Kershaw Alaskan Blade Trader Review

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Hunting is one of those endeavors that can require just the right tool at just the right time and one of the most important tools a hunter carries is a knife. But not all knives are the same and with the ever expanding load of equipment that seems to find its way into a day pack, justifying taking more than one knife can be difficult. Kershaw has contemplated this problem and offers the multi-tasking Alaskan Blade Trader to give you a knife that is more than just a single knife.

The Kershaw Alaskan Blade Trader combines three blades into one knife.

The Blade Trader is a rubberized knife that comes with two additional interchangeable blades one of which is a skinner blade with gut hook and the other is a saw. Changing a blade requires flipping up a rubberized locking handle that reveals the tang of the blade. Simply pop off the tang and then fit the new blade on to the handle and lock it down. Swapping out blades is fast and simple. Street price on the Alaskan Blade Trader is in the $40-$45 range.

The Blade Trader includes a saw, standard knife, and a skinner/gut-hook combo.

The included sheath is made of leather and utilizes a belt loop. The sheath is made of heavy leather and should hold up to a good deal of use over the years. The additional blades store in the sheath behind the handle.

The included sheath can bundle all the blades into one carrying compartment.

The stainless steel used in the blades is relatively hard, making the task of sharpening a more lengthy process. However on the flip side the blades hold their edge well and will get considerable use before resharpening is required. The main knife blade is a little under 4", while the saw is a little over 6" long and the skinner/gut hook blade is a little over 4" long. Given the saw length and sharpness it can be used for cutting smaller limbs and brush and be used as a bone saw as well.

The locking mechanism is clever and easy to use. However the slide down locking handle may in some cases become loose and can be tightened by using a pair of channel lock pliers to pinch the lock mechanism down some. The cross slot that the tang of the blade locks into is thick and the knife resists unlocking when sawing, cutting, or gutting.

The Blade Trader with the locking mechanism open.

Installing a new blade.

Overall if you're looking for a multifunction knife the Alaskan Blade Trader is worth considering. There are other multifunction knives on the market; however they tend to be of a folding design. While convenient, the folding knife designs weakness is that the blade handles tend to get very thick and the tools themselves are relatively short. The Blade Trader gives up the convenience of a folding knife but wins it all back by offering three fully functional tools in one.

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Quadcrazy's picture

Not recommended

I have this Kershaw knife set and don't use it anymore. The blades do not lock in place and they will come apart and cut you.

numbnutz's picture

Kershaw makes some great

Kershaw makes some great product. However I've never been sold on the 3 blade system. My uncle has one from Kershaw and it broke pretty easy bu his standards, I wouldn't mind trying them out for mysef befor I say ye or nah on a product. I had a single blade Kershaw fillieting knife and never  had a problem with it. Great review. and thanks for sharing.

Retired2hunt's picture

This Kershaw Alaskan

This Kershaw Alaskan definitely has some appeal.  I currently use a Gerber knife and saw - 2 separate items.  I like simply picking up the other and using and not having to mess with blade change.  I don't know if I would go the direction of having a one-handle multi-blade devise.  Both of my Gerber instruments worked great on my first harvest.  The knife is kept sharp and I had absolutely no problems with it.  The saw was a little flimsy but worked fine for the deer.  I hope to test them on an Elk next month.  That will be the determination as to spending the money on an upgrade or not. 

The one thing I don't like about this Kershaw product is that it looks like they went cheap on the sheath.  While it is made of leather there is no mechanism that holds/locks the knife in place - unless you wrap your belt over the handle as you slide it on your belt.  I think with the movement you make in the woods you would have a good chance of this knife accidentally sliding out of the sheath and being lost.

The only place I found this knife set for the $40 range was for $39... but they were sold out.  Most likely because they are the cheapest.  Every other site had them for $49 or higher.

Bottom line - I don't think I would purchase this knife/saw system even if I was in the market.


GooseHunter Jr's picture

Kershaw does make some really

Kershaw does make some really nice kives and other such stuff.  And yes that is a very good price for a set like set that does all.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

That's not a bad price for a

That's not a bad price for a 3 bladed knife!  Looks pretty good, compact, given that it has multiple blades. Never used a kershw knife though, so not familiar with the brand.