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Best Automatic Knives Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Mar 05, 2019

Whether you are purchasing your first knife, adding a new knife to your collection, or looking for an updated survivalist switchblade, you want an automatic knife that is responsive, reliable, and reasonably priced. Automatic blades open when you push a button, switch, or lever on the knife. Not sure what you are looking for in an automatic knife? Use our guide to review the best knives on the market and find the right one for you.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research

icon
Kershaw Blur S30V
97/100 our score
Versatility
97
Features
96
Value
98
Kershaw Blur S30V
Why is it better?

The blade is durable, midrange steel

The knife is a very light 3.9 oz.

The blade opens and closes quickly and smoothly

The handle and body are low profile and easy to carry with a textured grip

This knife is made in the USA

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Kershaw Blur S30V
Test Winner: Kershaw Blur S30V
Researched Sources
40
Researched Sources
Total Readers
12k
Total Readers
Reviews Considered
50
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
10
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Versatility Features Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Versatility
97%
Features
96%
Value
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$55.39
$99.99
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Versatility
96%
Features
95%
Value
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$6.93
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Versatility
95%
Features
94%
Value
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$124.33
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Versatility
92%
Features
93%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$29.55
$29.99
See Deal
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Versatility
91%
Features
92%
Value
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$14.89
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Versatility
90%
Features
91%
Value
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$16.15
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Versatility
88%
Features
87%
Value
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$179.94
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Versatility
87%
Features
86%
Value
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$148.83
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Versatility
84%
Features
85%
Value
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$7.49
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.3
Versatility
82%
Features
83%
Value
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.05.19)
$8.28
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Kershaw Blur S30V
  • TAC Force TF-705
  • Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS
  • CRKT M16-14SFG
  • Grandway Spring Assisted
  • Kershaw Clash Black
  • Benchmade 940BK
  • Spyderco Model G-10
  • SOG Keychain
  • Mtech Xtreme Ballistic
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Automatic Knives

1. Kershaw Blur S30V

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Kershaw Blur S30V
Versatility
97
Features
96
Value
98
best offer for today
more shops
$55.39
$99.99
See Deal
Pros:

The blade is durable, midrange steel

The knife is a very light 3.9 oz.

The blade opens and closes quickly and smoothly

The handle and body are low profile and easy to carry with a textured grip

This knife is made in the USA

Cons:

The thumb knob for opening the blade has an unsmoothed edge

Some users say the pocket clip is too high and not sufficient enough

With rugged versatility and a premium-grade blade, the Kershaw Blur S30V Folding Pocket Knife is an effective, powerful, slightly recurved blade strong enough to tackle the toughest of challenges. Sporting American-made steel, this knife is useful, aesthetically pleasing, and has a manageable carry weight. Whether you are cutting zip ties or fishing lines, this lightweight, quick action knife may be the one for you.

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Fast Deployment

Kershaw Blur S30V users frequently compliment the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening System that makes this model one of the best automatic knives on the market. The knife’s torsion bar moves the blade out of the handle to allow for a fast, secure, and smooth one-handed blade deployment. Simply apply pressure to the thumb stud or flipper, and the blade opens instantaneously and locks into place. You can handle this knife confidently without fear of premature closure.

Extra Features

This Kershaw knife blade is made of high-quality carbon and vanadium, a chemical composition that results in metal with a superior edge and abrasion resistance. Available in stonewashed finish, the blade’s scuffed, fade-resistant facade hides fingerprints and smudges. The secure liner locking system prevents unexpected blade closure. An aluminum handle gives the knife some color, and the Trac-Tec inserts amplify the knife’s non-slip grip hand scales with exceptional gripping capability. The knife also includes a convenient pocket clip for easy carry.

Cost and Value

As a knife with a compressed powder coated blade and long-lasting edge retention, the Kershaw Blur S30V is a low-cost product that delivers with high-end quality production and features. Most knives with similar quality steel are far more expensive; with this model, you receive the entire package at a more than reasonable price for a product that will last for years to come.

