Best OTF Knife in 2020 – Single Action & Double Action OTF Knives

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OTF knives are a truly remarkable type of blade that is rare, unique and performs like no other. However, all of this means that they are a bit difficult to acquire, especially if you want top-notch quality and performance. Luckily for you, we will help you find the best OTF knife according to your budget.

Click Here to Find Out Our Favorite Affordable OTF Knife 

Contents show

What are OTF knives, and are they legal?

OTF stands for out the front, and it refers to the mechanism a knife uses to deploy the blade. In simpler terms, the OTF knife is a type of switchblade where the blade itself comes out from the front. A significant difference compared to standard switchblades, which comes out to the side. OTF knives are also known as sliding knives.

The best OTF knife should be a powerful and versatile tool that can be used for self-defense, hunting, cutting, and anything else you can think of. Thanks to the blade deployment, the knife will be small, lightweight, and powerful.

Now you know that OTF knives are a type of automatic / switchblade, and you can deduce that the same rules and regulations apply to them. In the United States, only six states consider these knives completely illegal. Some have restrictions on the blade length as well.

You may also find some assisted opening OTF knives these days. These knives have a lesser legal restriction compared to automatic OTF knives.

Refer to the image taken from AKTI.org for more details on the legality of automatic OTF knives.

Automatic Knife Laws

2020’s Best OTF Knives

Note: We have considered only affordable OTF knives. Because of this, we have not added OTF knives from Microtech or Benchmade to this list. We have covered the best out the front knives from Benchmade in the next section. A section on Microtech OTF knives will be added soon. This list also only covers automatic OTF knives. We have a separate section for assisted opening OTF knives.

Venom 3TR Combat Out the Front Knife -Best OTF double action knife for the money

Venom Tactical 3TR Military Combat Knife - Tanto Partial Serrated Edge - USA - Top Performance 2020

Venom 3TR is the best OTF automatic knife you can buy from Amazon.

Rapid Deployment

The mechanism may look standard, but it is far from that. It is faster and smoother than most other models have and optimized explicitly for advanced usages. You will understand why the first time you use the knife. It feels special.

There is no need to add that a mechanism is a heavy-duty unit that can withstand rain, sand, mud, or anything else, and it will stay 100% functional. Only the best components are used.

Tanto Double edge

Another reason why we believe this is a high-end knife is the blade of length 3.9 Inches. Obviously, it is made from durable D2 steel like a Benchmade OTDF and it will maintain its sharpness perfectly, but it is also double-edged. One edge comes with partial serration. The maintenance required is slightly above average.

Tested before delivery

Each knife is made in the United States, and it is properly tested before delivery. We loved this small addition, and we know that it is a game-changer for some users. After all, you will be creating that the knife you ordered is functional to the smallest point.

Pros:

  • Double edge with D2 steel
  • Rapid Deployment
  • Each unit is tested
  • Comes with a tactical glass breaker, reversible pocket clip, and tactical nylon pouch.

Cons:

  • Relatively Expensive
Click here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon

 

Venom 2TR Tiger Z knife is also similar but features a straight edge.

Viper Tec Ghost – Best Budget OTF Knife under 100$

Viper Tec Ghost OTF TantoCompact design – Viper Tec’s knife may seem fragile and soft at a first glance. However, it is stable, solid and well put together. It is the ideal knife if you want a full-size unit without having to deal with the weight and bulk. It is suitable for all kinds of applications – great for hunting, survival, adventure, and other outdoor activities.

Super sharp blade – The ghost knife can take a beating. It features a 440C steel razor-sharp blade measuring 3.5 inches in length. The blade is available in double edge, tanto, and half-serrated blades. The tip is extremely sharp too – careful when you unpack it.

Comfortable handle – The zinc alloy handle is ergonomic and comfortable to hold. It features a thumb stud for an immediate opening, while the other end of the handle has a glass breaker pommel. There are six screws on the handle to keep the blade stable.

Available in different styles and Colors –  The knife is also available in black, blue, and grey color handles. You will also find versions of this knife in various blade colors and blade styles. There are Damascus steel and American steel versions of this knife with the Tanto style as well. There are also mini versions of this knife available in double edge or tanto blade styles, which features a 2.7-inch blade that is 25% cheaper.

