Kershaw Lucha Review
Written and Photographed by Blade HQ Staff Writer Logan Rainey on 02/03/2021
When first introduced at the beginning of 2020, the Kershaw Lucha definitely raised some eyebrows. We asked ourselves, “Could a balisong, made by one of the industry’s biggest brands known for producing quality but affordable folding knives, really compare to and fit in with the likes of knives from -=BRS=-, Squid Industries and even Benchmade?” To our surprise it could and the Kershaw Lucha has solidified its place in the Bali community as a must-have knife for everyone from beginners to pros. In this review we take an in-depth look at the Kershaw Lucha, what makes it such an amazing and sought after butterfly knife, and why you should pick one up. Let’s get to it!
First let's run through the stats...
- Overall Length: 10.25”
- Blade Length: 4.60”
- Blade Shape: Clip Point
- Blade Steel: 14C28N
- Handle Material: Stainless Steel
- Weight: 5.90 oz.
- Lock Mechanism: Latch
KNIFE LIFE SCORE
Knife Life is all about representing your personality and passion through the knife you carry in your pocket every day. Quality and performance are key. Tasteful design and ritzy details are also important. You can be confident carrying any knife with a high Knife Life Score. Each section is scored out of 10 with a grand total of 100.
UNIQUENESS / IMPORTANCE
For the longest time, butterfly knives have fallen into one of two categories; inexpensive and flimsy, or incredibly expensive and built like a tank. The Kershaw Lucha enters the market as a fair middle ground allowing more people to get into flipping without the need to take out a second mortgage or continuously buy new knives. Lucha is important because it proves that high-quality balisongs can be developed, made, and become successful. Kershaw did an incredible job implementing their knack for making high-quality and affordable knives to the Lucha and we are exceptionally pleased.
Part of the reason the cost of the Kershaw Lucha can stay so low when compared to other balisongs on the market is its utilization of less expensive materials (Duh!). Stainless steel handles provide adequate weight and durability without sacrificing ergonomics and control, and Lucha’s Sandvik 14C28N steel blade is durable and less prone to chipping when compared to super steels found on premium folding knives. Overall, the materials on the Lucha are perfect for a butterfly knife. They’re durable, easy to maintain and look great!
LOOK / STYLING
Balisongs truly are seen as statement pieces. They look flashy no matter how you open them and draw lots of attention when you get good. The Kershaw Lucha has a ton of flare thanks to its aggressive compound grind and milled handle texturing. It has a modern but simple look that places it on the scale between the classic Benchmade 42 and the extreme -=BRS=- Alpha Beast. It’s sleek and simple, but cool and playful.
When compared to other balisongs, the ergonomics of the Kershaw Lucha are average. The knife is well balanced but a little heavy for some. Though its handles look great and provide great control for spins and flares, the edges can feel a little sharp when doing ricochet tricks and your knuckles will definitely feel it. The Lucha has a great handle length allowing for more purchase on the knife when performing more technical tricks. Unfortunately the Lucha is a little big to throw in a pocket with other things like a wallet or phone, but it still makes a decent everyday carry knife.
Deployment / Lockup
If we had to choose one word to describe the Kershaw Lucha it would be “Smooth”. This knife seriously floats when flipped. KVT ball-bearings and well balanced handles give this knife one of the best feeling balisong actions we’ve seen in a long time. Like other balisong knives, the Lucha locks shut by using a simple latch mechanism. For a knife of this quality, we would have liked to see a spring latch or similar mechanism, but it’s not horrible.
BLADE / SHARPENING
As we mentioned briefly before, the Kershaw Lucha features a 14C28N stainless steel blade. This blade steel is particularly good for balisongs thanks to its softer, more forgiving characteristics. As some blade steels may be better for edge retention and general utility, balisongs don’t typically see as much cutting action and tend to require blade steels that can withstand regular drops without chipping or breaking. For everyday carry and light use, this blade is great and isn’t terrible to sharpen. It doesn’t, however, hold an edge as well as steel like S30V or 20CV might.
Generally, production knives have some minor flaws and inconsistencies. That being said, our Kershaw Lucha is exceptionally well-made and has virtually zero flaws. The grind on the blade is consistent, the handles are well-finished and without blemish, and the tolerances around the pivots are tight and smooth. While this knife is a fraction of the cost of other butterfly knives, it is actually quite incredible in its construction and consistency. The Kershaw Lucha is proudly made in the USA.
Though the Kershaw Lucha is a knife and by definition is designed to cut and slice things, the Kershaw Lucha isn’t necessarily meant for regular cutting tasks. It’s blade design is actually great for general utility and performs quite nicely, but we don’t recommend using this knife for anything other than flipping. While butterfly knives can be quite capable, the edge on this particular knife won’t withstand regular or hard use. It was great for opening a few letters and cutting open some bags of packing peanuts, but it’s really meant to be flipped and used for tricks. If you don’t mind sharpening your knife regularly, don’t be afraid to use it for cutting things. If not, just have fun flipping.
Ease of Carry
If you’re used to carrying regular folding pocket knife, the Kershaw Lucha will be an extreme change. This knife is bigger than most folding knives and doesn’t have a pocket clip. The knife is slim and fits decently well in-pocket, but we don’t recommend keeping it in the same pocket as your phone or wallet since it will monopolize space. If you’re someone who carries a bag or pack, the Kershaw Lucha will fit well in an accessory pocket and carries enough weight that you won’t forget it’s there. This knife isn’t terrible to carry, but it isn’t easy either.(Pictured next to a Kershaw Leek for size reference.)
It’s pretty safe to say that having this knife and using it around other people will draw attention. The Kershaw Lucha is so cool to look at and play with. It has its own unique flavor and adds value to any everyday carry rotation. The knife isn’t necessarily a grail or a crazy exclusive piece, but it has swagger and carries its own sort of clout. The Kershaw Lucha truly has what it takes to be considered pocket jewelry from its modern design to smooth flipping action. However you slice it, the Kershaw Lucha is one stellar knife!
TOTAL KNIFE LIFE SCORE: 81/100
There are a lot of reasons why the Kershaw Lucha has gained popularity as quickly as it has. This little knife is so unique and incredible beyond many other things we’ve seen come our way in the last few years. With people becoming more and more excited about everyday carry and matching their gear to their lifestyle, the Kershaw Lucha is a perfect addition to the options presented today. It’s a slim, lightweight folding knife with an excellent blade profile and comfortable ergonomics. For anyone looking to add a pocket knife to their gear without coming across to others in the wrong way, a knife like the Kershaw Lucha will have loads of appeal.
If you're still on the fence about the Kershaw Lucha, take a quick minute to watch our Blade HQ overview. In this short video we look at the specs and stats of this awesome balisong!