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What makes up the best assisted opening knives? Convenience and speed of course! These knives partially open up with a thumb stud. So it’s very easy to access should a need arise.
These types of knives are also suitable as everyday carry knives. The faster you can press the thumb stud, the quicker you can access the knife. So this is also an ideal self-defense knife. It also comes in handy in emergencies where every second matters.
But not all assisted opening knives can be as fast as you’d like it to be. So we’re here to list down the best brands that combine convenience and speed.
Here is the List of Best Assisted Opening Knives
- Ontario Folding Knife
- Ontario 8904 Folding Knife
- SOG Folding Pocket Knife
- Kershaw Blur Black Pocketknife
- Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife
- Kershaw Cryo Assisted Opening Knife
- SOG Folding Knife Pocket Knife
- Gerber Covert Knife
- Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife
- Smith & Wesson SWMP4L
What is an Assisted Opening Knife, and How Does It Work?
Assisted opening knives, also called spring assisted knives, can be opened to a degree by pushing a thumb-stud or button. When it reaches the appropriate degree, the spring inside will then make the blade open completely. There are types of assisted opening knives that can be opened with a single hand or with both hands.
15 Best assisted opening knives
There are many things to consider before buying an assisted opening knife. First and foremost, you might want to know if it is legal to carry it in your state. Here are 15 of the assisted knives you can choose from:
This assisted opening knife, made in the USA and imported to other countries, is designed for comfort and performance. You can use it with either your right or left hand, and easy to use with its textured black nylon six-scale handle. The black Nylon 6 handle has an open-built steel liner-lock frame. Its three-inch, 0.095-inch thick, silver, full flat grind blade is made from AUS-8 stainless steel with a satin finish.
- Designed for comfort and performance
- Very affordable
- Blade size does not go beyond the legal length in most states and cities
- Closed length of 4 inches makes it easy to carry around
- Some users have found an issue with the locking mechanism.
Why should you choose Ontario Knife OKC Rat Ii Sp-Black Folding Knife, 7 inches?
If you are looking for the best folding knife that gives a quality performance, this Ontario knife is for you. This ambidextrous knife is easy to use with its dual thumb studs. You can also carry it around easily with its four-way reversible pocket clip.
Dimensions: 7 x 0.1 x 1.1 inches
Weight: 3.2 ounces
The Ontario 8904 is one of Ontario’s second series of Joe Pardue Utiliac knives. It is made of the AUS-8A steel blade, which is 0.115-inch thick. This pocket knife has a 3.5-inch plain edge blade with a matte satin finish. It has a stylish round Zytel handle with a Liner Lock locking mechanism. The knife’s closed length is 4.5 inches. Ontario is one of the best assisted opening knives.
- With 56-58 HCR blade hardness
- Ergonomic Zytel handle
- Very affordable
- Easy one-handed opening and closing
- A little bit heavier than other pocket knives
Why should you choose Ontario 8904 Joe Pardue Utiliac?
This knife has a thumb stud, which makes it easy to open and close even with just one hand. Its 56-58 HCR blade hardness gives the right mix of edge retention and toughness. Just like any other Ontario products, this knife is made of quality materials without compromising its craftsmanship. Surely one of the best in our list.
Weight: 5.6 ounces
The SOG Aegis is an assisted everyday carry (EDC), hunting, tactical, and camping knife all at the same time. It has a 3.5-inch stainless steel clip point blade with a glass-reinforced nylon grip handle. Its closed length measures at 4.75 inches. It is a pocket knife, which can be opened single-handedly and secures the blade with a Piston Lock. Its blade is made of the AUS-8 stainless steel coated with black titanium nitride.
- Opens easily
- Titanium-nitride finish
- Ergonomic, sturdy Digi-Grip GRN handle
- Lightweight for its size and built
- Lifetime warranty (against material defects and workmanship)
- A bit pricey
- Not left-handed friendly
Why should you choose SOG Folding Pocket Knife – Aegis One Hand Open Knife?