2. TAC Force TF-705

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
TAC Force TF-705
Versatility
96
Features
95
Value
97
best offer for today
$6.93
Pros:

The knife is solidly constructed with a sharp, durable blade

It is a versatile, everyday automatic knife at an inexpensive price

It features smooth assisted-opening and liner-lock closing

The grip ensures firm and comfortable handling

Cons:

The half-serrated edge of the blade is not finely edged may catch on points of serration

The blade needs to be opened to use the bottle opener

As a go-to automatic knife for any situation, the TAC Force TF-705 does it all. It offers quick, one-handed deployment that is ideal for hunters, campers, and casual users as well as emergency personnel, EMTs, and first responders. The quality and durability of this model make it a steal for its price.

Read more

Thick, Serrated Stainless Steel Blade

This TAC Force tactical knife sports a 3-¼-inch, 3-millimeter thick stainless steel blade. The knife features a half-serrated edge and has a 4-½-inch closed length, perfect for cutting branches, rope, and more. Users can rely on the knife’s liner lock to keep this spring-assisted blade locked securely into place when not in use. The blade is durable, sturdy, and sharp: precisely what you need out from an automatic knife. For users who want an eye-catching blade, the TAC Force comes in a few colors, including a stunning rainbow-colored hue.

Extra Features

For convenience, the knife’s handle end includes a bottle opener for opening beverages on your downtime in between setting up the campfire or hunting for game. It also features a flathead screwdriver for last-minute or unexpected projects that come your way. In emergency situations, the TAC Force is there to assist with a glass breaker on one end of the knife. The back of the handle offers a pocket clip for safe and secure carry.

Cost and Value

Compared to other similarly priced and popular knives, the TAC Force TF-705 is an incredible deal. It provides a quality, sharp, dramatic-looking blade that is versatile enough for everyday and emergency situations. Throw in a bottle opener, screwdriver, and glass breaker, as well as a sturdy pocket clip, and you have a knife that is more than worth its price.

3. Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS
Versatility
95
Features
94
Value
96
best offer for today
$124.33
Pros:

The knife features the Smith & Wesson M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening technology

The black oxide stainless steel blade is partially serrated

The knife is sturdy and somewhat larger than other knives in this category

A sliding safety switch is embedded in the handle for added security and safety

Cons:

Some users find the handle too bulky

The pocket clip sticks out and may cause damage to anything it catches

The Smith & Wesson brand is synonymous with quality, and the SWMP4LBS model is no exception. Well-built, effective, and versatile, this knife is as affordable as it is functional. Designed to fit the curve of the hand and with a sharp 3.6-inch clip blade, this knife checks off all the tactical gear boxes.

Read more

Dependable Security

This knife, part of the Smith & Wesson Military & Police product line, is a top tactical choice for first responders. Featuring Smith & Wesson’s patented M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening system technology the SWMP4LBS opens single-handedly, quickly, and smoothly. The blade is locked into a durable aluminum handle for easy, secure, dependable use.

Extra Features

The SWMP4LBS blade is partially serrated and made of reliable 4034 Black Oxide. It is coated with black Teflon and accompanies an aluminum handle with dark gray rubber inlay. Other features include a handy pocket clip for secure transport, a flipper/finger actuator, and steadfast liner and safety locks. A sliding safety switch is integrated into the handle; this switch engages when the blade is closed to prevent accidental closure. Additional perks are found in the glass breaker and the ambidextrous thumb plate.

Cost and Value

A solidly crafted piece, the SWMP4LBS is the choice of many first responders and police forces around the world. It is a fast, highly responsive, secure knife with superb safety features that is more than worth its reasonable price.

4. CRKT M16-14SFG

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
CRKT M16-14SFG
Versatility
92
Features
93
Value
94
best offer for today
more shops
$29.55
$29.99
See Deal
Pros:

Heavy-duty utility knife has dual grind Tanto blades for a true hilt

The knife includes a top-quality automated liner and an additional pin safety feature

Users enjoy the durability of the knife and its ability to withstand use and abuse

The serrations on the blade are razor sharp and highly functional

Cons:

Some customers have complained that the cross guard is too large, especially on the back side of the knife

Users have noted that the blade may be prone to opening on its own

Uniquely designed with dual blades, the CRKT M16-14SFG EDC Folding Pocket Knife model is a hefty combination of the Carson M16 series requested most frequently by the military and special forces. The result is a knife with a true hilt, a rarity in folding knives and a must for collectors, outdoorsmen, and tactical gear fans.

