Are you here to learn more about otf knives or to buy the best otf knife on the market? If so, we have you covered with this fantastic guide that reviews some of the best options out there. With a rare type of build and remarkable design, there really are many benefits that come with using this type of knife.
Before we reveal our top picks in the otf knife, we have answered some popular FAQs below to give you a comprehensive overview so that you know what to expect.
What Is An OTF Knife?
Out the front knives or otf knives as they are commonly known use a mechanism that will deploy the blade when the trigger on the stainless steel handle scales is used. An otf knife can be seen as a switch blade, this means that the blade protrudes from the front when in use. However, usually, a switchblade uses a blade that is deployed from its side, this is the main difference between these two different knives.
Otf knives are also called sliding knives with a point blade. If you hear somebody refer to a sliding knife, they are probably talking about an otf. These types of knife are both powerful and versatile making them great for various tasks including cutting, hunting, fishing, and much more. The deployment mechanism is easy enough to use and the blade length is perfect for a number of different outdoor tasks. Overall, they provide a comfortable grip and are a great alternative to pocket knives due to their compact and lightweight body.
Hopefully, you have a better idea of how this folding knife works and exactly what it can be used for. When it comes to otf knives there are many different designs to choose from and price points. You will be able to find a solid knife design in this category even at a cheaper budget. Read on to learn more about the different otf knives that we’ve reviewed to find the perfect one for your requirements!
Best OTF Knife
Below you will find a comprehnesivereview guide detailing different budget options for the best otf knives available to buy. We always recommend carefully reviewing the law in the area you live before purchasing such an item. In most states in the US it is illegal to carry an otf knife and also in the UK. However, there are some exceptions in which you can own and carry a pocket knife like this.
Here are our top selections in the category of best otf knives including pricier, more robust models as well as great cheap options too.
1. Venom Tactical 3TR Military Combat Knife
Blade Length: 3.9″ | Overall Length: 9.4″ | Weight: 9.17oz
First on our list we have a stealthy 3TR miltiary otf knife by Venom. Meeting the highest expectations, it offers an impressive and sturdy stainless steel blade with a blade length of 3.9 inches. This knife has been desgined for professional purposes only hence its nod to the military in its product name and you can see this when handling it.
A renowned brand for durability, Venom brings about some of the best otf knife models we have seen, and this product is no exception. The handle is comfortable to grip and can withstand any sort of impact helping to minimize vibrations felt by the hand when in use. The thumb switch enable the double action otf element meaning you can use it with ease and confidence.
The overall design is top quality with a total length of just under 9.5 inches. Additional features include a tactical glass breaker, pocket clip point, and nylon pouch for storage. For a reasonable cost, this is a must-have for any knife collection with a stunning blade and fantastic grip.
2. Sigil Double Action Knives Silver Blade Knife
Blade Length: 3.5″ | Overall Length: 9″ | Weight: 7.5 oz
This Sigil knife will give the impression of a tactical combat model on first inspection, and that is exactly what is useful for. At a fraction of the price of some comparable knives, this model certainly deserves a place in this review list. Designed for combat, the versatility of the knife is simply exceptional offering fantastic value for money.
In the hand, it feels well designed with tough construction and strong blade. The highly sharpened blade made of stainless steel makes it an optimum hunting choice and the blade length stands at 3.5 inches. The dual action style allows you to use a single switch to put into opening position and to close it too. It really does feel like a supreme knife when in the hand and its weight is comfortable too.
With a double sided blade, it cuts clean and the dagger shape is ideal for this type of product. Safety gear means that you won’t accidentally deploy the stainless steel blade. At a really considerable price tag, this is definitely a Benchmade otf you need to see with your own eyes.
3. Hao Ming Fast Open Knife
Blade Length: 3.5″ | Overall Length: 8.6″ | Weight: 9.8 oz
This amazing Hao Ming stainless steel fast open knife is amongst the best otf knife models that we have come across due to its durability and attractive design. Though you may not have heard its name before, it delivers something quite outstanding as far as this product goes. The blade length measures 3.5 cm and is made to cut just about anything you’d need it to outdoors. Style-wise it looks and feels great with a good blade deployment action and it will fit comfortably in your pocket.
Made for combat, the sides support the stainless steel blade and have grips to make it feel sturdy in the hand. This is a renowned product in the knife industry and it comes at a value price making it a firm favorite. A great choice for someone who wants a combat-grade knife that is going to fulfill its purpose. Overall, we rank this as one of the most quality models due to its extremely robust aluminum handle.
If you invest in buying this otf knife you’re going to benefit far into the future and guarantee top performance in all aspects of combat blade aspects.
