Newest Kershaw Launch Model Brings a Wharnie into the Line

Kershaw has just revealed the Launch 13, latest entry in their line of automatic knives. The 13 brings a wharncliffe blade into the Launch lineup for the first time.

We’ve seen the Launch series grow to include knives of wildly different sizes, shapes, and applications. But this is the first wharncliffe in the lineup, and it looks like Kershaw spec’d it to cover as many bases as possible. The 13’s blade length runs to 3.5 inches, which gives users a long stretch of straight edge, modified somewhat by the blade being set an upward cant. This angle can be leveraged for additional horsepower, approximating the effect of a belly without actually modifying the classic, linear wharncliffe shape.

As is the case with all the other Launch models, the 13’s blade steel is CPM-154. Expect strong performance in all the key categories from this powder metallurgy variant of the classic 154CM. The blade itself has been given a two-tone finish, with satin primary grinds and swedge, and a black DLC flat. The 13 opens and locks up with a button mechanism, just like the many Launch models that preceded it.

The series-first blade shape comes paried with a striking handle design. Angles and an overarching technical look have been key to the Launch aesthetic from the beginning, but the 13 takes that style to a further point than its stablemates. Two large finger grooves are followed by a couple of hard, straight lines on the channel side, with two shallow concavities defining the spine side’s ergonomics. There are two cutouts passing through both scales in the handle’s center, and the construction is once again aluminum. Thanks to that lightweight material, a slim profile, and the cutouts, the 13 weighs just 2.4 oz. despite its medium-sized cutting edge.

The 13 is the first new release from Kershaw since the Terran, which debuted at the end of August. Kershaw has been following a new release strategy this year, no doubt in part due to the changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Knife in Featured Image: Kershaw Launch 13