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The Best OTF Knife For Your Money

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Able to fit into most pockets and could deploy their blade at a moment’s notice, OTF knives are excellent choices in various settings. Such knives would serve you well as tools for camping, hunting, self-defense and so on. Although OTF knives have a couple of drawbacks compared to traditional designs, they still offer unique benefits to the users. That being said, different people have different ideas about the best OTF knife which make it difficult for unfamiliar buyers to obtain the ideal product.

You want some insight information? If that is so, this article shall help you get your hands on the best OTF knife for your needs.

Top-Rated OTF Knife On The Market Today

The following models are all fantastic OTF knives for sale that experts and knife enthusiast often mention when it comes to the best OTF knife. Take a close look at them to see if anything happens to match your criteria.

1. Kershaw Brawler 1990 OTF Knife – Best Of The Best

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Features:

  • Liner Lock
  • 4-Position Carry
  • SpeedSafe Assisted Opening

Why This Is The Best 

Engineered to be a sublime utility knife, Kershaw Brawler 1990 is regarded as among the best OTF knives available for purchase. Packing a resilient modified tanto blade, the Kershaw knife proves capable of punching through tough materials in times of needs. In addition to its piercing power, the knife also features respectable cutting ability as it possesses a straight belly that let you bear down on multiple tasks without much trouble.

For the steel of the blade, the knife from Kershaw chooses heat treated 8Cr13MoV that retains the edge well. Because the steel skillfully handles wears caused by abrasive and adhesive elements, it tends to take a long time for the blade to get dulled.  Moreover, the black oxide coating on top of the blade improves the blade resistance against corrosion on the field which receives many praises from people.

In term of deployment, Kershaw Brawler 1990 utilizes a torsion bar in order to get the blade out of the handle. Thanks to the presence of the innovative SpeedSafe system, it’s possible to ready the knife using only one hand.  The system is made to be usable by right as well as left-handed users. For carrying, the knife comes along a convenient pocket clip that provides a multitude of carrying options for variable situations.

Pros:

  • Light and compact
  • Respectable ruggedness  
  • Straightforward operation

Cons:

  • Quality control is mediocre
  • The flipper should be repositioned

2. Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS OTF Knife – Editor’s Choice

Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS OTF Knife

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Features:

  • M.A.G.I.C. Assisted Opening
  • Ambidextrous Thumb Plate/Glass Breaker
  • Aluminum Handle With Rubber Inlay

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

Everyone knows about the reputation of Smith & Wesson as a firearm manufacturer but the brand produces outstanding knives as well. So in the case you want something that could take a heavy beating, check out SWMP4LBS from S&W. Boasting first class material, ergonomic design and carefully-optimized built-in feature, the knife is the best OTF knife in term of all-around performance.

About the blade, the Smith & Wesson knife utilizes 4034 high carbon stainless steel that delivers both strength and resistance against elements. By incorporating M.A.G.I.C. (Multipurpose Assisted Generational Innovative Cutlery) technology, the knife performs admirably in outdoor, tactical, survival and many other settings. For safety, the knife employs a dependable liner lock that prevents its blade from exiting the handle without your knowledge.

Last but not least, Smith & Wesson SWMP4LBS receive a pocket clip before leaving the factory so there are a lot of carry options available. Hence, it’s a breeze for you to adapt the knife to your personal style. The handle is made from aluminum so it’s light but due to the rubber, you would have good grips. At the bottom of the handle is a glass breaker that allows you to shatter glass within a few moments.

Pros:

  • Well serrated blade
  • User-friendly control
  • Flexible and versatile

Cons:

  • The frame is slightly bulky
  • People complain about the fragility of the assist lever

3. Grand Way 6681 AN OTF Knife – Editor’s Choice

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Features:

  • Thumb Studs
  • Liner Lock
  • Pocket Clip

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice

All you ever need is a plain, no-nonsense knife? Then Grand Way 6681 AN might be the best OTF knife on the market for you. Being a practical product that suits a variety of roles, the Grand Way knife offers great values for its cost. As a proof of confidence, the brand brings to the table a 10-year warranty which speaks volume about the quality of the knife in use.

Determining to achieve a balance between hardness and corrosion resistance on the field, the knife from Grand Way picks 440C stainless steel for its blade. The result is a razor sharp edge that truly packs impressive cutting power and only requires intermittent re-sharpening in order to ensure safe experiences. Because the blade comes in sharp from edge to point, the knife is ready for use out of the box.