4. Rapid Fire Camping & Hunting EDC Knife
Blade Length: 3.75″ | Overall Length: 4.75″ | Weight: 5.7 oz
With a top-quality stainless steel blade designed especially for hunting and outdoor activities, the Rapid Fire knife is a knife that deserves attention. The tough exteriorof this product ensure that it can cut through just about anything and it offers fantastic value for money all round, making it a solid choice. As far as double action otf knives go, this is probably in the top 3.
The deployment of the blade is made quick and you can easily retract the blade with no concerns around safety too. As part of the blade edge type, the length is made to an average size of 3.75 inches and the overall knife is a comfortable size and weight, inclusive of the handle too. Rapid Fire is a brand name that you can trust due to the enhanced safety lock features and we recommend the product for any knife collectors or knife enthusiasts.
Offering a firm grip, this is one of the best knives on the market and we have included it in this knife buying guide as a budget option. With this model, you will have a trusty companion for a long time that will never falter.
5. Schrade SCHSA2DBS Viper 3 Point Folding Knife
Blade Length: 3.6″ | Overall Length: 8.5″ | Weight: 3.9 oz
Next on our list of the best otf knife options, we have a popular model Schrade viper 3. The viper point knife allows you to easily retrct and deploy the blade when you need to thanks to super strong springs. As our top budget option, there’s lots to admire about the craftsmanship and overall design of this knife. Sleek yet powerful, the blade is perfect for military purposes or camping activities.
The drop point blade measures 3 inches making this otf a pocket-szied model for any knife enthusiast. The safety mechanism mounted onto the back of the knife grip adds further to its respectable design as it is effortless to use. It can be activated using a single hand on the handle, and it is far more convenient than some mechanism found in others. You will love everything about this best otf knife, especially its cheaper cost.
Boasting a sharp blade edge and benchmade using a range of top materials, this model offers exceptional value for money. This is a serious tool made for serious users who want a pocket otf made with grade A steel, a robust yet comfortable to grip handle, and a sound switchblade action.
6.TAC Force Assisted Pocket Sawbaw Bowie Knife
Blade Length: 3.5″ | Overall Length: 9” | Weight: 6 oz
An ultimate otf knife for hunting, this TAC force model comes with a range of versatile features and it looks the part too which its camo exterior and blade cover. The spring assist opening is amongst the mode efficient we’ve seen as it allows you to deploy and retract the blade very quickly. With an added saw blade edge, this adds extra convenience for harder to cut materials. Rated as one of the best steel blades at the blade hq, you can bet on reliability and sturdiness.
Priced at a steal cost, the overall design is akin to more expensive models such as the combat troodon and microtech ultratech. The green coloring on the exterior is very attractive and the handle is comfortable to grip with a well-designed edge. Lighter in weight than your average otf while still offering a 3.5 inch blade length, this is one of the best overall pocket knives.
This tool is going to guarantee you use for a long time and the size is ideal as it can easily fit into a pocket. It doesn’t come with any extras such as pocket clip point, but for the price you will pay it is a solid stainless steel knife that you should add to your repertoire.
7. Smith & Wesson Dark Earth Assisted Knife
Blade Length: 3.5″ | Overall Length: 8” | Weight: 5.87 oz
This Smith & Wesson Dark Earth assisted knife is great if you’re looking for something a bit different and more unique. Utilizing a hybrid deployment mechanism, this knife has next-level technology to make opening the blades easy. The retractable blade operating method is triggered by pulling a piece of nylon. Offering a more convenient user experience than a single action otf, the stainless steel knife really does stand out from others.
It also uses AUS-8 stainless steel for its powerful blade with one of the sharpest points we’ve found and excellent edge retention. The benchmade infidel product is an excellent option for combat purposes with a blade that is capable of different uses. There is a considerable difference between this knife and others not just due to the brands’ reputation, but the amount of craftsmanship that has gone into the piece.
Made using only the best steel, this knife deserves your attention and is the kind that you will want ot use over and over. Every material is top quality and it’s seen from the blade edge to the ultratech deployment mechanism.
8. STRIX RHK-1 Mini OTF Pocket Knife
Blade Length: | Overall Length: | Weight: .35 oz
If your main goal is to find a small and compact double action otf that doesn’t compromise on any of the features you expect, you’re in luck with the Strix RHK. Offering impressive edge retention and a comfortable handle given its petite size, this product is one of our top bti tools. Easy to fit into your pocket, it is benchmade quality and offers a means of portability for small repairs or activities such as camping for example.
There is a small button located on one side of the handle that is attached to the blade itself. Pressing the button on the handle will deploy the blade, ready for use. While this tool is tiny, there is no question about the quality of the blade itself which is made using strong steel. Anyone who needs a smaller otf is going to love the design of this tool.
About the size of a car key (handle included) it features a handy clip hole so that you can attach the tool to your key chain. Thanks to its grip on the handle, it is still perfectly good for cutting and we love how easy the switch is to use due to the ultratech button.