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Maximum Strength Military Design

This Special Forces design is inspired by the Carson M16 series and features dual grind Tanto blades that offer maximum strength and durability. The SFG10 knife features black G10 scales and a premium stainless steel blade paired with the CRKT patented Veff Serrations. The G10 follows in the tracks of earlier military-issue knives with a lightweight yet aggressive gripping texture combined with superb insulating abilities.

Extra Features

The entirety of this knife --- hardware, frame, and blade --- are non-reflective tactical black; the blade itself is coated in black titanium nitride for corrosion prevention. Also included on this model are dual checkered thumb studs, and an automated liner safety, a step above your average locking liner. A pin set between the liner safety and the knife frame provides another layer of protection to prevent the liner from disengaging during use. All CRKT M16-SFG knives have pocket clips and offer four-position carry on webbing or belts.

Cost and Value

The M16-14SFG is priced somewhat higher than other models on our list, but the price is reflected in the quality of the product. This knife is more robust and thorough than a cheaper keychain or pocket knife. The higher price will not be a deterrent for consumers who want a strong, well-designed, and safe military-style knife.

5. Grandway Spring Assisted

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Grandway Spring Assisted
Versatility
91
Features
92
Value
93
best offer for today
$14.89
Pros:

The knife features a razor-sharp cutting performance

The blade is made of durable 440C stainless steel for years of use

The model includes a spring assisted opening system and a liner lock for safe closure

The ergonomic handle has molded finger grooves for stable, sure handling

Cons:

Consumers report that the screws in the blade are not thread locked and may become loose or fall out

Opening and closing the knife involves more effort than expected

If you are searching for a simple, reliable, easy-keeper knife, consider the Grandway Spring Assisted Knife. From self-defense and survival to camping, hunting, and fishing, this is an ideal tactical knife for your needs. Unassuming yet sharp, the Spring Assisted Knife is a knife you can depend upon.

Read more

Offers Absolute Functionality

This 4.4 ounce, 3.2- millimeter thick semi-automatic knife boasts a durable blade of sturdy yet inexpensive black-coated 440C stainless steel. The liner lock prevents unexpected closure and is dirt and corrosion resistant, allowing for proper operation without the need for sharpening. Thumb studs are provided for left or right-handed use. Users enjoy the quick draw and blade opening all on one smooth action.

Extra Features

The aluminum ergonomic handle on this knife includes finger grooves for a firm yet comfortable grip. The blade tip up carry is a plus for users who prefer a knife that folds in this manner. Along with the liner lock, the knife offers a pocket clip for easy, secure carry. Even if the spring assisted system breaks, the knife is still fully functional and can be used as a traditional pocket knife.

Cost and Value

The Grandway Spring Assisted Knife offers outdoorsmen and sporting enthusiasts a safe, portable, and compact product that won’t break your bank. The 440C stainless steel blade, carefully designed handle and grip, and quality liner lock rival that of far more expensive knives on the market. Users on a budget will want to take a look at this well-crafted utility tool.

6. Kershaw Clash Black

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Kershaw Clash Black
Versatility
90
Features
91
Value
92
best offer for today
more shops
$16.15
Pros:

The knife features a drop point blade of heat-treated 8CR13MoV stainless steel

It has a lightweight glass-filled nylon handle

The knife has a Speedsafe assisted opening system

The knife showcases a “flipper” for ambidextrous use

Cons:

The pocket clip is not deep and leaves much of the knife exposed

Dirt in the knife may prevent the blade from opening up all the way

The Kershaw Clash Black Serrated Pocket Knife is an all-purpose tool appropriate for everyday tasks or for working outdoors. The powerful Clash series features a three-inch, big-bellied, stainless steel blade that reflects the model’s rugged durability, wear resistance, and edge retention. If you want an affordable knife that can do it all, check out the Kershaw Clash.

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Ultimate Style and Capability

The Clash boasts a drop point and partially serrated blade that can slice quickly and effectively through cardboard or rope. The SpeedSafe assisted opening, secure locking liner, and built-in ambidextrous flipper provide style with protection and capability. The fast deployment is where it is at, and the Clash doesn’t fail with a torsion bar to move the blade out of the handle in a smooth, one-handed blade deployment.

Extra Features

With this model, buyers will receive a solid automatic blade that has a “flipper,” a protrusion on both sides of the blade that makes it user-friendly for both left-handed and right-handed people. The knife also comes with a convenient pocket clip and a handle textured with glass-filled nylon scales.