Similar to other out-the-front knives, Grand Way 6681 AN select a liner-lock to keep the blade firmly secured. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about unintentional deployments and closures of the blade. The lock also remains perfectly functional long after coming into contact with foreign elements so its reliability is top notch. For carrying, the knife features an integrated pocket clip which makes it simple to keep the knife close as you move from place to place.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price tag
  • Stylish appearance
  • Excellent handling characteristics

Cons:

  • Somewhat slippery handle
  • Screws loosen over time

4. TAC Force TF-719BK OTF Knife

TAC Force TF-719BK OTF Knife

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Features:

  • Aluminum Handle
  • Drop Point, Half-Serrated Blade
  • Glass Breaker And Seat Belt Cutter

Why We Love It

Designed for tactical use, TAC Force TF-719BK is the best OTF knife to have around once things get tough. Thanks to the inclusion spring assisted mechanism, the knife from TAC Force is able to deploy its blade in just a blink of an eye. To ready the knife, simply tap the knife trigger and the blade shall pop out. Though the knife seems to be a dual trigger model at first glance, only one trigger work while the other is merely a look alike.

Possessing a textured handle, the TAC Force knife guarantees tight grips in the majority of working conditions which earn appreciations from users around the globe. In most of the case, you should have an easy time wielding the knife in whatever way you see fit. Once deployed, the liner lock of the knife fix the blade in position so people tend to have no trouble applying force as they like.

Since TAC Force TF-719BK is a tactical tool, it’s natural that the knife boasts a couple of features that prove critical in emergencies. On the bottom of the handle is a glass breaker to smash glasses and if you run into traffic accidents, the belt cutter of the knife could help you free yourself as well as others in the matter of second. So all things considered, it’s safe to say that the knife is the best OTF knife for the money in the tactical category nowadays.

Pros:

  • Fast shipping
  • Thick pocket clip
  • High endurance

Cons:

  • A bit on the bulky side
  • Less than ideal quality control

5. Gerber Covert OTF Knife

Gerber Covert OTF Knife

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Features:

  • F.A.S.T Technology
  • Coated Titanium Blade
  • G-10 Handle

Why We Love It

If your top criterion for OTF knives happens to be speed then you definitely have to check out Gerber Covert. The presence of the oversized deploy/retract button permits you to ready the knife in a fraction of a second. Want to temporarily stop the blade from getting out of the handle of the knife? If that is so, set the safety switch so it covers the red dot in order to disable the blade mechanism for the time being. The switch is right below the deploy/retract button so you would be able to manipulate it without much difficulty.

Employing a spear point blade that is partially serrated, the knife from Gerber is capable of executing stressful tasks that involve piercing/cutting tough materials. Nonetheless, it’s wise to stay away from extreme projects if you honestly wish to hang on to the knife. Assuming you take care of it, the knife may last for years on the field which justifies its acquisition cost.

To ease handling, Gerber utilizes the G-10 handle for the Covert which provides good grip for most of the time. On the surface of the handle, there are several verticals to help you get a firm hold of the handle. In addition to that, the incorporation of jimpings enhances the level of comfort available to the fingers of the users. The knife comes along a rather deep pocket clip but if you want to carry the knife using Paracord, a lanyard hole is present too.

Pros:

  • Nice balance
  • Smooth functions
  • Razor sharp blade

Cons:

  • The packaging is barely acceptable  
  • There are reports about mechanism defects

6. Schrade Viper 3 OTF Knife (Plain)

Schrade Viper 3 OTF Knife

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Features:

  • Textured Handle
  • Push-Open Deployment
  • Double Edged Spear Point Blade

Why We Love It

Generally speaking, Schrade is a well-established name on the market of knives and Schrade Viper 3 is arguably the best OTF knife from the brand. Light, rugged and compact, the Schrade knife is a solid out-the-front knife that everyone from beginners to veteran could put to good use. For a small sum of money, you are going to own one the most highly rated out-the-front automatic knives these kinds of days.

In order to let people handle cutting tasks effectively and efficiently, the knife from Schrade incorporates a double edge blade that cut through most materials. Furthermore, the resilient spear point shape of the blade also packs commendable piercing power. As a result, the knife works well in a wide range of application which means it’s a great option for campers, hunters and alike.