What To Look For In An OTF Knife
When you set out to buy an otf knife there are a number of different features that you should look out for. From the spear point to whether the opening mechanism is in good condition, and of course overall build quality. We have covered everything below from the different materials used to the type of mechanisms. You will find all the information that you need in our buyer’s guide below which covers the essentials and much more.
The material of the otf knife itself and the main element – the blade – is crucial. If the blade of your new knife isn’t of quality build you could find yourself with a useless product and cause yourself the frustration. Stainless steel or carbon steel blades is ideal as not only does a steel blade ensure that you can cut as where required but it’s also durable enough for various different tasks.
The knife blade should be the first thing that you inspect to ensure it is of the right blade size and moving on from this, the handle material. Generally, otf knives are made using string and lightweight materials such as aluminum in their blades. Because handles are under a lot of pressure and stress when in use, aluminum is one of the best materials due to its springiness and durability. Always be sure to review the blades carefully before buying to ensure you are getting quality when searching the market.
Single action vs. Dual-action
There are two different types of deployment mechanism found in otf knives – single action and dual action. Knowing how the two vary will largely help you make the right decision. A double action otf knife deploys the blade play but also retracts it at the same time. On the other hand, a single action otf knife will only deploy the blade using the opening mechanism and you will have to use manual force to put the blade back into place.
Usually, a double action otf knife is going to be more expensive due to its more convenient action mechanism. This is because they are slightly more complex to design (handle included) and make and offer the user total flexibility. It is definitely worth going for the dual action mechanism in otf knives where you can afford it so that you don’t risk cutting yourself on the steel blade.
The handle of your pocket knife design is a really important element to consider. There are many different otf knife designs and many of them use different types of handle. The most commonly found handle is made using aluminum. Aluminum handles allow for a good spring mechanism making the knife itself easier to use and they are super lightweight and portable too.
When you are cutting materials a lot of stress is put onto the knife which travels through the handle, therefore it’s crucial that the knife is completely durable in all ways. An aluminum handle is able to handle a lot of stress and is renowned as being resistant to vibrations. You may also want to look out for additions such as a pocket clip which can make it easier to carry this type of knife around, many combat troodon options include this in the handle.
Safety comes first with this type of product and many otf knives have exceptional features although it is worth comparing between knives. The safety aspect of an otf knife products will prevent the blade from being accidentally deployed, therefore it is a crucial part of an automatic knives design.
When you accidentally open a blade, the likeliness is that an injury will occur. This is usually due to the springs present in the action aspect which can cause the blade to come out quite speedily. The safety part of otf knives will prevent this from happening and we certainly recommend choosing a front knife with a solid safety mechanism for beginners.
More of an optional feature, glass breaker blades give you the ability break glass where needed which can be particularly useful in the case of an emergency. You can find otf knives with or without this and it is easily removed if you don’t want it on your knife. This variety of knife is worth the extra cost due to how much safety it can provide you if ever needed. We certainly recommend investing a little extra for complete peace of mind.
Many of the best otf knives include a glass breaker which is just an added extra for you to use as and when you need to. Hopefully, that won’t be the case with your new pocket knife though!
The Blades Tip
In the case of otf knives, how sharp the blade’s tip is can be very important. If the otf knife has a dull tip it can result in you not being able to carry out the tasks you need to as easily rendering the steel blade useless. The blade length can sometimes determine the blade’s tip and the otf knife’s overall performance.
When you choose your new otf knife be sure to compare just how sharp the blade tips are between the different models. Though there will be many things you want to review when it comes to blade types, carefully look at the otf blade and its tip for a true idea of how well-suited it is for your needs. Some blades have a better reputation or have been specially designed for precision cutting, always think about what you’ll be using the knife for and the blade specifics.
Most ot knives on the market don’t include a sheath accessory, however, there are various reasons why you should consider choosing a model that comes with it. Of course, because the blade is located in the handle it isn’t always exposed as part of the mechanism, therefore a sheath won’t be needed always.
With this said. if you still want a sheath you might want to look at different knives to get a clear idea of how you incorporate this accessory. As a general rule. the sheath should be suitable for an otf knife with a closed blade as this will stand as the naural position of the blade meaning it’s the most common way it will be carried. Even some budget otf knife options will offer this extra accessory as part of the deployment mechanism.
Are OTF knives legal?
Many states across the USA have prohibitions on the sales of self defense otf knives. And, plenty of laws in the US say it is illegal to carry a concealed otf knife. In general, you should carefully review the laws for the state that you live in the united states to get a good idea of whether it is legal or not to carry this type of knife with you. Some states such as Utah allow individuals to carry a self defense knife inclusive of an otf.
In the United Kingdom it is against the law to carry any type of knife even as self defense that could cause harm to another person.