Once I started writing for The Loadout Room over 2 years ago, I quickly realized how big a part of our culture EDC knives are. My first product review just happened to be a ZT 0350 knife and since then I’ve covered many additional folding knives as well a fixed blades. New for 2017 is a product from Kershaw Knives that I was first introduced to at Shot Show this winter. The Kershaw Launch 7 Auto. Kershaw Knives was originally founded in 1974 when Pete Kershaw decided to leave Gerber to form his own cutlery company. Early manufacturing was done primarily in Japan with it’s US based manufacturing opening in 1997 in Oregon.
The Launch 7 is one of Kershaw’s US built automatic EDC pocket knives. Because it is an automatic knife, the Launch 7 will only be available through select knife dealers. You can thank the confusing federal and state laws regarding automatic knives for that. Owning several assisted and non assisted knives, the Launch 7 is my first automatic knife. And the speed at which the 3.75″ blade opens is very impressive. Just a touch of the button and it’s there, ready for use. That same button is used to release the safety when folding the knife.
Forged from CPM 154 steel, this Tim Galyean design retains a long, lean profile. CPM 154 offers improved toughness, grindability, and polishability as well as providing excellent corrosion resistance and edge retention. Initially, the subdued look of the Kershaw Launch 7 is what attracted me. The blade features a black DLC finish with a matching back spacer, hardware and pocket clip. Contrasting the black blade are gray anodized aluminum handles. Producing a stealthy, aerospace industrial look. Machined into both sides of the aluminum handles are threaded holes allowing the user to mount the steel pocket clip on either side.
Fitting comfortably into my hand is the thoughtfully sculpted and tapered handle design. With a pronounced index finger notch and machined scalloping detail, the aluminum handle makes the Launch 7 feel very secure. At only 3.2 ounces, the Kershaw Launch 7 is fairly lean considering it’s overall length of 8.6″. Making this knife a pleasure to carry as an EDC option. Pulling this knife out of pocket and popping the blade open is sure to garner some attention. So be aware of your surrounding when playing with it. Because you’ll find yourself randomly deploying the blade to admire it’s speed and function.
Kershaw Launch 7 Specs courtesy of kershaw.kaiusaltd.com
- Made in the USA
- Tim Galyean design
- Integrated backspacer
- Push button open
- Push button lock release
- Reversible pocketclip, (left/right)
- Steel: CPM154, DLC coating
- Handle: Anodized aluminum
- Blade length: 3.75 in. (9.5 cm)
- Closed length: 5 in. (12.5 cm)
- Open length: 8.6 in. (22 cm)
- Weight: 3.2 oz. (91 g)
- MSRP $159.99 Dealer Only
Kershaw stands behind their products with a Limited Lifetime Warranty against manufacturing defects. Additionally, if you need to send a knife back for warranty work, Kershaw offers a complimentary sharpening while at the factory. Finally, should you ever break a blade on a Kershaw folding knife they will replace it for a measly ten bucks. So if you are looking for a well built American made automatic, and it’s legal to own in your state, take a look at the Kershaw Launch 7.