but not too expensive considering the quality involved in the Kershaw knives.

Kershaw Leek 1660 Black Tungsten DLC coating Video - Kershaw Leek Speedsafe in action using the Index-Open system.


If you are searching for a good folding knife, and not for a multi-tool, that has a cool design, with a quality craftsmanship and materials to carry always with you. Then the Kershaw Ken Onion Leek is worth looking at, considering the price. Kudos to Kershaw and Ken Onion from a Victorinox fan.

To see more of my favorite knives visit: Best Pocket Knives for Camping and Everyday Use

I also have a page about the best backpacking stoves and another about shun sharpening steel

You like these small pocket knives? You hate them? then write a comment

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    • Emma Vine profile image

      Emma Vine 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      I am a huge fan of both the Kershaw Leek and Scallion series. I found no other knife is as suited to me as Ken Onion knives. Furthermore, the locking mechanism broke on a Scallion once and I contacted Kershaw to buy another. They sent me three free locking mechanisms and the small tool to change it out myself. Wonderful customer service on top of a quality product.