If you are looking for a precise and robust knife that will serve you a lifetime, this is the one for you. Its straight edge gives a balanced piercing-style cut. It is built to last with its scratch and peel-resistant feature. The no-slip Digi-Grip handle makes this formidable knife very comfortable to use, setting it straight for the shared record with best assisted opening knives under $100.
Dimensions: 8.2 x 2 x 0.2 inches
Weight: 4.8 ounces
The Kershaw Blur is a Speedsafe-assisted opening knife making it ambidextrously safe and easy to open. By manually applying pressure to the thumb stud or flipper, the blade opens smoothly. Its reversible pocket clip makes it easy to carry in your pocket discreetly. The handle has an inset Liner Lock for safety and durability. Also, the Trac-Tec gives a superior grip for secure handling in any weather and environment condition. It is a high-performance, quality, and reliable working tool with an excellent design, which you can use and show-off anytime.
- High-performance steel
- Attractive DLC coating
- Fast deployment
- Secure locking system
- Limited lifetime warranty
- A bit pricey
- Roughly-grooved thumb stud
Why should you choose Kershaw Blur Black (1670BLK) Everyday Carry Pocketknife?
Its high-performance Sandvik 14C28N steel is formulated with increased nitrogen that made it hard and corrosion-resistant. Plus, its DLC coating made it the blade even tougher and giving the knife an attractive and shiny finish. Its edge brings amazing slicing and piercing capabilities, which is ideal for is ideal for handling multiple tough jobs.
You are also ensured of a smooth, fast, and secure one-handed deployment with its revolutionary Speedsafe-assisted opening system. It was an easy choice for us to include it into best assisted opening knives list.
Weight: 3.9 ounces
The Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife is one of the top-performing knives in our best assisted opening knives list, known for its hard, edge retention, and corrosion-resistant edge. Its 3.5-inch blade is made from Sandvick 14C28N Sandwich steel. The handle, measuring four inches, is built from 410 stainless steel alloy.
It has a frame lock giving it a slim, sleek design and a tip lock that keeps the blade closed for safety. The Speedsafe Assisted opening makes it easy to open.
- Strong stainless steel blade
- The handle becomes a little slippery when hands are wet
Why should you choose Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife?
The Kershaw Leek is a versatile and slim best automatic knife with a drop-point blade that is ideal for slicing and piercing tasks. The sharp razor steel blade gives you quality performance even for extended use. The slim tip is definitely a plus for more detailed works. This affordable pocket knife is also fade and scratch-resistant.
Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 1 inches
Weight: 3.04 ounces
The Kershaw Cryo Pocket Knife has a 2.75-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade coated with a matte gray titanium carbo-nitride. It is an ideal pocket knife for hikers, backpackers, hunters, wilderness guides, electricians, landscapers, or anyone who needs an EDC knife.
This product from the fastest assisted opening knives list is a high-quality and tough-performance, folding knife that is also a great working tool. Just like other Kershaw knives, the Cryo Pocket Knife is made from top-notch materials with brilliant craftsmanship. This knife has a secure blade lockup using Speedsafe Assisted Opening by a simple push of a thumb stud or flipper.
- Easy to carry
- Sturdy all-around knife
- Very affordable
- A bit heavy for its size
Why should you choose Kershaw Cryo Pocket Knives?
The materials used on the blade makes it sturdy and hard, which can last a lifetime. The best kershaw assisted opening knife is built with excellent toughness and corrosion resistance. It is a beautifully designed, sleek, sturdy knife without compromising its aesthetic value.
It is an ideal EDC knife to handle numerous tasks like stripping wires, removing splinters, and making fire kindling. Plus, you can also own it as the best folding knife for self-defense.
Weight: 4.2 ounces
With an ultra-sharp 2.65-inch AUS-8 Stainless steel blade, this pocket knife can easily be carried around discreetly. This assisted opening knife is my favorite from best assisted opening knives list. Measuring only 3.55 inches in closed length, you can keep it anytime and anywhere. It’s a perfect EDC knife with its SOG assisted technology for easy one opening using either hand. The Lockback keeps the blade secure. While the beautifully crafted aluminum handle gives it more quality.
