Which OTF Knife Would be a Better Choice?
– Actually, it all depends.
Know the options, consider the tasks, thus pick the most relevant or simply the best! First of all, what does the term OTF knife mean?
Basically, the abbreviation OTF should be understood as that standing for the full version of the term – “sliding knife”, or “out-the front” model knife, the same that is the so-called “telescoping” model knife. This is a knife typically to be carried in your pocket, the one featuring a blade deployed after being opened as well as to be then closed sliding through a hole on the knife’s handle. Note that such a hole, as a matter of fact, is located on the one end of it.
If you compare this one to all the other options currently available on the market, in other words, if you take the majority of the so-called standard-folding knives or even those featuring the notorious “fixed blade”, they are also very often referred to as the sheath knives, the main difference between these two classes can be easily formulated as that of no compulsory operation option needed.
Now, Our Best 5 OTF Knife Quick Picks:
- Schrade Viper 3 Model – just the first and the best option if you seek some reasonable budget solution
- M&P MPOTF10FDE OTF – this model is simply the best within its niche and for your money
- STRIX RHK-1 Pocket (Mini OTF) Knife – this one is your choice if you are after some reasonably priced but mini option
- Venom 3TR Assisted Tactical Combat Knife – Editor’s Choice, here a pro or a newbie will find a combined universal solution featuring a double-action OTF + OTF tactical knife all in one!
- RazorTech mini keychain firecracker knife silver – this is the last but not least, a low-cost OTF knife, but best for your money!
The abbreviated characteristic – OTF – here usually refers to the basic part of mechanical features of a knife only: the blade performs its sliding action along (in the same direction) with the handle at the same moment its action (deployment) is required.
With our further reference to the all above specified, it should be added that all the OTF knives are usually subdivided into several categories as follows: knives with so-called manual slide option, then go inertial slide types, and finally – automatic action OTF (switchblade) knives accompanied by the so-called gravity-operation types, the latter being officially and legally restricted as possible/potential offensive weapons (“white” weapons).
If we consider the special mechanisms typically provided for the above mentioned variety of knives, we will definitely differentiate between two major groups of these: 1) so-called switchblades and 2) gravity knives. These two groups are characteristic of the standard variable portion of all the OTF mechanisms.
TOP OTF Knives Compared
|Viper 3 OTF |
|4034 stainless steel||3.50 in|
|MPOTF10FDE OTF FDE|
|Stainless steel||6 x 2 x 1 inches||5 ounces||$$$$|
|STRIX RHK-1 Mini|
with a replaceable
|45mm long |
|Venom 3TR Tactical |
Best Overall OTF Knife
|440C||Overall Length 9.4in|
Blade Length 3.9in
Blade Thickness 11in
|RazorTech Mini Keychain |
An OTF Knife: What is There in its Name? BIO & General Application Data.
With our aim to provide you with the most detailed bio on each and every knife listed herein, let us first mention the fact it generally stands for the “out-the-front” (OTF) feature of this type, thus typically meaning that you are holding and going to use a knife to feature the sort of a blade which extends from out of the knife’s handle. The only critical thing you should have in mind while choosing an OTF knife is that of any current restrictions as for the officially allowed – legal – use of such a blade in accordance with your home country or state legislation.
As a rule, all OTF knives available on the market should be classified as belonging to the following four categories/classes/groups (based on their principle function): manual sliding-, spring assisted-, automatic switch-, and, finally, gravity knives.
Those who typically use the principle of mechanical sliding in their knives while using these, would instantly imagine the so-called “box cutters” or, in other words, utility knives. Among these are the models to hit the leading charts and holding best positions, those widely known as Stanley knives or X-Actos. The blade here is typically employed manually by a finger (thumb) pushing the button slide and along the knife’s handle. These are usually widely applied, literary in each and every industry countrywide. Whether it is card or carpet you are going to operate on, the primary task for these is cutting. No doubt, a Stanley Knife here should be praised as the opinion champion and the most notorious and popular knife featuring a manually sliding blade.
