|Kershaw AL MAR AM-3|
AL MAR knives of Japan is a brand known to create high quality, simply designed, user-friendly, tough knives. Kershaw has partnered up with them and taken from the best of AL Mar’s designs and added a Kershaw-flair with the liner lock and assist open flipper technology, along with adding a little jimping on the knives spine to create a really nice very pocket-friendly knife. Kershaw has also built this knife to be very budget friendly.
I've owned this knife for a few weeks and it makes a very good every-day pocket-knife but I also believe the size blade shape and handle will also make it a good bird hunting knife. When I first saw it I thought to myself that it looked like a folding bird and trout knife and the blade shape and handle are similar to other knives designed for that purpose.
|AM-3 with a traditional trapper knife comparison|
The main item I like about this knife is the blade. It's a 3" long thin spear point that ends on a very fine sharp tip. It reminds me of modern take traditional trapper blades (see photos). Perfect for opening crops on birds, piecing and butchering small game. Steel on the blade is Kershaw's budget 8cr13Mov. It’s not the best steel but it’s definitely not the worst. It holds a decent edge but will need to be resharpened more often then other more superior steels. My opinion and experience with this steel is that it is fine and Kershaw has put out many quality knives using this it. Keep the edge maintained and you will be happy with it. The blade utilizes a liner-lock that solidly locks the blade in place. Mine has no play up-down or right to left and feels solid and has a lockup that instills confidence.
The handle is a combination of smooth, rounded and polished black G-10 on on side and stainless steel on the other side with the liner lock and pocket clip. It's a very comfortable handle to use and hold in my large sized hand. Any shorter the handle would be too small but at 3.5" long it fits well in my hand. The g-10 is a little over polished in my opinion and may get a little slick while cleaning a bird or other animals.
My favorite feature is the size. For my use the 3" AM-3 is just right. If you prefer a larger blade Kershaw makes an AL MAR AM-4 that has a half inch longer handle and blade. But at 3" this knife does everything I ask of a knife that size and does it all very well. It only weights 2.5 ounces so it carry's very well. It's not intimidating to use around the office either.
My only gripe is the pocket clip seems a little weak. I like the ride on the deep carry clip its just that the clip doesn't really grab tightly to your pocket. It feels like it could fall out even when securely clipped in. However, it has not fallen out of my pocket once since I've owned it so it may be a mute point.
Overall its a great knife and I can recommend it to anyone looking for a traditional-styled knife that is loaded with modern features. It's a good blend of old and new. Cost was $28.95 from BladeHQ.com. In my opinion it's well worth the money.
|AM-3 compared to some of my other favorite bird-hunting knives|