Top 3 Spring Assist Knives

Top 3 Spring Assist Knives

Benchmade 913 Nitrous Stryker

If we are doing a list of “top knives” in any category Benchmade is sure to be in there somewhere. I am not a huge fan of Benchmade automatics of any type but I think they actually got their spring assist knives right. They have several assisted knives in their quiver: 340 Aphid, 470 Emissary, 580 Barrage, 790 Subrosa, 890 Torrent and the Nitrous Stryker.

Pros: This knife is fast. The first thing you’ll notice when you take out the Nitrous Stryker is the speed at which it fires. It beats any Benchmade auto of any type, hands down. It’s also smooth, which you would expect from any Benchmade. Besides the “at-home” feeling in the hand, my
favorite thing about this knife is the spring mechanism itself. The expectation with powerful spring-loaded knives these days is that you need to update your life insurance policy before you attempt to close them. This knife is as easy to close as it is to open. The ease is due to a rotating cylinder on the top of the leaf spring. I have a hard time really liking a lot of Benchmade knives, contrary to popular belief. This knife however, is up there with the greats.

Cons: There aren’t many cons to speak of and they are pretty subjective at that. There is no option for any other type of carry (clip) except right handed, tip-up. It can still be fired lefty but the clip is going to be on top. The blade is D2 tool steel which is going to be more brittle and less
stainless than the alternatives. That being said, D2 does have good edge retention, but for me the bad outweighs the good.

Kershaw Leek

Could there be a more quintessential spring assisted knife company? Kershaw is king when it comes to assisted openers, and for good reason. The Leek specifically has a long reputation as a great EDC (every day carry) knife.

Pros: This knife is as well suited on the farm as at church. The ultra slim design allows for minimal intrusion while carrying and yet still possesses a comfortable grip when in use. It utilizes a flipper and a thumb-stud deployment for quick firing. The frame lock is a solid and smooth option for repetitive tasks. The Leek also comes in a plethora of colors, blade types and materials to suit any need and aesthetic.

Cons: As with the Stryker, the Leek only has one option for carry (tip-down/right handed). Though this knife is certainly at home in a variety of situations the blade is a little thin and narrow for heavy-duty tasks (check out the Kershaw Shallot for a bigger alternative). The only other problem with the Leek would be that you cannot easily adjust the pivot screw for cleaning or tension preferences.

Zero Tolerance 300 Series

Zero Tolerance knives live up to their namesake. The 300 Series specifically packs a lot of heat and what else would you expect? The 300 Series has models that incorporate Strider Knives ingenuity to make them all the better if you prefer. The quandary of if there is a spring-assisted knife that can take heavy abuse is over.

Pros: This knife is ready for anything you throw at it. The thick, leaf-shaped blade is ready to be put to work. The S30V blade steel will ensure the best of toughness and edge-retention. The flipper makes firing the knife quick and the strong spring puts all worries to rest. It comes in great options for Strider model or standard G10. The clip is moveable for any of the four carrying combinations. This is about the most comfortable knife to use due to precision milling and a secure frame lock (optional Strider locking mechanism).

Cons: This knife is big and really lacks the tactile ability for detail oriented tasks. The thumb studs are basically non-functional because of the flipper swinging into your hand. Also, at a price tag of $200.00+ for the Strider version it gets a little hefty on the wallet.

Levi Jackson
Chief of Conversions and Knife Repair


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