Everyday Carry

We Check Out the Kershaw 2022 Lineup

Everyday Carry
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We Check Out the Kershaw 2022 Lineup

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Kershaw needs little introduction when it comes to making quality knives for everyday carry. For decades their designs have made a substantial impact on the industry, and their forward-looking and affordable designs often tend to enjoy a long life among collectors. But this is a new year, and any talk about new knives for everyday carry would be sorely lacking without checking out the new knives that they’re bringing to the table in 2022. In this guide we’ve put together a quick list of our favorite new designs from their latest release, and why you should put them on your EDC shopping list this year.


Esteem

Kershaw is not one to be shy about introducing less conventional knife designs each year, and the new Esteem continues the trend. It’s a welcome addition for the relatively underserved audience of EDCers after a “modern traditional” knife. The Esteem keeps functional hallmark features at the core of a traditional knife, like a slip joint deployment, but adds quality of life features like a pocket clip and dresses it all up in a contemporary design with more modern materials like G-10.

It’s well-proportioned with a 2.5“ blade in a useful drop point shape with extra belly for more cutting surface area. A generous nail nick helps deploy the blade through its two-stage double detent slip joint mechanism. Design wise, we’re digging the PVD bronze pivot’s visual appeal as well as the visual and material contrast of the blasted stainless steel and G10 composite construction. The country of origin and 8Cr13MoV blade steel used can be disappointing to some, but at its given price point and unique niche it fills, there isn’t much else to complain about.

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Launch 14

We see a lot of automatic knives come through, but few have the cleaver-style blade that the new Kershaw Launch 14 sports. The choice to build a fast-opening automatic knife around this utility-oriented heavy-duty cleaver style sheepsfoot shape makes it stand out against the wide field of daggers and stiletto-style autos that you tend to see in the market. And while, of course, you’re going to have to check against your own set of local and state legalities in terms of being able to carry a knife like this, if you’re able you can avail of one of the fastest-opening EDC cleaver style blades you can carry today.

Practicality is at the very heart of the design of the Kershaw Launch 14, from its 3.375" CPM 154 stainless steel sheepsfoot blade with a chunky flat grind that gives it a lot of authority in heavy use. The pronounced choil allows for a close-up choke grip on the blade for final detail work including whittling, and it’s matched with the deep ergonomic curve of the aluminum and carbon fiber handle. And with its push-button automatic option, there’s no index flipper tab to actuate by accident when the knife is tip-up in your pocket, and you can open it faster with a single hand than a regular knife.

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Inception

Despite this new lineup featuring more than one unconventional design, Kershaw knows that sometimes less is more, and that much can be said about the Inception, a knife that shines thanks to its reliability and performance. It comes with a generous blade at 3.25“, giving you more than enough cutting surface for most daily tasks. This versatility is emphasized by its useful drop point shape, allowing it to perform cutting, slicing and piercing alike. A knife this flexible is prone to see a lot of use, that’s why Kershaw crafted the blade in D2 steel. As far as hardness goes, this steel stands between stainless and high carbon steels. This allows the blade to be extremely wear-resistant and hold an edge for much longer compared to other knives at this price point.

The Inception can be deployed ambidextrously with one hand via a flipper tab thanks to its reversible deep carry pocket clip. This deployment is made even smoother thanks to the addition of KVT ball bearings at the pivot, which has also been adorned by a decorative collar. Once open, the blade remains in place thanks to a liner lock, a solid choice to keep the knife slimmer and lighter than a framelock would otherwise allow. Finally, the choice of G10 for the handles along with an ergonomic shape will allow for a secure grip, even while wet or wearing gloves.

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Federalist

Among Kershaw’s new releases on this list, the Federalist looks aesthetically closest to its traditional roots, while still offering the convenience of modern features. The 3.25“ CPM 154 stainless steel blade comes in the classic clip point silhouette and deployed via nail nick, with slight tweaks on the design such as a full flat grind instead of the multi-faceted combination of primary and swedge grinds you’d find on traditional clip points. Paired with a shallower taper into the point and a choil terminating the blade, this makes for easier maintenance a well should you need to keep its edge at its sharpest.

The handles also come with more contemporary touches, like the use of canvas Micarta for the handles instead of the traditional wood or bone. Not only does it help with grip even while wet or gloved, but the patina personalizes the Federalist to its owner over time. A double-detent, non-locking slipjoint allows for more permissible use even if the blade is over 3“, and also keeps the knife uncomplicated and light at 2.1 ounces. Closing out its features is an ornamented pivot screw on the show side, and a lanyard hole towards the end that gives you options for carrying or retrieving the knife.

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