- Quick single-hand opening
- Made of lightweight but tough and sturdy materials
- Can work as a money clip
- You will need both of your hands to close it
Why should you choose SOG Folding Knife Pocket Knife – Twitch II Spring Assisted Knife?
It can easily fit into your pocket or any girl’s purse. This feature makes it a perfect EDC multi-purpose folding pocket knife. It can be your daily utility knife or your camping and survival knife with a very durable handle made of hard-anodized aluminum. Just like other SOG products, you can be assured that this knife will last and serve you for a long time.
Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.56 ounces
The Gerber Covert Knife has a sturdy titanium coated plain, serrated blade that measures 3.7 inches. Its side lock is perfect for added user protection. Its fast action spring technology (F.A.S.T.) gives it a very smooth deployment.
- Strong and easy to open
- Tight tolerance
- Sharp blade
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Heavy to carry in your pocket
Why should you choose Gerber Covert Knife, Serrated Edge?
The Gerber Covert Knife is the ideal easy thumb to open knife for every working man and woman. The F.A.S.T. technology makes for its easy deployment. Its superior G-10 handle gives you a good and firm grip for any task.
Weight: 5 ounces
With the use of a built-in flipper or thumb- stud, this Speedsafe assisted folding pocket knife can easily be opened. The extra-thick three-inch blade, made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, is ideal for piercing activities. These features, plus the black-oxide edge finish, make it corrosion-resistant.
The black glass-filled nylon handle added to its being lightweight. It has a four-position pocket clip and liner lock for added security. It is a perfect utility knife for various tasks like piercing holes, cutting cords, opening cans, and even for rescue. This was an easy choice for us to put it into best assisted opening knives list
- Easy to carry
- The blades might need to be sharpened after a while
Why should you choose Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife?
This assisted opening knives legal is easy and light to carry around but remains highly functional while looking great at the same time. Its blade can easily and quickly be sharpened. It is a reliable tool for backpackers, hunters, first responders, or landscapers.
Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 1 inches
Weight: 3.9 ounces
The black aluminum handle with rubber inlay makes it easy to grip by any size of a hand and at any condition. You can be confident that this Smith & Wesson is reliable in any situation. Knife collectors and hunting enthusiasts alike can appreciate and enjoy this knife. The 3.6-inch sharp blade is made of 4034 Black Oxide High Carbon Stainless Steel. If you enjoy the Smith & Wesson firearms, you will also enjoy the functionality and reliability of this EDC knife.
- Nice grip handle
- Sharp blade
- Easy and quick deployment
- Heavy and bulky in the pocket
Why should you choose Smith & Wesson SWMP4L 8.6-inch High Carbon S.S. Assisted Folding Knife?
It is an ideal EDC knife with its MAGIC assisted opening system. It also has liner and safety locks making you feel at ease that the blade will not slip when not needed. A right-handed or left-handed person can use the knife, with its ambidextrous thumb plate. With all these functionalities, you can still show it off to your friends with its quality design. You can also refer the rest of the automatic opening knives to them.
Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 4 inches
Weight: 7.6 ounces
The reason why the military and first responders will choose this pocket knife is due to its excellent performance and quality. The S350V stainless steel sturdy blade makes it extremely corrosion and wear-resistant. The blade is coated with a Tiger-striped Tungsten Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC), making it a heavy-duty knife. It has a textured black G-10 handle for a comfortable but tight grip.
The quad-mount pocket clip makes it convenient to carry for lefties or right-handed persons. It is ideal as an everyday carry knife, survival tool, precision cutting, even for self-defense and tactical use.
- Multi-purpose and versatile
- Superb quality
- Heavy for a pocket knife
Why should you choose Zero Tolerance 0350TS, Folding Pocket Knife?
