The CQC-6K is a $65 folding knife designed by Ernie Emerson and manufactured in China by Kershaw.
The knife weighs five ounces and is 7.75 inches long when open.
The modified clip point blade is made from Chinese 8Cr14MoV stainless steel with a nice two-tone finish. It arrived shaving sharp. It is 3.25 inches long with an 1/8 inch thick spine. The geometry of the blade makes it well suited for everyday cutting tasks.
The 4.5 inch long knife handle is made from 410 stainless steel and a single G10 handle scale. The materials make the knife resistant to moisture and weather.
The folding pivot was tight out of the box, making initial deployment slow and tough. I loosened the pivot screw until it smoothed out from use and then retightened it. The pivot is now almost effortless and smooth.
The frame lock detent held the blade securely when closed. The stainless steel frame lock had no discernable blade play vertically with the knife open and was only barely noticeable through the horizontal axis.
The knife has a good fit and finish for its cost. The test model had no significant issues in its manufactured appearance. When closed, the blade is centered well in the handle.
The handle size is OK for medium- to large-sized hands. The thumb jimping along the handle and blade spine had reasonable traction. The G10 scale is lightly textured with rounded corners. The overall handle comfort is a little harsh on the hand when gripped hard, but it is acceptable.
Initially, the pocket clip held too strongly. Drawing the knife re-quired more effort than it should. Much like the pivot, the pocket clip took some time to relax with wear. After the short wear-in period, the blade deployed easily from pocket draw.
A disk along blade spine allows the knife to be used ambidextrously.
Kershaw claims the knife can be used in either hand, but its pocket clip screws were not long enough for left-handed use.
I phoned Kershaw headquarters on its toll-free number, and the warranty department will send the appropriate screws to customers free of charge. Future shipments of the knife will include the left-hand pocket clip screws.
Edge retention was reasonable for the relatively inexpensive stainless steel. It performed well on an extended cardboard slicing test but did dull in small sections when cutting plastic zip ties.
The edge easily sharpened back to hair shaving performance.
There are more expensive knives with better characteristics on the market, but the Kershaw CQC-6K is an outstanding value as an everyday carry knife.
Kim Quintin is a Saskatoon outdoor enthusiast and knife maker. He can be reached for column suggestions at email@example.com or 306-665-9687.