Switchblades or Switchblade Knives (AKA an Automatic Knife) is a knife with a blade that can be deployed by depressing a button, switch, or hidden mechanism. Switchblade knives vary in design; some deploy the blade in a linear fashion from the handle OTF ("out the front") while others swing a blade out in an arc from the side of the knife handle ("side opener")....such as the Classic Italian Stiletto Switchblade
Even within the classic Italian Stiletto knives there are different variations....for example: The newer stilettos can be closed via the "Bolster release" whereas you swivel the front bolster to release the blade for closing. Then there are the Picklock switchblades which refer to using your thumbnail to "pick" the locking tab away from the blade to release it for closing. Picklock switchblades are very popular by collectors because thatâ€™s the way they were originally made back in the Fifties. Another variation is the "Leverlock" Switchblade where the blade is deployed, as well as released via a lever on the front scale.
Switch-blade knives are illegal in some nations, such as Canada. The term "automatic knife" has replaced "switch-blade" in some knife collector circles when describing modern designs. Most Italian Stiletto knives are still made by the old school masters Such as Frank beltrame & AGA Campolin, ETC.