If you are looking for a reliable, secure, and efficient all-around EDC knife, this is what you should get. Whether you need it for cutting ropes or into the great outdoors, the Zero Tolerance folding pocket knife won’t let you down. With its premium quality and durability, it truly is worth your money. One of our premium picks from best assisted opening knives list
Weight: 6.2 ounces
This best assisted opening knives 2020 is an Outburst-assisted opening knife with a G10 Bolster White Bone handle. Known for its innovation and integrity, CRKT offers a 3.25-inch long and 0.121-inch thick plain blade with satin finish and hollow grind. It is made of premium 8Cr13MoV stainless steel.
It is a dependable folding knife with Locking Liner. It can easily be carried around with a closed length measuring only 3.75 inches or 95.25 millimeters. And just like all M4 models, it has a high-mounted pocket or gear clips. The M4-02 is more lightweight compared to the previous models. Plus, this model has dual thumb studs for a smooth and fast ambidextrous one-hand opening.
- Sharp plain blade
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Frame lock engagement is not consistent
Why should you choose CRKT M4-02 EDC Folding Pocket Knife?
It is a dependable knife from a reliable brand that will truly serve its purpose of consistently giving a top performance. Its dual stainless steel liners, one locking, and stainless steel backspacer make it truly heavy-duty as expected. It is an EDC knife that can fit naturally in any hand, ideal for carving and cutting jobs.
Dimensions: 4.8 x 1.5 x 1.2 inches
Weight: 3.36 ounces
The Flash II Folding Knife has a 3.5-inch AUS-8 stainless steel is an ideal everyday carry knife with its SOG assisted technology (SAT). This technology propels the blade quickly when the thumb stud is flicked with the help of opposing high-tension coils. The blade is coated with a scratch and peel-resistant Black Titanium Nitride.
This versatile and sturdy knife measures 4.5 inches when closed. The Poston Lock keeps the blade secure in any position.
- Fast and reliable blade
- Strong one-hand ambidextrous opening design
- Superfast deployment
- Sturdy titanium nitride finish
- Plastic-feel handle
Why should you choose SOG EDC Knife – Flash II Folding Knife?
This easy-to-use knife is lightweight and one of the coolest knives in the market. It is a quick-open knife using either of your hands. Its durable blade gives more cutting power. Its pocket clip also helps you carry it around discreetly.
Dimensions: 8 x 1.4 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3.04 ounces
The Benchmade Barrage is an AXIS assisted knife that can quickly open using either hand. It is ideal as an EDC or tactical utility knife. The 3.6-inch long and 0.65-inch thick stainless steel blade is strong and durable to be used for any purpose. The Valox handle is lightweight and durable, which can last a lifetime. Its weight and size are perfect for keeping it in your pocket discreetly.
- Blade stays sharp even after many uses
- A strong assisted locking mechanism
- Quick ambidextrous one-hand opening
- Lifetime warranty
- No lanyard hole
Why should you choose Benchmade – Barrage 583 Knife?
You will be surprised by how its stainless steel blade is sturdy and rust-resistant but still maintains to hold the edge very well. This best assisted opening knives under $50 is of high-quality even you use it daily. It is easy to open and close using only one hand. This knife is worth the price.
Weight: 4.5 ounces
This knife has a 3.99-inch dual hilt blade with a titanium nitride finish making it corrosion-resistant. The combination edge is made of 8Cr14MoV steel measuring 0.14 inches in thickness with a hollow grind. The folding knife’s closed length measure is 5.375 inches with a G10 iconic handle. Its ergonomic design makes it comfortable and easy to grip amidst rain, grit, and grime.
The Carson Flipper of the knife makes for rapid deployment and serves as a blade guard for safety. The Automated Liner Safety gives it added protection. The knife can also be quickly closed as it can be opened.
- Automated Liner Safety
- Reasonably priced
- Limited lifetime warranty
- With a quite large cross-guard
- Heavy to carry in a pocket
Why should you choose CRKT M16-14SFG EDC Folding Pocket Knife?
The Veff serrations not only look great, but are perfect for cutting of cords, rope, and other fibrous materials. The blade can be easily sharpened, cleaned, and polished after heavy use. You will not have a hard in keeping and maintaining this pocket knife.
Weight: 5.9 ounces
Buying Guides: What to Look for in the Best Assisted Opening Knives?
