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The introduction of the assisted opening knives resulted in a sigh of relief to the thumbs of many knife users. This is because they make it possible for them to open the blades with the tic of a finger. This is essential if the situation in front is critical or need some kind of quick protection. So, are you too looking for one such knife?
Read our guide to find out how these knives work. But before that here is our reviews of 3 best assisted opening knives in the market.
2021’s 3 Best Assisted Opening Knives
Kershaw Ken Onion Blur with SpeedSafe
This is one of the most popular knives in the world of AO knives. Distinctly marked by a big but a bit recurved blade, this AO knife is ideal for performing a variety of chores, including slicing and piercing, for handling tough tasks. The Kershaw Blur is one of the best assisted opening knives you may consider.
One of its main features is its SpeedSafe technology for the assisted opening mechanism that makes one-handed or ambidextrous opening quick, easy, and safe. It uses a torsion bar to flip the blade out. Then, there is a thumb stud and a flipper that overcomes the bar’s resistance while the 3.4-inch blade opens and locks into place smoothly.
The lock mechanism is also commendable, which is slender. The inset liner lock renders the strength and safety of a liner without increasing any weight. In other words, you enjoy safe blade closure while deploying it.
The high-performance Sandvik steel build ensures superb hardness as well as unmatched corrosion resistance. It also ensures edge sharpness as well as stability. On top of it, the elegant Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating makes the blade tougher and more anti-corrosive. It also prevents particles from attaching to the blade.
You will also adore the anodized aluminum handle featuring special inserts that allow safe grip and easy carry in all weather conditions.
In my opinion, The Ken Onion Blur is the best Kershaw assisted opening knife.
- Ergonomic handle
- Ambidextrous use
- Safety in terms of lock and anti-corrosion as well as anti-wear protection
- A bit costly
Tac-Force TF-705 Tactical Spring Assisted Knife
This one is a tough spring assisted knife that is admired for its fast deployment mechanism in defensive situations. The credit goes to spring assisted opening mechanism offering one-hand opening and closing of the blade that locks well through the liner lock. Tac-Force TF 705 is one of the best cheap spring assisted opening knives available in the market.
The blade locks firmly into its position after deployment and remains so unless you do not close it. Even when closed, the blade is safe; it will not come out of the handle. The flick switch is a bit short due to which it can take some time initially to flick until you get used to it. However, this is not a deal-breaker.
Unlike other AO knives, this knife comes with a 3.25-inch long, sharp blade that is partially serrated. Those small serrated teeth are very sharp to demolish anything coming in their way. With such a blade, you can perform a lot of tasks such as cutting ropes and branches.
The build is pretty solid with high-quality stainless steel. There is no experience of wiggling; stability seems to be there every time. The frame is pretty sturdy. Upon twisting in your hands, you will barely notice any play.
The aluminum handle is also strong and provides a metal grip. Initially, holding it may make you feel strange. However, it is well made due to which you can warp your hand easily around it to enjoy a safer as well as cozier grip.
The whole handle design is ergonomic with a safe grip on a bit smooth finish. However, with wet hands, maintaining the grip may be a tough job for some. Overall, it is a sturdy tactical knife offering value for your money.
- Tough build
- Ambidextrous use
- Convenient pocket clip
- Safety lock
- Ergonomic use
- Screwdriver, breaker, and opener included
- Requires pressure while opening
SOG TFSA98-CP Flash II
This is another affordable but solid knife to consider for both indoor and outdoor use. It comes with an advanced assisted mechanism, a distinct look, and a well-balanced blade with drop-point style and sharp edge, making the knife reliable to use even in critical situations. TFSA98-CP Flash II is the best spring assisted knife from SOG available in the market.
The hefty rear and the middle of the blade holds the edge at the time of tough jobs. The 3.5-inch coated blade is made up of sturdy AUS-8 steel and has partial serrations that are sharp too.
Due to this, you can use the blade for cutting tougher items. Opening the blade is quick as well as smooth. The credit for this goes to the SOG Assisted Technology (SAT) featuring resisting high-tension coil springs that are effectively responsive once you flick.
Once deployed with one hand, the blade stays firmly locked without any action or movement. Yes, the locking mechanism is responsible for such protection, which employs a movable bar to keep the blade securely in position once opened. The SAT technology also uses a robust piston lock, which releases smoothly with a sliding button.
One more nice feature is the handle’s safety lock that has a color code. It keeps deployment away when the blade is closed. Thus, the blade will not slip out to harm you.
The glass-reinforced Zytel handle is comfortable and fits securely in hand without slipping. Thanks to its pitted surface due to which sufficient traction exists to retain a firm grip consistently at the time of holding it.
- Extraordinary look and feel
- Ambidextrous use
- Ergonomic use
- Lifetime warranty
- Closing may not be smooth.
Overview of Assisted Opening (AO) Knives
When it is a matter of speed as well as convenience, nothing can beat an assisted opening knife. It features an internal mechanism to fold out the blade from the side by using just one hand. Thus, it is a kind of a folding knife that uses some mechanism to open.
However, this only happens when you have opened it partially by pushing a thumb stud, a popular opening mechanism affixed to the blade’s side.
A thumb stud is not the only mechanism that an assisted opening knife uses. It can use other mechanisms, such as a flipper. Due to the integrated mechanism, you can promptly deploy the blade by putting pressure on it.
Lightning-fast, such a knife saves much time in opening the folded blade, securely locks the blade when opened, and helps in opening the blade safely with just one hand. An assisted knife, thus, provides a convenient and fast way to perform your daily chores.
