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Kersaw Blur Tanto BDZ-1 vs. Emerson CQC-7K

I recently had an itch to add a hard use tactical folder to my collection and I went to Kershaw to scratch it.  I did a review on the CQC-7K earlier this year and found it to have a few flaws (see below).  The Blur is an older design that Kershaw has kept relevant by releasing special editions.  One that caught my eye was the Tanto BDZ-1, which features a plain edged modified tanto blade forged from Carpenter BDZ-1 Steel.  Both the Kershaw Blur Tanto BDZ-1 and the Kershaw Emerson CQC-7K are new models for 2014.


Left to Right: Kerskaw Blur Tanto BDZ-1 and Kershaw Emerson CQC-7K


I almost gave up on the CQC-7K.  Out of the box, it was nearly impossible to open one-handed due to an overly aggressive detent.  However, I liked the knife enough to keep tinkering with it – adjusting and lubricating the pivot in small increments until I got it to run.  I can now open the knife one handed and it also waves out of the pocket easier.  The trade-off was a small amount of side-to-side blade play that I guess I can live with.  As I said… I like the knife, but Kershaw sure didn’t make it easy. In stark contrast, the Blur certainly lives up to it’s name.  Nudge the prominent, heavily knurled thumb studs and the 3.4 inch stone washed blade fires out with authority.  I’ve experienced Kershaw’s SpeedSafe technology before in a couple of ZT’s I’ve owned. Those large heavy blades didn’t come out with quite the same “pop” as the blade on the Blur.  If getting a knife into a fight quickly is your priority then you’ve come to the right place.

The Blur’s blade steel is also superior.  The CQC-7K’s 8Cr13MoV is decent but BDZ-1 takes a fine edge and holds it longer (Carpenter steel is commonly used in high end razor blades).  In fairness, the Blur BDZ-1 is also a more expensive knife and, more often than not, you get what you pay for.   Blade shape wise, I prefer the Emerson’s more aggressive grind and stronger tip.  But, if you like to use your tactical knives for food prep and other precision cutting tasks, then the Blur would be better suited in that kind of dual EDC role.  Both were razor sharp from the factory.



The Blur’s aluminum scales eliminate weight and they are very grippy with the Trac-Tec inserts but anyone who’s seen a well used Blur can attest that aesthetically they don’t wear well. The aluminum gets dinged up relatively easily.  If you like your knife to stay pretty then the CQC-7K’s G-10 scales would be the preferred option.  



Both clips are tight and between the two, the Emerson carries a bit deeper in the pocket.  But, neither is going to win an award in the covert carry category.



The Emerson has a thicker lock bar, but as discussed in our first review, it locks up later than you’d expect or want.  The Blur’s frame lock doesn’t look as stout but it locks up early with absolutely no blade play in any direction (with no adjustments needed out of the box).



The Blur has open pillar construction.  The CQC-7K has a G-10 back spacer.  The Blur weighs in 4.2 ounces and the CQC-7K is nearly an ounce heavier at 5.1 ounces.  I was surprised there wasn’t more of a difference because the Emerson knife feels very substantial (given its size) and the Blur feels like it weighs next to nothing.  You hardly notice it in your pocket.





Now that I’ve adjusted the CQC-7K, its back into my rotation.   But, I’ll probably end up carrying the Blur more.  I’ll have to sharpen it less often, its lighter, opens quicker, and has a more versatile blade shape.  When will I substitute the Emerson?  Well, that will happen this week when my family and I travel to St. Croix.  Local knife laws prohibit “gravity knives” and by their definition, would include the Blur.  So the CQC-7K is making the trip.  If it gets stolen from my luggage or confiscated for some reason, then no big deal.  It’s a user and that’s the beauty of it.        

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Steve Braswell says:

    For anyone that wants to try a Blur tanto there is a woot today (woot.com) of the Blur tanto partially serrated tiger stripe with 14C28N steel for $40. The same knife is also available at massdrop.com for a similar price. Not as nice a steel as the one reviewed, also the partial serrations, but the tiger stripes are cool looking and it has all the other Blur features.

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