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The flipping tricks done using a balisong are certainly amusing. The actual butterfly knife with a live blade (sharp blade) can be harmful, particularly when in the hands of a beginner.
It can also be dangerous for experienced users as well who trying to master a few new tricks. So, for safety, a balisong trainer is an ideal choice for learning to flip before using a real butterfly knife.
The core features of both live blades and trainers are similar. However, the latter ones have dull blades designed for playing tricks safely for entertainment. Further, they are legal everywhere.
Overview of Balisong Trainers
A typical balisong trainer has two handles counter-spinning around the blade to hide it within their grooves. It has adapted features for retaining the typical balisong look but not the functional performance. The weight of each side is the same to give the feel of an actual balisong while flipping.
Balisong trainers can possess metal pins to render more weight and a more genuine look. They are typically more affordable than actual balisongs due to dull blades.
Balisong fans and collectors use trainers to learn different tricks without harming themselves or their expensive counterparts. These knives are available in a variety of shapes, colors, and materials.
Top Balisong Trainers in 2023
Boker Magnum – Best Balisong Trainer for the Money
This is perhaps the best balisong trainer for the intermediates. This is because the blade is light, has no sharp cutting edge, and has a design suitable only for learning purposes. Still, even for an adult, this Boker Magnum butterfly knife can take your flipping experience to the next level.
This knife is outfitted with a G-10 fiberglass reinforced handle in an elegant black stonewash finish and stainless-steel blade. The blade features a dull trainer edge as well as a dull clip point to ensure a safe practice session. Drilling close to the edge retains its balance and performance safety.
The skeletonized handles are light yet durable. They are also grippy enough to keep slipping at bay. The spring-loaded steel latch keeps the blade firm in both closed and open positions. It also stays away from the path of flipping, which contributes to smooth flipping action.
In short, this trainer is reliable for practicing your beloved actions safely.
Kershaw Lucha Trainer – Expensive Balisong Trainer
Flipping is not easy, but the Lucha Trainer tends to make it so. Being close to the original and sharp Lucha but unlike it, this one distinctively comes with a blunt edge and rounded tip to keep accidental cuts away while flipping. So, even this one is safe for beginners, although the experts will love to perform a top-level trick.
Otherwise, it is still the same top-quality Lucha designed to perform similarly to the original Lucha as much as possible. For example, the blade narrows to make the top weightier than the bottom to swing smoothly.
The blade’s diamond cutouts and those matching the handle’s cutouts seem to deliver a cool look. The 4.6-inch long clip-point blade is made using 14C28N steel known for wear and corrosion resistance, great edge retention, and low maintenance.
The rounded bevel of the handles is made using stainless steel, and its edges are smoothed for an effortless hand roll, while the dual ball bearings ensure effortless flipping.
The rounded or smoothed latch contributes to snag-free use as you flip. It also has a positive stop to never come in the way of the blade.
MARCOLO Trainer – Cheap Butterfly Knife Trainer
As the name indicates, this butterfly knife is made for practicing and honing your techniques and skills of flipping. It is unlike those regular balisongs in which you tape up the blade and wish that it would not be cutting yourself while flipping.
This model is somewhat different in terms of sturdiness and build. It is commendable that this knife is heavier and the overall feel is quite realistic while holding it. The weight allows practicing in passive and active mode training without any risk of injury.
The entire knife is made using stainless steel with the handle in black finish reflecting a sophisticated look. The steel blade has a dull edge as well as point and a straight back to ensure safe manipulations. The handle is comfortable with balance holes delivering a strong feel while holding in the hand.
As usual, the spring latch does its work to keep the blade in place, whether opened or closed. This tactical combat tool comes with additional screws, the Allen wrench, and a holster, all of which contribute to the long lifespan of this knife. Overall, this heavier and highly responsive trainer performing quietly comes at a great price point.
Cold Steel FGX – Not Technically a Balisong Trainer
Big but light and great but intimidating – these features define this butterfly knife. It is best for those who want to practice a variety of tricks but don’t want a trainer or an expensive balisong.
It belongs to the widely recognized FGX Nightshade Series whose knives are known for no metallic parts for light form factor and great flipping fun.
Made fully from Griv-Ex polypropylene plastic and other tactical non-metal materials, this knife is non-detectable. No sensors will trigger on metal detectors.
The 5-inch long blade comes with a sharp point and an edge that will cut well. So this is not suitable for kids or a beginner. The handles and holding latch are so well made that they retain the required weight for several hours of performing striking flipping tricks. You will also never be dissatisfied in terms of reliability and strength.