Cost and Value

For what you get in this product --- a solid durable knife, stainless steel blade, excellent safety features, and a sharp cut --- the price is more than worth affordable. This Kershaw is sold at an extremely reasonable cost for the value. Users can have a knife that gets the job done without parting with a lot of money in the process. It is a great knife for an even greater price.

7. Benchmade 940BK

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Benchmade 940BK
Versatility
88
Features
87
Value
89
best offer for today
$179.94
Pros:

The knife is lightweight with an extremely thin pocket profile

The contourin and slender curvature make this a comfortable knife to carry

The blade is constructed with premium C30S stainless steel

The knife is made in the USA

Cons:

Some customers note that their blade was poorly centered

The AXIS lock is initially stiff and loosens up with time and use

If you are willing to splurge on a high-quality automatic knife with a well-balanced stainless steel blade, excellent edge qualities, and superb rust resistance, the Benchmade 940BK CPM-S30V Reverse Tanto might be the knife for you. It is a pricer model than most on this list, but the quality the user receives in return may be worth the elevated cost.

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Slim and Stylish

This well-made, lightweight blade is designed to offer solid form and balance at a minimal weight. That lightness of design and balance makes this 940BK a comfortable knife to use and hold; the knife weighs in at 2.90 ounces. It is an exceptional reverse tanto choice for everyday carry because of its wide versatility for outdoor use or general daily application. With an AXIS locking mechanism and an impressively durable anodized aluminum handle, the 940BK CPM-S30V provides users with an efficient knife with an smooth feel to the finish.

Extra Features

The knife features the AXIS locking system that is incredibly tough and completely ambidextrous; it can be easily opened or closed with one hand. A 6061-T6 aluminum handle provides reliable function and form at minimal weight. A reversible pocket clip offers safe, secure accessibility.

Cost and Value

The Benchmade 940BK CPM-S30V rates at a much higher price than most other knives in this guide. Consumers may find the company’s reputation, the quality of the product, and the durability of the knife as important deciding factors in the purchase of this model.

8. Spyderco Model G-10

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Spyderco Model G-10
Versatility
87
Features
86
Value
88
best offer for today
$148.83
Pros:

The knife has a S30V stainless steel blade that is rust and corrosion resistant

The model is well-centered and easy to operate

The textured handle has G-10 scales for a sure, firm grip

The knife has a carbon coating that adds to its reliability and durability

Cons:

The pocket clip is prone to bending

Users note that the knife is sometimes tricky to open

Made with high-quality materials, the Spyderco Military Model G-10 Plain Edge Knife is a reliable full-service folding knife that offers versatile performance in any environment. The knife provides effective safety features and a stainless steel blade that gets any job done well.

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Long-Term Edge Retention and Rust Resistance

The jewel of this blade is the stainless steel plain edge blade that is crafted with durable CPM S30V metal. cutting edge. This blade is rust resistant and sports long-term edge retention. The contoured steel clip provides for right-hand tip-down carry and a full-flat edge.

Extra Features

This Spyderco model includes the dependable Walker LinerLock to keep the blade in an open position when in use. The knife handle has textured G-10 scales and a digital camouflage pattern for a secure, dependable grip. This low-profile knife has a Diamond Like Carbon coating tested for durability and quality.

Cost and Value

The Spyderco Military Model G-10 Plain Edge Knife is pricier than most other models on this list; however, the quality of the knife’s steel and design have made it a popular one amongst consumers. People who want a well-centered, easy to open folding knife with excellent workmanship may want to spend more money on those qualities.

9. SOG Keychain

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
SOG Keychain
Versatility
84
Features
85
Value
86
best offer for today
more shops
$7.49
Pros:

The drop point, stainless steel blade is impressively sharp, durable, and easy to release

The lockback feature keeps your fingers and hands safe when the knife is not in use

The nondescript knife is designed to look like a key on a keychain

SOG offers a limited lifetime warranty in this product

Cons:

Some users have reported that the knife can open accidentally when not in use

The knife is heavier than some customers liked

For consumers looking for a specialty knife that is low-profile yet conveniently on hand for any circumstance that life throws at them, the SOG Keychain Folding Knife might just fit the bill. The discrete nature of this knife combined with its small size and light weight make it a top choice for people who want a well-built, stylish, and useful knife.

