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Hey guys, its John and I’m back again, this time to discuss the best assisted opening knife. I use this type of blade all of the time, and there are literally hundreds of variations to choose from, so as you may have already guessed, I own a ton of these bad boys. I like the design of this blade because they are lightweight, inexpensive, and sharp. Not to mention, they can be opened with one hand easily. An assisted opening knife uses an internal mechanism to swing your blade into a locked position.
The Best Assisted Opening Knife – Why You Need One
If you are anything like me, you always seem to be multi-tasking. That’s what I really love about assisted opening knives, they give you quick access to your blade. I use mine all the time around the office and for different little reasons throughout the day. In fact, I can probably get my assisted open knife out and open in around a second, and yes, I do feel awesome about this.
What Do Assisted Opening Knives Look Like?
Assisted opening knives look like EDC folding knives but they have one main difference, they use torsion springs to assist with opening. They differ from switchblades because they cannot be opening with the press of a button. Assisted opening knives need to be manually opened before their mechanics will kick in and swing your blade all the way open.
There may not seem to be that big of a difference between switchblades and assisted opening knives but legally speaking, the difference is huge. Switchblades are illegal in many states, but oddly enough, everyone seems to be OK with assisted opening knives. I blame this mostly on Hollywood’s portrayal of switchblades during the 50’s and 60’s.
Locking Mechanisms of Assisted Opening Knives
There are many different blade-locking options to choose from and depending on what you are using your knife for, you may find one variation better suited for your particular task. Below are the most common blade locking mechanism found in assisted opening knives.
- Compression Lock
- Frame Lock
- Collar Lock
- Button Lock
- Axis Lock
- Arc Lock
- Ball Bearing Lock
Assisted Opening Knives – What to Look For?
For the average hunter like me, the perfect assisted opening knife has a balance between lightweight ultra-portability and rugged sharpness. I prefer this type of EDC folding knife to non-assisted versions. Some people will disagree but I really love the ease of access I get with this type of knife. There are a couple different materials to consider when searching for the best assisted opening knife. These are the most common.
Aluminum – This lightweight metal gives you an ultra-sharp edge and featherweight profile.
Steel – Steel is the metal of choice and over the centuries hundreds of different steel variations have been created.
Titanium – This metal is harder than steel and lighter than aluminum. The main drawback of titanium is the raised cost.
My Top 5 Assisted Opening Knives – Who Makes The Best Assisted
Zero Tolerance ZT0350TS G10 Handle Folding Tiger Striped Blade with SpeedSafe (With Bonus Pack)
The Zero Tolerance ZT0350TS G10 comes with an incredibly durable, tungsten DLC coated, S30V Stainless Steel blade, that dices through the competition. Zero tolerance lowered the weight of this blade by 10% down to an impressive 5.6 ounces. This makes this blade the perfect EDC folding knife to take along with you on your daily adventures. I really like the size of this knife; it can be easily opened, even with gloves on.
- SpeedSafe Manual Assist
- Tiger Stripe Finish
- DLC Coating
- Partially Serrated
- Not Razor Sharp Out-of-the-Box
This blade offers you a smooth opening mechanism that feels great in your hand. I like the partially serrated blade. Some people don’t like serrated blades because they can be harder to sharpen, but in reality, the serrated part of a blade is much more likely to stay sharper, longer than the straight edge. You get a handy sharpening tool that helps you to keep your blade in pristine condition. All around the board, I think this is a great opening assisted knife for everyday use.
Benchmade – Emissary 477-1, Plain Drop-Point, Aqua Anodized Aluminum Handle, Deep-Carry Clip, Satin Finish
The Benchmade – Emissary 477-1 utilizes an Anodized machined aluminum handle and a patented AXIS assist mechanism to give it an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. The handle is not too thin at 0.52″, but it is thin enough to fit in my pocket comfortably. The deep carry clip makes this blade even more portable and the 3.45″ Drop-point blade slices with ease.
- CPM-S30V Stainless Steel Blade
- Aqua Anodized 6061-T6 Billet Aluminum Handle
- Deep Carry Clip
- Axis Assist
- Large Handle
This blade can take some damage and still look great. The handle length feels a little big for me, but for someone with larger hands, this is the go-to assisted opening knife. The quality and craftsmanship are extremely durable and the overall styling is very appealing. I would def recommend this blade to any of my taller friends looking for an opening assisted knife.
SOG Twitch XL Assisted Folding Knife TWI21-CP – Black TiNi 3.25″ AUS-8 Blade, Black Aluminum Handle, Lockback
The SOG Twitch XL TWI21-CP comes in an ambidextrous format, making it very easy to use from either pocket. The quality-constructed blade is made from AUS-8 Steel and the Drop point blade has a black TiNi finish. This is one good-looking blade and it comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, so you are guaranteed to enjoy this blade for years to come.
- SOG Assisted Opening Technology
- AUS-8 Steel Blade
- Hardcase Black TiNi Finish
- Takes a Few Days to Break the Open in Smoothly
The finish looks stylish and it adds to the overall appeal of this blade. This knife became one of my favorites because of its ability to stay sharp. If you have ever read any of my previous posts, you know, I can’t stand a blade that always needs to be sharpened. This blade holds its edge longer than the competition.
Kershaw 1678 Camber Folding Knife with SpeedSafe
The Kershaw 1678 Camber Folding Knife is by far the least expensive blade on this list. I like the fact that I can use this blade for the tasks I wouldn’t want to use my high-end blades for. This is a great starter blade for anyone looking to get a solid opening assisted knife without breaking their budget. I have had a couple of these blades and I really like the cutting power this blade has.
- 6061-T6 Anodized Aluminum Handle
- S30V Blade
- SpeedSafe Assisted Opening
- Liner Lock
- Frame Lock
There are always going to be some messy jobs that make you second-guess sacrificing your high-end blade. I think this knife gives you the sharpness of a ultra-high end blade that would cost double. I like the clip on this unit, but it can only be used in a tip up configuration, so that limits your carry options. The low price point makes this unit the best assisted opening knife for the money.
Gerber US-Assist 420HC Partially Serrated Edge Knife [30-001294]
The Gerber US-Assist 420HC delivers excellent performance. This blade has a lightweight comfortable handle that keeps this knife well balanced. The Ball-bearing system reduces friction and makes the assisted opening mechanism feel smooth and solid. What I like the most about this blade is its Plunge lock & cross safety system. This keeps your blade locked securely in place when in use.
- Ball-Bearing Assisted Opening
- Plunge Lock & Cross-Bolt Safety
- Thick Handle
This blade allows you to switch your carry clip style between a carry-up or carry-down configuration. I can say with confidence that this is the best assisted opening knife for a first-time buyer. It’s at a great price point and the durability guarantees you years of use. Not to mention, this blade looks great and holds its edge, even during heavy use.
The Best Assisted Opening Knife – The Verdict
The best assisted opening knife for you will have a combination of features to fit your lifestyle. Whenever possible make sure to try each blade out to get a feel for its balance and weight. Obviously, if you are like me, many of your knives are ordered off the internet. When this is the case, always do your due diligence and properly research any potential blades you are considering.
I always keep at least one opening assisted blade on me at all times. You never know when you are going to have to open a package or show off your impressive draw speed.
I hope this blog was helpful in your search to find the best assisted opening knife. Remember to check back in next week, I am sure to be giving you the inside scoop on all your favorite blades.