The OTF spring-assisted knives comprise another class. The user typically employs these by opening while using their ability to be opened by either a kind of a lever (the “flipper”) on the knife’s back or by a specially designed small stud (hereinafter referred to as the “thumb stud”) on the knife’s blade itself. This initial action starts the deployment and operation of the blade with its mechanism picking up and finishing the action when opening stops, locking the blade back on its place after used. As a matter of fact, when deployed, nearly none will be capable of noticing of some slightly critical deviation in the speed between automatically operated and spring-assisted knives. The latter are amongst the top quality highly reliable devices to be widely used by all those in need of a great blade in urgent situations. These will work fine for those acting as rescue services members. Please kindly note, these items are still not legal in the state of New York.
Next but not least, there go the automatic model knives utilizing their switch action, the so-called “switchblade” knives. These are the knives that are typically deployed by a special button push. This said button operates the way that it instantly releases the knife’s blade when pushed. As a matter of fact, the normal position of the blade is “open”, so it is held closed by a special locking mechanism until released. As soon as the action required, the blade is automatically released by the above button from its forced closed position to open. To give you some more detailed picture of this, just imagine the iconic WWII Italian Stiletto brought by our guys from war and made popular. This one may serve an iconic image and telling tale of a switchblade knife. After the 1950s New York was the first state where this sort of blades was banned since they gained their horrible legacy countrywide. Make sure you check your country/state restriction for keeping and carrying these!
Gravity knives became a notorious feature of paratroopers in action, being widely used by them – the fact mentioned in world’s military history. These brave air born guys reportedly used to cut their parachutes rigging when occasionally found themselves being tangled up in a tree or something after the landing. These models are the standard opened items by how it is said, that is by the force of the natural gravity. This force is typically applied on the blade the same very moment it is released by a specially designed trigger. Being easily opened by a single hand, these are extremely handy in action and super fine to be kept and carried anywhere and anytime in your pocket.
Very often, people confuse spring-assisted knives with those automatically operated knives. CAUTION! The typically natural position for a standard spring assisted OTF knife is closed, when the natural position for a typical automatic OTF knife is open – here the blade is usually forced to stay held in its closed position by ordinary physical tension.
Note that whenever you deploy a knife’s blade with no effort involved, but only pressing a button, then you deal with an automatic model. You will never see such a button on the handle in case you deal with a knife which operates based on its spring-assisted action.
Here are Our Latest Up-to-date OTF Knife Reviews
First in the row, the OTF Schrade Viper 3 Review
The Schrade Company produces a variety of their brand knives. Let us touch upon their line models. Experts stress on these model series due to their smart design, progressive make solutions, and which is the most important – on their economic relevance!
One seeking super fast action and hoping to enjoy a well-made device, should stick to this one for sure. These are the very OTF openers you are looking for! Here you will definitely note a clever safety mechanism (lock) on the side, although it will take you for a while to get used to, but finally you will love its awesome just like its impressive looks.
So, meet the third generation OTF Assist model, which is no exception to all the above said. Here you’ll find a 3.5″ double-edge spear-point blade with really great and tough handles to give you a firm grip, made from sturdy progressive aluminium as well as the already mentioned safety mechanism.
- Explicit specifications to meet the variety of tasks
- 3.5″ (8.9 centimeter) blade length;
- if in closed position: length makes 5.3″ (13.5 centimeter)
- Stainless steel blade (4034 Stainless Steel)
- Comfortable and unique aluminium black handle
- Packaged design to feature all the necessary options like a glass breaker, and a tip blade lock
- Unique feature is here a specially designed side safety/deep-carry pocket clip to carry your blade with you
- This device is proudly made in Taiwan
M&P MPOTF10FDE OTF Review
This model features one of the most versatile OTF knives in the series.
Experts note its highly-progressive design and compatibility.
Which is mostly desirable with this one, it has been designed for a tough use, since its creators made it a powerful multipurpose double-action OTF device.
Again, one should mention each and every OTF knife within this series features a razor sharp premium 440C steel blade. The latter originally goes factory-sharpened and ready for the action.
Its special handle and all the mechanics enable for a quick and sharp action at once, being ready for the immediate deployment and use, its blade being easily retracted by a single thumb slide action.
ATTENTION! The entire body and the mechanism itself designed as that of ultra-light take-it-anywhere highly resistible to any wear or tear impact while repeatedly used. The MTN automatic works just fine, enabling the double action thru the front mechanism, thus meaning that the blade retracts superbly being operated by just one thumb slide as soon as the necessity to be deployed arises.
