Best OTF Knife: Buyer’s Guide

The best OTF knife is a specialized knife with a relatively small piece of the knife market. Thanks to the mainstream media, however, these knives have become more popular.

The OTF is very similar to a switchblade and, in truth, a type of switchblade. Those not familiar with the OTF will confuse it for a traditional switchblade, which it isn’t. The difference between an OTF and a switchblade is found in the way that it is deployed.

In a traditional switchblade, the blade folds somewhere around the handle from a fixed point. With an OTF, the blade moves directly forward from the handle, or “out-the-front”. While you are shopping for this knife, you might also hear them referred to as “sliding knives”. These two knives are generally the same as long as the blade deploys directly parallel from the handle.

While they are becoming more popular, there are few manufacturers and OTF brands producing these unique knives. As with any other product, the quality of the OTF brands varies from average to phenomenal.

Below we’ll first discuss the two types of OTF knives, the importance of understanding the differences in the knives provides in-depth reviews of different OTF knives from various blogs, provide a buying guide for your convenience.

Quick Comparison Table Of The Best OTF Knife

The Importance of Understanding the Best OTF Knife 

The best OTF knife was designed to be light-duty knives that were used by people who usually had on hand occupied. The ability for one-handed deployment, usually through a raised thumb-stud, made the switchblade practical. They eventually evolved to have mechanical systems of deployment.

There are three types of OTF switchblades available – single action, double, or dual-action, and manual.

Single OTF’s are closed manually and use a spring mechanism to open the blade. The dual-action OTF’s use the spring action mechanism for both the opening and closing of the blade. The manual OTF’s use no spring mechanism and much like the first OTF designs use a sliding button to open and close the knife.

These blades shouldn’t be used for self-defence because the spring system can fail, which can put the user in danger. Higher-end OTF’s are great additions to any knife enthusiasts’ collection. They can also have a WOW factor because of their design and unique way of deployment.

How We Chose Our Ratings 

The best OTF knife ratings were rated based on quality, durability, customer reviews, and the reviews done by bloggers who are knife enthusiasts. We also considered the popularity of the blogs as proof of their authenticity and authority.

We always rate our examples honestly based on our experience and strive for accuracy by verifying the sources we use for the examples that we choose to use.

The best OTF knife ratings were rated based on quality, durability, customer reviews, and the reviews done by bloggers who are knife enthusiasts. We also considered the popularity of the blogs as proof of their authenticity and authority.

We always rate our examples honestly based on our experience and strive for accuracy by verifying the sources we use for the examples that we choose to use.

Full Review Of The Best OTF Knife

1. Benchmade Infidel 

Benchmade - Bushcrafter 162 Fixed Outdoor Survival Knife Made in USA...

The Benchmade Infidel is known to be the best OTF knife on the planet, and arguably, one of the most well regarded. This knife comes in two sizes – the 3300 Infidel and the Infidel Mini. The 3300 3.95’’ inch blade and 8.95’’ overall length, weighing in at 5.00 ounces. The Mini 3.10’’ inch blade and 7.10’’ inch overall length, weighing in at 3.40 ounces.

This is a dual-action OTF that pushes as good as it pulls. Unlike other OTF’s, the switch is mounted on the handle instead of the spine. This gives is a more natural feel on your hand and a better grip when the blade powers open. This OTF is on the pricier side, but a good addition to any knife collection.


  • Great for tactical use
  • Well designed 
  • Guaranteed for life


  • Fix blade no moving pieces 

2. AKC Minion Concord OTF 

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife with 3.1in...

This OTF is good, dependable and budget-friendly. It’s compact and is pocket-friendly. It comes at a price that is hard to beat and is quite smooth to come at this price point. It comes pretty sharp straight from the box. The only drawback is that it will need regular sharpening and maintenance if it is used frequently.

 This is a dual-action OTF that comes in a variety of colours and a simple design


  • Geared toward light use
  • Come in a wide variety of finishes
  • Out-the-front mechanism activation


  • Lightweight

3. Ashville Steel Para-X 

Spring Assisted Knife - Pocket Folding Knife - Military Style - Boy...

The Ashville Steel Para-X is a single action OTF, which means is power in deployment, but not in retraction like the old-fashioned OTF once were. This isn’t unusual for Ashville Steel who is known for its old-fashioned trademark style, though the company has only been around since 2007.

Ashville Steel produces a limited amount of interesting and bizarre-looking knives, such as the Warlock and newer Phoenix, examples of gravity knives.

The Para-X has an aluminium hand with a right-hand dip down carry pocket clip. It comes in a variety of options and models. Below the plunge, a lock is located with a safety switch which locks the blade either open or closed.

This is a great option if you want an interesting OFT that won’t cost you as much as the Microtech models.


  • Single action OTF
  • Safety switch
  • Cheaper than Microtech


  • Price

4. Schrade Viper

Schrade SCHA7B 7.6in Stainless Steel Assisted Opening Folding Knife...

The Schrade Viper is totally designed and made in the U.S.A. and falls within an affordable price range.

The blade is around 3.5’’ and is of good quality. Reviews say that it has an impressive design, is of overall good quality, and is very functional. Not surprisingly, the affordability of this OTF factors in heavily in the ratings since most other OTF can be quite pricey.

For the functionality and moderate price, this is a great Schrade OTF to add to your collection.


  • Single action OTF
  • Well-built
  • Super durable


  • Safety lock needs improvement

5. Protech Dark Angel 

CJRB CUTLERY Folding Knife Crag (J1904) AR-RPM9 Powder Steel Black PVD...

Protech is known for its sleek, smooth design and hard to match finish. The Dark Angel is a single action OTF with a plunge lock that is used to release the blade and a little flipper tab located on the belly of the knife that would be used to retract the blade.

