The Kershaw/Emerson CQC-9K has been my everyday carry knife for a while now. My initial goal was to review not as a weapon, or a survival knife, but as an everyday carry knife. Throughout my CQC-9k review, I was quite pleased with its performance. I like simple things, and the CQC-9K proved to be rugged, reliable and simple. The most complicated thing about the CQC-9K is typing and saying its name over and over.
My 5-year-old took to calling it the Monkey knife because the Emerson Ape skull on the knife and its box. (Emerson, let my kid name your knives.) Anyway, the knife was a pocket companion pretty much everywhere and I went and I’m always going somewhere. In the three weeks, I’ve had the knife I’ve been a busy bee.
Testing The Emerson CQC-9K
Shortly before I received the knife good old Hurricane Hermine hit my community. It didn’t damage my home too much but left a lot of cleaning up to do. While cleaning my property there was a number of times I needed a pocket knife as you could imagine. I had a tarped carport be destroyed by winds and found it much faster to cut through the cordage holding the broken tarp then undoing it. There were over 50 ties to cut and the Emerson CQC-9K went through them like butter.
I also went fishing and scalloping a number of times, in the Gulf of Mexico where the knife was exposed to plenty of salt water when I cut lines, pried scallops opened, gutted fish, and simply used it with wet hands. The finish is intact and I have yet to see a single flake of rust.
It’s been a pocket companion and gathered it’s fair share of lint, dirt, and sweat. The simple design makes it impossible to fail due to normal crud accumulation. The KISS principle at work. I put the blade through some testing as a box cutter. I try to grab large pieces of cardboard when I see them. They all eventually become target backings. Sometimes I have to cut them. While this is typically the job for a box cutter the Emerson CQC-9k drew the short straw.
We sliced and diced through a half dozen boxes to make some nice, flat, target backings. Pretty easy task, but after all this, the blade is still sharp enough. It’s not out of the box sharp, but its still sharp.
The main downside to the Emerson CQC-9K is the combination of its size and simple operation. It’s a big folding knife, and to open it with one hand you have to start pushing it open, and then rotate your hand to finish opening the knife. It feels clumsy, and I’m a fan of one handed operation. I also somehow chipped the blade though, not sure how, but it was after heavy use.
Surprisingly the pocket clip is still rock solid. I’ve lost so many knife clips from them loosening I just started carrying knives without them. The pocket clip here hasn’t budged a hair. Let’s see, the finish is still intact, zero rust, nothing loosened, the blade locks up tight, the lock stays in place, nothing’s loose, and it’s still sharp. It’s a good knife, a simple knife, and you really can’t ask for more from it, especially when you consider its price.