- exceptional build and super quality of the item; goes boxed and sealed;
- progressive and attractive design (black finish)
- you’ll get a knife specially designed for hard-use applications
- ensured is its smooth and instant action
- extremely compact and lightweight unit (weights only 3.35 oz)
- feel the increased comfort and enjoy its easy-to-manipulate operation
- feel the firm grip on its unique smooth-contoured aluminum handle for your better comfort ever
- all-in-one package of options featuring: OTF double action knife, a pocket clip, a glass breaker, a dismantling tool, and finally a nylon carrying sleeve
- here you’ll find the best multitool 11-in-one set accompanied by a mini mag light
- featuring an extra sharp satin finish blade made from 440C stainless steel
Here goes STRIX RHK-1 Mini OTF Pocket Knife Review
The STRIX RHK-1 OTF pocket knife model is reported to be the smallest item on the market. The peculiarity of this one lies in the fact that it features a replaceable blade!
In case you are after some smart knife to fit your task that is ultra sharp and compact at the same time, and you value a conveniently carry-anywhere pocket model best of all, this is no need to look any further!
Those who really got tired of carrying around some bulky knives with a full set of full size blades will definitely appreciate this new practical design lightweight option to hardly ever feel inside your pocket!
Note that its replaceable blade has been designed so that it is magnetically fixed and safely held in its place so it will never come out if kept in your pocket.
And what is even more interesting, blades here can be easily replaced in no time just using any other #11 standard hobby blades. The process of deploying your blade is simple: the only thing you need is to slide it out with your thumb to make a cut, then retract it same way after being used. Please be careful while using any ultra sharp cutting items like this one!
- Ultra lightweight and super compact item. It is 10 grams only!
- Standard easily replaceable blades (#11 hobby blades)
- featuring a key ring
- proudly designed and engineered in the USA
Meet the Venom 3TR Assisted Tactical Knife Review
Meet the officially marketed multifunctional VENOM KNIVES from the Southern Sporting Goods LLC! These are the most efficient and the most advanced state-of-the art tools currently available on the market. Multipurpose operation of these is granted by the core design – all models go in both casual blackened and digital camo handle version. The Venom 3TR Assisted Tactical Combat Knife constitutes a multifunctional tool operated by special operators worldwide.
Super power features of this specific model are enabled by the unique partially serrated blade and the specially designed pommel of its glass breaker to powerfully cut, tear and shatter!
- Compact and powerful, overall length 9.4″ only
- Standard and urgent / emergency rapid assisted action
- Special Venom Logo pocket clip
- Powerful glass breaker pommel
- Convenient tactical pouch included
- Proudly USA hand-assembled and tactically tested
- Featuring both all-blacked out hardware and the digital camo handle
- Logo pocket clip is featured here as a reversible item and may be comfortably and safely carried in front- and back positions both
- Super firm grip stainless steel (440C)/Zinc Alloy (58HRC) handle
- Lightweight and compact option
RazorTech Mini Keychain Firecracker Knife Review
As a matter of fact, this one is the smallest and the most reasonably priced OTF knife model on the market! The parameters constitute its tiny size (5.25″ overall length) and the comparatively powerful blade of 1 7/8″ inches, as well as its ultra light weight.
Once you are thinking of just starting trying the world of the OTF knives, this one will become your first and efficient helper, being both pretty and smart, this kid can come extremely handy at times. It doesn’t feel cheap though.
- Some customers placed their only complaint as for the switch path, the latter being reported as that of somehow greasy as soon as out from the box. Needs some simple cleaning.
- These are numerous and based on the exclusively small size and specific features characteristic of all the previously revised more expensive and powerful models of the OTF knives currently available on the market!
Best OTF Knives Manufacturers List
Experts tender to recommend BEST Microtech OTF knife
The Microtech Company gained its popularity as a leading ultra sharp OTF knives manufacturer, the OTF (Open To Front) models became the best sellers from the Microtech. Their series include single-action- manual slide-, and automatic switch OTF knives.
Their mostly praised feature is their aluminium alloy (rarely stainless steel or titanium) body. The handle typically provides for a super firm grip with the upgrading element in the form of a special slip-free grip-enhancing inserts made of craton or anti-friction tape (large grain sandpaper) application. The handles of some knives are equipped with a glass breaker.