Kershaw 7500BLK Launch 4 Cali-Legal Auto Knife, CPM-154 Black Blade

$119.99 $79.95
(You save $40.04)
(No reviews yet) (No reviews yet) Write a Review
SKU:
KS7500BLK
Availability:
In Stock

For 2016, we made something special for our neighbors to the south. And since we’re in Oregon, of course we mean California. So for you, California—and for anyone who prefers a shorter-bladed auto—we made the Launch 4. The Launch 4 sports a blade of just 1.9 inches, nice and legal. And pretty handy, too. Don't order this knife unless you want an amazing every day carry auto knife built for heavy use

The blade is high-performance CPM154 steel. This powdered metallurgy steel has more uniform distribution of carbides—so it takes and holds an excellent edge, provides good corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and toughness. The blade is DLC coated for an additional measure of blade protection and non-reflective good looks. Then to lighten the Launch 4’s weight, we made the handle and integrated backspacer of durable aluminum, anodized in black.

The Launch 4 opens with a push button, recessed so that it is level with the flat of the handle. This is a safety feature and makes it harder for the knives to accidentally deploy. For left-handed use, press the blade-release/lock button with your index finger instead of your thumb. The Launch 4 has a single-position pocketclip and carries tip-up.

Specs:

  • Made in the USA
  • Push button open
  • Push button lock release
  • Single-position pocketclip (black-stonewash finish)
  • Steel: CPM154, DLC coating
  • Handle: Anodized aluminum
  • Blade length: 1.9 in. (4.8 cm)
  • Closed length: 3.2 in. (8.1 cm)
  • Open length: 5.1 in. (13 cm)
  • Weight: 1.8 oz. (51 g)

Launch Series

The Launch 4 is the fourth installment of the Launch Series by Kershaw. Each knife is uniquely different in shape and size, but each knife contains similar characteristics. It is pretty neat to see the difference between these auto knives. To show their differences, the table below will show you how they all match up against one another.

Product

Blade Style

Overall Length

Blade Length

Closed Length

Weight

Launch 1

Clip Point

8.00”

3.40”

4.60”

4.0 oz.

Launch 2

Drop Point

7.75”

3.25”

4.50”

3.4 oz.

Launch 3

Drop Point

7.80”

3.40”

4.40”

3.4 oz.

Launch 4

Drop Point

5.10”

1.90”

3.20”

1.8 oz.

Launch 5

Clip Point

8.50”

3.40”

5.10”

4.1 oz.

Launch 6

Drop Point

8.70”

3.75”

4.90”

3.8 oz.

 

It is plain to see that the Launch 4 is the smallest of the Launch Auto Knife Series. There is a huge difference between the tiny Launch 4, at 5.10” and weighing in at 1.8 oz. to the Launch 6, at 8.70” and weighing 3.8 oz. The Launch 6 is nearly three times the size of the Launch 4.

Specs

Though the Launch 4 may be small in stature, the knife is impressive in all other fields. You will see by the end that small isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Below is the list of specifications for the knife.

  • Product Type: Automatic
  • Overall Length: 5.10"
  • Weight: 1.8 oz.
  • Handle Length: 3.20”
  • Blade Length: 1.90"
  • Blade Thickness: 0.12"
  • Blade Material: CPM-154
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: Anodized Aluminum
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up

The Specs always give a good overview of what the knife has to offer, but let us get into the needy greedy of the Launch 4.

 

Automatic Knife

Before we go any further, why would you consider getting the Launch 4? With so many different options of knives available to choose from, why choose an automatic knife? There are some distinct advantages to owning an auto knife. The first reason why someone would want to own one is because of how quickly the auto knives open. For some, this may not be a valid reason to purchase such a knife. However, having an auto knife can make all the difference between life and death. EMTs and other emergency response teams are constantly faced with tribulation that requires the usage of a decent knife. And in many high-stress situations, having a knife ready in a blink of an eye can help someone else live for one more day. Besides being quick, auto knives are able to be opened with just one hand. This is not only convenient for many people, this is also beneficial to those that are working with multiple hands and need that feature, or some may only have one hand. Lastly, an auto knife is just too cool. Being able to flash open a knife in the blink of an eye just by pressing a button or moving a switch is simply impressive.

 

CPM154 Steel

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to CPM-154 steel. Many people mistake it for its similarly named counterpart 154CM. Crucible Particle Metallurgy 154 or CPM-154 differs from 154CM in a couple of ways. The CPM manufacturing process produces a more even distribution of the carbides in the grade though the chemistry of both is the same, giving CPM-154 an easier grinding and polishing abilities. Plus it provides a tougher steel than conventional 154CM. Both of these steels retain similar heat treat response and wear properties. CPM-154 offers better corrosion resistance, better wear resistance, and better hot-hardness than 440C. It also offers better edge retention and chipping resistance than 440C. The chemical composition for CPM-154 is Carbon 1.05% Chromium 14.00% Molybdenum 4.00%. Some additional advantages of CPM for the end user include improved wear resistance, improved toughness (less prone to chipping), consistent tool performance, and good grindability (better able to re-sharpen). All of these great things from this steel is what you can expect from the Launch 4.

