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Reviewed: Kershaw Launch 4 Cali-Legal EDC Blade

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By Eoin May

I have been really taken by surprise by the Kershaw Launch 4. The Launch 4 is a very small push-button automatic knife, which only measures in at 5 inches fully opened. Kershaw makes this knife small because it allows it to be carried legally in places with more restrictive laws, like California.

The blade is a spearpoint style, and in keeping with the diminutive overall length, only measures in at about 2 inches. Regardless of size, the blade is very sharp and durable. The steel is CPM 154, which gives the knife corrosion and wear resistance and higher toughness.

The blade has something of a hard, mean-looking finish courtesy of its Cerakote finish. The handle is crafted from aluminum, and is black anodized—which helps with rust and corrosion resistance in addition to adding to the knife’s bad-boy charm.

The knife is very light, only weighing in at a little under 2 oz., so if you have big hands or don’t like small knives this blade may not be your speed. One attribute I love about this knife is the action. This blade comes with a “push button start,” as I like to call it. The action button is red—and doesn’t everyone know that you always must press the red button? Even in its small package the Launch 4 packs a hefty punch; as soon as you press that shiny, red, candy-like button, that blade is coming in hot.

I personally love very strong and smooth actions on knives, and the Launch 4 does not disappoint. The action hits so hard if you don’t have a good grip on the knife, it feels like it will fly right out of your hand. I don’t know how Kershaw did it, but it is amazing how such a small knife packs such a big punch. The knife also comes with a single-position pocket clip.

I’ll mention that, right out of the box, the pocket clip was loose, and after a couple carries the finish had already been scraped off. I tried to tighten it repeatedly, but it kept loosening. Beyond that this knife is great for an EDC knife. This knife is made in the USA and feels and works like a high-quality knife. After testing it I gave it to my father, and he has not had one complaint about it (except the pocket clip issue). The blade has not dulled one time in the full month my father has carried it. I do have wide hands and this knife really isn’t my speed, but when I did carry it, the knife never failed.

For everyday-type chores, this knife offers great quality and durability for the price. This knife really blew me away with its amazing action and durability. If you are looking for a small everyday carry knife that has a powerful action and stays sharp, the Launch 4 could be a great next purchase for you. MSRP $144.99; click here to purchase.

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