Best Automatic Knives Reviewed & Rated for Quality

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Kershaw Blur S30V
Test Winner: Kershaw Blur S30V
Amazon Link
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.

Standout Picks

Kershaw Blur S30V
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.
TAC Force TF-705
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.
Amazon Link
$10.15
Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS
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.
Amazon Link
CRKT M16-14SFG
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.
Grandway Spring Assisted
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.
Amazon Link
$9.99
Kershaw Clash Black
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.
Amazon Link
$36.23
Benchmade 940BK
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.
Amazon Link
$258.00
Spyderco Model G-10
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.
Amazon Link
SOG Keychain
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.
Mtech Xtreme Ballistic
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.
Amazon Link
$10.50

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.

10 Best Automatic Knives

1. Kershaw Blur S30V

Where to buy
Kershaw Blur S30V
Amazon Link

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.

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

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$10.15
TAC Force TF-705
Amazon Link

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.

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.

Amazon Link
$10.15

3. Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS
Amazon Link

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.

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.

Amazon Link

4. CRKT M16-14SFG

Where to buy
CRKT M16-14SFG
Amazon Link

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.

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

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$9.99
Grandway Spring Assisted
Amazon Link

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.

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.

Amazon Link
$9.99

6. Kershaw Clash Black

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$36.23
Kershaw Clash Black
Amazon Link

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.

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.

Amazon Link
$36.23

7. Benchmade 940BK

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$258.00
Benchmade 940BK
Amazon Link

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.

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.

Amazon Link
$258.00

8. Spyderco Model G-10

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Spyderco Model G-10
Amazon Link

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.

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.

Amazon Link

9. SOG Keychain

Where to buy
SOG Keychain
Amazon Link

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.

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

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$10.50
Mtech Xtreme Ballistic
Amazon Link

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.

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.

Amazon Link
$10.50

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