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Small, fast, and powerful are the best terms to explain flipper knives. They have been with us since the 80s, and we can see that popularity has increased ever since. Best flipper knives can withstand a lot of stress, stay small and compact, and at the same time can be used for various purposes. For instance, you can carry one while hunting, use it for opening packages, or as an everyday carry accessory. We have put together reviews of our favorite flipper pocket knives and a guide to help you choose the right one.
What is a flipper knife, and is it legal?
Flipper knives are folding knives that provide fast, one-handed access and operation. It features a small tab called flippers on the blade, which with your index finger, you can push to open quickly. The mechanism could be manual or spring-assisted opening.
Flipper tab knives are generally legal, regardless of the state or country you live in. However, remember that they must not be transported through customs or carried in government facilities, schools, etc.
Top Flipper Knives in 2023
Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer – Best Flipper Knife
Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer Folding Knife is a very desirable model. It is strong, durable, well-made, and has some unique features. Yes, it is pricey but worthy, and we consider this model the best flipper knife on the list.
CPM 20 CV steel
The blade is made from CPM 20 CV steel which is super-strong and can maintain its sharpness for an extended period. The satin finish makes it look stunning, and you can enjoy the craftsmanship each time you see it.
Carbon fiber and titanium handle
Besides a great blade, you also get a great handle. This unit is made from a mixture of carbon fiber and titanium. Carbon fiber is used for the front side and titanium for the backside. These two materials are known for exceptional strength and can withstand almost anything.
Switchable belt clip
The belt clip can be placed on the left or right side of the knife. You can complete the entire process within a few seconds by undoing a screw and moving the belt clip. It may be a small addition, but it is a useful utility.
- Carbon fiber and titanium handle
- Strong steel
- Movable belt clip
- Time-consuming sharpening
Kershaw Knockout Pocket Knife – Best Flipper Knife for the Money
Kershaw Knockout is a slim unit that is appreciated for its blade strength, attention to detail, and overall value for money. Kershaw Knockout is one of the best affordable flipper knives out there in the market.
The locking mechanism is known as a sub-frame lock, and it means that it is located inside a handle. We love this design because it makes a knife slim and more appealing. At the same time, the mechanism is strong and reliable.
The blade of this Kershaw flipper is made from stainless steel, and it is super-strong. However, the stonewash finish makes it significantly different from other models. The finish makes the blade immune to fingerprints and stains and makes it look nicer than usual.
3.2 inches blade length
This length is one of the most popular today. People choose knives of this length because they aren’t too big or too small. We can add that the dimensions are just right. We believe you will be satisfied with this factor as well. Kershaw knockout is one of the small flipper knives available in the market.
- Value for money
- Sub-frame lock
- Stonewash addition
- Belt clip design (adjustable in 4 positions)
- The material of the belt clip
CRKT Carson M16-14ZSF
Created by Kit Carson and built with safety and stability in mind, this knife is likely to impress with its design and quality standards.
Auto-Lock Safety Feature
This flipper knife has an automated liner safety feature for a great lock and handguard protection, which prevents the blade from folding while using it.
Stainless Steel blade
The flipper knife has a super sharp tip and an excellent edge. Part of the edge comes with triple point serrations – easy to cut through fibrous materials. It is made of stainless steel and measures 3.88 inches – longer than average in this price range.
Glass Reinforced Nylon Handle
The 5.38 inch long handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon. It features a solid design. It has a few holes in it – a matter of design, but also to ensure a firmer grip.
- Lightweight profile
- Superfast blade deployment
- Comfortable to hold
- Sturdy and well balanced
- Good looking design
- The belt clip feels a bit fragile for the weight of this knife
Zero Tolerance 0470 Dmitry Sinkevich Flipper Knife
Made in the USA and featuring Zero Tolerance’s high-quality standards, this flipper knife will surprise you with its capabilities.
CPM 20CV stainless steel
The blade measures 3.4 inches. It is made of CPM 20CV stainless steel. It is a drop point blade with a super sharp edge – easy to sharpen too. Other than that, the blade has a beautiful two-tone finish – stonewash and satin.
It has a KVT ball-bearing system, a titanium clip, handguard protection, instant blade deployment, and a refined appearance. In addition, it only weighs 3.3 ounces.
Titanium and Carbon Fiber Handle
Measuring 4.4 inches, the handle is just as attractive. It is a bit textured, so it will never slip out of your hand. Plus, it is based on titanium and marbled carbon fiber. As a result, it is light, durable, and comfortable to hold.
- Stunning design
- Superior materials
- Good sizing proportions
- Well balanced
- Solid opening mechanism
- Blade deployment might require some extra effort to open at times
Smith & Wesson Black Ops SWBLOP3 Spring Assisted Flipper Knife
When searching for a budget flipper knife, it is almost impossible to go wrong with a Smith & Wesson knife.
It is durable and built to last, but it also looks rough. You can depend on it. This flipper knife features a 3.4-inch blade and weighs just under five ounces.
4034 high carbon stainless steel
The blade is made of 4034 black oxide high carbon stainless steel. Not only is it rust and corrosion-resistant, but it will also provide excellent edge retention – sharpening is fairly simple too. The knife has a sharp tip, a super sharp edge, and a few serrations on the other side of the blade.
