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What to Look for in a Good OTF Knife?

otf knife . 

Over the last couple of years, the OTF (out of the front) knives experienced tremendous growth in popularity. And seriously, what's not to like here?

These days, we are living our lives on the go. Having simple, small tools that could make countless daily chores far simpler. And OTF knives are exactly that. No matter whether you are trying to fix something at home, set up your camp, open cans, drive screws, or deal with some of the other tasks that require a small sharp blade, these bad boys will help you solve the issue in a matter of seconds.

Keeping that in mind, though, we would like to point out that not all OTF blades are made the same and that market is flooded with countless subpar models.

Let us take a look then at a couple of considerations that will help you find the unit you deserve.

The type of the knife

Even though they are very niche products, OTF knives are themselves versatile products that feature a lot of variety and are made with different purposes in mind. Some of them have more of an accessory feel to them. Others are more durable, have better grips, and are made to serve as versatile tools. And then there are the tactical OTF knives that are made for hunters, campers, and other people who spend a lot of time in nature. Having a clear idea about how you are going to use the knife will purchase much easier.

Size and form factor

Much like all other blades, you can find on the market, the OTF knives come in all shapes and sizes. So, now that you have an idea about how you are going to use the blade it’s time to make a final say on the size. That being said, while smaller blades are very easy to carry around and present a more versatile solution, they are not that easy to handle, at least if you have somewhat bigger hands. On the other hand, bigger blades inspire more confidence, but you won't slip them into the pocket so easily.

Durability and build quality

These two things are so closely tied together we decided to cover both of them in the same run. That being said, a moderately priced quality OTF knife should feature a durable D2 steel blade with a hardness of about 60 HRC and aluminum chassis. As for the handle material, it's really up to personal preference. Some of the options you have on the table are wood, Kevlar, aluminum, etc. All these elements should be well-put together firm and feature a grip that allows for safe and comfortable use.

Single or double edge

Once again, it really boils down to what you need the blade for. As you can probably guess, double-bladed knives, are far more capable when it comes to slashing and penetration purposes which makes them more suitable for hunting and similar outdoor purposes. The single-blade OTF knives don't have the same damage capacity but they are also usually more expensive and far safer to use. If you want to have something practical to cut the ropes, paper, food, or cardboard, a single blade will serve you more than well.

Single or double action

If you are unfamiliar with the idea, double-action knives are capable of both releasing and recharging the blade by sliding the lever. On the other hand, the single-action OTF can only release the blade while the user needs to put the blade back manually. Out of the two, double-action blades make a much better option since they are far more streamlined and better for one-hand use. But they are also more expensive and have more things to break. Less demanding users can get away even with a single action.


Last but not least, we need to cover one of the important considerations attached to any type of product and that is the price tag attached to the package. In this regard, OTF knives tend to take some very wild swings. Cheap knockoffs will cost you only a couple of dozen of bucks while the more sophisticated units have no problem asking that you pay several hundred of dollars. So, if you don’t aim for any of these extremes the price range between 100 to 200 bucks will give you a lot of value for the money you pay.

We hope these couple of considerations gave you a general idea about the things you should take into consideration to make sure that you get the best possible OTF blade you can. There is no denying that OTF knives are incredibly useful and downright necessary tools to have around. But that doesn’t mean every blade will suit every user. The things we have covered above should make your next purchase if only a bit easier.

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