Pros

  • Available in double edge, tanto, and half serrated blades
  • Easy to open and close
  • Durable materials
  • Razor-sharp
  • Comfortable to use
  • Lifetime warranty and two free maintenance per year.

Cons

  • Balance is a little off due to its lightweight profile
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Viper Tec Black Reaper – Best OTF Switchblade from ViperTec

ViperTec Reaper OTF KnifeSimplistic design – Viper Tec’s Black Reaper will not let you down. Designed like a classic packaging cutter, this knife becomes a full-size unit when fully open. The blade measures 3.5 inches, while the handle is about five inches long. It has a sliding opening mechanism for easy maneuverability and quick actions.

Durable blade – The blade can take lots of stress without showing any signs of wear and tear. You have a straight blade made of 440C steel, which is hard and can retain its sharpness for ages. The tip is sharp as well, while the two edges are easy to sharpen over time.

Comfy handle – The handle is based on zinc alloy. The opening mechanism allows ambidextrous uses, while the other side features a clip. Six screws keep the unit in place, while the rough surface ensures the knife will never slip out of your hands.

Pros

  • Build to last
  • Easy to open and close
  • Glass breaker pommel
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Excellent blade
  • Lifetime warranty and two free maintenance per year.

Cons

  • The handle might feel a bit too small for those with large hands
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Viper Tec Black Zedd – Budget Damascus Steel OTF Knife

Viper Tec Zedd Damascus OTF KnifeStyle and build – The Black Zed is built with three elements in mind. It is safe to carry and operate. It is built to last and finally, it comes with quality materials that will support you anywhere, anytime. The unit is designed like a pocket knife, but it becomes a full-size knife when opened.

Great blade – The blade is built for heavy-duty uses. It is 3.5 inches in length and features Damascus steel – great looks, even greater capabilities. You can opt for a double edge or a tango edge. No matter what you want, the blade is razor sharp out of the box.

Handle – The mechanism is based on a slider, meaning you can open or close the knife whether you are left or right-handed. A clip ensures easy transportation. It is based on zinc alloy and a bit of carbon fiber. The bottom end features a glass breaker pommel.

Pros

  • Good looking blade
  • More options for the blade design
  • Skinny and compact style
  • Durable materials
  • Ambidextrous uses
  • Lifetime warranty and two free maintenance per year.

Cons

  • The clip might feel a bit too tight
Check Price and Reviews on Viper Tec

 

HK Double Action Knife – Best OTF knife under $50

HK Double Action Knives Outdoor Tactical Knife Blade Black Hunting KnifeAre you looking for an economical but reliable OTF knife for the first time? If yes, then this knife from HK could be your best choice. There is not much to play with the blade due to its minimal profile. However, it is yet a functional one! and as you guessed right, similar to the infamous Microtech OTF knives.

The blade is quite sharp. Its quick deployment and retraction mechanism are truly tight. The blade closes and opens smoothly with a solid click but does not result in an accidental opening at the time of being clipped or dropped.

The clip is held onto the knife via the integrated glass breaker without any screws. The exterior has a non-slippery rubber-like layer that is thick to stay there for a long time. The blade is released to the clip’s opposite side and faces downward. Thus, when clipped, no waste goes inside.

Pros

  • Visual appeal
  • Razor-sharp
  • Sturdy build
  • No loud spring vibration
  • Comfortable
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Nothing is identified yet.
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

Ku Outdoor Double Action Safety Knife

Ku Outdoor Double Action Safety Tactical Hunting KnifeStrong Plastic Material – Even though it is lightweight, the knife is made of a sturdy plastic material. Aside from that, it has complimenting colors of black and red. These features make it intimidating to look at, and it does the same thing when you are holding it thanks to its gritty feel.

Smooth Knife Transition – The knife smoothly slides out of its compartment whenever you are using it. When you are done, it also retracts the same way.

