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Undoubtedly, the highly revered John Wick movies are fabulous series of entertainment. One of the coolest things to observe in the series is the variety of weapons at the disposal of Mr. Wick, Keanu Reeves. If you have ever watched one, you may have wondered what knives are being used in the films.
While Mr. Wick has used many firearms and blades throughout the films, he has even been dependent on his pencil.
Indeed, Keanu Reeves is not the first idol to remember while considering knife-handling heroes. However, like John Wick, Keanu has introduced the Out The Front (OTF) knives from Microtech directly to the bestseller limelight.
For example, the Cypher from Microtech the newest OTF was the knife of John Wick in the third movie series. These knives became famous even among non-knife folks as super tactical and iconic self-defense knives because of the film series. Sounds interesting, right? Let’s learn more about these celebrity knives.
Type of Knives Used in John Wick Films
John Wick movies feature OTF knives made by Microtech. These knives come with a blade lengthening and retracting from a launching hole at the handle’s front along its axis. Upon lengthening, the blade comes out at the handle’s top just like a pen. Upon retracting, the blade conceals itself inside the handle.
For those who do not know, an OTF knife is a type of switchblade, as it automatically deploys the blade with a switch. The opening mechanism operates in the same manner; a button releases the spring’s tension onto the blade for the knife to work.
Although occupying a relatively narrow market share and available in limited quantities from a few brands, these featured OTFs are for a special purpose and have become quite popular due to the media and celebrities showcasing them in the limelight. Certainly, these knives are distinct.
Two types of OTFs exist, which are as follows:
- Single Action: In single action knives, the blade is pushed forward and gets locked in its place. It is also easy to retract the blade by deactivating the lock and moving it manually. There is a strong spring mechanism to disrupt the skin and push the blade such that it can pass through light apparel.
- Double Action: Such a knife automatically retracts as well as deploys its blade using only a button push existing typically on the handle’s side. For this purpose, the knife features a less robust spring that cannot disrupt the skin. The simple, rugged build allows quick deployment of the blade. Even the retracting action is quick so that you can put the blade away as swift as it was deployed. John Wick OTFs belong to this category.
At times, OTFs may seem similar to assisted-opening knives. Well, both these designs are different although many believe them to be identical. An auto knife reflects the open natural position of the blade and is held closed via a spring locking mechanism that is released using a single button press. This press facilitates the spring’s stored energy to push the blade out.
On the other hand, in the case of a spring-assisted knife, the natural position is closed. Further, no pressure is put on the blade that should be deployed manually such as flipping and then assisted using a spring.
Thus, a reliable indicator of whether a knife is an OTF or an assisted opening is the blade’s resting position. If it is open without any obstacle, it is an OTF or a switchblade.
Here is another way to consider: If you can open without putting any pressure on the actual blade, it is an auto knife. This is because an assisted-opening model demands some pressure for the opening mechanism to work.
What Knife is John Wick Using?
As we said, all the John Wick knives are OTF knives from Microtech. The company produces a variety of such knives, each differing in terms of size, shape, and style.
Microtech OTFs are available in a myriad of varieties. You can easily spot them with different blade styles such as Tanto to double-edged, finishing options such as stonewash stainless to Diamond-Like Coating (DLC), serrations, and custom designs.
Even the handles of John Wick Microtech models are available in different colors, including those of the rainbow for fulfilling different buyer preferences.
Subdued blacks or grays are distinct enough for the hitman-type preference, brown and green patterns are for the law enforcement personnel, and vibrant yellow, orange, and red make an appeal to the emergency responders who should immediately spot the blade when the surrounding is dark.
Following are the knives featured in John Wick movies:
Microtech Ultratech OTF – John Wick 1 (2014)
Microtech Ultratech OTF is just one model that Anthony Marfione, the founder of the company, designed. Featured in John Wick 1, it became the benchmark for OTF knives. This double-action fully automatic knife comes with a 3.4-inch blade that gets deployed by forward pushing the thumb switch. This action makes the knife ready instantly for use in close-quarters attacks.
The Ultratech is designed for use in strategic conditions such as for self-defense, cutting seat belts, and making shelter. With the superior steel (Current blade steel used is primarily M390. Possible variants are Carpenter CTS 204P / Carpenter XHP / Bohler ELMAX) making up the blade, quick one-handed design for deployment or concealment, integrated glass breaker, and several blade contours options, the Ultratech can reliably perform a difficult job.
For many fans, there seems to be no other knife cooler than this OTF of John Wick. You may also find some updated models, which have more contoured as well as smoother handle designs.
Smaller versions of the original Ultratech are UTX-85 and UTX-70, which are designed to fit specific carry requirements. They are more than 85 and 70% of the size the original Ultratech is. There are other versions of Ultratech knives with different blade types, points, edges, material, and colors.
You may also check different versions of Microtech Ultratech knives here.
Microtech Combat Troodon OTF – John Wick 2 (2017)
In John Wick 2 he uses Combat Troodon OTF. It is a full-sized model having a 3.8-inch long blade made of premium steel(Current blade steel used is primarily M390. Possible variants are Carpenter CTS 204P / Carpenter XHP / Bohler ELMAX). The name is derived from a bird-like dinosaur of the Cretaceous period of North America. This one is a bigger version of the normal Troodon in terms of blade length, as the original one has a blade length of just 3”.
