Kershaw Launch 2
I have spent a great deal of time trying to find the correct gear for my EDC needs. I strongly feel everyone should carry a quality folding knife. I first started using an automatic folding knife during my job as a law enforcement officer. I quickly came to love the ease of use for times when one handed operation is a necessity.
A while back, I decided to start duplicating a lot of my work EDC items for off duty use. This eliminated the risk of something getting left at home or work and finding myself in a situation where something was needed and I didn't have it. Also, while may of the things I carried for work were obviously very functional, they were also very tactical in appearance. I decided I would like the things I carry on my person, while off work, to be a bit more sedate in appearance.
My search began for a quality automatic folding knife. I am very picky and often when searching for something it takes me several days or even weeks to settle on what I want. Eventually, after sorting through hundreds of various knives online and in person, I decided the Kershaw Launch 2 was the knife for me.
At about $100 on average, the Kershaw is not what I would call a cheap knife but certainly far from the top end of the scale. The blade measures in at 3.25" and is constructed of CPM 154. The blade has a stonewashed finish which hides wear and tear well. The CPM 154 blade holds a sharp edge very well. I use this knife for many things and often cut cardboard and open packages with it. The blade still holds a very good edge after several months of use. I have gotten away from carrying serrated blades or even partially serrated blades for the most part. I understand the benefits of a quality serrated blade but just keep finding myself drawn to the simplicity of a plain edge. As far as I am concerned, the business end of the knife is absolutely wonderful.
The handle of the Launch 2 is constructed of machined 6061-T6 anodized aluminum. The handle of a knife is crucial to the success of a knife. A knife has to feel comfortable to its handler and because of this, no one knife can be considered "the one". Each individual person must handle a knife and find what fits them best. This one fits my hand well. It isn't the best I have handled but is comfortable enough it does not bother me. The clip is reversible from right to left. The spring tension on the clip is very tight. I don't think your will run the risk of easily breaking the clip off. The knife also sits deep enough in your pocket that only about a quarter inch will protrude. I know in the pictures, it appears the knife has some texture on the handle. Believe me when I say this is not the case! This handle is slick, so much so I consider it to be the biggest flaw of the knife. It is difficult to obtain a good grip if your hands are the least bit slippery. This can be a deal breaker for many and even very dangerous. I will say, the black finish on the blade seems to be somewhat wear resistant. After carrying this knife every day for several months, there is only minor wear showing on the handle.
The action is very nice on this knife. A simple push of the button flings the blade open quickly and locks it in place firmly. The action is so strong, I suspect it may be where the name "Launch" came from. The problem with having such a strong action in this knife is when combined with a slippery handle, it almost feels like it could flip right out of your hand. I have learned you must really have a good grip on the handle when opening up the blade. The release button is just about perfect. After several months of this knife being in the same pocket as my keys and occasionally some other items, it has never opened. The slight recession of the button still allows ease of deliberate deployment but protects it from objects which are likely to spring it open in your pocket.
All things considered, the Launch 2 is an attractive and very functional knife for every day use. The blade is great and I think the price is right on point. I would probably select a different knife for hard use where conditions may not be so favorable but for every day carry, this should work great. Something very important I had not yet mentioned is the fact this knife is made in America. This is something I look for in my products and would hope the rest of you do as well.