The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K Knife Review


I’m not sure who deserves the credit. Is it the peanut butter or the jelly that makes the sandwich complete? Is it the spaghetti or the meatball to whom the praise belongs? Does a perfect collaboration have only one crucial ingredient or is it the yin and yang that brings two ideas together? In the case of the Kershaw Emerson CQC series, I believe it’s both.

When Kershaw and Emerson Knives announced its collaboration back in 2014, I figured there was no way to successfully pull this marriage off. Building a quality Emerson design on a Kershaw budget seemed like a long shot. Still, I’d be lying if the original idea didn’t have me chomping at the bit.

When I finally opted to buy the CQC-6K, the purchase came with a handful of hesitation, especially since I experienced disappointment with the CQC-4K. But the difference between these two knives from the same production line is night and day.


The CQC-4K left me wanting a whole lot more  while I can’t stop raving about the CQC-6K. I have my own personal concept I’m trying to develop through these occasional reviews for Knife Depot I’m calling Carry Queen. If you’re familiar with the idea of the safe queen, which is a valuable item that’s locked away in a safe and never actually used, then Carry Queen is the opposite. It’s always on me, always working. A true EDC blade. If you believe knives are tools, you will appreciate this concept. Stay tuned for more on that.

With the reality of the street price tipping over $40, to say that it’s a steal is an injustice. The Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K comes equipped with all the Emerson trademarks. This Kershaw is no Kershaw. It has a 3-inch dual-finished blade (satin and stonewashed), thumb disk, and Emerson’s patented wave feature. The front scale of the handle is textured G10 while the stainless steel back has a frame lock. With a buttery smooth action, you’d swear this was an assisted opener.

This budget Carry Queen reigns supreme.


In my heart, I’ve always been a small knife guy. Three inches is not only my state’s legal limit but it’s also the biggest I like my blades. My knives are tools, but I will acknowledge the fact that Emerson knives were developed as weapons first. Carrying the CQC-6K allows me that little piece of mind my other knives can’t offer (tacticool.) Although I hope to never use it for defensive purposes, it’s also why I say this knife covers both sides of the coin. Always feeling prepared is why I got into EDC to begin with.

I applaud the effort from both brands. It took a lot of focus and compromise to make this collab work. It’s not every day the knife community gets an affordable gem like this that also gives the knife lover something their collection will be proud of. This knife is simply the best of both worlds.

Beau Shelton is a contributor to Knife Depot and writes review for his site Knife Points. You can find him on Instagram at @knifepoints and listen to his pocket knife podcast on The Stallion Radio Network.


  1. I have a half-dozen of the Kershaw Emersons and the 6034 — the 6k — is my favorite of the bunch. The 6034t is the tanto version of this model.

    The review is spot on except that the blade is 3.25 inches, not 3 inches.

    There is no way you’d mistake the 6k for an assisted opening knife. I much prefer this manual Kershaw-Emerson collab with its smooth-opening nylon washers.

    Unlike many of Ernie Emerson’s models, this has no sticky lock and the blade is well-centered.

    Highly recommended.

    • How the knifes profile on the blade , will it keep an edge after sharping ? I’m not a huge fan of most Kershaw knifes because of the steel used . But I’m a Huge fan of Emerson knifes . So im thinking of going ahead and purchasing the the Kershaw/Emerson 6k to see how I like the steel used with the collaboration, until I can further gather the expenses needed to purchase a better high quality Emerson. To add to my knife collection.


    January 17, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Like more information of your knives and prices

  3. It looks like Kershaw has just copied a Rough Rider knife, and quadrupled the price or more. I doubt they will make it out of a better steel coming from China. Do You???? Kershaw has demonstrated they can’t even come up with their own original designs. I suggest knife owners look at the vast assortment of Rough Rider knives offered at a much lower price tag. Especially look at the Rough Rider fishing knife offered at about $10.00, while case offers it at about $45.00 and up. The Rough Rider is built much more sturdy, and with more features. I, especially, like the serrated fish scaler. Something Case never has offered, and I had to hone to make an effective tool. I have several Rough Rider knives and the steel is of good quality holding an edge well, and easy to tune up with a steel or strop without having to re-sharpen. Can’t do that with many knives, like Case, Gil Hibben, or Buck. The only comparable blade is a Schrade and Morakniv. Isn’t it interesting that the cheapest of knives are the best knives!!!!

    Take it from this old American Indian. Go to a Rough Rider, Schrade or Morakniv for a good dependable knife, and save money. Don’t pay for name recognition!!!! Stay away from Gerber and Buck. They are junk!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2023 The Cutting Edge

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