Just like any other folding knife, this knife is useful for a variety of people indulged in different professions. These professionals include law enforcement force, military, firefighters, campers, seafarers, and first responders. They rely on spring assisted knives, as they are the ones that can bear the different types of abuse apart from opening instantly to defend and protect on time.
Many assisted opening knives have a few more tools, such as an opener and a glass breaker. While they do not belong to the multi-tool category, their flexibility has no bounds.
Overview of Spring Assisted Knives
Spring-assisted knives are also known as spring-loaded knives. As the name indicates, it comes with a spring mechanism in the handle or pivot to control and accelerate the process of opening the blade. Here too, you use a flipper index tab or a thumb stud to open the blade partially.
Once you reach a certain point manually, the spring-assisted mechanism completely flips open the blade without any kind of alteration. Finally, you get a blade that opens up promptly just with a single hand.
These assisted knives give you the benefits of two knives: The instant deployment of an automatic knife and the primary function of a folding knife. These EDC knives are useful for a variety of purposes, such as cutting labels, opening boxes, and cutting ropes.
Did you know that spring assisted knives were designed to give a knife to the knife enthusiasts, which is safe to handle, fast to deploy, and yet remain in legal compliance, especially in the United States?
Are Assisted Opening Knives Legal?
The good news is that assisted opening knives are legal in most American states as per the federal law. This is because they are not those riskier switchblades that are not allowed keeping in mind the priority of public safety.
However, in a few states, assisted knives having a blade length beyond 2.5 are still considered illegal. So, it is better to check out the law first.
Are Assisted Opening Knives Same as Automatic Knives or Switchblades?
No! Although the assisted knives are quicker than the normal manual opening knives, they are not identical to automatic knives or switchblades. In the case of an automatic knife, you only need to push a button to open the blade, which is separate from the blade. So, it opens when you press the button.
On the other hand, an assisted opening knife opens completely only when you open it partially. The spring then flicks the blade either on the side or in the front. The modern technology in the assisted EDC models now competes with the speed of automatic knives.
However, this system difference makes the former easier to use than the latter. It is a fact that automatic knives are more limited in terms of carrying. Another significant difference is that switchblades, like the Out The Front (OTF) knives, are illegal in many states, but the assisted ones are widely legal.
Switchblades come with a compressed spring featuring a single-button push without requiring any additional applied force to deploy. This mechanism makes them risky tools, even to the one who uses it.
How Assisted Opening Knives Work?
You now know that a tension mechanism pushes the blade into the handle unless the deployment starts, and the same mechanism gets to the blade’s other side for pushing it the other way. For this, an AO knife either employs a coil spring or a torsion bar.
Different brands tend to have implemented their patented mechanism based on one of these two methods. However, they all function using the same concept. Let’s explore the two methods in detail:
It refers to an arched metal piece that goes up a thin plate within a liner or just remains close to the spine and pushes itself into a hole present towards the blade’s bottom (the tang section). It is constantly pushing up from this hole on the blade unless it opens fully.
In the closed mode, this hole is over to a side such that the pushing keeps the blade within the handle. However, at the time of opening, you make the hole go down and over. As a result, the torsion bar is coiled until it comes on the other side and pushes the blade out of the handle.
The torsion bar method is used in Kershaw SpeedSafe knives, and it does a few actions for you. In the closed mode, it gives downward pressure for retaining the blade in the closed position and averting any kind of inadvertent opening.
Upon applying sufficient pressure to the thumb stud, the bar glides to help you open the blade. Some Gerber knives and CRKT Outburst knives use a torsion bar.
3 good knives, that uses torsion bar for its opening mechanism are given below. (Table won’t look good in mobile phones. Apologies)
|Zero Tolerance 0770CF Folding Knife||See it on Amazon|
|Kershaw Leek 1660CB Pocket Knife||See it on Amazon|
|NedFoss Large Folding Knife||See it on Amazon|
It is where the spring mechanism is used. A coiled spring exists surrounding the pivot screw. It is almost similar to what exists in automatic knives, but the coil is stored differently. In other words, a button does not lock the spring, but the coil’s tension does.
While closing the blade, you end wrapping up the spring. Once closed, the tension moves to the spring casing from the blade and does not push on the blade. This pushing only happens when you open the blade such that the spring tab occupies a slot in the blade’s base.
One more mechanism, such as the horizontal bar or spring and tab, exists to protect the blade in both open and closed positions. Thus, a switch or button is there in the handle of such a knife. Benchmade is one of the esteemed brands known for using coil springs on their AO models.
The spring comes into action once you open the blade until a certain point. Its AXIS lock is detached, which also relies on a spring to retain the closed blade. Even SOG uses its patented coil springs that tend to face each other.
One of them puts force to retain the closed blade, while the other renders an opposite force so that the blade can open. With sufficient pressure, the opening spring surpasses the force of the opposing spring and promptly opens the blade. Both SOG and Benchmade use coil springs in their best spring loaded knives but in a different way.
3 good knives, that uses coil spring for its opening mechanism are given below. (Table won’t look good in mobile phones. Apologies)
|Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS||See it on Amazon|
|Gerber Swagger Knife||See it on Amazon|
|Benchmade - Barrage 583 Knife||See it on Amazon|
Consider an assisted opening knife if you prefer a pocket knife for daily tasks that is fast and simple to deploy. Assisted opening knives combine fast deployment with the simple folding knife mechanism.
While searching for the best assisted opening knife, you should choose the one that is durable, effortless to open, comfortable to hold, and has a safety locking mechanism.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.