Roughneck fits the bill for camping knife

The Kershaw Roughneck is an outdoors knife manufactured in Japan. The respectably sized 11-1/8 inches long tool is made from AUS6A stainless steel with a 6-1/4 inch blade and weighs 0.4 pounds.

This belt knife is designed for general camping and wilderness tasks. With a general purpose design, the Kershaw Roughneck can be used for basic camp chores, processing game and light woodworking.

The co-polymer handle material is comfortably contoured for the hand and maintains an excellent, safe grip even when wet. It has a full tang concealed within the handle for overall strength. The red handle highlights make the tool much easier to find when accidentally dropped in leaves or in the dark.

The clip point tip and concave bevels create a good piercing and slicing blade.

One problem with the Kershaw Roughneck is its AUS6A stainless steel. The effectiveness of this kind of economical stainless steel varies greatly depending on the quality of its heat treatment.

We found the AUS6A adequate, which is a reflection of the care Kershaw has put into its manufacturing.

Although some owners prefer a leather sheath, leather is difficult to keep sanitary and will retain water.Neither condition is ideal for any kind of knife.

The Roughneck leather sheath was well made but did not have a drainage hole.

In tests, the knife proved capable even when deboning partially frozen turkeys. The combination of a plain edge with spine serrations gave many useful cutting options, so long as the user was mindful of safety.

We were not completely convinced of the need for serrations on this knife, let alone placing them partially along its spine.

We had to search for tasks that would effectively test the serrations, which were not commonly found in our camp chores. The serrations performed well when finally examined but we were still on the fence about them.

The Kershaw Roughneck would make a fine choice for an outdoors belt knife.

The combination of artificial handle material and stainless steel blade made for excellent corrosion and environmental resistance.

We would like to see a model option that does not have a partially serrated spine.

The tool is very well priced for its features and proven serviceability.

Kim Quintin is a Saskatoon outdoor enthusiast and knife maker. He can be reached for column content suggestions at



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