Just as the Ultratech, the Combat Troodon series has a common handle design but offers a myriad of blade shapes apt for various uses. The handles are of anodized aluminum, a carbide glass breaker resides on the butt, and a dual-edge grind is there in plain or serrated edge, and clip point or single-edged Bowie style gives a functional appeal.
Combat Troodon is also available in different versions. You may check them out here.
Microtech Cypher OTF – John Wick 3 (2019)
John Wick 3 features a Smooth Handle Cypher OTF. The knife comes with a black aluminum handle, a 4-inch long blade of double-edged dagger style, and a stonewash finish. The blade is made of top-quality stainless steel to give you a high-performing cutting edge.
The stylized, smooth handle of light aluminum has an anodized finish and offers a firm grip. Further, a milled titanium pocket clip ensures a cozy tip-down carry. It is a manufactured version of the esteemed A. Marfione / D.C. Munroe association. The Cypher is available in different versions as well.
If you wish to buy these knives, Microtech also offers Marfione Custom sets as boxed collector sets having the first two OTF knives. They also come with three gold challenge coins and a John Wick’s pencil weapon, which all movie fans will love to have.
Applications of John Wick OTF Knives
The OTF knives used in John Wick films are useful for a myriad of applications that demand swift execution in a short period. Whether it is cutting a belt or facing an opposing hitman, these blades are always handy. The following are the key areas in which OTFs are widely used:
- Law Enforcement / Rescue Services: Emergency services personnel and law enforcement officers often use automatic knives for deploying a blade using just a single hand and performing the required activities such as cutting a rope or depict a site of injury. Police officers also use an auto knife, which is seen on the opposite side of where they keep the firearm. It is used when anyone attempts to take the gun. While attempting to disarm, the main hand is busy retaining the gun away from the offender. Thus, the other side hand is the only option for deploying another weapon. Even NASA’s flight squads use these knives while working in low-G situations, as they typically hold on to something to prevent floating away while finishing their tasks manually.
- Self-defense: This is where the general public legally owns and uses an OTF to weaken the opponent psychologically by presenting it in front of it. This consequently means less intense combat. Looking at the launch of a blade from the hand where there were no arms present a moment before is sufficient to force an opponent to re-assess the process of choosing the victim. After all, Hollywood has prepared us like John Wick to use these knives with those we do not want to combat intensely!
OTF Knives in Other Movies and TV Shows
OTF Knives have also appeared in other series and shows.
- Jack Bauer in the action-based TV series called 24 used the Microtech HALO III for protecting the world from extinction.
- Many OTFs were also used in the Dark Knight Rises featuring Batman’s nemesis. One of them was Combat Troodon featuring a drop point blade in black. In some other settings, Batman has used the Microtech HALO.
- Despicable Me, the all-time animation hit for kids showcased an OTF. While in a lab, the adorable villain, Gru, uses an OTF for cutting a wire.
- The Eraser starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vanessa Williams, and James Caan features a Microtech HALO
- The Long Kiss Goodnight starring Samuel L. Jackson, Geena Davis, and Yvonne Zima features a Microtech HALO
- The High School High starring Jon Lovitz, Tia Carrere, and Louise Fletcher features a Microtech HALO
- The Men In Black starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Linda Fiorentino features a Microtech HALO
- The Reindeer Games starring Ben Affleck, Gary Sinise, and Charlize Theron features a Microtech HALO II
- The Bullet to the Head starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa, and Christian Slater features a Microtech HALO V
- The Olympus Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman features a Microtech HALO III
- The Saint-Tropez (Music Video) by Post Malone features a Microtech Ultratech
- The Gemini Man starring Will Smith features a Microtech Cypher
Are John Wick OTFs Legal to Carry and Use?
Automatic knives were banned in several regions of the world in the 20th century, as they were linked to the gang culture of that time. They are now being held legal in many cities and neighborhoods around the world. However, it is wise to check out the laws on switchblades in your area before getting one.
If you are in the United States, please can refer to the below image from AKTI.org for laws on automatic OTF knives in your state.
What knife did John Wick use in John Wick 1?
Microtech Ultratech OTF. This double-action fully automatic knife comes with a 3.4-inch blade made of premium steel.
What knife did John Wick use in John Wick 2?
Microtech Combat Troodon OTF. It is a full-sized model having a 3.8-inch long blade and is a favorite among law enforcement, military, and first responder personnel.
What knife did John Wick use in John Wick 3?
Microtech Cypher OTF. The knife comes with a black aluminum handle, a 4-inch long blade of double-edged dagger style, and a stonewash finish.
All the knives used in the John Wick film franchise are Microtech OTF Knives. Although showcased in movies and TV series, these knives are real-world weapons. Right from the construction to visual appeal, every aspect of these knives is appealing. Thus, you can buy these OTFs with confidence. Do not forget to check if the knife is legal in your area or not.
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.