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Small, fast, and powerful are the best terms used to explain flipper knives. They have been with us since the 80s, and we can see that popularity has been increasing 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 it 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. Keep in mind that they must not be transported through customs or carried in government facilities, schools, etc.
Top Flipper Knives in 2021
Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer Folding Knife – Best Flipper Knife
Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer Folding Knife is a very desirable model. It is strong, durable, well-made, and it has some special advantages. 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 the fact they can withstand almost anything.
Switchable belt clip
The belt clip can be placed on the left or right side of the knife. The entire process can be completed within a few seconds, by undoing a screw and moving the belt clip. It may be a small addition, but it has a useful utility.
- Carbon fiber and titanium handle
- Strong steel
- Movable belt clip
- Time-consuming sharpening
Spyderco Southard G-10 Black/Titanium Plain Edge Knife – Best Spyderco Flipper
Spyderco Southard is a great flipper knife you can buy today. It is made for two reasons specifically. To be strong and to endure all the actions you want to use it for. The knife is based on the latest technology and has a lot to offer a lot of features we like.
The blade is TiCN coated, which is the main reason why it is dark in color and why it looks different than other blades you can find today. This coating makes it more immune to stains, scratches, and damages. The blade doesn’t require any special equipment to be sharpened.
Yes, a handle is one of the essential elements of each knife. In the case of flipper tab knives, it is even more important than you may believe. This handle is a bit special, and it is seen only on high-end knives that are made for the toughest challenges.
The handle of this Spyderco flipper is made from titanium. This material is harder than steel and is used for items and elements where strength is a must. You will be impressed the first time you use this knife.
Developed cooperation with Brad Southard
Thanks to Brad Southard, the knife in question is known for extreme strength, durability, and overall form. Don’t forget that even the harshest usages and situations won’t damage your new knife.
- Developed in cooperation with Brad Southard
- Titanium handle
- Blade coating
- Complicated to flip
Kershaw Knockout Pocket Knife – Cheap Flipper Knife
The last model on our list is a bit different. It is a slim unit that is appreciated for the 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 due to the fact they aren’t too big nor 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
Auto-Lock Safety Feature
This flipper knife has an automated liner safety feature for a great lock, as well as 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 handle is based on glass-reinforced nylon. It features a solid design. It has a few holes in it – a matter of design, but also to ensure a stronger grip. The handle measures 5.38 inches.
- Lightweight profile
- Superfast blade deployment
- Comfortable to hold
- Sturdy and well balanced
- Good looking design
- Belt clip feels a bit fragile for the weight of this knife
Zero Tolerance 0470 Dmitry Sinkevich Flipper Knife
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 for maintenance too. Other than that, the blade has a beautiful two-tone finish – stonewash and satin. Avoid cleaning the knife in a dishwasher though.
It has a KVT ball-bearing system, a titanium clip, handguard protection, instant blade deployment, and a refined appearance. 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. 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
CRKT Tighe Tac Two Tanto
Designed for right-handed people and excellent in terms of value for money, this flipper knife has a rugged design and is built to last. Given its sturdy profile, it is great for a wide variety of applications. It feels stable and well-balanced as well.
8Cr13MoV stainless steel
The knife has a tanto blade made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel – 60 HRC. It has impressive corrosion resistance and it will never rust. Both the tip and the edge are sharp, so be careful when you unpack it. Other than that, the blade is fairly simple to sharpen over time.
The FRN handle looks rugged and has an unusual shape. It has a few corners, as well as handguard protection. It is easy and comfy to hold, but it is also textured – nonslip profile. It is 4.7 inches in length – just 3.4 inches for the blade.
- Well put together
- Rugged and durable design
- Nonslip surface
- Super sharp
- Good corrosion resistance
- Not the best option for left-handed people
Smith & Wesson Black Ops Spring Assisted Flipper 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 M.A.G.I.C. 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 in Amazon
- Real Steel G5 metamorph – Cheap front flipper knife
How to Choose the Best EDC Flipper Knives for you
There are many flipper knives 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 be able to 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 more 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.
One of the main goals when choosing a flipper knife 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 refer to a glass breaker, bottle opener, or belt cutter. It is unlikely to find a knife of this type that has all the other features we mentioned. The chances are high that you will find a unit that has at least one or maybe two of these features.
They are nice to have, and they make 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 it is 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 and 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 single day, we recommend you to get a unit with this addition. You can remove it if you don’t need it.
The budget is the most important part. That’s why in the list of top knives we covered, we have included best flipper knives under 50 USD and best flipper knives under 100 USD
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.