When deciding what type of knife you need to carry, there are several knives that one can choose from. You can opt for an ultra-reliable sheath knife, a good quality folding knife, or the newer styles of mechanically opening knives. All these are collectively known as switchblades and out-the-front-knives.
OTF knives are commonly known as Out-the-Front-knives, and they belong to the automatic knives family. These have grown in popularity in the past few years and continue with an extensive range available on the market. Its blades are no different than other knives and come in combinations of single or double-plain edge and other finishes.
OTF knives, as the name suggests, only open through the front. However, these knives can be used across all domains of everyday life, either for personal or professional use. They are ideal as they can be operated single-handedly and are good time savers. OTF knives are firm favourites amongst fishers, military personnel, and other emergency service users such as EMTs and police.
How do OTF knives work?
EDC knives, the blade is concealed within the handle, and the contrary to folding knives can be operated manually. OTF knives are automatic, and when it gets activated, the blade springs open through the front and locks into place. There is usually a button or slide switch that helps activate the internal mechanism and allows the blade to eject.
1: Single-Action OTF knife
OTF knives, along with a single-action mechanism, can only perform a single function, and these knives contain a release button that ejects the blade. These knives are speedy and ferocious as they are deployed in seconds. Thus, in order to return the blade into its enclosure, a lever needs to be pulled back and repaired using both hands.
Also, it is important to take some extra care in order to avoid injury when manually retracting the blade. Remember, the benefit of single-action OTF knives is that they are typically less in price and less complex than their counterparts. Lesser parts mean less wear and tear, and they are more durable and resilient to last longer. Similar to OTF knives there are venom OTF knives which can be used to cut vegetables, etc.
2: Double-Action Knife
As you guessed, the double-action knife allows two functions, and it ejects the blade and pulls it back on. Thus, there is no need for manual or two-handed operation. Double-action knives are operated by a slide switch that is either found on the main side of the handle or the top side.
These knives are engineered to provide speed and practicality to operate with your thumb. They are great if the single-handed operation is crucial. Double-action OTFs are expensive as they come packed with more mechanical parts.
However, this can potentially lead to quicker wear and tear and break more easily depending on usage. Also, blade deployment might be slower than the single-action OTF.
Things you should look for in OTF knife
One of the first things you need to consider in an OTF knife is its intended use. Aside from its opening mechanism, be it single or double action, all characteristics of a good knife must come into play when selecting an OTF knife.
Here are a few factors that you should consider when buying an OTF knife
1: Blade Type
OTF knives come along with either a single or double edge blade. A single-edge blade with one cutting edge might be better for usual cutting works. One of the basic points to keep aware of is that a single edge adds a measure of safety. It can eliminate the unintentional impact of other objects or surfaces, especially when working in tight spaces. Also, the tip or point of a single edge is much stronger than the point of a double-edged blade.
One can use these knives for self-defence purposes and opt for double-edge blades since this kind of blade contains sharp edges on both sides, and this type of blade gives you more options, making it the best OTF knife for self-defence.
One should consider using an OTF knife with good-quality steel to retain a sharp edge that could hold up to your everyday use. Also, one must remember that, unlike fixed blades, your OTF knives are more often, and you must not be concerned with the blade alone. You also need to look at its handle and switch’s quality, durability, and workability.
3: Spring Mechanism
You should consider what type of opening mechanism you want for your OTF knife, and you can choose between a single or a double-action OTF knife. Thus, when it comes to the trigger, you can have a button, a switch, or a lever method of opening.
Since the main purpose of having an OTF knife is quick, easy, and one-handed deployment. Thus, you can choose a double-action knife that opens with a thumb switch. Also, you can look for an OTF knife with a reliable locking mechanism, and it securely holds the blade in both open and closed positions.