Automatic knives are spring loaded folding knives that can be opened (“deployed”) with the press of a button. They come in a variety of different flavors; ranging from your more classic “switchblades” to out the front knives and of course everything in between. Automatic knives are very common for military and police applications due to their ease of deployment with one hand.
Before going any further I gotta say that automatic knives are illegal in many parts of the world and in places like the United States their legality is a murky morass of state laws and local legislation. Depending on who you are and where you live they could be illegal to carry or even own – so know your laws before purchasing them and buy at your own risk!
For the average person I also really don’t think they are necessary as many modern folders already very easy to deploy with one hand. That said, smoke em if you got em – I totally respect the right (and desire) to own automatic knives. As a collector (and red blooded male) I happen to think they are cool, although I can’t confess to owning many.
I also wanted to distinguish between automatic knives and assisted opening knives – a type of knife I do own a fair number of and have considerably more experience with. Assisted opening knives are also spring loaded, but they require you to begin deployment manually before the spring kicks in and fully deploys the knife. There is no button that automatically deploys the blade on an assisted opener, you need to start opening it manually. In the United States they may be legal to own and carry depending on where you live – research your local laws, learn your rights and be safe.
I honestly don’t do a lot of automatic knife reviews, but here is my short collection for those interested.
Automatic Knife Reviews
- Kershaw Launch 4 Review
Regular readers may recall I'm attempting to step outside of my comfort zone and review more automatic knives. I started with a couple high end Microtechs, swung down to the Boker AK-74, and have now changed course to ... continue reading
- Hogue Knives OTF Automatic Review
There is an undeniable cool factor when it comes to automatic knives. As someone who owns several, I can't seem to get enough of them. Generally, I'm a gun guy, but being a gun by default means being a knife guy. When ... continue reading
- Boker Plus Kalashnikov AK-74 Automatic Knife Review
My recent review of the Microtech Stitch ignited my interest in automatic knives. I think it's easy to see why. The Stitch is a beautiful and unique knife. It is also a $400 knife. That's a significant chunk of change ... continue reading
- Microtech Stitch Review
Hot on the heels of my review of the Microtech Sigil, I decided to pick up the Stitch. This knife was designed by Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades. Buy the Microtech Stitch at BladeHQ What I find interestin ... continue reading
- Protech Runt J4 Review
Over the last few years, pro-knife legislation in many states has contributed to a renewed interest in automatic knives. In part, these laws recognize the futility of banning automatic knives (also known as switchbla ... continue reading
- Famars Lama Prima Edizione Review
A relative newcomer to the cutlery scene, Famars is a company best known for crafting extremely high end shotguns. In fact, they happen to be the largest high end shotgun manufacturer in the world. Headquartered in Ga ... continue reading
- Schrade SMEDB/SMEDY California Issue Knife
The Schrade SMEDB California Issue is often referred to as a large version of the Schrade SCALY a very popular small folding knife that can be easily converted in to a "California Legal" automatic knife. Mo ... continue reading
- Schrade SCALY California Issue Pocket Knife
The Schrade SCALY is small knife that has received a large amount of attention. There is a lot of interest in a discrete, legal, automatic knife and the Schrade SCALY claims to be just that. Below is my review of the ... continue reading