The Dark Angels come in two types – production and custom. The knives are incredibly light, weighing in at 3.60 ounces, even with the built-in automatic mechanism. You can get the knives in a black and desert sand anodized aluminium handle and a satin, black and smoky grey DLC (black blade only) blade finishes.

This can be a beautiful splurge to add to your collection.


  • Auto out and retract
  • Well-built
  • Solid stainless steel


  • Need improvement on design and quality

6. Kershaw Ripcord Knife  

Kershaw Kuro (1835TBLKST), Pocket Knife with Partially Serrated 3.1”...

The Kershaw Ripcord Knife OFT carries a higher price tag, but the price is more of the norm in the OTF category. The price, however, can become very high and you need to be ready to make a hefty investment for this OTF.

You can be sure that with the backing of the Kershaw name you will be getting the quality that comes along with the investment. The blade of the Kershaw Ripcord Knife is made with Sandvik 13C26 stainless steel and the handle is made with anodized aluminium to keep the feel lightweight.

With speedy deployment and overall high quality, this would be a great first if you’ve never owned a Kershaw.


  • Dual-action knife
  • Pivoting pocket clip 
  • Lightweight framework


  • High price 

7. Microtech Combat Troodon

GERBER Covert Knife, Serrated Edge, Black [22-01966]

Another OTF from Microtech, the Combat Troodon is a dual-action OTF that comes with an immense amount of options and finishes that will satisfy any owner. This OTF is the toughest, beefiest, and worst of the OTFs and it has the price tag to prove it.

The price for this beastly OTF ranging from shocking to speechless, depending on the model. The Combat Troodon comes with different blade design options which you can choose depending on what you’d like to use it for. The blade comes in at 3.8’’ and weighs 5.5 ounces.

If you want a big and bad OTF that also happens to be top of the Microtech line, this is the one to get.


  • Built and quality
  • Great for combat 
  • Slim and comfortable


  • Large and quite heavy

8. G & G Hawk Deadlock

Tac-Force spring Assisted Open Black Bayonet Style Tactical Rescue...

The Deadlock is a dual-action knife that was engineered to try to fix the problem of a shaky blade that often results from regular fast-shooting deployments. Built into the frame is a secondary lock mechanism that eliminates play on all three-axis by locking the blade upward and to the side, while the primary mechanism holds it in its forward position.

This OTF is designed and built by hand by a father and son team in-house. They’re built with high-quality materials so, if you want one of these handmade OTFs, expect to wait patiently and pay a high price that ranges into the 4 figures department.


  • Dual-action knife
  • Pivoting pocket clip 
  • Lightweight framework


  • High price 

9. Mod/Harkins Triton 

Gerber Gear 22-48485 Paraframe Mini Pocket Knife, 2.2 Inch Fine Edge...

This OTF is actually a star with an appearance in the cameo of the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

The Triton has a blade that is 3.6’’ in length and weighs 4.1 ounces. It’s a dual-edged dagger grind that can come either plain or half-serrated with a black coating. Its design lends itself to a comfortable grip and a steep ramp on the thumb switch which makes slippage less likely when you are deploying or retracting the blade.

This OTF is not budget-friendly but is reasonable in comparison to some of the higher prices OTFs on the list.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Automatic knife
  • Comfortable grip


  • Cool but not cool enough to last for long

10. Microtech Ultratech

GERBER Covert Knife, Serrated Edge, Black [22-01966]

The Microtech Ultratech is the brand for the best OTF knife. It is arguably the most well-known brand for high-end automatics and OTF brands. The Ultratech is their flagship OTF and comes in a wide variety of styles.

In one version the blade is made of Elmax steel, which comes in drop point, tanto, and dagger blade grinds. There are even hybrids, like the “Hellhound”, which comes with a mix of the tanto point and clip point.

The few characteristics these knives share are the aluminium handle that is chamfered around the edges, a right-hand tip-down deep carry clip, and proprietary “tri-angle” hardware.


  • Dual-action otf switchblade
  • Construction quality is magnificent
  • Well built


  • Steep in price

Buyer’s Guide – Considering What You Need in a Knife

When choosing an OTF to purchase there are a few things to consider. One major consideration when purchasing the best OTF knife is that of a price.

As stated earlier, purchasing one of these unique knives is an investment that you want to consider carefully. After locking in an appropriate budget, here is a list of a few other qualities you should look for in your OTF.

Blade Size (Best OTF Knife)

The OTF knives come in a variety of lengths and weights. The size of the blade is a determining factor in which tasks you can use the knife for.

Larger knives are better suited for outdoor activities and jobs that are on the heavier side. Smaller knives are better for daily use and to carry in pockets. When carrying a knife, remember to be aware of the laws in place in your state.

Edge Of The Blade (Best OTF Knife)

The blade edge can determine the effectiveness of the blade when performing particular tasks. Think about what the main uses of your OTF will be before making your purchase.

The blades can be straight-edged, fully-serrated, and partially serrated. The straight edges blades are easily sharpened can are used for clean cuts. A fully-serrated edge can be used for cutting tough materials, such as rope. These edges stay sharper longer than straight edges.

A partially serrated knife is the most versatile and gives the best of both worlds.

Blade Shape (Best OTF Knife)​​​​

The shape of the knife determines the strength and integrity of the blade. The shape designs are meant to increase the flexibility and endurance of the blade.

The tanto shape incorporates angles and its design makes it sturdy.

The drop point is commonly used for hunting. The design of the tip ultimately allows the blade to be thicker and makes it more durable.

The spear point is double-edged, allowing users to use both sides of the blade. These are normally used as daggers.

We hope this guide helps you on your hunt to beef up your knife collection.

Everyone will be impressed. Trust us. Featured Image via logo, text and banner added.

Last update on 2022-03-05 at 18:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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