Kizer Cormorant features the traditional Mexican striped weave on its G10 handle scales called Serape which not only provides comfort to hands but are long lasting. This knife has been tuned in well, one of the best budget button locks on the market for sure.

We are no stranger to Kizer knives here at Best Knives Reviews. We have had a very positive experience with the Kizer knives we have reviewed so far. We saw excellently deployed flipper and thumb stud knives and its lock mechanisms have been very smooth. It has proven its quality beyond measure that it is as good as, or even better than the US made knives.

About Kizer Cormorant Serape Series

Through direct interaction with its client base and partnerships with custom knife designers throughout the globe, Kizer has only showed improvements in its knife variants. The Serape Series being reviewed today is an updated version of the original, just like the Kizer Friday Club, where it releases unique material and pattern variation one Friday every month.

The Serape series consists of four knives with similar design but different features. The original is a 3” drop point with button lock. The Towser K is a 3.4” cleaver with a liner lock. The Mini Bay is just has a 1.875” Wharncliffe blade with a detent and no lock. The fourth one is the Cormorant.

Kizer Cormorant Serape Review

Cormorant has a very unique pattern inspired by the colorful striped Mexican blanket of the same name. It is a woven blanket with fringed ends and bright colors worn like a poncho, shawl or cloak with a single cutout for your head. It was designed by Yue Dong, who also designed the Vosteed Corgi and Vosteed Raccoon, also reviewed here.

The Serape Series Cormorant retains the same dimensions as the original: a 3.25” blade with a 3” cutting edge, 7.32” overall length, 4.125” handle length, and a 0.50” handle width weighing only 3.15 ounces.

Kizer Cormorant KI4562A5
Kizer Cormorant KI4562A5

Key Specifications of Kizer Cormorant

First Impression of Kizer Cormorant Serape

You have got to give it to Kizer for its premium packaging and add-ons! It came in a special Serape Series box with a pouch with the same Serape patterned design, a Serape-colored lanyard bead, a custom ID tag or a dog-tagged-shaped G10 piece with lanyard hole, a card, cleaning cloth, user manual with a set of extra screws, and the knife itself!

Kizer Cormorant Unboxing
Kizer Cormorant Unboxing
Kizer Cormorant Pouch
Kizer Cormorant Pouch

It is indeed a uniquely patterned and beautiful knife. The blade’s black-coating is immaculate with visible grind lines and clean blade surface. The S35VN blade is razor-sharp and pointy right out of the box. It can cut the hair on your skin easily – it is that sharp! Therefore, you may have to be careful when handling it for the first time.

The handle provides an excellent grip, it is a joy to hold the knife. It covers all the finger knuckles and is able to let the finger slide up right up to the forward finger choil.

Kizer Cormorant first Impression
Kizer Cormorant first Impression

The skeletonized stainless steel liners hold the blade perfectly well with the perfect finish. The flippers are visible on either side of the pivot and deploy perfectly. The finger flipper also works well, but requires a little more ‘flick’ to fully engage the blade. The thumb-hole on the other hand, works perfectly. It was inspired by Spyderco knives, and is well-placed on Kizer Cormorant. The button lock does not involve blade play and is easy to open and close during first inspection.

The pocket clip is ambidextrously tip-up carry, but does not waver from its position. It is well-made and well-placed. It is also black-coated, which allows for the discretion while carrying it.

Blade of Kizer Cormorant

The blade of Kizer Cormorant Serape Series is exceptional! The spear clip point 3.2” black-coated hollow grind with a thumb hole is more like an all-in-one blade composition. There isn’t anything this blade doesn’t have. The CPM S35VN premium steel blade tops it all. Another interesting thing about the blade is its exceptionally long cutting edge of 3” before transitioning into the flats. It also comes with a cleverly forward sharpening choil in a pinch.

Kizer Cormorant blade
Kizer Cormorant blade

The shape of the spine of the blade comes with a slight bump towards the rear that makes way for the thumb hole along the thumb rack of jimping for traction. The spine thins out towards reaching the tip, making it a sharp edge. It also transitions to a false swedge before turning down into a convex shape that forms into the clip point profile.

Kizer Cormorant S45VN Blade
Kizer Cormorant S35VN Blade

The blade stock thickness of 0.12” is also pretty standard for an EDC knife – not too thin or thick. Although it is not a full height grind blade, the short primary grind makes the edge more obtuse. But the shape and position of the large thumb hole does not make that possible. The blade stock is also where the brand name, model number and steel type is etched.

The CPM S35VN makes this knife at this price pretty reasonable too. It is well-balanced in terms of edge retention, corrosion and wear resistance, toughness and hardness for an EDC blade. The black-coating further protects the blade from visible scratches and rust. It is easy to maintain. Although sharpening the blade could be challenging, given the hollow grind.

