Case pretty much has the traditional knife market cornered but they hadn't ventured into anything moden and frankly didn't seem to care. Something changed and Case surprised us all with new offerings in 2021. The Kinzua is Case's take on a modern EDC folder and they didn't spare the high quality treatment either.
The Kinzua features an anodized aluminum handle, S35VN powdered steel blade and a deep riding pocket clip. These are hallmarks of what makes a great EDC knife. How does it stand up? Let's take a look....
The handle is smooth but has somewhat of a texture to it, not sure if it's from the stone washing but it provides enough tactile feedback keep my hands from slipping even when wet. The finger groove for your index finger is smaller than I would like but hadn't seen any issues as a result. Handle is comfortable to hold and doesn't create any unusual hotspots when gripping it firmly.
The blade on this particular model (64663) is a tanto and features crucible's S35VN powder steel coming in at 3.4 inches. S35VN is a very robust steel that features great wear resistant coupled with good corrosion resistance. I'm not usually a fan of tanto blades because I like blades that are designed more for slicing and not for penetration. This particular design that Case has isn't a traditional tanto and has a very nice profile that's similar to their spear point offering. I found the blade held the edge extremely well and sharpening wasn't any trouble in spite of the not traditional angles.
Deploying the blade is done with a flipper tab and launching the blade is quick and doesn't require a great deal of pressure or wrist flicking. Ball bearings help keep this action smooth and keep the blade centered even when the pivot is tightened firmly. The only negative I can say regarding this blade is the sheer thickness of it. The blade doesn't seem to suffer as a result thanks to the blade geometry and keen egde.
Aluminum isn't a normal material for frame lock knives. Due to how soft it can be; manufactures usually go for stainless or a higher end alloy like titanium. I'm sure this was a cost decision and Case came up with the couple ways to ensure the lock runs smoothly for years. The lock has a combination over travel and lock bar insert. I think its an ingenious way to prevent stress on the lock bar from a user over flexing the lock and simultaneously providing a surface for the lock face which is tougher than the aluminum.
I love pocket clips on my knives and can't get enough of the deep clip variety. Sometimes you don't want your pocket advertising to the world that your carrying. I also feel your less likely to be catching said clip on various objects throughout the day. This deep carry clip is really great and makes retrieval easy. The only complaint is the screws used to anchor the clip are the same used for the rest of the blades construction. This makes putting the knife in your pocket somewhat tricky due to Case not using tapered screws.
Overall I think the Kinzua is a fantastic offering from Case and it shows that they are committed to keeping with the current trends in the industry. The combination of high end materials and quality craftsmanship make this a great everyday carry.
Overall Length: 8.15"
Blade Length: 3.40"
Cutting Edge: 3.40"
Blade Width: 0.88"
Blade Thickness: 0.15"
Blade Material: CPM S35VN
Blade Style: Tanto
Blade Grind: Flat
Edge Type: Plain
Handle Length: 4.75"
Handle Width: 1.00"
Handle Thickness: 0.49"
Handle Material: Aluminum
Weight: 3.40 oz