Automatic Knives

At first glance, every knife completely resembles all the others, so how do you know which is the best for you and your needs? There are many aspects you need to consider when buying an automatic knife. Depending on the purpose you want to use your new knife for, you must pay attention to the edge type and blade shape before making your final decision. Let’s dive in and see what makes all those knives different and how to find the one that suits you best.

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What’s an automatic knife?

This type of knife is the same thing as a switchblade, but that name carried a negative connotation among knife-holders due to its history. Thus, this one took over. They represent knives with a blade that opens automatically when a button on the handle is pressed, hence the name “automatic knife”. There are two types of automatic knives depending on whether the blade folds or slides: out the front (OTF knives) and folding. They are primarily designed for the military, as their speed is ideal for emergencies.

Folding knives

As the name suggests, these knives have a side-opening design. They open with the press of the button located somewhere on the handle, but you have to manually retract the blade. Also, this side-opening feature makes it tricky to hold them in the process, and your grip won’t be as firm as when using an OTF knife. They are the most durable automatic knives and are cheaper than some OTF knives of the same quality, but they are also more limited in their extended form.

OTF knives

These knives are the ones that deploy the blade straight out front, not on the side like folding knives. They are not made to be fighting knives, so most people use them for their daily chores around the house, such as cutting, opening containers, or slicing meat, such as Laguiole cutlery knives. Some people use them for self-defense, while others simply like collecting them. Those with larger blades are usually used outdoors, while those with smaller blades are used for everyday tasks. 

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Different edge types

Knives with different edge types have different uses, which you should consider when buying a knife. The following three types are the most common:
  • Straight-edge knives look exactly like they sound; they have one continuous sharp edge. They give smooth cuts and won’t tear food. Their sharpness allows for better precision and control. An amazing switchblade knife with this kind of edge is great for slicing, mincing, and chopping.
  • Fully serrated knives resemble knives with teeth. They pierce the outer layer of what you’re cutting and are perfect for slicing thins such as bread or tomatoes. However, they can easily cause tearing and are less precise than knives with a straight edge. Also, when their blades get dull, it’s difficult to sharpen them, and they require special sharpening equipment.
  • A partially serrated knife is the best of both worlds. It has both serrated and straight edges, so you can use one knife for everything you need. Due to the double edge, you can use it in any situation, but you will face some difficulties when it comes to sharpening it. Also, the serrations on the blade aren’t always useful for certain tasks.
Learn More: 8 Different Types of Knife Blades And Their Uses

All kinds of blade shapes

Different edge types allow you to use the knife properly, but the shape/profile of the knife is equally important. Let’s quickly look at some standard shapes and what each offers you.

Tanto blades resemble Japanese swords and daggers. Due to their thickness, they have a very strong and durable tip and are primarily used for penetration. They aren’t designed for slicing and can be quite tricky to sharpen. 

Drop-point blades have a strong and robust tip that is easy to direct when cutting or piercing. The fact that the Swiss Army Knife and many chefs’ knives have this drop-point profile tells everything about their popularity for everyday use.

The clip-point blade is used for piercing or cutting in tight spots, as it has a clipped tip that is perfect for those situations. It lacks in strength but is easily controlled and is also precise.

Spearpoint blades, also known as daggers, usually have double edges and are made for piercing. This is a great hybrid blade that is extremely functional and balances piercing and slicing well.

These abovementioned tips are the basics you should pay attention to when buying a knife, and hopefully, they will help you make an easy decision. No matter what kind of knife you decide to get, you should also check what laws does it abide by and where you can use it.