Once the need arises, you want to get the blade of your knife out as soon as possible and Schrade Viper 3 totally satisfies that requirement. In order to ready the knife, all you have to do is to lightly tap the push button on the side to deploy the blade. After the blade is out, it shall be locked in place so feel free to exhort force as you want without having to worry that the blade might suddenly collapse.

Pros:

  • Budget cost
  • Deep pocket clip
  • Take a bit of room

Cons:

  • Take times to get used to the operation
  • The delivery is below average

7. Gerber Mini Covert OTF Knife

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Features:

  • Side Lock
  • Serrated Blade
  • One Hand Deployment

Why We Love It

Like the idea behind Gerber Covert but you need something a wee bit more compact? Then its cousin, Gerber Mini Covert, would likely be the best OTF knife for you. Although it’s smaller, the Gerber knife inherits many features of the original Covert: F.A.S.T opening technology, tough coated titanium blade, ergonomic G-10 handle and so on. Hence, the knife works just as good as its predecessor in a lot of settings.

Having a slim and sleek profile, the knife from Gerber should fit well in your pockets without creating a bulge. Furthermore, because it’s quite light, the knife never weighs you down as you move. In term of handling, the knife permits near instant one hand deployment which proves exceptionally useful in plenty of situations. Thanks to the comfortable handle that reduces fatigue, it’s simple to wield the knife for extended periods of time.

To ensure strength, Gerber Mini Covert use coated titanium for its blade which splendidly handles materials as well as elements. Needless to say, the edge of the blade retains its sharpness for quite some time so you don’t have to sharpen it too frequently. Last but not least, the durable side lock of the knife hold down the blade after it’s deployed so you could freely exert force.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent fitness  
  • Compact construction

Cons:

  • The operation is rough
  • Customers notice dust in the assembly

8. Schrade Viper 3 OTF Knife (Recurve)

Schrade Viper 3 OTF Knife (Recurve)

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Features:

  • Aluminum Handle
  • 4034 Stainless Steel
  • Pocket Clip And Glass Breaker

Why We Love It

In most of the case, Schrade Viper 3 (Plain) is able to go through all materials encountered in usual cutting tasks. That being said, if you ever need a knife that features a more aggressive blade then Schrade Viper 3 (Recurve) is surely the product for you. Boasting a double edge spear point blade in addition to double recurve, the knife from Schrade cut extremely well compared to the average models available for purchase on the market.

About the blade deployment and safety switch, the Schrade knife functions in a similar to its brothers in the series. In order to get the blade out, you need hit the push button located on the side of the handle. Once you are done using the knife, retract the blade and proceed to engage the safety switch near the bottom. Move the safety switch so it stays on top of the red dot to disable the deploying mechanism of the knife until the next use.

Incidents happen from time to time which means it’s necessary to be prepared beforehand. Schrade Viper 3 (Recurve) includes a glass breaker in its layout to allow you to shatter glasses in times of needs. You would find the glass breaker on the end of the handle, smash it repeatedly against the surfaces of the glasses in case of emergencies. Beside the glass breaker, the handle also possesses a pocket clip for ease of carrying.

Pros:

  • Razor sharp edge  
  • Solidly built mechanism
  • Feel good in most hands

Cons:

  • Slightly stiff
  • Several people receive mismatched products

9. MTN Safety OTF Knife

Schrade Viper 3 OTF Knife (Recurve)

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Features:

  • 440c Stainless Steel
  • All Metal Body
  • Off Track Safety

Why We Love It

For people that really want to secure some quality and have money spare, MTN Safety Knife is a wise investment. Build for hard use, the MTN knife is widely known as the best OTF knife in term of cost-effectiveness among double action OTF knives. Regardless of what you have in mind for it, the knife is going to perform with distinction on the field.

Considering the fact that it’s a double action model, the operation of the knife from MTN is fairly smooth. To deploy and retract the knife blade, you only have to manipulate the thumb slide. Engineered to deal with unforgiving conditions, the mechanism works reliably in multiple types of weather and environments. Nonetheless, in order to get the most out of the knife, it’s a good idea to clean as well as lubricate the components periodically.

