8 Best Automatic Knives to Buy

Automatic knives, as the name suggests, are those you can open from a closed position merely by pushing a button. While manual knives require external forces to open, automatic knives use internal spring mechanisms to achieve the same effect. Auto knives have many practical applications, and most knife-savvy consumers will judge them based on how quickly and smoothly they open, how easy they are to close, and value for the money.

What Is an Automatic Knife?

Automatic knives open with a simple press of the button or pulling of a lever. The stainless steel blades were designed fundamentally for the military, police, and EMT duty which the speed of auto blade knife is ideal for emergency situations and perfect as a tactical knife. Automatic knives are prohibited in various areas, consulting local authorities is recommended before buying.

Many of you may be familiar with automatic knives, you just know them by another name, a switchblade. The reason for the change of name came from the Switchblade act of 1958 when it became illegal for people in the United States to carry a switchblade in their pocket because organized gangs started to favor the weapons and were using them to commit violent crimes. Hence, the automatic knife was created and has become the practical substitute to switchblades. It was designed for the purpose of ordinary life in the kitchen or for emergencies, rather than illegal activities.

In picking automatic knives that are best for users, we gathered those from reliable names in the market. We wanted mechanisms that did not clog or break down and would deploy quickly, and would keep an edge through continuous usage. The mechanics had to be top rated, as well as the materials in order for us to consider it. If you have been living with folding knives or quick-draw one-handers, it might be time to upgrade to a full snap blade with one of the best automatic knives around.

OTF Automatic Knives

Out The Front or OTF automatic knives have a blade that pops out the front of the handle. These switchblades are spring loaded and found in both double action which the blades automatically opens and closes, and single action that automatically opens but needs a manual retraction.

Our List of the Eight Best Automatic Knives

8. Boker Kalashnikov Tanto Automatic Knife

Boker Kalashnikov Tanto Automatic Knife

If you’re just beginning to explore the world of the best automatic knives, Boker’s Kalashnikov model is an affordable option. This knife is inexpensive, so it’s a great primer to auto knives. It gives you all the features you want in a modern auto knife with a robust, hard-wearing design as well. Most users love that this knife is affordable, comes sharp out of the box, and is easy to maintain. All these features coupled with the price make it one of the best automatic knives for the value.

Specs

  • Overall Length: 7.50 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.25 inches ;
  • Edge Type: Plain/Partially serrated;
  • Steel Type: AUS-8;
  • Handle Material: Powder-coated aluminum;
  • Opening Mechanism: Button.

7. AKC Switchblade

AKC Classic 6", one of the best automatic knives

Automatic Knife Creations is an Italian manufacturer. They are well-known for the quality of the cutlery they produce. Their aptly named AKC switchblade knife is no exception to this rule. It features the iconic lines and designs of the classic Italian stiletto of the bygone era, with some updated materials to make it more robust. However, AKC employees make these knives by hand, giving each one a slightly unique, rustic appearance.

Specs

  • Overall Length: 6 inches;
  • Blade Length: 2.5 inches;
  • Steel Type: Stainless;
  • Edge Type: Plain;
  • Handle Material: Dark black horn;
  • Opening Mechanism: Lever.

6. Mikov Predator

Mikov 241 Predator Leverlock Automatic Knife

If you’re looking for an auto knife that operates like a bank vault, look no further. The Predator 241 from Mikov is one of the best automatic knives you can get in terms of durability. Despite its dimensions, it is also a visually appealing knife that feels very comfortable in the hand, if a bit heavy in the pocket. If you will be performing tough cutting tasks worthy of a fixed blade but you need the convenience of a folding auto knife, the Predator will suffice. You can even purchase different models that contain extra tools like saws, screwdrivers, and can openers.

Specs

  • Overall Length: 8.5 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.75 inches;
  • Steel Type: 420J;
  • Edge Type: Plain;
  • Handle Material: ABS;
  • Opening Mechanism: Lever.

5. Schrade SC90

Schrade SC90 Automatic Knife Black Aluminum

The SC90 automatic knife is one of the best automatic knives on the market if you want value for your money. You’ll get a quality automatic knife for a great price from a company that established itself in the cutlery world. The company designed its SC90 lineup around the needs of law enforcement personnel, but these knives are available to anyone. Because of this, you know you’re getting an auto knife that will stand up to some rigorous abuse.

Specs

  • Overall Length: 7.8 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.25 inches;
  • Steel Type: AUS-8;
  • Edge Type: Plain or serrated;
  • Handle Material: Aluminum;
  • Opening Mechanism: Button.

4. Boker SpeedLock T4

Boker SpeedLock T4 Tactical Folder

The Boker company gets another spot on our list. If you want a knife that is a bit fancier than the previous Boker, the SpeedLock model is a good choice. It still features the same materials and craftsmanship you’d expect from a company like Boker, but in a sleeker, more modern package. The rubber inserts in the aluminum handle provide a sure grip even in harsh weather conditions.

Specs

  • Overall Length: 7.8 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.3 inches;
  • Steel Type: 4034 stainless;
  • Edge Type: Plain or serrated;
  • Handle Material: Aluminum with rubber inserts (wood is also available);
  • Opening Mechanism: Button.

3. Kershaw Launch 6

Kershaw Launch 6 Automatic Knife Red Aluminum

Kershaw has already made a name for themselves with their assisted knives. Assisted knives are cousins to the automatics but you need to open them manually part of the way before a spring does the rest. Kershaw’s ‘Launch’ line is one of their earliest forays into true automatic knives. The handle design is unusual yet still comfortable, and the blade takes and keeps a great working edge. Its creators designed the Launch 6 as a cross between every day and tactical knives, making it one of the best automatic knives of the new era.

Specs

  • Overall Length: 8.7 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.75 inches;
  • Steel Type: CPM-154;
  • Edge Type: Plain;
  • Handle Material: Aluminum;
  • Opening Mechanism: Button.

2. Buck 110 Auto

Buck 110 Automatic Knife

Anyone who enjoys the classic look and feel of the iconic Buck 110 should enjoy the automatic version. You still get everything great about Buck’s signature folding knife, but with added auto opening functionality. This knife is a great choice for those who like the original 110 design but want something that they can open quickly and with one hand.

Specs

  • Overall Length: 8.6 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.75 inches;
  • Steel Type: 420HC;
  • Edge Type: Plain;
  • Handle Material: Wood;
  • Opening Mechanism: Button.

1. Benchmade Presidio

Benchmade Presidio Automatic Knife

The Benchmade Presidio gets our coveted top spot on this list. Thanks to the quality and high production values of this automatic knife, both newcomers and enthusiasts in the knife world will enjoy this fine product. The Presidio’s blade is a hollow-ground style for superior edge retention and features a swedge that will help push the tip through even the toughest materials. The knife’s handle scales are lightweight, durable, and comfortable to hold even for long periods.

Specs

  • Overall Length: 8.25 inches;
  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches;
  • Steel Type: 154CM;
  • Edge Type: Plain;
  • Handle Material: Aluminum;
  • Opening Mechanism: Button.

Final Thoughts

Like most knives, automatic knives improve with each year passing year. Thanks to new production techniques, materials, heat treating, and innovative designs, you can have your pick of some of the best auto knives the market has to offer. Our list gives you some of the most recent offerings and a few revived classics, ensuring there is something here for everyone. If you’ve had any experience with these models or have other recommendations, please share them with us below.

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