Heavy Duty Blade – The blade is made of stainless steel material, and it has a strong design applied to it. Adding to that, seven aesthetic holes are punched through the middle area of the blade. This makes it more interesting to look at and to use.

Easy to Use – For you to use the knife, you need to push and pull a simple trigger just like any other OTF knife.

Pros:

  • Comfortable handle
  • Anti-slip material
  • Quick blade transition
  • Sharp and sturdy blade

Cons:

  • Cheap manufacturing
  • Light structure
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

UPKK Single Action Knife – Best Single Action OTF

UPKK Outdoor Single Action Safety Tactical Hunting Knife 4 (Without Safety)

Heavy Structure – This knife has a really heavy structure that complements its entire look. It’s a bit longer than most knives, so if you are holding it, you will feel as if you are holding a kitchen knife. It looks similar to the Halo V knife from Microtech and employs the same mechanism of blade deployment and retraction.

Well-Designed Blade – The well-designed blade resembles a katana-like look. If you wanted to feel like a samurai, you can do it with this handy little tool. Just pop it out of its sheath and you are good to go.

Ergonomic Handle – Aside from looking like a katana, its ergonomic handle makes you feel like you’re holding one too. It is lightweight, but it does its job well. It is also durable, so you don’t have to worry about it suddenly collapsing within your hands, especially while you are doing hardcore activities.

Pros:

  • Heavy duty blade
  • Intimidating design
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Excellent manufacturing

Cons:

  • Long structure
  • Not easily retractable
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IVTT XIEWENHEIDAN Knife – Best Cheap OTF Knife

IVTT XIEWENHEIDAN Double Action Single Blade KnifeExcellent Design – The design of this knife is remarkable. It has a dark black color handle. The aesthetic cracks make the handle look like a chunk of wood, but when you touch it, it’s still smooth.

Straight Edge Blade – The blade is of length 3.5 inches and thickness of .11 inches.

Gripped Ergonomic Handle – Aside from the good design, its handle is also made of gripping materials. It is also ergonomic, which means it is comfortable to use. The gripped portion enables you to hold it firmly, ensuring that it won’t accidentally slip off your hand.

Heavy Duty Manufacturing – Overall, you will see that the knife is made with heavy-duty materials. The manufacturing is also well done, and you will prove that when you get to hold the knife itself.

Pros:

  • Semi-serrated blade
  • Gripped handle
  • Excellent manufacturing
  • Heavy duty and artistic design

Cons:

  • Blade retraction problems
  • Too bulky for some
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Best Benchmade OTF Knives

The above list comprises only affordable OTF knives with most of them costs less than 100$ and some are in the range of $100 – $150. In contrast, Benchmade OTF knives will cost you north of $400, and it would be unfair to put them on the same list. This is the reason we decided to have separate sections for high-end OTF knives.

Benchmade Infidel OTF Knife

Benchmade Infidel OTFHeavy-duty design – Benchmade’s Infidel range has grown to become one of the most appreciated options on the market. This model comes with a beautiful blue design, solid handle, full-size blade, and extreme durability. The handle comes with multiple screws to hold the whole system in place.

Multiple uses – With a blade measuring just under four inches in length, this OTF knife can turn into a full-size knife for all kinds of activities – hunting, indoor repairs, survival, tactical, and so on. You have ambidextrous uses and a dagger style blade with two edges and a sharp tip.

Superior materials – The blade is based on CPM-S30V steel. It features a black coating and razor-sharp edges, as well as corrosion resistance. The handle is made of anodized aluminum. It has a nonslip surface and a smooth opening mechanism for emergencies.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Great for more applications
  • Ambidextrous uses
  • Feels sturdy and solid
  • Double-edged blade
  • Available in different colors

Cons

  • The pocket clip feels too tight
Check Price and Reviews on Viper Tec

 

Benchmade Mini Infidel

Benchmade Mini InfidelIdeal sizing – Designed to be carried inside the pocket, this tactical OTF knife comes with a 3.1-inch blade and a handle measuring about four inches. It also comes with a clip, on one side, so you can hook it by your belt.