 

Handle

The handle on the Launch 4 is made of an anodized aluminum. Aluminum is just like titanium, in that it is a nonferrous (non-iron or non-steel) metal. The aluminum gives the knife a solid feel, without adding the extra weight. It is strong, durable, and has a great resistance to corrosion. When first holding the knife, it is cold to the touch. However, it quickly warms up and feels great to hold. It is also cost effective which helps to reduce the overall cost of the knife. The aluminum handle on the Launch 4 is smooth to the touch and has rounded edges for a more comfortable hold. To sum up, how it looks in one word, I would have to say it is slick. The handle also features the iconic red bullseye button. This helps add some excitement to the overall design of the knife. Along with the bullseye button, there is the Kershaw rendition of the American flag on the backside of the handle, signifying that this knife is indeed made in the United States. Lastly on the handle is the single position pocket clip. With the Kershaw name marked boldly on the clip’s surface, this pocket clip almost extends the full length of the handle. It measures in just over 2.50” to make for a secure pocket carry. The handle is definitely one of the unique characteristics to the Launch 4 and the Launch Auto Series.

 

Everyday Carry

The Launch 4 is a simple everyday carry knife. As an everyday carry knife, it doesn’t encounter too many difficult tasks. At least for me, the extent of my knife use is opening different packaging (food, letters, and parcel, boxes, etc.). There are, however, an unlimited amount of uses a knife can have. A good everyday carry can provide some protection. A pocket knife doesn't make much of a weapon, nor is it designed to be one, but if you do find yourself in a sticky situation it may be enough to fend off or at least slow down an attacker. An everyday knife can be helpful when preparing food. You never know when that package of food will get stuck shut or the bag will not open. Having a knife for first aid is also another reason to carry a knife every day. Additionally, when outdoors, such as camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, etc. it is always good to have a knife on hand. You never know when you will need one. Every time I am out in God’s country, I use my knife for what seems like a dozen of different tasks.

 

Now that I have you convinced to have an everyday carry knife, there are a couple of criteria to look at when inspecting a knife to see if it will make do for a knife you will carry every day. Those include the following: its carry depth, its weight, its thickness, and its appearance.

 

Carry Depth

The closed length of the Launch 4 is just over 3 inches long. For those of you that like to have shallow pockets, this knife will fit perfect in your pocket. And for those of you that usually have deeper pockets, this knife may get lost in the depths in your pocket if not careful.

 

Weight

If you are going to be carrying a knife all day long, especially in your pocket, it shouldn’t be heavy. That will not be a problem with the Launch 4. It practically weighs nothing. The knife weighs about 1.8 oz. A golf ball weighs around 1.6 ounces. So the knife is slightly heavier than a golf ball. Not a bad shot I’d say.

 

Thickness

A bulky, awkward knife defeats the purpose of an everyday carry. A good everyday carry knife should be comfortable to carry and easy to handle. Like we have discussed before, the Launch 4 is tiny. It is a bit difficult to grab, hold, and use if you have larger hands. There just isn’t a lot to grab. It works great though for those that have smaller hands. Personally, it works well for me, but then again I have smaller hands.

 

Appearance

The Launch 4 has a small appearance. With its rounded and soft edges, it doesn’t look that intimidating: until you open it and let it loose, then it does look fierce. This is favorable for many, especially those in the more urban cities. Carrying this knife around in the office won’t attract a double taking eye. It is safe to carry around all the time.

 

In the end, the Launch 4 makes for a great everyday carry, but with some limitations. The fact of the matter is the knife is just small. I would definitely save this knife for the day to day tasks that come my way. As for the heavy duty activities, I will leave that for the bigger knives I carry. Really, the Launch 4 is a lightweight champion.

 

Blade

The blade is on the Launch 4 is DLC coated for additional blade protection and non-reflective good looks. A black DLC coating looks great. I have had several knives with a black blade. Like any other blade, with time, it began to look used. Personally, if a knife doesn’t look used, why have one? (It’s still important to take care of it.) The blade style on the Launch 4 is listed by Kershaw as a drop point. The blade looks a little more like a spear point, but maybe it’s just because of how small the knife is; and that the blade is probably the same size as a spear’s point. The blade is wicked sharp right out of the box. One fault that I can see with the blade, and thus making is more of a lightweight use everyday carry, is the tang. To make room for the button plunge lock, a significant chunk of the blade had to be taken out. This leaves a thinner piece connecting the blade with the rest of the knife. I’m sure it will be fine, just as long as the blade doesn’t go under extreme use.

 

Snappy and Quick

What I really like about the Launch 4 is how quick it snaps open, but not only that. The sound of the snap rings through the air in a way that just feels right. There are many autos that claim to be quick out there, but they may not come close to the speed of the Launch 4. I can barely blink before the knife is open. It’s ridiculously fast. For me personally, a good knife has a sharp snap that lets you know that it has fired off.

 

Size Matters Not

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. –Yoda

I think Yoda would be proud of this knife if he ever saw it. In all reality, when it comes to the size of the knife, it is all based upon personal preference. Some people have larger hands that require a larger handle, and the same goes for those with smaller hands who need smaller handles. But in terms of functionality, size doesn’t matter. However, there are a few benefits to having a smaller knife. Having a smaller knife makes it easier for smaller precise cutting. Larger bulky knives can be a problem when precision is on the line. A smaller knife is more convenient to carry around every day. It doesn’t weigh as much and is not long. Only a small amou