Here are some tips and guides when buying an assisted opening knife:
Assisted opening knives have a thumb-stud or blade button on which you put pressure on to manually open the blade about 30 to 45 degrees). After this, a spring does all the work of opening the blade the rest of the way. The vital thing to watch out for is how easily you can open the blade. There are assisted opening knives that you can be opened with one hand, while others need your two hands to do so.
The type of blade of an assisted opening knife to choose will depend on its purpose. For the best EDC knife, a semi-serrated blade is ideal. For other purposes, you can also choose from dagger point, utility blades, and rescue or safety blades. Further, you can also select between stainless or tool steels. Stainless steels are more resistant to corrosion. However, tool steels are often sturdier and easy to sharpen.
Since people have different hand sizes, each one of us will be comfortable using different sizes of knives. The typical length of the best assisting opening knives is about three inches. Remember to determine both the blade length and the closed length of a knife before buying.
Durability is an essential factor to consider before purchasing an assisted opening knife. Make sure to buy a quality steel knife that won’t damage easily, thus serving its purpose for a long time.
Related read: How To Use A Knife Sharpener Rod
Why Choose an Assisted Opening Knife?
Aside from being legal to carry around, most assisted opening haves have safety locks. It prevents the blade from accidentally opening and causing harm or injury. Thus, it might be safer to choose the best assisted opening knife, especially if you plan to carry it around.
Switchblade vs. Spring Assisted Opening Knives
Switchblade and spring-assisted knives look the same. And these two knives are often confused with each other. The major difference, however, is in the way these knives work. So let’s take a look at each one.
How to open a switchblade knife
This knife is coined with its name because the blade springs out of the handle once you press a button. There are two types of switchblade knife, the automatic and the OTF ( out of the front).
Both types of switchblade knives open in the same manner. The only difference is that the blade of the OTF knife comes out of the top of the handle.
How an assisted opening knife works
The knife will only open once the blade is slightly pushed open. And it has to be pushed with force. You might find this knife safer as you need to “assist” the opening for the blade to fully spring out.
How to Clean and Maintain a Pocket Knife
Even pocket knives need some looking after. Otherwise, they may go blunt and rust.
And the edge of the blade is one of the more important things in pocket knives. Once it goes dull, you won’t have much use for it anymore. Let’s dabble a bit more on how to take care of the blade edge. And that’s by sharpening your knife.
The parts of the blade
No matter how much the edge of the blade is, it’s bound to dull at one point or another. One of the most common ways to keep the pocket knife blade in tip-top shape is to sharpen it.
Before we head into the juice, let’s take a look at some part of the blade that you have to know. There the primary blade and the secondary blade. Most types of knives have these, except for Scandinavian knives.
Sharpening the knife means taking the metal of the primary blade or edge. And reducing it to the size of the secondary blade. Thus, the tip becomes thinner and sharper.
And head on to the section below to see several ways of sharpening the edge of the blade
Methods of sharpening the blade
This is the cheapest option and requires only the use of a stone. But there’s a downside to it, it requires skill and there’s a certain angle that you have to hold the knife to.
You have to keep in mind that you have to keep the angle consistent. This method takes a bit of practice. But as they say, practice makes perfect. So do not be frustrated if you don’t get it the few times around.
Sharpening using a stone is perhaps the more popular option. And you don’t have to be meticulous in choosing what type of stone. Most are double-sided. And a 220-1000 grit stone is good for many applications.
You may also choose between a synthetic and a natural stone. Synthetic stones can also give almost the same result but at a cheaper price.
Sharpening knives using a jig
These are rather expensive. But they are easy to use. Jigs hold the stone and the knife in place so it’s easier to maintain a consistent angle.
Does it sharpen better than a stone? That depends. Not all jigs can sharpen a knife impeccably. The pricier the jig, the sharper the knife can get.
Sharpening pocket knife using a machine
These are rather more appropriate for larger knives such as an ax. But for pocket knives, this is not the best option. It can take too much metal from the stock. And if it heats up too much, the blade can break. And with a small blade of the pocket knife, there might not be anything left in it.
