Looking to add an automatic switchblade into your knife collection? Automatic knives are practical, easy to use, and effective for everyday needs as well as a companion for your outdoor expeditions. We have come up with another guide to help you find out the best automatic knives in the market now. We have also picked a few such knives that we consider are worthy contenders for the throne of the best automatic knife.
What are Automatic Knives, and are they Legal?
A switchblade is a term used to define a knife with a foldable blade. In most cases, the blade can be folded sideways. There are several types, including manual, automatic, and assisted. As such, automatic knives are a type of switchblades.
Keep in mind that automatic knives are not the same as assisted knives. They can be opened with a press of a button or a lever, while assisted require the use of your thumb. The difference is in the automatic system that opens the knife.
If we take a look at the legality of automatic knives, we can see that the same rules as for switchblades are used. This means that an automatic knife is legal in most states and countries, and it is considered as a pocket knife, used to open mail, packages, etc.
The only difference is in the fact all switchblades are banned from schools, police stations, government facilities, etc. This law is used in almost all countries across the planet. In the United States, you can’t carry a switchblade across a state border.
2020’s 5 Best Automatic Switchblade Knives
- Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS 8.6in High Carbon – Best value for money automatic knife
- SOG Folding Pocket Knife
- Venom 2TR Assisted Combat Knife (Double Edge) – Best OTF double action knife
- MTN OTF Double Action Safety Knife – Value for money OTF knife
- ANVIL BLADESMITHS BULLSHARK G-10 8CR13 – Serrated automatic knife
Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS 8.6in High Carbon
Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS 8.6in High Carbon is one of the best automatic knives available on the market. This model has a lot to offer, and it looks stunning. When it comes to pure design, the knife looks elegant, modern, and more expensive than it is. Let’s take a closer look at its main features.
4034 Black Oxide High Carbon Stainless Steel
The blade, which is 3.6 inches long, is made from 4034 Black Oxide High Carbon Stainless Steel, a super-strong type of steel that can withstand anything literally. This material comes without major maintenance requirements, it is strong, and immune to stains and damages.
The handle is made from lightweight aluminum. This makes it very lightweight, yet strong and safer than usual. An aluminum handle will make sure the blade is kept away from your hand while holding, opening, or using the knife.
You can lock this knife by flipping a lever. It is extremely easy to use the system and one of the most reliable we were able to see. At the same time, it makes a knife looking so much better. The mechanism is reliable and will last for years.
- High-quality steel
- Locking mechanism
- Aluminum handle
- Value for money
- Heavy for some users
SOG Folding Pocket Knife
The next knife we have for you is stunning. It is made to last, and it can be used in the harshest situations. The tested model is ideal for campers, those who want a high-quality knife or those who will use it while hunting.
2.6 inches blade
The blade is made from strong and durable steel, which guarantees you a long lifespan. If you want to know more, we can say that the type of steel is AUS-8. Another advantage of it is weight. The knife is lighter than similar models.
Steel handle liners
First of all, the handle is exceptionally comfortable to use, and it comes with steel liners. These are the main elements in the middle of the handle, and they will make sure the knife stays operation for a long time.
The handle has contours that make using the knife special. This is something you will notice the first time you see and hold it in your hand, and you will likely be impressed.
You will be happy to hear that this model offers a belt clip. It is made of steel, as you would expect and it is very convenient. A more pressing matter is the durability of this small component. It can last for decades, and it won’t bend or break.
- Belt clip
- Customer support
- Safety lock
- Difficult to close
- Requires lubrication from the box
Venom 2TR Assisted Combat Knife (Double Edge)
Venom 2TR is a slightly more complicated knife to define. It looks modern and stunning, but there are a lot of features you will like and appreciate. Let’s see what it has to offer.
Rapid blade deployment
The blade deployment system is one of the best in the class. It is strong, fast, and reliable. We liked testing this knife, and we believe it will make you happy every single time you use it. This knife opens forward.
At the end of the handle, you have a glass breaker. This is a useful feature that is reserved for users who want the ultimate practicality regarding knives and who want to enjoy added safety. This feature is used for emergencies.
We should add that the length of the knife is 9.6 inches. We must add that the entire knife is hand-assembled in the United States. Furthermore, the knife is tested before delivery, so you get added safety when purchasing it.
- Glass breaker
- Length of the blade
- Double edge
- Sensitive handle
MTN OTF Double Action Safety Knife
OTF Double Action Safety Knife is a compact knife that comes with outstanding features. It is easy to use, offers a modern design and a nice blade. We liked several things regarding this particular model, and now we will share them with you.
Yes, this model is very light. The overall weight is 3.6 ounces, which has to be impressive. Don’t think that the knife is cheap or fragile. This is possible due to the implementation of new and high-end materials.
The low weight is ideal for users who will use it all the time and who need a small, portable knife to use for all kinds of operations.
