Last updated: October 15, 2021

Welcome to our big switchblade test 2021. Here we present all the switchblades we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best switchblade for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying a switchblade.




Summary

  • The switchblade is also called a switchblade in most regions, as it is often in the text.
  • There are two different categories of switchblade knives: The side-snap knife and the OTF switchblade.
  • OTF switchblades are generally prohibited in many countries. The blade of side-slit knives must not exceed a certain length.

The Best Switchblade: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Switchblade knife

Who is a switchblade suitable for?

Switchblades, also called switchblades, are automatic knives that open with a folding or sliding mechanism.

When the knife is closed, the blade is in the handle and is opened by operating a specific mechanism.

In media resonance, this type of knife remains somewhat negatively afflicted, as it is very often associated with criminal offences. The purchase of this type of knife is also restricted in many parts of Europe. The legal situation often differs from country to country.

The switchblade knife is particularly suitable for outdoor work. It is sharp, compact and very flexible. (Image source: pixabay / LUM3N)

In principle, this type of knife is also a pocket knife. The biggest advantage of a switchblade knife is that you can open it very quickly with one hand, which can be very helpful for many activities and jobs, such as camping. Therefore, interested customers should pay special attention to this aspect.

How does a switchblade actually work?

Nowadays, the switchblade knife can be purchased in many versions. In general, switchblades are divided into two categories, the OTF switchblade and the side switchblade. Depending on the model, different types of springs are used.

The two mechanisms of side spring knives are generally called leaf spring and coil spring. With these two types, the blade is pressed outwards by a certain amount of springing. This is triggered by a change in tension caused by the pressure on the button.

In leafspring knives, the spring is in the back of the handle. When the button is pressed, a change in tension occurs and the spring subsequently falls apart.

The blade then comes out. When the blade is returned, the spring is tensioned again and the original condition is restored.

With the coil spring type, the spring is in a different position. It is attached to the axle screw of the blade. The rest of the process is identical to the leafspring.

What is a spring knife comb?

A switchblade comb offers an exciting alternative to a conventional comb for those who want to have an eye-catcher in terms of style. This way you can always carry a kind of switchblade with the difference - a comb pops out.

The retractable comb looks amazingly similar to a real switchblade and even has the same mechanism as the knife.

The comb is of course fully functional and waiting for your hair. This is also available in all versions and is always a highlight at a party.

What are the alternatives to a switchblade knife?

Switchblades are not much different in purpose from other pocket knives, except that you can open them quickly and with one hand.

But in the following section we would like to show you some alternatives to switchblades. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Balisong

The balisong, or butterfly knife, originates from the Philippines and is a folding knife with two-part pivoting handles.

The handles of this knife often contain holes for ease of use. This knife is completely prohibited in Germany.

In Austria, for example, it is permitted without restriction from the age of 18, just like the switchblade knife.

Survival knife

These knives also belong to the robust belt knives and can get you out of the most diverse dangerous situations.

But this knife also has a rather smaller blade, which is often hidden in the handle. However, there is no spring here and the knife must be opened with both hands.

Pocket knife

Probably one of the best-known knives on the globe is the popular all-purpose tool, the pocket knife.

With a wide variety of tools, from a saw to a toothpick and even tweezers and a corkscrew are available in many variants.

This makes it a practical companion in nature and everyday life.

Fist knife

The blade of this knife is attached at a right angle to the handle. The handle lies across the palm of the hand, with the blade between two fingers.

This is an extremely compact knife, but it is prohibited in Germany unless you have a special permit, such as a hunter or furrier.

What types of switchblades are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a switchblade, there are two alternatives to choose from:

  • Side-spring knife
  • OTF switchblade knife

The different mechanisms of switchblades each bring advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer, a different type is suitable for you. In the following section, we would like to make your decision easier.

What are the characteristics of a side-spring knife and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

As already mentioned, side-spring knives are the kind of knives where the blade is hidden in the handle and then catapulted out via a spring. We distinguish between leafspring and coilspring knives.

Probably the most decisive advantage for you is that this version, in contrast to the OTF spring knife, is permitted in Germany if the blade length does not exceed 8.5 cm.

Advantages
  • Compactness
  • Easy handling
  • High flexibility
Disadvantages
  • Strict legal situation
  • Risk of injury in case of carelessness

The side-spring knife is also operated with one hand, which gives the wearer greater flexibility.

Furthermore, you have an enormously easy handling, as the knife can be opened with just one push of a button. Due to the small size of the knife, you can also carry it comfortably in your pocket.

What distinguishes an OTF switchblade knife and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The OTF in this type of knife stands for "out the front". This means that the blade jumps towards the front. Different types of knives can also be distinguished with this mechanism. From a technical point of view, this is a very simple knife.

The manual OTF knife has a sliding mechanism or other pressure point. Here, too, you can activate the blade by pressing a button.