Handle Ergonomics of Kizer Cormorant

The Kizer Cormorant Serape Series has a very unique handle pattern. It makes the knife aesthetically appealing with contrast to the black-coated blade. The large thumb hole gets its full view with it fully protruding out. It is a high-end production folding knife with a modern fit and finish. The G10 scales dyed in Serape pattern like the Mexican blanket make the handle ergonomically friendly while keeping the price point low. It also has a deep chamfering running through the handle’s circumference for a more comfortable grip. It is an excellent handle material used on most EDC folding knives. It comes atop skeletonized stainless steel nested liners, which are also black-coated and corrosion resistant.

Kizer Cormorant handle Ergonomics
Kizer Cormorant handle Ergonomics

The blade is perfectly centered with standoffs in closed position, and the edge grind is symmetrical. It is easy to unscrew, clean and put back together. The pivot comes in Chicago-screw style with Torx T8 on the lock side and plain domed pin on show side. The female pivot side is D-shaped keyed towards the liners to prevent unnecessary tension when adjusting pivot or removing the screw.

The rest of the knife body is held together with Torx T6 screws. You can see two hourglass-shaped standoffs at the handle’s rear with the body screws screwed to the rearmost of the pair. The front standoff is just pressed into the liners for stability. It gives the knife clearer lines but makes it look awkward. But the liners are skeletonized for weight-balancing.

Kizer Cormorant Pocket Clip
Kizer Cormorant Pocket Clip

The pocket clip is ambidextrous tip-up deep pocket carry with a loop-over style. It is secured with Torx T6 screws accessible via pass-through in the clip. To keep the clip from rotating, it is placed within a slot in the handle. But the striped pattern of the handle makes it difficult to locate the pocket clip. It is also black-coated placed atop the black part of the lined pattern.

Deployment and Lockup Kizer Cormorant

The Kizer Cormorant Serape Series comes with too many ways to deploy, lock and open it. It got finger flipper, a front flipper, thumb hole and the button lock itself. It opens on a set of caged ceramic ball bearings pivot like a lot of Kizer folding knives. The pivot action is pretty smooth. There is some drag on the blade from the button lock when opening, but only minimal and hardly noticeable.

Kizer Cormorant Thumbhole deployment
Kizer Cormorant Thumbhole deployment

The thumb-hole deployment works very well when flicked with the middle finger from the blade’s backside. The front side of the thumb-hole deployment makes it difficult. The finger flipper works okay at the rear-end tab of the spine. But it does not give a very good flipping action. Its detent strength is too low for a solid flip with little leverage. However, if you press the button lock and then flip the blade out, it works alright since it takes the friction out of the process.

Kizer Cormorant Button Lock
Kizer Cormorant Button Lock

The button lock passes through a semi-circle shaped cutout in the blade’s tang, housing the lock and the stop pin with a coil spring inside the button providing necessary tension. During the open and closed position, there are circular pockets cut out of tracks in the tang with open vertical position surface to keep the button lock in place. Meanwhile, the closed position has a detent ramp on the railing edge. The stop pin may not be visible because it is internal and anchored towards the liners. It is then positioned forward of the button lock, functioning in the opening position. However, the tang arc is not long enough to function in a closed position.

Kizer Cormorant Button Lock Mechanism
Kizer Cormorant Button Lock Mechanism

However, you cannot set a detent on this knife that works with all the opening mechanisms. The front flipper requires more leverage than finger flipper, while the thumb-hole requires very little effort. The detent created by the cutout in the blade tang is light. It works well with the thumb-hole and finger flipper, but way too light for the front flipper.

But no matter how you open the blade, it works flawlessly. The lock button is pretty solid with no horizontal or vertical blade play. There is also no lock stick where the button lock doesn’t engage without wiggling it to fully closed position.

As good as the deployment and lockup are, they are probably not good for heavy or frequent EDC tasks. The thin section of the tang where the stop pin and lock run in would give up too soon because of the internal stop pin.

Field Test of Kizer Cormorant

The first test of the Kizer Cormorant Serape Series was how well it holds. The pocket clip is quite well. It is lightweight, tip-up ambidextrous and is discreet in the pocket, no matter what fabric you are wearing. The finishing of the clip is quite well, it won’t get tarnished or rusty easily. It has a rounded contact point that allows it to slide inside the pocket seamlessly. The shallow entry point minimizes the risk of finish scraping and getting caught on door frames and handles. The scales are also very smooth, which allows it to slide right out without difficulty. The knife profile is also very well-made, without any protrusions or edges when handling and carrying it.

The ergonomics of the knife were a win on the field. You can hold it in sweaty, cold, or oily hands without fear of losing your grip. It holds even well with gloves. The Serape lamination of G10 may very well have provided added traction. However, you must be careful not to press the lock button when holding it tightly in your hand. The forward finger choil also acts as a sharpening choil and provided ease when making precise cuts. The edge of the relief cutout also works really well for the thumb hole. It also acts as a finger guard when in an open position.