Weighing at just a few ounces on average, MTN Safety Knife let people carry and wield it without much difficulty. Additionally, the presence of the contoured handle further boosts the handling characteristic of the knife. Aside from the sharp blade made from stainless steel, the knife also features a pocket clip and a glass breaker. Moreover, the knife comes along a microfiber pouch so there are a lot of ways for you to carry it.

Pros:

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Handy integrated features
  • Portable and rugged

Cons:

  • A bit expensive
  • Inconsistent quality

10. Tac Force Joker “Why So Serious” OTF Knife

Tac Force Joker "Why So Serious" OTF Knife

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Features:

  • Assisted Opening
  • Stainless Steel Blade
  • Removable Belt Clip

Why We Love It

So your shopping budget for knives is kind of tight? In that case, Tac Force Joker “Why So Serious” might be the best budget OTF knife for your financial situation. Despite the absence of advanced features in the design, the Tac Force knife nonetheless proves capable of meeting the needs and requirement of standard projects. Assuming proper uses, the knife could last for years too.

Employing surgical high-quality steel, the spear-headed blade of the knife from Tac Force cut and pierce rather well. It takes a good amount of time for the edge of the blade to lose it sharpness but once that happens, re-sharpening is straightforward using a two-stage sharpener. In order to deploy the blade, simply tap the trigger on top of the knife.

For carrying, Tac Force Joker “Why So Serious incorporates a removable pocket clip that holds it firmly as you move. The lightweight body of the knife ensures that you rarely feel bothered by it while performing tasks on the field. In use, it’s possible for both left and right-handed users to manipulate the knife as they see fit without running into significant difficulty.

Pros:

  • Superb durability
  • Come well sharpened
  • Flexible and versatile

Cons:

  • Slightly weak spring
  • People report defects

Frequently Asked Questions About OTF Knives

In order to get your money worth, it’s a good idea to have a firm grasp of the characteristics of OTF knives in general. Here are a couple of questions that often pop up when it comes to such knives and their appropriate answers.

best otf knife
An OTF Knife is indispensable for the outdoor life!
  • Is it against the law to buy/possess OTF knives?

Technically speaking, regulations about the OTF knives tend to vary substantially from place to place. In certain regions, you should experience no trouble getting knives of the type from stores. On the other hand, it’s forbidden to own and trade OTF knives in specific states unless the users come from militaries/law enforcement forces. That is why to avoid potential nuisance in the future, it worth the time and effort to research the local rules before purchasing OTF knives.

  • How lethal are OTF knives?

For many years, movies have described OTF knives as lethal weapons that inflict horrendous wounds by propelling their blade straight into the victim’s body. Actually, the deployment mechanism of such knives rarely delivers enough force to get the blade to penetrate a thin sheet of carton, let alone flesh. Hence, if you ever need to use OTF knives in self-defense scenarios, deploy the blade as soon as possible. Similar to most usual knives, OTF knives could be used to slash as well as thrust but they prove inferior to purpose design fighting knives.  

  • What is the best use of the average OTF knives?

Considering the delicate nature of OTF knives, it’s strongly recommended that you refrain from takings things to the extremes. Rough handling shall cause components of even the best OTF knife to fail and once that takes place, the knife would be a nice paperweight. As a result, the most practical application of OTF knives is light duty cutting tasks. Because knives in the group deploy their blade right from the front, they come in pretty handy if you often have to navigate confined spaces.

  • Blades of OTF knives use steels similar to classic knives?

OTF knives use a wide range of steel for their blades: CPM S30V, VG-10, AUS-8, 8Cr13MoV and others.  To ensure that the knife you are about to get fit your preferences, it’s widely advised that you assess the steel of its blade. Some steels retain the sharpness of the edge for a long time but require tedious re-sharpening while other steels get dulled after a while but offer straightforward re-sharpening. Take your taste into account to determine the suitable steel for your best OTF knife.

  • How to maintain OTF knives?

Owning the best OTF knife means nothing if you completely neglect the issue of upkeep. Since OTF knives contain plenty of movable parts, it’s of utmost importance for you to perform periodic maintenance to keep them in good conditions. Every once in a while, discharge the blade, open up your knife and proceed to thoroughly clean the interior components. During the process, add a bit of lubrication here and there to facilitate the operation. After that, put the knife back together like before and then test out its performance.  

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