Durable blade – OTF knives do not have a good reputation when it comes to their durability, but this model stands out in the crowd. It features a spear point blade made of stainless steel. It has a 60-62 RC hardness and a black finish. The edge is super sharp and plain.

OTF mechanism – Opening and closing the knife is fairly simple. It comes with ambidextrous uses – simply slide the blade out and enjoy its superior tactical purpose. Many screws are holding the sliding mechanism together, so the blade will never go wobbling.

Pros

  • Durable design
  • Smooth operation
  • Super sharp blade
  • Multiple uses
  • Well put together

Cons

  • Clip might feel a bit too tight
Check Price and Reviews on Viper Tec

 

Benchmade Autocrat

Benchmade AutocratQuality – You could never go wrong with this OTF knife. Designed like a classic cutter, it will put out a quality dagger blade that makes it suitable for all kinds of applications. The knife features one-hand deployment, whether you are left or right-handed. It also comes with a pocket clip for storage.

Excellent blade – The blade measures 3.71 inches. It has a double edge and a super sharp tip – after all, it carries a dagger style. It is made of  CPM-S30V, which has impressive edge retention and good resistance against corrosion.

Top-notch handle – This is Benchmade’s first OTF knife featuring the innovative G10 handle. It is ergonomic, durable, and good looking. It is about four inches in length and comes with a textured surface to prevent slipping accidents.

Pros

  • G10 handle
  • Durable overall
  • Beautiful design
  • Dagger style blade
  • Features a pocket clip

Cons

  • Only available in one design
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Best Assisted Opening OTF Knives

Most OTF knives are automatic. Hence in some states, they are illegal or need to adhere to blade length restrictions. Assisted opening OTFs are boon to people who like the out the front knife concept but can’t have an out the front auto, for whatever reason.

S&W and Schrade have produced spring-assisted OTF knives that are legal across the states of the United States.

Smith & Wesson M&P Assisted Opening Knife

S&W M&P Assisted Opening OTF

Smith & Wesson M&P knife is probably the best OTF knife if you are interested in an assisted opening version. It is 8.07″ long and features a 3.74″ blade.

Assisted opening deployment single-action mechanism

The difference is in the retractable operating method. You deploy the blade, as usual, using a thumb-slide after unlocking safety. But when you want to retract it, you can use the blade release and pull the lever down. Make sure your fingers do not come in the way of the lever for faster blade deployment.

It is different from the single-action mechanisms employed by Halo VI or UPKK knife listed above. I personally prefer this blade retraction technique compared to the Halo VI technique.

AUS-8 stainless steel

AUS-8 stainless steel is a common material for most knives. It is sturdy, rust-resistant, and it can be used for all kinds of applications. The steel is reasonably lightweight, which makes it ideal for OTF knives.

Spear blade

The blade has a spear point, and we prefer this design. It makes the blade deadlier and more appealing to use. At the same time, it makes usage effortless, which isn’t the case with dull blade points. The point is extremely sharp.

Pros:

  • Safety lock
  • AUS-8 stainless steel
  • Spear blade
  • Affordable
  • Available in grey and flat dark earth color

Cons:

  • Single action mechanism
  • Handle feels cheap
Check Price and Reviews on ViperTec

 

Schrade Viper 3, OTF – Best budget assisted OTF knife

Schrade Viper 3 OTF Black Handle Bead Blast Blade Serrated

Schrade Viper 3, OTF, is a worthy alternative to all models mentioned above. We liked the sleek design and the blade. The knife feels solid and strong, but it is also very light. The mechanism is above average, and the price is very affordable.

Safety lock

You will want to hear about the safety mechanism. It is mounted on the back of the knife, and it is effortless to use. The mechanism is reliable, as it should be, and can be activated with a single hand, although you will need some time to get used to it.

Black design

There is no need to explain this but stunning. The design of this Schrade OTF knife is excellent. Both the blade and the handle are black, and the knife feels and looks like a weapon, despite the fact it is a small switchblade.

We hope to see this model in different colors soon. It will make it more versatile and probably add importance to it. At the moment, only the black version is available, and it may be the best choice for most of you.