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Ultra-Compact Blade

The Keychain Knife features an ultra-compact 1.5” stainless steel folding blade. It is easily concealed, hangs subtly from your keychain, and is an ideal knife for everyday needs. The blade’s straight edge offers a drop point shape with a black, hard cased finish and a stainless steel blade that looks exactly like any other house key on the chain. Users are impressed with the sharpness, reliability, and durability of this small knife.

Extra Features

The SOG Keychain Knife is the first one to include a secure one-button release lock back mechanism that keeps the blade in place until you need it. The lock back offers even more protection while the knife is in the open position. The key-knife handle is thick but small enough that it blends in with your other keys and does not drag your keychain down.

Cost and Value

This keychain knife is amazingly compact and efficient, and it is reasonably priced too. Price differences are reflected based on color and model options, so if a brass-colored or animal-print keychain knife appeals to you, be prepared to pay a higher price. Otherwise, you are getting a keychain knife that is sharp, long-lasting, and useful.

10. Mtech Xtreme Ballistic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.3
Mtech Xtreme Ballistic
Versatility
82
Features
83
Value
85
best offer for today
$8.28
Pros:

This knife has a smooth assisted-opening action

The lock liner operates securely upon opening

The blade has a good, sharp edge

The knife has a solid, durable construction

Cons:

The blade needs to be oiled weekly to prevent rust and corrosion.

The knife is heavier that most buyers expected

Budget-conscious buyers in search of an everyday tactical blade may be interested in the Mtech Xtreme Ballistic Assisted Tactical Flipper Pocket Knife. This simple, straightforward knife is easy to operate and offers some comfortable features for the user.

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Efficient Design

The Mtech Xtreme offers quick, uncomplicated operation; simply use the thumb hole or flipper to open the blade part way and let the spring assisted action kick in. The knife blade is a 440 stainless steel modified clip that is partially serrated. The small handle and lightweight structure make this knife easy to carry.

Extra Features

The knife has a two-tone finish. The black aluminum handle has two finger grooves, and a liner lock operating system provides secure blade lock-up and control. The Mtech Extreme also includes a convenient tip-down pocket clip.

Cost and Value

This model knife is priced much lower than other knives in this guide, making it a reasonable first-knife purchase or a good pickup for the user on a budget. While this model may not offer the same number of features as other, pricier knives, it is a sharp, quality knife with good balance and a decent blade.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Effectiveness

Your automatic knife is only as good as its performance level and effectiveness. If your knife does not handle or cut well enough to suit your needs, then you’ve wasted time and money on an inferior product. In our buying guide, we looked at effectiveness as a core criterion in purchasing an automatic knife. Of primary concern is that the automatic knife has a quality design that leads to an easy-opening blade mechanism. We looked at handle design, blade material, blade length and weight, and ease of use as markers of an effective automatic blade. From our research, you should be able to find an option that suits your needs and works with your wallet.

Features

Features are a critical security and comfortability factor for automatic knife users. Being able to use and carry a knife that is well-balanced, impeccably crafted, and safe is vital to the user’s well-being. The blades on this list all have various lock liners or other security systems to prevent unexpected closure or exposure whether the knife is operational or not. Our researchers also examined handles, grips, and ambidextrous-friendly options so that you can find a knife that you are confident in using on a daily basis.

Value

Our team researched the ten best automatic knives on the market that spanned a wide price range. There are many solid options for knife enthusiasts on a budget, some higher quality knives for those buyers willing to spend a bit more, and a few more expensive choices for the users willing to part with more money. However, the cost is only one factor of a larger whole here; value was our third main criterion because many lower-priced models ended up just as if not more effective than higher-priced knives. Keep an eye on the price, but know that our ratings focused more heavily on the value you get for your dollar.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Effectiveness
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#2
Features
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#3
Value
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Know Your Knife's Purpose

Before you purchase an automatic knife, be sure you have an idea of what you want the knife to do for you. This style of knife has wide-ranging capabilities, but there are some activities that a straight, plain-edge knife may be better qualified for than a partially serrated blade. For example, on a farm, you may use an automatic knife to cut through thick pieces of rope or open hay bales. If, however, you work in a shipping center or office, your knife may be used to open boxes or mail. Consider what you want your knife to be able to do before you make your purchase.

