Spring Assisted Vs. Automatic

A common source of confusion for new knife enthusiasts is the difference between a spring assisted knife and a switchblade knife. Even those who are familiar with pocket knives or fixed blade knives often don’t know the difference between a switchblade and an assisted knife. The confusion is easy to understand as in both cases the knife may seem to release from the handle on … Continue reading

Assisted Opening Mechanisms from Different Brands

Kershaw Leek

If you’ve spent much time at all browsing around for a new spring assisted knife, then you’ve probably seen lots of names of different technologies thrown around, like SpeedSafe or OutBurst, but you might not know what they are exactly. Even if you know what these technologies basically are, it’s easy to get them mixed up and to forget which assisted opening technology goes with which company.

I thought it might be useful to break down some of the more common assisted opening mechanisms to help you visualize which companies invented which mechanisms. If you don’t see a particular mechanism listed below, I probably couldn’t find much information about it online. At the bottom of this post I did list some of the mechanisms that I couldn’t find much information on but that are clearly claimed by companies.


Assisted Opening Mechanisms

SOG Assisted Technology (S.A.T.)

S.A.T. is used in SOG’s stellar spring-assisted knives. In SOG’s words, this technology “works through the balance of opposing high-tension coil springs. As you initiate the opening action, the force propelling your blade open becomes greater than the force keeping it closed.” Once the blade opens far enough, the blade deploys with automatic-like action.


Kershaw Speedsafe

You’ve probably seen Ken Onion’s custom knives in addition to his designs that have been produced by big-name brands like Kershaw and CRKT, but he also originally designed Kershaw’s SpeedSafe mechanism. Who knew? The SpeedSafe mechanism utilizes a torsion bar to deploy the blade.


CRKT OutBurst

CRKT’s OutBurst opening mechanism deploys the blade once it has been opened at least 20-30° with the help of the thumb studs. In CRKT’s words, “A long torsion bar engages a cam on the internal portion of the blade. The cam is ground so that when the blade is closed, the spring provides bias to keep it closed.”


Benchmade Nitrous

Benchmade’s Nitrous assisted mechanism uses two torsion bars that extend the length of the handle liners. The torsion bars are securely stationed in place with the help of the tang of the blade. Once the blade is opened far enough, torsion bars take over and deploy the blade. The Nitrous system requires the blade to be opened slightly further than other systems (at least 30°), which Benchmade says gives user added control when using the knife.

(From what I’ve seen, it looks like H&K also uses the Nitrous assisted opening system.)



Additional Assisted Opening Mechanisms

Buck – ASAP Opening Technology

Camillus – Robo Power

Gerber – Forward Action Spring Technology (F.A.S.T.)

Smith & Wesson – M.A.G.I.C.


These are the more common spring assisted mechanisms I found, but that doesn’t mean that others don’t exist. Many of these technologies are very similar to each other with slight differences, but they all work extremely well. Spring assisted technologies are great because they match the speed of automatics, but they are typically legal in more areas than automatic knives. Do you have a favorite assisted opening mechanism? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!


If you’re in the market for a new spring assisted knife, be sure to head over to Blade HQ for a great selection!

Spring Assisted Knife Care

You might know the general proper knife care and maintenance for your spring assisted knife—oiling, keeping the blade dry, sharpening, etc. But you might not focus on what you shouldn’t do with your spring assisted knife, and that’s just as important as knowing what you should be doing with your knife. Here are just a few things to avoid with your spring assisted knife to … Continue reading

Ontario RAT


The Ontario RAT Model 1 is seriously an amazing knife. First and foremost, you can really great quality for an even better price with the RAT 1. No one wants to overpay for anything, and you get an amazing deal when you get the RAT 1. The index finger groove gives you added control and security when you’re using the knife, so it’s really nice to … Continue reading

Kershaw Funxion Lightweight Spring Assisted Knife


If you’re in tune with the knife world, then you know Blade Show just happened in Atlanta. There were quite a few new knives introduced for 2014 including the Kershaw Funxion: The Funxion is a pretty unique knife. The butt of the handle folds out like this: At the bottom of the handle is a locking carabiner clip and a belt/cord cutter with a hex … Continue reading

CRKT Endorser Spring Assisted Folding Knife

crkt-endorser-1105-2 (1)

With BLADE Show just around the corner, it seemed appropriate to revisit the knife that won “Best Buy of the Year” at BLADE Show in 2013. The CRKT Endorser won the title last year, and it’s a pretty sweet blade. The Endorser is a folding knife that totals 7.31 inches in length and has a 3.18-inch 8Cr14MoV blade. The blade can be deployed with thumb … Continue reading

Buck Rush Spring Assisted Folding Knife


One spring assisted knife we haven’t looked at yet is the Buck Rush: The Buck Rush uses Buck’s ASAP technology. ASAP has two steps: releasing the safety and then deployment with the use of the flipper or dual thumb studs. The ASAP technology works great and is speedy, and  the skeletonized handle cuts down on the weight to give you a 2.30-ounce knife. The overall … Continue reading

Kershaw Turbulence


We’ve covered a fair few Kershaw knives lately, but before I move on to another brand, take a look at one more stellar Kershaw: The Kershaw Turbulence is a great everyday carry with some flair. I’m a fan of the overall design of the knife; the handle has nice contours that flow right into the blade very smoothly and make the knife look like one … Continue reading

Kershaw Ember


Kershaw is releasing a new knife this year called the Ember. It’s very similar to the Kershaw Cryo, but it’s a bit smaller. The Cryo has a 2.75-inch blade and totals 6.5 inches in length while the Ember has a 2-inch blade and totals 4.8 inches in length. The Cryo is a great bang for your buck; it has a quality design, top-notch materials, excellent … Continue reading

New: Kershaw Scrambler BlackWash


The Kershaw Scrambler was introduced at Blade Show in 2013, but this year it’s coming out with a sweet BlackWash-finished blade and handle. The Scrambler is spring assisted, and it features Kershaw’s SpeedSafe opening system that’s really quick. The blade is made of 8Cr13MoV steel, which has a hardness of 58-59 and is also quite resistant to corrosion. The flat-ground top swedge gives the drop … Continue reading