When it comes to cutting, it was razor-sharp right out of the box. But the hollow grind could cut better with a higher primary bevel. The low grind leaves the blade a little thicker towards the edge. Although it does not create an issue when cutting, but it could do a better job with a better blade geometry. The clip point blade proves advantageous when slicing and piercing with the edge. The edge retention is phenomenal and is adept at dispatching thick plastic clamshell packing with an acute tip angle. We can also do roll cuts with a swept edge. It is an all-round functional EDC blade.

Although we thought disassembling and maintain the knife would be easy, the button lock with bearings may make it a bit challenging. However, the good news is it only requires unscrewing two screws to disassemble it – the pivot and body screw. The button lock passes the blade for easy unscrewing and disassembling. The bearings are caged in ceramic cassettes, no you don’t have to worry about them flying everywhere. They ride on metal washers on both the sides for durability. The knife’s performance gets a lot better after maintenance. It is even better to oil the parts before putting them together.

Pros & Cons of Kizer Cormorant


  • High-quality CPM S35VN steel: Excellent edge retention, wear resistance, and corrosion protection.

  • Stylish and eye-catching design: The colorful G10 handle and unique blade shape stand out.

  • Comfortable grip: The G10 handle is textured for secure handling.

  • Durable construction: Built with high-quality materials for long-lasting use.

  • Clip-point blade: Versatile for everyday tasks like slicing and piercing.


  • G10 handle can be slippery when wet: May require extra grip caution in certain conditions.

  • Clip-point blade might not be ideal for heavy-duty tasks: The tip is more delicate than some other blade shapes.

  • Not as discreet as a plain black knife: The colorful handle might attract attention.

  • Limited availability: This is a special edition knife, so it might be harder to find.


Kizer Cormorant derives a lot from Spyderco Smock. For starters, it has a Spydie-hole inspired by Spyderco-patented thumb-hole for deployment. It is also laminated with G10. While Kizer Cormorant comes with Mexican blanket inspired patterned design, Smock has G10 laminate over carbon fiber scales. Both the knives come with a flipper along the thumb ramp. Cormorant brings Kevin Smock’s SK23 custom design into a production knife. It also adapts Spyderco’s compression lock like that on PM2 and Para 3. It transitioned to a button lock for easier blade release. Both the knives open on ball bearings via finger flipper that protrudes from top cutaway.

Kizer Cormorant vs Spyderco Smock

Spyderco Smock and Kizer Cormorant also share similar dimensions with a 3” cutting edge and approximately the same blade and overall length. However, the Cormorant is lighter and cheaper as its brand image reflects. But both the knives are excellent EDCs.

Kizer Cormorant vs Civivi Elementum

Civivi Knives and Kizer knives are both high-quality China-based EDC knives, with Elementum being unique for its button lock and deployment. Although in simpler terms it comes with a liner lock. But it requires more momentum than the Cormorant. It is shorter than Kizer Cormorant and comes with a drop point blade edge, but its newer version is to come with a flipper opener for a smoother deployment.

Kizer Cormorant vs Civivi Elementum

The two knives’ profiles are also likely the same, with a different blade geometry. The Civivi Elementum comes with a slightly better blade geometry with the same hollow grind. It is also cheaper than Cormorant.

Conclusion: Kizer Cormorant Review

Finally, concluding Kizer Cormorant Serape review, I find overall the knife is good. The blade is sharp and cuts well, although the blade geometry could be improved. However, it does not impact its performance too much. The ergonomics are excellent with an attractive appeal to it with the Mexican blanket pattern design aka serape.

Kizer Cormorant Review
Kizer Cormorant Review

We found the pocket clip to be exceptionally well in all regards. It is lightweight, carries well and does not tarnish easily. The first impressions of the knife were really positive, especially with the premium packaging and the add-ons it came with just like all Kizer Cutlery items. The knife came out perfect right out of the box.

The knife is well-made, priced well and a durable EDC knife. It compares a lot with Spyderco knives, especially with the thumb-hole deployment, which works the best among the front and finger flipper deployments. The button lock does not have any blade play, but works better with the flipper. It is easy to maintain and relatively easy to sharpen.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Kizer Cormorant Serape Series is an EDC pocketknife, perfect for daily carry and use.

Yes, Cormorant is an excellent pocketknife with a clip point S35VN stainless steel blade, G10 scales, three deployment methods and a button lock. It is ergonomically friendly and reasonably priced.

Yes, Kizer knives come with reversible deep carry pocket clips with excellent finish and carry well.

Yes, Kizer Cormorant is a reasonable purchase for EDC use and you can get it in a good deal from the Chicago Knife Works. (Link Here)