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Why This Little Knife Sold out Instantly (and Broke a Website)

Kershaw recently released an updated version of one of its most popular pocket knives and demand was great enough to cause technical difficulties.


It’s never surprising when limited-run products sell out. It is, after all, the point of a limited run. But the hype required for that to occur in mere minutes typically only builds around such products as street-worthy hiking shoes from Nike, or anything that Supreme cooks up. Recently, Kershaw proved a pocket knife could do it too when it released a new blade called the Random Leek.

The original Leek is well-known among knife enthusiasts. It’s as basic as a folding pocket knife can get, with a three-inch drop-point blade, a metal handle and a fast assisted opening mechanism. Part of its popularity is its simplicity (and the fact that its designer is the legendary Ken Onion).

Over the years, Kershaw has released versions of the Leek with colorful handles or upgraded blade steel, but none drew as much attention as the Random Leek. The knife doesn’t look that different from its predecessors but does offer enough new features to make it stand out in the Leek family. The obvious one is its black stonewash-finish blade, which comes in an angular reverse tanto shape instead of a drop point and is made of high-grade S30V steel. The other is the yellow of its handle, which Kershaw achieved by using a Cerakote — a protective ceramic coating — finish for the first time in its 46-year history.

According to Knife News, so many people tried to snag the Random Leek, which Kershaw valued at $150 but sold for $70, that it impacted the functioning of Kershaw’s website, and promptly sold out. The consolation for anyone who wasn’t able to get one is that the knife is the first of Kershaw’s Sprint Run releases, which it will make in highly limited batches and tease on Instagram. Hopefully the company fortifies its website before the next release.

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