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 its own. But when you look more closely at the mechanisms which open each blade, you can quickly see the difference.

The switchblade, or automatic knife, has a button or a lever which releases the blade. The button or lever releases the tension held by a spring inside the knife handle. When the lever or button is pushed, the tension from the spring releases and launches the blade from the handle and into a locked position. Some switchblades release the blade from the side of the handle like a spring assisted or a folding knife, while others release out the front of handle (Out-the-Front or OTF).  There are very strict laws concerning the ownership and carry of automatic knives, and you should always check local regulations before purchasing to avoid problems.

The spring assisted knife, or assisted opening knife, doesn’t rely on a button or lever for opening. Instead, it uses a spring or torsion bar which doesn’t engage until the knife blade has opening momentum from another source. The best source is obviously human power engaging a thumb stud, thumb hole, thumb disc, or flipper, moving the blade forward until the spring or torsion bar engages and moves the blade open the rest of the way.

The simplest way to tell the difference is whether or not there is a button or lever. An assisted opening knife does not have a button or lever. It has some form of initializing action that requires human effort. Your thumb has to push on a flipper, a thumb stud, a thumb disc, or a thumb hole to start moving the blade. If there is a push button or a slide that releases the blade, that makes it an automatic.

Always remember to check your local laws before purchasing or carrying a knife. If you have questions, consult your local law enforcement for clarification.

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

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

Assisted Opening Knives

First off, welcome to AssistedOpeningKnives.com! We’re glad you found us and we hope we can provide some helpful information for you about assisted knives. We’re big fans and we’ll post about what’s cool & new, what’s hot and what’s not. We’re not going to pretend that we don’t have an agenda (we do- we operate several online stores), but we are committed to spring assisted knives. That should be obvious!

We recommend you take a look at out “About Assisted Knives” page. It contains information on the following topics:

  • What is an assisted opening knife?
  • How do assisted knives work?
  • Who makes assisted opening knives?
  • How much to they cost?
  • Are assisted knives the same as switchblades?
  • Are there legality issues with assisted knives?
  • Where can I find assisted knives for sale?

Other than that bookmark us, sit back and wait for the assisted knife goodness to flow. We’ll probably update AssistedOpeningKnives.com at least once each week, depending on knives products, industry news and so fourth. If there are specific questions you have or information you’re looking for please feel free to leave us a comment! Thanks for visiting.