Kershaw Brawler

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

Kershaw Brawler KnifeKershaw Brawler 1990X Review

I would highly recommend the Kershaw Brawler1990X for those who enjoy having a durable and dependable everyday carry knife (EDC) with them at all times. The Brawler’s size is perfect for carrying in a pocket and the blade has stood up to everything I have thrown at it.

The Brawler’s overall length is 7 3/8 inches, with a closed length of 4 1/8 inches. It is a lightweight 3.9 ounces and the handle is constructed of injection-molded, glass-filled nylon. The blade itself is 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with a non-reflective black oxide coating.

The Brawler has a pocket clip that can be mounted in 4 different spots on the pre-drilled handle, allowing it to be mounted for tip-up or tip-down, left- or right-handed carry; I really found this especially convenient and a sign of thoughtful design by Kershaw. My only wish is for a longer pocket clip since at 1 3/8 inches, it is a little too short.

The Brawler has a modified tanto blade, which is a shape often found in tactical knives that need to punch through tough materials. The tip of the blade is extra thick, giving it the strength it needs to puncture sturdy materials. The Brawler also has a straight belly, which gives it a greater cutting capacity and an easily sharpened blade.Kershaw Brawler Knife

I found the Brawler to be a perfect knife for all of the tasks I attempted with it. I am an avid fisherman and this knife was easily stored in my pocket and tackle box. It had no troubles cutting through bait, tackle, and rope used for an anchor, and its sharp edge could easily fillet a trout.

The Brawler cut through corrugated cardboard boxes and plastic bottles with ease on trash day. In the yard, it cut through burlap, pierced fertilizer bags, sharpened wood tomato stakes, and it easily helped prune new growth on holly bushes. The Brawler is an indispensable EDC in the house and yard.

The Brawler’s angled handle fit nicely in my hand. The textured handle helps make it more secure, especially when your hands are wet. The length of the handle was just long enough for my hand, but it might be a concern for those who wear XXL gloves.

The blade itself can be opened with the thumb stud or by pulling on the blade with thumb and forefinger. However, what distinguishes the Brawler is the “flipper” assist mechanism and Kershaw’s SpeedSafe technology. The flipper is a protrusion found on the rear of the closed knife, allowing the user to open the blade with one hand. With my thumb on the topside of the handle and my middle finger on the other side of the handle, it only took my index finger to pull down on the flipper, thus opening the blade.Kershaw Brawler Knife

Kershaw’s SpeedSafe system facilitates the blade opening with lightning quick speed—though rest assured, enough force is necessary that it should never open in your pocket by accident.

The SpeedSafe feature is incredibly convenient and useful. The flipper later becomes a useful finger guard when the blade is deployed and you are gripping the knife in your hand. The liner lock secures the blade open during use, with one side of the steel liner moving into position behind the blade to lock it in the open position.

Throughout my usage of the Brawler, it remained securely open no matter how much force I exerted on the blade. The blade can be closed again using one hand, with your thumb pushing aside the liner lock and the other fingers pulling it closed. The flipper and SpeedSafe make the Brawler a trusted companion, ready at a moment’s notice.

The Brawler is an affordable and sturdy knife. It arrived with a very sharp edge and it maintained this sharp edge through a variety of tasks. Best of all, it was easily opened with one hand when needed. This would be a great gift for those who need or want to carry a knife for the job site, home maintenance, or a fishing trip their sons.

How Much And Where To Buy:

The Kershaw Brawler 1990X is a worthy EDC knife and sells online for approximately $23.00 here: Kershaw-1990X-Brawler-Speedsafe-Knife


John Peachey is a 22-year veteran teacher, a big fan of technology and gadgets, avid fisherman and also a homeowner. He enjoys completing DIY projects and has been responsible for managing and maintaining a local club for 11 years.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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