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Ken Onion's EDC Helical Black Knife

By: Mary and Dr. Jim Clary

We have known Ken Onion for several years and have always liked his knives. The Helical is no exception. This is a well designed EDC blade for just about everyone. The primary benefit of this knife is its slim design. It fits neatly in the pocket next to a wallet with no difficulty. As such, it is unobtrusive to the wearer and virtually unnoticeable to the general public.

Some folks have stated that the smaller flipper made it a bit more difficult to deploy the blade. At first, we had to agree, but after a bit of practice, deployment of the blade was just as fast as with any other knife. Our advice.... take a little time to practice with this knife and get comfortable with it... you will then appreciate its size and beauty.

We mention beauty simply because the contoured handle is made of 6061 aircraft aluminum. That makes it very strong, yet lightweight. Add to that a blade fabricated from D2 steel for edge-holding and durability and you have a superb knife.

Because one does not hear about D2 steel very often, we will provide a brief description. Prior to finding a home in high-end knives, the primary use of this steel was for making stamping dies that cut steel pieces out of other softer steels.

Due to the process by which D2 is made, there can be significant variations from lot to lot. “It varies from good to extraordinary, depending on the production lot of steel, the way the steel is heat-treated, and the way the blade edge is beveled and finished.” (Michael S. Black, Knives Illustrated, 2016) What this means for knife makers is that their D2 blades will hold their edges better and longer than most other steels (up to 10 times). However, it will take more effort to resharpen when the time comes, but it is worth it because the edge of a sharp D2 blade is incredible... like a razor.

The specifications for the Helical™ Black:
Blade Length
3.52" (89.51 mm)
Blade Type
Blade Steel
D2 for increased edge-holding
Blade Finish
Black Oxide for reduced glare and corrosion-resistance
Blade Thickness
0.13" (3.25 mm)
Overall Length
8.13" (206.38 mm)
Closed Length
4.58" (116.38 mm)
3.60 oz. (102.06g)
6061 Anodized Aluminum
Folding Knife w/Liner Lock

We don't believe that you can find another blade of equal quality (6061 aircraft aluminum handle & D2 black oxide blade) for the MSRP of $59.99. Most knives with those two qualities are priced considerably higher. The Helical Black is definitely a blade to add to your collection, or as an unobtrusive every day carry (EDC).

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