Advanced sharpness

The blade is slightly different than the others we tested. It is perfectly sharp, and it will cut through anything. It is also made from durable steel and immune to rust and corrosion. Be careful while using the knife, and always read the manual before you start.

Maintenance is kept to the minimum standard for all stainless steel blades.

Pros:

  • Sharpness
  • Safety mechanism
  • Value for money
  • Ideal size

Cons:

  • Single action mechanism
  • One-color only

Update: not available on Amazon anymore

 

Smith & Wesson® SWOTF9TB Assisted Opening OTF

SA&W SWOTF9TB OTFSmith & Wesson’s SWOTF9TB is very similar to the M&P version except for the design. It is also available in a few different options. You can get it with a straight edge, as well as a partially serrated edge. You can also opt for a tanto blade or a spear point alternative.

The knife has a 3.6-inch blade. It is based on AUS 8 steel, but it has a durable coating just like the M&P version. It is easy to sharpen and look after, yet it is razor sharp out of the box. The steel is rust and corrosion resistant, so maintenance will never be an issue.

The handle is about five inches in length. It is easy to open and benefits from opening assistance. Blade deployment is almost instant. One of the sides features a long pocket clip too, so you can keep it in your pocket or by your belt.

Pros

  • Quick blade deployment
  • Multiple options for the blade
  • Nonreflective dark appearance
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Lightweight profile

Cons

  • Blade coating might go off overtime
Check Price and Reviews on ViperTec

 

Best Mini OTF Knives in the Market

As the name suggests mini OTF knives are tiny knives with the out the front mechanism. These knives are so small and can be put in your keychain. Mini OTF knife blades are mostly under 2 inches hence, in most states, these are legal, unlike the standard OTF knives. If you are looking for other types of keychain knives read this.

IVTT Exocet Red Double Action Knife – Best Mini OTF Knife

IVTT Exocet red Double Action KnifeCompact Design – If you are used to bigger ones, you will need to adjust with this blade. It has a compact design, which means it only has one purpose: to cut. It is not advisable to use this knife for self-defense since you might cut yourself.

Flashy Red Color – Along with its small design, the knife has a flashy red color. This makes it possible for you to easily spot it in the dark. It is also helpful if you accidentally placed this among your other tools.

Small Heavy Duty Blade – Despite its small size, you will feel that its blade is durable and sharp. You can easily eject it and use it for minor activities while you are going on outdoor adventures.

Sturdy Steel Clamp – The sturdy clamp on this knife allows you to stick it in your belt loop, bag loop, or maybe along the garter of your pants. You don’t have to worry about losing it, because the clamp has a tight hold.

Pros:

  • Easy to spot
  • Compact
  • Sharp and durable blade
  • Sturdy clamp

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other mini OTF knives in the list
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

Strix RHK-1 – Cheap Mini OTF Knife

STRIX RHK-1 Mini OTF Pocket Knife - Replaceable blades - Magnet Closure - Only 10 grams! - Rugged Aluminum body - Micro Lightweight

Small and compact design – Available in a compact size and a lightweight profile, this pocket knife is excellent when you need a blade in any circumstance. It weighs not more than 10 grams and measures 45×7 millimeters.

Durable materials – The blade is razor-sharp, so be careful when you try it out. It is easily replaceable if it goes dull over time, yet it is likely to last for years. After all, you are not going to use it for everyday tasks. Furthermore, the casing is made of rugged aluminum.

Convenient design – The blade works like a classic cutter. You slide it out, use it, and slide it back in, so you can store it safely in your pocket. Other than that, the knife comes with a keyring, so you can also keep it with your keys.

Pros

  • Easy to replace the blade
  • Compact design
  • Lightweight profile
  • Comes with a keyring

Cons

  • No lock for the blade
  • Difficult to find a replacement blade
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Gearz Mini Keychain Double Action

Gearz Mini Keychain Double Action Knives (Carbon Fiber Tanto w/Clip)Multipurpose profile – This knife is more than just a sharp blade. It also makes a good firecracker knife, not to mention the keyring. It might be wiser to keep it attached to your keys to avoid losing it due to its compact size.