Determine the Opening Mechanism

Automatic knife owners and operators often need their blade to open quickly and comfortably. If you are in an emergency and need to cut your seatbelt, you will want a knife that snaps open fast. Consider what type of opening system matters most to you: a two-handed system that requires you to hold the knife in one hand while you open the blade with the other, or a one-handed opening blade that includes a thumb stud for operation. Assisted-opening knives spring open when you apply pressure to a thumb stud. Of these options, the assisted-opening knives are the best blade choice for quick, easy access.

Watch the Blade Size and Length

Effective automatic knives need to be light enough and shaped reasonably enough to carry and use daily. Heavy and lengthy knives may be too burdensome to carry around for long; alternatively, some smaller, lighter blades may be ineffective for certain tasks. There is no ideal length, but a good blade length is around 3 inches. Familiarize yourself with your state or county laws if you want a blade length longer than 3 inches as some locations ban the carry of certain knives. Other places may require you to have a concealed weapons permit. Learn your location’s laws so you do not run afoul of law enforcement.

Other Factors to Consider

Durability

Because automatic knives are designed for everyday carry and have a variety of uses, you need a model that will not only perform to expectations but last for a long time too. Durability is a key factor to consider when purchasing your automatic blade. This is especially true for the more expensive knives on our list as no one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a knife that breaks a few months later. Our researchers looked specifically at design features and blade compositions to select the models that are likeliest to hold up to your demands for the long haul.

Versatility

Automatic knives are a highly accessible style of knife due to its wide-ranging versatility and use as an everyday carry blade. These knives come in a variety of forms, offer many different features, and can help assist the user with anything from first responder emergencies to camping needs to cutting open cardboard boxes at home. The beauty of this type of knife is that it can be used for so many daily activities that it quickly proves its worth to the user. We considered versatility as a key criterion in this list of top ten automatic knives because the very nature of this blade continues to make it a popular choice amongst users and collectors.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How important is blade size?
a:

Blade size is entirely your preference, but you should choose a blade size that is approximate to the work you are planning to do with the knife. How you plan to carry the knife when it is not in use is also an critical consideration to factor into any purchase. Generally, smaller blades are used for everyday tasks while larger blades work well in outdoor environments and other heavy-duty applications.

q: Does the type of blade matter?
a:

Yes, the knife blade matters insomuch as you want a blade tough enough or appropriately designed to work with cutting the material on which you plan to use the knife. Blades typically fall into these categories for these purposes: straight edge (hunting, cutlery); fully serrated (cutting fibrous material); and partially serrated (general purposes).

q: What kind of steel is best for an automatic knife?
a:

The steel blade of your knife is obviously an essential part of its form and function as the level of steel quality varies considerably from knife to knife. The majority of knives today are made with stainless steel; some companies will change the amount of carbon and chromium in the makeup of the steel alloy to create harder or softer blade properties. The performance of the knife should also be evaluated on blade shape and profile and heat treatment.

q: What is the difference between blade shapes?
a:

Blade shapes, like the design of an automatic knife, are crafted to fulfill the knife’s purpose. A hunting knife will have a different blade shape than other automatic knives because it was designed for that task. Blade shapes fall into these categories: tanto (angular shaped); drop point (a thicker convex arc from spine to tip); clip point (curved or straight cutout to the tip); spear point (double-edged dagger).

q: Are there differences in steel grades and characteristics?
a:

Yes. There are three grades that stainless steel is judged by, good, better, and best. Good steel is rust-resistant, entry-level steel typically made in Asia. They do hold an edge but are generally softer blades that require more frequent sharpening. Better steel contains a higher chromium content which often increases the price of the knife. These blades require a higher-quality steel than good steel and require less maintenance. Best steel is usually made in the USA and Japan at a premium cost due to the high chromium content. This elite steel is harder, durable, and known for its rust and corrosion resistant qualities.

q: Is it illegal to own an automatic knife in my area?
a:

Some countries, states, and localities have enacted laws concerning knife carry. While some have banned it outright, other places require the knife operator to have a concealed carry permit. Check the laws in your area before purchasing an automatic knife so you know what you can and cannot have legally in your neighborhood.

Sources

  1. Eric Brooks, Automatic Knives Buyers Guide, web article
  2. Ravencrest Tactical, OTF Knife Buyers Guide - How To Select An OTF Knife, web article
  3. Blade HQ, Knife Buyer's Guide Infographic, web infographic
  4. Wikipedia, Switchblades, web encyclopedia