Kershaw Livewire vs Microtech, What is The Best OTF Knife For Your Money

With the world of knives brimming with choices, the Out The Front (OTF) knives have gained exceptional popularity among enthusiasts and everyday users. These knives, known for their swift blade deployment, offer a unique combination of utility and style.

In today’s comparison, we’ll dive deep into two frontrunners in the OTF market: the Kershaw Livewire and the renowned Microtech. By the end, you’ll have a clear picture of which knife provides the best bang for your buck.

Understanding OTF Knives

An OTF knife, as the name implies, has a blade that extends and retracts directly from the top (or front) of the handle. The design promotes rapid, one-handed deployment, often with the push of a button or slide mechanism. This ease of use offers significant advantages, especially in situations where speed and discretion are crucial.

Kershaw Livewire Overview

Kershaw, a brand renowned for its quality and affordability, brings the Livewire to the OTF arena. This knife boasts a high-carbon stainless steel blade, ensuring excellent edge retention and resistance to wear. The handle, designed for ergonomic comfort, often features materials like aluminum or G10, which are both durable and lightweight.

One standout feature of the Livewire is its robust locking mechanism. This ensures the blade stays in place, whether it’s extended or retracted. With a price range hovering around the mid-tier mark, it offers features commonly found in more expensive models, making it an enticing option for many.

Microtech Overview


When it comes to premium OTF knives, Microtech is a name that’s often echoed with reverence. Their OTF lineup showcases impeccable craftsmanship, with blades typically made from high-end steels like Bohler M390 or Elmax. This translates to remarkable sharpness and unparalleled edge retention.

The handles, often sculpted for ergonomic perfection, are crafted from materials like aircraft-grade aluminum, ensuring a balance between durability and weight. Special features might include glass breakers or unique blade finishes, justifying its higher price point. But the question remains: does its performance match its cost?

Performance Comparison

Between the Kershaw Livewire and Microtech, the latter generally edges out in terms of sharpness and edge retention, thanks to its superior blade steel. However, both knives deploy quickly and lock securely, a testament to their respective brand’s attention to detail.

Users often praise the Microtech for its smooth deployment and premium feel. The Livewire, meanwhile, garners appreciation for being a reliable workhorse, consistently delivering a performance that punches above its price range.

Durability and Build Quality

Build quality is where both knives shine but in different areas. The Kershaw Livewire, while robust, is designed for everyday tasks, making it versatile and durable. The materials, though not as premium as Microtech’s offerings, still stand up to wear and tear admirably.

Microtech, with its high-end materials and meticulous construction, is built to last. Corrosion resistance is top-notch, and with proper care, it’s a knife that can be passed down through generations. However, this longevity comes with the need for regular maintenance to keep it in optimal condition.

Price and Value for Money

Value for money is subjective. The Livewire, being more affordable, offers excellent performance at its price point. It’s a fantastic option for those looking for a reliable OTF knife without breaking the bank.

Microtech, with its premium pricing, offers an experience. The knife is as much a tool as it is a piece of art. For those who appreciate craftsmanship and are willing to invest, it’s a worthy contender. However, for the average user, its features might be overkill.

About Nina Smith