The knife is light enough to be secured or tucked almost anywhere. It is also impermeable to extreme weather, moisture, cold, and heat. This injection molding marvel is also ridiculously affordable.
What to Consider Before Buying the Best Practice Butterfly Knife
A wide range of balisong trainers available varies in weight and size. A few are lighter and longer, while others are heftier and shorter.
Typically, balisong trainers are bigger than the standard ordinary knives. Most of them have a weight ranging from 4 to 10 ounces, ensuring not to go out of the hand easily while being light enough to keep the strain away while at work.
The modern models often come with holes to ensure perfect balance. Some models may even allow you to tailor the size as per your preference.
There is no rule or common recommendations when it comes to selecting the length of the best butterfly trainer. However, it contributes to the overall weight. Thus, it is wise to choose a trainer that is comfortable in your hands.
Just keep in mind that flipping a longer butterfly trainer is likely to be challenging; whereas, a heavy one can result in bruises. Thus, you should go for a lighter and longer model. While a metallic model will be heavier than plastic, it will be more durable. So, if you are choosing a metallic model, choose the one whose weight is just fine for you to perform smoothly.
As you will be using a butterfly knife for the first time or as a practitioner, the tool is likely to fall several times. Thus, you need a durable model. This is why you need to consider the material with which the balisong trainer is built.
Most butterfly trainers are made using either ABS plastic or one of the steel alloys. Those made using a stainless-steel alloy are durable as well as resistant to corrosion.
On the plus side, plastic is relatively a lighter material. The plastic trainers from brands such as Squid are reliable. This is because the plastic in use is Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC), a material that is more resistant to impact and heat than the standard PVC. These knives can even outlive your training time.
In the case of a metallic model, the chances of bruising your hand are high at the time of practicing. A few metallic trainers tend to resemble an authentic balisong, due to which it could be frightening to flip in public.
On the contrary, plastic trainers are age-friendly and are usable virtually anywhere. A few plastic models are transparent, due to which hardly anyone can notice what is happening.
The best butterfly trainer is the one with a high-quality design. So, what does this mean? Well, the balisong trainers are known for their distinct design that contributes to their flexibility.
A few designs are more geared towards safety, because flipping can be hazardous. Others are more inclined towards flexibility and durability.
Typically, butterfly trainers come with blunted blades and grippy handles fitting well in your hand. Some brands provide balisong trainers that do not have pointed edges.
Most balisong trainers tend to look like real balisongs that can scare others while practicing in or entertaining the public. Thus, for use in public, consider choosing a less scary and more reliable model.
In short, the design of your balisong trainer should not only be durable and flexible but also safe.
Balisong trainers are of two types in terms of build, which are pin and screw types. In screw build, the hinges possess screws. This means that it is easy to adjust the knife as per your preferences. The screws make the flipper flexible enough such that you can repair it if it is harmed.
On the other hand, the pin build, as the name suggests, features permanent pins and not screws. This means you cannot adjust a pin flipper easily. Further, you cannot even repair it if it breaks down. However, such a trainer tends to last longer than the one with screws.
Thus, an important factor to consider is the set of hinges on the butterfly trainer. Choose a model that allows unscrewing the hinges.
Do not let the name fool you! Butterfly trainers are just not for beginners! Indeed, they are also for the skilled flippers who intend to practice a few new tricks. For them and even for beginners, the smoothness of a butterfly trainer is crucial.
Regardless of whether you are a starter or an expert, get yourself a balisong trainer that can perform tricks smoothly. This is one of the characteristics of the best balisong trainer.
As a thumb rule, a smooth rotation results in the desired flipping performance easily. In fact, the smoother it is, the more enhanced is the flipping result.
Beginners and kids may end up harming themselves while using a longer or heftier butterfly trainer. Despite no sharp edges, heavy balisong trainers are likely to hurt the user’s hand.
While buying a balisong trainer for kids, consider the body size and age. The best butterfly trainer for them and beginners in terms of safety are those made of plastic.
The hand’s size and strength, and experience determine the trainer knife’s level of safety. For example, experienced fans with strong and big hands will find it easy to flip a big and heavy balisong trainer.
Butterfly trainers, unlike actual balisongs, are ideal for those who want to learn to flip safely and legally. Not all balisong trainers are perfect. So, the best balisong trainer is the one that fits well in the user’s hand, delivers smooth rotations for flipping performance, and lasts long.
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.