The Launch automatic knife from Kershaw achieves a menacing appearance. The blade steel on this thin, rather sinister-looking knife is excellent CPM154. Because the carbides in this powdered steel remain distributed more evenly, it takes and maintains a superb edge. Additionally, it offers good hardness, wears resistance, and corrosion resistance. Black DLC coating improves performance and provides non-reflectivity.
Durable anodized aluminium handles ease the Launch 6’s heaviness, and Kershaw machines them to provide a safe grip. This automatic knife opens with a lower push button. We made the button level with the handle flat as a safety feature that makes it harder for the blades to deploy accidentally. In addition, left-handers can use a directory finger instead of the thumb to press the blade-release/lock button. The Launch 6 also has a revocable pocket clip and a pre-drilled lanyard tie-off hole.
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Kershaw Launch Legal Automatic Knife
The Kershaw Launch knife is a California-legal automatic with swift action. Its symmetry in design, both handle and blade, adds distinction. Following the custom of its predecessors, the Launch 4 has a bulls-eye pattern firing button and a tip-up carry pocket clip. This automatic knife is a pint-sized performer!
The Kershaw Launch Series high-performance, USA-made automatics that punch way above their price point! Shop the whole selection
The Launch is one knife in a sequence of Kershaw Launch automatics. The Launch sequence was released a few years ago. These are simple, USA-made knives with clean lines and aluminium handles that come in several coloured anodization choices and a more standard matte black offering. The blades in the sequence appear to hover in that $75-$125 price point. So it’s the best offering but won’t break the bank.
I selected Launch 4 due to its sole size and profile. It’s unlike everything else in my collection. Kershaw has enough Launch knives with 3-3.5″ blades, and I may check one out later on, but there was something about the diminutive Launch 4 that caught my eye.
Kershaw Launch Blade Details
The Launch has an overall length of 5.10″, a 1.9″ blade, weighs 1.98 ounces, and remains made in the USA. The Launch is a “Cali Legal” automatic with its sub″ edge. Cali Legals remain an exciting class of automatic knives with blades that remain 2″ long or less. It is a category I wouldn’t mind exploring further.
At any rate, this small knife is appropriate for daily carry, assuming it’s legal for you to do so. As continuously, please check your local laws before buying an automatic knife. These knives can be either illegal to own or carry in many places. Be careful.
Kershaw Launch Handle, Ergonomics, and Pocket Clip
The Launch features beautifully machined aluminium handles that have remained given a brilliant royal blue hard anodization. It is a two-piece handle with a combined backspacer. I am amazed at the handle of this knife. The project is immaculate and thoughtful, the engineering is top-notch, and I love the contrast between black hardware and blue handles. The handles have an almost iridescent quality, shimmering in the light. However, the absolute beauty lies in the simplicity of this knife.
Here is no jimping on this knife or any violent texturing. However, the hard anodization has a light feel that offers lovely tactile feedback, and the Launch 4 doesn’t feel slippery. Still, those actively seeking knives with “traction plans” may want to stock up on skateboard tape or pick something else to shower.
Kershaw Launch Thoughts
Launch remains dialled. The spotless design, tight acceptances, and excellent choice of resources give the knife a premium feel.
In an age where you can apply a lot of money on exotic materials and projects flourishes, something is refreshing about purchasing a knife that strikes that perfect balance of form and function. Kershaw didn’t go super inexpensive, and they didn’t gild the lily either. Instead, they found that sweet spot and allocated their budget to good blade steel, tight tolerances, and durable finishes. The result is a rock solid small format auto for under $100.
A tried then actual design that should offer years of trouble-free use. The action is stiff and snappy. Not quite Microtech levels, but attractive damn good. You need to pay consideration, or the knife could fly out of your hand simultaneously as deploying the blade. I haven’t taken this one apart, but it appears to be a washerless design where the aluminium frames act as necessary washers. That is like to some of Hogue’s designs.
The Kershaw Launch 1 knife has a stunning black anodized aluminium grip and a CPM154 stainless steel blade that is powder coated. This steel outperforms 440C in hardness, corrosion resistance, and edge retention. The knife was exceptionally sharp out of the box, and even after extensive cutting, whittling, and (my favourite) slicing of cardboard, the edge held for a lot longer than it would with softer steels.
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