Assisted Opening Knife Facts (2023)

What is an Assisted Opening Knife?

Assisted Opening knives or Spring Assist Knives are a type of knife which uses an internal mechanism to open the blade from a closed position when slight pressure is applied to a thumb-stud or similar type device.

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Well what does that mean?

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It means a super fast opening blade using just one hand and Spring Assist Knives are 100% legal to own in all 50 states but your local laws might restrict them from being carried into public or might have concealment or non-concealment laws. You can read the law at Assisted Opening Knives Law. This statement is based on Federal Law but remember that local, county & city laws can be harsher than the Federal Law and that State Statues & Local Laws take precedence. Please check with the local officials where you live and ask them about the knife laws that are applicable to you.

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There are differences between a Switchblade and Assisted Opening Knives.

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A switchblade (also known as automatic knife, switch, or, in British English flick knife) is a type of knife with a folding blade that springs out of the grip when a button or lever on the grip is pressed. There are two basic types: side-opening and out-the-front (OTF). A side-opening knife's blade pivots out of the side of the handle (in the same manner as an ordinary folding knife). An out-the-front knife's blade slides directly forward, out of the tip of the handle. Many OTF (out-the-front) knives work with a dual-action mechanism that enables the user to extend and retract the knife in one press of the finger, with no cocking or priming action. However, some OTF (out-the-front) knives are single action, and require the user to manually retract the blade. A wide variety of blade designs may be found on switchblades, but the most common is the Italian stiletto style seen often in movies. However, the switchblade should not be confused with the butterfly knife (balisong), assisted-opening knife, or the non-automatic stiletto.

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Assisted-Opening Knife / Spring-Assisted Opening Technology

A spring-assisted knife is a knife that when you push on the thumb stud to open it a spring takes over and propels the blade open. Spring-assisted knives make a great alternative to automatic knives. A Spring / Torsion assisted knife is a type of knife which uses a spring assisted mechanism behind the blade. They open by the ambidextrous thumb stud on the blade with a slight bit of pressure. They are commonly confused with switchblades, but have one main difference. While a switchblade can be opened usually with the push of a button within the handle, the user of a spring-assisted knife must apply slight pressure to the thumb stud and the spring/torsion assisted mechanism does the rest. Once the knife has been opened about one-quarter of the way (45°), the mechanism will open the knife the rest of the way. A/O knives are Assisted - Opening which are also Spring - Assisted knives.

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Are assisted opening knives reliable? ›

Absolutely. The brands we offer featuring a spring-assist -- Benchmade, Kershaw and Zero Tolerance -- have mechanisms that are well-engineered, solidly built and durable.

Are blade assisted opening knives legal? ›

Although they are often confused with switchblades, assisted-opening knives differ from switchblades in many ways. One of the ways the two knives differ is that while switchblades are prohibited, assisted-opening knives are perfectly legal.

Is assisted open a switchblade? ›

No, assisted opening knives are not switchblades. There are many unique features of an assisted opening knives that make them quite different than knives that are considered switchblades. Unlike a switchblade, assisted blades DO NOT deploy with the push of a button in the handle or by gravity alone.

What is the difference between assisted opening and automatic knives? ›

If the blade's natural inclination is to open without the presence of a hindrance, it's a switchblade. If there is nothing blocking the blade and it stays closed, the knife is an assisted opener (assuming it has a mechanism to help open the knife).

What are the 3 most important knives in a kitchen? ›

There are only three knives that are crucial in a kitchen: a chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife.

What is the safest utility knife? ›

Smart Retract: A Class of its Own

In these tools, the blade pulls back into the housing as soon as it loses contact with the cutting material—even when the user's thumb is still on the slider. The Slice® 10558 Smart-Retracting Utility Knife is our safest knife yet and, we believe, the safest knife on the market.

What knife does NASA use? ›

This is the Case® Astronaut Knife M-1 it's a modern reissue of one of the most famous machetes in world history – the machetes equipped to the Gemini and Apollo NASA missions for their adventures into space and to the Moon.

What knife was John Wick using? ›

The John Wick movies have made OTF knives more popular recently after showcasing a few different Microtech OTF knives in the series. The Tekto Skar is an OTF knife that closely resembles the Microtech Combat Troodon used in John Wick 2, albeit at less than half the price.

What is the world's strongest knife? ›

Obsidian knives are currently the sharpest possible knives known to man. Their staggeringly thin blades are the reason for this. The way that obsidian breaks are known as a conchoidal fracture.

Why do people hate assisted opening knives? ›

Assisted-openers are dangerous

(This is a problem that can be mostly prevented with right-handed tip-down carry where the pocket would help keep it closed.) Some have even complained that the strength of the assisted open is so powerful that the knife feels like it's going to jump out of the hand.

What do you call a knife that flips open? ›


Automatic knives, or switchblades, have blades that flip open with the push of a button. There are also variations that open via a lever or switch on the handle. The two basic styles of automatic knives are side opening and Out The Front (OTF).

Can I legally walk around with a knife? ›

In general, it is legal to carry a knife in most states. However, there are often limits on knives or bladed weapons that may be carried.

Are assisted OTF knives legal? ›

OTF knives are generally legal to own, sell, and carry at the federal level as long as the restrictions regarding shipping and interstate commerce are respected.

Why are spring assisted knives illegal? ›

According to California Penal Code 16220, a “ballistic knife” is a knife with a spring-loaded blade that can be fired, or shout out, like a bullet. A violation of PC 21110 is a wobbler offense under California law. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

What does OTF assisted mean? ›

For the uninformed, OTF knives are a type of switchblade – that is, an automatic knife which deploys the blade 'automatically' on pressing a button or switch. Specifically, the OTF knife is a switchblade where the blade simply comes 'out the front'.

What is a gravity assisted knife? ›

A gravity knife is any knife which has a blade which is released from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force, and then the blade is locked in place by a button, spring, lever or other device.

What are the four basic types of knives? ›

Chef's Knife (8” or 10”) Paring Knife (3”) Long Serrated Bread Knife. Slicing/Carving Knife (10”)

What are the 7 knife safety rules? ›

Safety Guidelines
  • Keep knives sharp. ...
  • Wear a cutting glove. ...
  • Always cut away from yourself. ...
  • Use the right knife for the job. ...
  • Cut on a stable cutting board. ...
  • Never grab a falling knife. ...
  • Keep your eyes on the blade. ...
  • Carry the knife pointed down, or in a scabbard.
Sep 29, 2014

What are the 7 knife skills tips? ›

7 Tips to Show Your Knife Who's Boss
  • Start with a sharp knife. Sharp knives are pretty darn scary. ...
  • create a stable surface. ...
  • Get the right grip on your knife. ...
  • learn the most common chopping techniques. ...
  • protect your fingers while chopping. ...
  • create a flat surface. ...
  • practice, practice, practice!

What are the 3 knives every person should own? ›

There are only three knives that are crucial in a kitchen: a chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. Any other knives are a luxury--they can make cooking easier and more enjoyable, but are unnecessary. A chef's knife (sometimes called a cook's knife) is the most important knife to have in your kitchen.

What is the difference between switchblade and OTF? ›

For the uninformed, OTF knives are a type of switchblade – that is, an automatic knife which deploys the blade 'automatically' on pressing a button or switch. Specifically, the OTF knife is a switchblade where the blade simply comes 'out the front'.


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