A chubby and comfortable pocket knife, the Kershaw Shuffle II has been on me for hikes, backpacking, camping, or even just backyard BBQs, but for the record, I think this is one everyday-carry pocket knife/tool I tend to feel a little naked without. Speedy sharp and built with ergonomics in mind, here’s hoping I don’t lose it anytime soon.

A classic liner-locking knife, while on the small end, I found it to be a great size for whatever I needed it for. A blade length of two and a half inches, the handle compensates well, with a firm grip and comfortable nylon material. I can fully wrap my fingers around and grab hold because of the awesome way the handle is designed. I get plenty of leverage onto the blade, and never does it feel like anything will slip.

kershaw knives, shuffle ii

The tanto-style blade lends itself well to a variety of cutting tasks. Though I don’t usually go for tantos, this one isn’t obnoxious in look or feel, and the less-than-steep angles mean I can actually use the front or bottom edge for digging into something in different ways. A great looking black wash finish seems to handle scratches well; it still looks like how it came out of box. (Even if it is currently covered in sap.)

kershaw knives, shuffle ii

Convenient flathead screwdriver/blunt end, with bottle opener nibs.

As I said before, the Shuffle stays on me. I like the smooth feel, lack of sharp angles or nibs to poke when carrying around in a pocket. A few multi-tool features actually get used. At first I thought them a bit gimmicky, but this thing saved my backside in more than a few situations. The bottle opener is more than handy, and the screwdriver end also functions as blunt smasher. Chipping rock-hard ice, for instance, was made easier with the butt of the knife.

My concerns are few and minor. For one, while the glass-filled nylon handle feels rugged, it does seem to be weak in a few areas. Around the liner lock, the nylon bends just a bit where the metal lock moves out of the way. Time will tell if this area breaks off in use, though it won’t make the knife useless if that does happen.

The other concern may just be my own pickiness. I mentioned that the Shuffle greatly comfortable to hold. On this account, it might just be too comfortable. The last finger grip before the blade starts doesn’t have as much of a physical stopper as I might like. I somewhat worry, after getting carried away, that I might miss the finger-hold and move up too much, grabbing the blade and slicing my finger. Of course, this is just a concern, and not something that has happened yet.

kershaw knives, shuffle ii

Knife spine, where I thought a bit of extra gimping should be added.

For future versions, I’m hoping Kershaw adds just a bit of textured gimping to the spine of the knife. This knife gets a lot of use from a pushed thumb far up on the blade’s spine for detail work, and a small amount more friction might help dig in.

I was initially surprised at how comfortable the knife is to hold, and after several trips of constant use, I can confidently say the Shuffle II meets my needs for hiking and backpacking. Small in the pocket, a joy to use, and only 20-30 bucks, this EDC knife sure holds up great and my guess is, will continue to do so.

kershaw knife, shuffle ii

Disclosure: This product was provided by Kershaw Knives, for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

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