To open the knife, you have to press a lever using your thumb. This mechanism is very interesting to use, and we should add addictive. The knife is also rare precisely due to the same reason. You may have to explain to your friends how to open it.
The action itself is smooth and can be performed with one hand only. The handle itself is made from aluminum and can withstand heavy-duty use as well.
Available in different colors
Some automatic knives come in all different colors. Others don’t, and they are usually black or gray. Well, this one is one of the versatile models. You can choose between black, gray, green, and even red. Keep in mind that all variations are identical and offer the same features.
- Available in different colors
- Great package
- Smooth operation
- The mechanism requires some time to get used to it
- Isn’t precisely affordable
ANVIL BLADESMITHS BULLSHARK G-10 8CR13
The first thing we will have to reveal regarding this unit is that you can choose between manual and assisted model. The price will vary and the design, although they look similar. Due to the fact we are referring only to the automatic knives, we must reveal that we tested only spring assisted version.
The blade is super sharp, and on our tests, it was able to maintain its sharpness for a long time. The blade itself is one of the main advantages this model has to offer, and we all like it. When it comes to strength, the blade is made from high-end stainless steel.
Yes, the blade is partially serrated, as you can see. This is an advantage for some users, but not all. We generally liked the design, and we believe most of you will also. Serrated blade makes the knife more useful on some occasions and more capable of meeting high requirements.
Besides, the entire blade is sharp, so you get the sharpness we have mentioned. It is a versatile knife that can be used for all kinds of operations and multiple purposes.
If you see a small dent at the back of a knife, you should know that it is a belt cutter or cord cutter. This is an emergency feature that is quite popular in the recent period and engineered explicitly for emergency equipment.
You will want to know that the unit has a glass breaker and belt clip. Both of them are convenient additions that make the knife even more practical.
- Serrated blade (partially)
- Belt cutter
- Glass breaker
- Bolts and screws should be tightened regularly
How to Choose the Best Automatic Knife in 2019
When looking for the right automatic knife, some factors must be considered first. Now, we will reveal those factors, and we will guide you through the process of choosing a knife of this kind that is just right for you.
The first thing to consider is releasing mechanism. It is a system used to unfold and fold your new knife. There are several differences in types available on the market. They are:
- Secret mechanism- It is precise, as the name suggests. It has a hidden lever or a button, and only you will know how to open your knife.
- AXIS Pull- This mechanism is rare, very rare if we may add. It means that the buttons for the release are present on both sides.
- Lever- It is as simple as it sounds. A knife with a lever mounted on one side.
- Button- An alternative to the lever style. The operation is the same.
As you would expect, the best automatic knife must be made from proper steel. There are no ceramic, iron, or any other material in this case scenario, and honestly, none of them will work well as steel.
There are specific types of steel we recommend. They are D2, Damascus, CPM S30V, 4034 Black, 400 Series, and AUS8. If your new knife is made from these materials, it will last longer, be extremely strong, and easy to maintain.
The bottom line here is that a knife must be easy to sharpen, yet strong and reliable. The blade must be immune to corrosion and stains while maintaining its sharpness as long as possible.
Sadly, we cannot generalize this factor. It is purely your individual preference. Automatic knives come with blades of all sizes. They start at 2 inches and may reach 10 inches. Smaller knives are more compact and more affordable, yet unable to meet more advanced usages.
The handle can be either made from plastics, wood, or aluminum. Steel is also possible but usually avoided due to the extra weight it adds. Plastics are the worst option and reserved for the cheapest knives. Wood is elegant, durable, yet not as strong as the next alternative. Aluminum is the best and the strongest handle material. Besides, reinforced fiberglass is a valuable alternative.
Clip or holder
Where you are going to place, and how you will carry your new best automatic knife? You have two options. The first is a clip that allows you to place the knife to a belt. It is more affordable, smaller, and for some more desirable option.
A second option is to get a pouch, a case, or a holder. It is a more elegant option, and it is rare, only due to the fact automatic knives are foldable, and people usually find holders complicated and annoying.
It is one of the essential features. A safety lock will make sure your knife can’t be opened accidentally. Sadly, not all models come with it, and it is relatively difficult to find one who offers it.
If you are new in this realm, we recommend you to get a unit with the safety lock. It is still easy to use, yet it is 100% safer and even looks better. The locking mechanism makes the knife look more expensive.
If you are planning to carry your knife with you at all times, you need a lightweight model. In general, units with a weight of 3 ounces are considered the most appealing. Models with a weight of 5 ounces are slightly bigger yet worthy of your consideration. Anything above 10 ounces and you have a big, impractical knife.
For us, the Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS 8.6in High Carbon is the favorite automatic knife due to several advantages, and it’s the price point. It is made from 4034 Black Oxide steel, has an aluminum handle, locking mechanism, and all of this comes at a low price. As such, we give it 4.9 out of 5 stars, which is the best possible score. Take a closer look at other models from the list. They are also worthy of your attention.