Appearance and style – The knife is tiny but large enough for a plethora of different tasks. It measures 5.25 inches overall. The blade is 1.875 inches long, so you can use it for all kinds of activities even in California or Nevada. It is hydro dipped in a carbon fiber pattern for good looks and durability.

Sharpness – The blade is razor-sharp. Try it out on a useless item around you, but remember – it can hurt you if you do not pay attention while you use it. Since you are less likely to use it daily for random tasks, the blade does not require sharpening.

Pros

  • Compact appearance
  • Good looking design
  • Retains its sharpness for ages
  • Firecracker and keyring
  • Available with and without the clip

Cons

  • Finding replacement blades could be difficult
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Best Karambit OTF Knives

Karambit knives originated from Indonesia. It has a blade design that resembles the claws of a tiger. It was originally an agricultural implement but later evolved into a weapon. The modern versions are mainly useful for self-defense, prepping, and survival and can have folding blades with various deploying mechanisms, unlike the original fixed blade designs.

Here are 3 Karambit OTF knives you can consider for tactical purposes.

Hendrix Gear Karambit D/A OTF – Best Karambit OTF Knife Overall

Hendrix Gear Karambit OTFThis OTF knife features two modes. It goes as a karambit knife too, but it makes an excellent OTF unit as well. It is well put together and features a solid CNC construction, meaning it is precise and stable. The finish is flawless.

The operating mechanism is extremely fast and well balanced. The hawkbill blade will shoot out almost instantly. Everything is curved, so the blade will follow the curvature of the handle. It is made of steel and measures 2.75 inches in length. The edge and tip are super sharp.

The handle is based on aviation aluminum – anodized T6061. It is just over five inches in length and has a textured surface – less likely to slip out of your hand. Besides, it has a retention ring and a durable pocket clip.

Pros

  • Lightweight – just four ounces
  • Quality materials
  • Convenient curves
  • Retention ring
  • Quick blade deployment

Cons

  • The pocket clip could have been a bit longer
  • Expensive
Check Price and Reviews on ViperTec

 

VT Karambit D/A OTF – Value for Money Knife

VT karambit OTFVT’s Karambit OTF knife is fully automatic and ergonomic. It is comfortable to use in all kinds of applications – both forward and reverse – and can become a proper extension of your arm. Everything about this knife involves curves – in the perfect places.

The handle comes with a retention ring at the end for extra stability. It is made of zinc alloy – good looking, durable, and strong. Even if the knife is closed, the handle could be a solid tool. It is curved, ergonomic, and measures six inches. It has a pocket clip and comes with carbon fiber inlays.

The blade is just as attractive – three inches in length and a stainless steel design with a stonewash finish. It has a flat edge and a sharp tip. It is easy to keep clean and will never rust. Plus, sharpening it is fairly simple.

Pros

  • Good sizing standards
  • Excellent curves
  • Retention ring
  • Good looking design
  • Durable materials

Cons

  • The pocket clip feels a bit too tight
Check Price and Reviews on ViperTec

 

MCE OTF Double Action Claw Knife  – Cheap Karambit OTF Knife

MCE Claw Knife Double Action Knives Dual Edge Blade Black Hunting KnifeErgonomic Design – This knife has an excellent ergonomic design that looks extremely cool. When you hold this in your hand, you will feel as if you are holding just any other karambit. This is quite helpful when it comes to self-defense.

Carbon Fiber Material – This knife is primarily made of durable plastic material. However, the amazing thing about this is that it has a touch of carbon fiber in the middle area. That’s why it looks and feels light.

Small Sharp Blade – The karambit look took a turn at this knife’s blade. Since the blade is small, you will tend to feel a bit off when using it. You don’t have to worry though, since it is still a sharp thing.

Handy Finger Hoop – The knife’s handle has a finger hoop by the end of it. You can easily stick your finger in it for a tighter hold.

