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Best Kershaw Knives 2024

Kershaw is a special brand. It is the only brand to have a knife in the top 5 sellers of every knife type at Blade HQ. Few brands offer the same range and excellence as Kershaw, and fewer still can match their quality for price. With so many excellent Kershaw knives, it can be difficult to find the perfect one. Today, I’ll show you the best of the best Kershaw knives of 2024!

Best All-Around – Bel-Air


Brand-new for 2024, the Bel-Air offers an ultramodern combination of features that make it an easy choice for anyone. Its blade is made from CPM MagnaCut super-steel, and it rides on KVT ball bearings, providing a buttery-smooth action. The handle is made from anodized Aluminum, and the knife locks up using Kershaw’s DuraLock. To make it easy to carry, the knife has a reversible tip-up pocket clip. The Bel-Air is a great pick for EDCers, lefties, or anyone who wants a high-quality knife without breaking the bank.

Best Folder – Iridium


The Iridium came out in 2023, but in the year since its release, it’s become one of the best-selling knives of all time. People love it for its quality materials, usable design, and especially its budget-friendly price point. The Iridium comes in a handful of colors, and two blade shapes. The first is the traditional drop point with a swedge for greater piercing power, and the second is a reverse tanto for extreme tip strength. Whatever you’re up to, an Iridium will make it easier!

Best Auto – Launch 15

This section was hard to decide on. The entire Launch series is amazing by any measure, and their prices are downright unbeatable. Each of them is made in the USA with premium powder steel and fires like a rocket when you push the button. We put the Launch 15 here because it’s a beautiful Matt Diskin design with a MagnaCut blade and micarta inlays in the handle. It’s awesome, but you can’t go wrong with any Launch!

Best OTF – Livewire

In my time at Blade HQ, I’ve held my fair share of OTFs. Big ones, small ones, fast ones, slow ones, etc. This much I can say with certainty: the Livewire is as good an OTF as any production OTF I’ve held, and the other OTFs of its quality are all much more expensive. I don’t know how Kershaw managed to make an OTF so comfortable and effortless to actuate, but they did it! And it’s not just pretty and smooth, the handle is anodized aluminum, and it rocks a top-of-the-line MagnaCut blade. If you’re in the market for an OTF, it’s going to be hard to beat the Livewire for value!

Best Balisong – Lucha


Kershaw is fairly new to the balisong game, but the Lucha is a real contender. It is one of few balisongs that is a great flipper, but also a great cutting instrument. Many balisong enthusiasts will talk all day about action, blade/handle bias, handle texturing, etc. but most never talk about edge geometry, blade styles, etc. But the Lucha satisfies both camps! Its bearing pivots and steel handles allow for speedy,  controlled flipping, and its 14C28N blade has a usable profile for everyday carry. Kershaw knocked it out of the park with this one!

Best Assisted Opening – Leek


Kershaw’s SpeedSafe Opener has made its way onto hundreds of knives at this point, but the old-school Leek still remains the king. Ken Onion, the man who invented the SpeedSafe opener, designed the Leek as a handy, one-hand-operable EDC knife for anyone. I think of it as the perfect dad knife. It can cut boxes, pull slivers, slice apples, etc., but it’s small and has a secondary safety lock. This knife has been popular for ages and is now available in a million variations of material, color, blade shape and more!

Best Fixed Blade – Camp 5


The Kershaw Camp Series is known more for its machetes, but the Camp 5 is an often overlooked powerhouse. Its abrupt clip point blade has enough heft do some light chopping and batonning, and its D2 steel is tough enough to take it in stride. Thanks to its swedge and injection-molded handle, the Camp 5 is deceptively lightweight. It offers a 5-inch cutting edge and a handle large enough for big, gloved hands all at only 5.7 ounces, so it’s a great pick for backpackers, hunters, and campers alike.

Best Tactical – CQC-7K


Often when we see a knife claiming to be “tactical” at this price point, it’s a dragon-covered folder at a mall, proudly boasting its “surgical stainless” blade. This is not that knife. The CQC-7K may be affordable, but it’s a production version of Ernest Emerson’s masterpiece. Its design, Wave Opener, and tough blade steel lend themselves to serious tactical cutting jobs. If you’re after a self-defense knife, I’d seriously consider the CQC-7K or one of its Kershaw CQC brethren!

Best Hard-Use – Layup


If you’re using your knife hard, it’s important that you have something built to hold up to it. Lock failure, handle breaks, and blade snaps can hurt more than just your knife. If you need reliability, the Kershaw Layup has provisions to prevent catastrophic failure. First of all is the rugged crossbar-style lock. For the lock to fail, there would need to be sufficient pressure to tear it out of the liners. And those liners aren’t small or slim! They are full-width, full-thickness liners that extend across the entire handle, guaranteeing strength. Crowning the king is a D2 blade, known for its balance of toughness and edge retention. I’d trust my life to the Layup!

Best EDC – Launch 4


The Launch 4 was made to be legal in California, where automatic knives must have a blade less than 2” long. But this knife is popular all over the country! People everywhere love it because it’s so small and pocketable but provides enough cutting power to do some real work. Some EDCers may prefer a folder, but this auto is not to be overlooked. Its one-hand operation and handy size make it an easy choice for everyday carry.

Best Outdoor – Link

When you’re looking for an outdoor folder, you want something bigger that can handle cuts through wood, vines, cordage, food and more. The Kershaw Link is a USA-made folder made for jobs just like this. Its flipper opener allows for easy one-hand depoloyment, and that flipper turns into a guard to protect you from the edge when cutting. Its sweeping edge can slice food, skin animals, and featherstick wood with ease, and its steel liners will ensure the knife stays functional even after some harder cuts.

Why Buy a Kershaw Knife?

I will not lie, this article was a bit hard to write. Every category listed here made it struggle to find just one recommendation. If you asked me tomorrow, I would probably give you a different list with equally strong options. Kershaw Knives are made extremely well, and for their price, they’re almost unbeatable. And the crazy thing – they have multiple great entries in every single category. So, if you’re not sure if autos are your thing, you want to try out a new mechanism, or you’re just on a budget, a Kershaw will be a safe choice!

And if you’re still not sure of which Kershaw to get, check out our Kershaw Buyer’s Guide video below!