Furthermore, so-called gravity OTF jumping knives are also produced. Here the blade comes out when the knife is held on the ground. Thus, the blade is released by gravity and not by pressure.

The gravitational OTF jump knives are usually larger and rather more dangerous. These were often used in the past by paratroopers in World War II.

Advantages
  • Compactness
  • Easy handling
  • High flexibility
  • Double-action design
Disadvantages
  • Banned in Germany on principle
  • Risk of injury if careless

There are also single-action and double-action models of OTF switchblade knives. Double-action means that you can put the blade back into the handle with the trigger. With single-action knives, this is done with the handle.

This type of knife is generally prohibited in Germany and may otherwise only be used by special professional groups, such as the police or fire brigade. The OTF switchblade knife is also easy to handle and very compact. However, the user must always remain careful, because there is also a risk of injury.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate iron pans

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the large number of possible switchblades.

The criteria you can use to compare the knives with each other include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what the individual criteria are.

Blade length

As already mentioned, the blade length is a decisive criterion and is strongly related to the legal situation.

The knife blade must not exceed a length of 8.5 cm, otherwise the knife is illegal.

The blade may also not be ground on both sides. Only side-bladed knives are legal in Germany.

These are usually shorter than OTF switchblades. You should pay particular attention to this issue, as in certain cases you may have to pay a fine of up to several thousand euros if you break the law.

Handle

When choosing a knife, you should consider not only the blade but also the handle. A certain degree of manageability is also essential for handling the knife.

Depending on your taste, you can buy switchblade knives with different handle materials. For example, there are knives with handles made of horn and, similar to wood, you have to make sure that the handle is dry.

Excitingly, you can choose between many different materials for the handle. There are different types of wood, which are also divided into groups. Group A woods include ebony, wenge, olive, zebrawood, etc.... . Group B woods can be desert ironwood, snakewood or thuja.

Wooden handles have the great advantage with knives that the natural agents in the wood kill bacteria. Wood is also more stable than metal handles. However, wood is best maintained with oils and then polished with a cloth.

A plastic handle is particularly recommended because of its simplicity, as you can clean them quickly and easily. Plastic therefore has its advantages when it comes to hygiene. However, many switchblade knives are also available with metal handles.

Spring mechanisms

There are a number of mechanisms for switchblade knives. Choosing the right one is a decisive criterion, because here too the law is not uniform in many countries.

The first rough distinction is between the side spring knife and the OTF spring knife. There are also subgroups for each of these types of knives. If you come from Germany, you can only decide between the types of side jumping knives.

The exact functioning of the switchblade knives is described above.

Blade material

Steel can be processed to the right dimensions for the right blade through certain manufacturing processes and proper heat treatment. The crucial factors for blades are edge retention, sharpness, robustness, strength and hardness and corrosion resistance.

The material of the blade needs a hardness of at least 56 HRC. A hardness level of up to 60 HRC is suitable for the switchblade.

A hard steel can make all the difference for just about any knife. (Image source: unsplash / Winkler J.)

Another important point is that the material of the blade is rust-free. Rusting knives are much easier to sharpen, but their lifetime is shorter because of the rust.

The reverse is true for stainless knives, which require little cleaning and care, but are more difficult to sharpen. A common type of steel for switchblades is 440A steel, just like for belt knives.

Facts worth knowing about switchblades

What is the difference to a one-handed knife?

One-handed knives are a type of pocket knife where the blade is opened and closed with one hand.

You will find this type of knife in situations where it is important to open the knife quickly, such as in combat or rescue operations.

In order to be able to open a one-handed knife, it has various opening aids on the blade, whereby some options have already been established:

  • Opening pin: Certain pins are attached to the blade and with the help of the thumb the blade can be pushed upwards.
  • Hole in the blade: This option has an eye drilled into the blade, with the help of which the thumb can push it open.
  • Flipper: This is a nose that is attached to the pawl joint. When the knife is closed, it sticks out. To open it, you have to press your index finger on the flipper and the knife comes out.

One-handed knives and switchblades are often equated, but these two types of knives are very different from each other in some respects.

Switchblades open automatically when the mechanism is activated by a spring, whereas with a one-handed knife you have to do everything manually.

Here you can clearly see the hole in the blade of the one-handed knife, which is used for opening. (Image source: pixabay / SnaXXy)

What is a stiletto knife?

The stiletto knife has a long history and originally comes from Italy. It refers to a slender, tapered three- or square-edged blade.

At that time, the long and narrow blade made it possible to cause very devastating physical injuries with only minor marks.

Since the 1950s, the stiletto knife has also become synonymous with switchblade knives. Many soldiers of the time brought this knife home as a souvenir, which led to its notoriety. The production of the first modern stilettos took place in the city of Maniago at the beginning of the 20th century.

These knives are also side-spring knives, although there are many side-spring knives on the market today that use the same technique but differ in appearance.

Image: 123rf.com / denisfilm

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