Taking care of pocket knife locks
Sure the blade is the main character in a pocket knife. But there are also some parts of the knife that you also have to take care of.
One of the common problems that you can encounter with the knife lock is called the lock stick. This is when there is too much friction.
You can use a Sharpie or pencil to remedy the friction. You can also put on a layer of graphite or the Sharpie on the tang of the blade in its closed position.
But if it’s a case of bad production, this method will not be effective.
Taking care of pocket knife detents
Like the pocket lock, detents also need some attention. This part can accumulate gunk overtime. And this can be quite challenging at times.
When you feel the knife getting gritty when the lock bar moves over the blade, take your knife apart and clean it. Debris might have accumulated already.
Taking care of pocket knife pivots
And lastly, let’s see how you can pay more attention to the pivots of your pocket knife. You must maintain the pivot because it can affect the longevity of your pocket knife.
And like the detents, the pivots can also accumulate debris and gunk. That’s why you need to clean it often too. One of the more popular ways to remove debris is by using compressed air. It’s quite convenient because it cleans the debris effectively without the need to tear the knife apart.
The best way to use compressed air is to drop a bit of knife oil on the pivot.
The other option is to tear the knife apart and manually clean it. This can be time-consuming and you also have to know how to assemble the knife altogether.
Additional TLC for your pocket knives
Aside from sharpening, here are some other tips on how you can keep your pocket knife shiny and happy.
- Keep the knife dry. Liquids can corrode the metal.
- You can use knife oil for maintenance.
- Avoid the blade coming into contact with acidic foods such as citrus fruits.
- Do not use your knife for other purposes it’s not intended for. It’s not suitable for opening bottle caps or use as a screwdriver or pry bar.
You can purchase, own, and carry assisted opening knives in the State of Minnesota. You can bring any knife in Minnesota except for a switchblade or fully automatic knives. You can also carry the best spring assisted knives, as long as you have no intention of using them to harm others.
There is no law stipulating a specific length of a knife that can be legally owned and carried around in Minnesota. However, individual municipalities and cities have laws prohibiting knives of three to four inches and longer.
In Ramsey county, you cannot carry around knives with a blade measuring three inches or longer. While in Minneapolis and St. Paul, knives with blades of less than four inches are allowed.
In New York State, anyone at least 16 years old and not a convicted felon can own and carry the best spring assisted opening knives of any size. Also, any assisted opening knife can be kept in your house.
But in New York City, any knife measuring four inches or longer are prohibited. Thus, you can carry a spring assisted knife in New York City for as long as the blade is not more than four inches, you are 16 years old, and not a convicted felon. You can also carry around these knives as long as they are hidden, and the blade is not locked open.
Generally, publicly carrying knives is prohibited by law in most states. However, there are exceptions when it is a hunting knife or the best pocket knife used for work, depending on local laws. Even if a person is allowed to carry knives, remember that you cannot extend this privilege to all places. Blades are usually prohibited in schools, public buildings, courthouses, and public events.
Nonetheless, it is still wise to carry the best pocket knife in the world, not for self-defense but as a utility tool. As the saying goes, it is better “to err on the side of caution.”
If you travel using a car and plan to carry your best tactical folding knife, you might want to think twice. More so if you are going to different states, since every state will have different knife laws. But if it is necessary to carry a knife during your travel, it would be best to keep it in a safe box. Also, do not forget the permit or license for bringing one.
That depends on the application. Open assisted knives are great for a single deployment. And most open assisted knives have locks on them so that they are safer for the newbies.
Folding knives, on the other hand, are more versatile and can be used in a lot of applications.
There are 5 vital components of an assisted opening knife. And these are the blade design, the construction, the thumb stud and buttons, and the durability and service life of the knife.
There may be many reasons you can think of for getting the best assisted opening knives available in the market. However, one must not forget that the real purpose of these knives is to serve as utilities and tools, and not to harm anyone. And always remember that there are laws and regulations in owning and carrying knives, which we have to follow.