Pros:

  • Finger hoop for easier handling
  • Small yet durable blade
  • Heavy duty manufacturing
  • Safety feature

Cons:

  • Lightweight and prone to loss
  • Needs force for the blade to come out
  • Cheap
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

 

How to Choose the Best OTF Knife for You

Venom Tiger Z Tactical Combat Knife - Double Edge Tactical Knife - Military EDC ToolAll of us want the best OTF knife only because it will be easy to use, practical, and strong utility. To find and purchase the best unit, we need to consider many things. Let’s discuss those factors.

The material of the blade

The blade is the most critical part of any knife, and OTF models are no different. If the blade is inferior in quality, it is irrelevant which type of handle, additional features, or the price that the unit has. This refers to all knives.

The materials to look for are stainless steel or carbon steel. Any other mixture of metals is weaker and won’t provide excellent performances. This means that the blade will chip, break, and become dull within minutes.

Stainless steel is a cost-effective option. It is easy to get a unit with this metal, it can be very durable, and it will look nice. The maintenance is simple, as well. Carbon steel, on the other hand, is more expensive, stronger, and requires more maintenance. Be free to choose the type of metal you are comfortable with.

Deployment mechanism – Single action vs. Dual-action OTF Knives

Here we have two main types. First of all, the deployment mechanism refers to the system that will deploy the blade from a resting position. A button or lever controls it, and it will activate the blade when pressed.

You can choose between single action and double or dual action mechanisms. A single-action type will be able to deploy the blade only. You need to use manual force to place it back in the handle. A dual-action mechanism will deploy the blade and also retract it in the handle.

We prefer double action OTF knives. They are a bit more expensive, complex to make, prone to malfunction but more useful, easier to use, and safer as well. You risk cuts while retracting the blade manually!.

Example for single action OTF knife: S&W Assisted Opening, MicroTech Halo VI

Example for double action OTF knife: Venom 3TR Combat Knife

Handle

For ordinary knives, the handle can be made from all sorts of materials. After all, it needs to be strong and lightweight. This is partially true with the OTF knives. Yes, a handle should be both of the just mentioned things, but there is a catch.

A handle will be under a lot of stress when using the knife. There are springs inside it, and there are a lot of vibrations. If the weak handle is present on the knife, it will get more vulnerable in the future.

Weak handles can affect the deployment mechanism and can prevent it from operating. They can also break and be unable to protect the user from the blade.

The best handle is made from aluminum. This is a durable metal that is very resistant to vibrations while maintaining the low weight of the knife.

Safety mechanism

A safety mechanism is entirely different than the deployment mechanism we mentioned earlier. In general, it is used as an addition to preventing the blade from accidental deployment, and it deserves your full attention.

If you accidentally open the blade, you can injure yourself due to strong springs present in the action mechanism. A safety mechanism will prevent that, and it is a mandatory feature for all beginners.

Glass breaker

You can find a model with or without this feature. We prefer a model with it because it comes without any drawbacks, yet the glass breaker is there when you need it. You can remove it if you want, but there is no need for that.

A good thing is that most knives of this kind include glass breakers. We can add that they are almost standard with the knives of this caliber.

Tip of the blade

For most of you, the tip of a blade is irrelevant when looking for a new knife. After all, it isn’t something that will significantly change the functionality of a knife. The case with OTF knives is the opposite, and here’s why.

The knife with OTF design will be used to stab an object or anything you want to cut while the action mechanism is deployed. If the tip of the blade is dull, it will fail to inflict the damage. That’s why we recommend you, models, with spear tip design. They are simply the most effective.

Sheath

This is a rare accessory you won’t get with most of the knives available on the market. The reasons for that are obvious. The blade is located inside the handle, so it isn’t exposed. As such, you don’t need a sheath in most cases.

If you still want a sheath, keep in mind that it needs to be suitable for an out the front knife with a closed blade. This is the natural position of the knife, and it should be carried only in this form.

Pocket clip

It is another little feature we like and probably you will as well. A pocket clip is essential, especially if you know that a sheath isn’t included in the package. It will help you transport the knife, and it will be within you at all times.

Conclusion

We were impressed with the quality, the mechanism (double action), and the attention to detail, and the affordable price of the Viper Tec Black Ghost Knife. If you are looking for cheaper alternatives, try OTF knives from S&W or HK.