The handle is made of aluminum. It is textured for a nonslip experience. It comes with a pocket clip for easy access, ambidextrous thumbs, an actuator, and the MAGIC-assisted opening technology.
- Well proportioned
- Built to last
- Secure applications
- Ambidextrous uses
- The belt clip is super tight
Best Front Flipper Knives
Front flipper knives have been gaining a lot of steam in the knife community since the introduction in 2017 by Kizer Feist. Boker, Real steel, and many other manufacturers jumped into the ship and released multiple models.
Front flippers work similarly to other flippers, but the deploying mechanism is comparatively simple. To deploy the blade, you need a sweep of the thumb instead of using a finger.
The front flip mechanism invention is attributed to a South African knifemaker named Fanie Le Grange. They call the mechanism’ lip opener’.
Here is our list of top front flipper knives available on Amazon
Kizer Feist Ki3499 Front Flipper
Kizer Cutlery Justin Lundquist Feist Ki3499 is a titanium-handled folding knife with a 2.8 blade and a front flipper for quick deployment. The solid build and easy opening system make this knife perfect for work or play. This lightweight everyday carry (EDC) piece is small enough to fit in your pocket but large enough to get the job done. This high-quality knife will not disappoint with its sleek style and comfortable grip. This high-quality knife will not disappoint!
Kizer Cutlery Front Flipper Justin Lundquist Feist Ki3499 has great design aspects such as smooth rounded titanium handles with subtle finger divots on the handle where your fingers rest; an overall, well-thought-out ergonomic design that fits comfortably in hand. In addition, the blade is made of CPM-S35VN steel, which is designed to last, providing exceptional edge retention and corrosion resistance.
KATSU Front Flipper Knife
KATSU Front Flipper Knife is a beautiful, sharp, and strong knife. The blade is 3.9 inches long with excellent VG-10 steel that will not break easily! It includes thumb notches for opening the knife with one hand fast and smoothly. The frame lock on this KATSU Front Flipper Knife assures that the blade stays in place while open, making it easy to close too! This titanium pocket clip also ensures that you never lose your knife by attaching it securely to your belt loop or bag strap!
How to Choose the Best E.D.C. Flipper Knives for you
Many flipper knives are available on the market, just like the few we listed above. Regardless it’s good to know what to look for in a good flipper knife.
Source: Matus Kalisky
The material of the blade
The first thing you will want to keep your eye on is the material of the steel. The best and most common option is stainless steel, and we highly recommend it. This blade won’t rust; it is immune to stains and relatively easy to sharpen and maintain.
Carbon steel is a bit different. It is stronger looks better (for some users), but it makes a knife more expensive, and sharpening is more complicated and time-consuming. You will need a particular machine or a lot of time to keep the blade sharp.
The material of the handle
As you would expect, a flipper knife has a handle, which represents 50% of the entire unit. It is essential to add that the handle must be well-made and must withstand a lot of stress.
The inner elements must be made from steel, as well. It is mandatory to ensure the blade remains away from your hand. The exterior can be made from wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Always look for reinforced fiberglass or aluminum.
Size of a blade
A blade can be anywhere between 2 and 6 inches in length. We prefer smaller sizes because they make a knife more compact and usable in different situations. At the same time, these knives are safer to use but very convenient. Be free to choose any length you like.
If you are getting an automatic or assisted model, you will need a safety lock. This is an additional mechanism that will prevent the blade from activation. Usually, it is a lever-based system that locks the blade when unfolded.
If you are a beginner and this is your first “blade,” we advise you to get a unit with a safety lock. It is added safety you can use when needed and doesn’t ad cost to the knife.
When choosing a flipper knife, one of the main goals is to keep the weight as low as possible. Users like small and practical knives that are lightweight and easy to carry. We can see that the weight starts at 3 ounces and can reach 10 ounces. Between 3 and 6 ounces are a sweet spot and the best choice.
Additional features include a glass breaker, bottle opener, or belt cutter. It is unlikely to find a knife of this type with all the other features we mentioned. However, the chances are high that you will find a unit with at least one or maybe two of these features.
They are nice to have, making a knife more usable and more effective when you need it. You will never know that you need a glass breaker or belt cutter until too late. We recommend you to get a unit with one of these two features.
You can get a knife with a belt clip or without. Models without having a slimmer and more desirable design look better. However, they are more complicated to transport and carry. You must place it in your pocket.
The flipper knives with belt clips are extremely easy to carry with you at all times. If you carry the knife every day, we recommend you get a unit with this addition. You can remove it if you don’t need it.
The budget is a critical part. That’s why in the list of top knives we covered, we have included the best flipper knives under 50 USD,100 USD, and even 200 USD and above.
One of the best flipper knives you can possibly find today and the one we liked the most is Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer Folding Knife. Thanks to the titanium handle, strong blade, and adjustable clip, it gets 10 out of 10. An impressive score if you ask us. The knife is stunning and will last for decades without any issues. Of course, if you are looking for a different design of added features, check out the other four models. Each one is special in its way.
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.