Buying Your First Switchblade: A Newcomers Guide

Switchblades, also known as automatic knives, are a category of collectible blades that deploy from within the handle using a spring-loaded mechanism. This unique style of knife comes in many shapes and sizes and can be an excellent addition to any knife enthusiast’s collection! If you’re looking to purchase your first switchblade, here is everything you need to know to get started!


What Is A Switchblade?

A switchblade is an automatic pocket knife that is contained in the handle, and folds or slides out when activated by a button, lever, or slide. 

They come in different shapes and sizes! Regardless of the type of switchblade you choose, all will share the benefits of easy deployment using only a single hand. The Regulations for this type of knife vary by state and country, so be sure to check your local ordinances before purchasing one of these bad boys for your collection.

OTF Switchblades V.S. Side-Opening Switchblades

There are two major categories of automatic knives: Side-opening switchblades and out-the-front switchblades.

As the names imply, a side-opening switchblade opens outward like most traditional pocket knives, whereas an out-the-front switchblade slides directly out of the handle from the front. Both types of knives accomplish similar goals.

If you are looking for out-the-front options, you’ll need to choose between a single-action or double-action knife. Single-action means that once activated with the switch, you have to manually cock the blade back into the handle. Double-action, on the other hand, allows you to both deploy and retract your blade with a switch.

Popular Styles of Switchblade 

Switchblades feature various blade styles, ranging from elegant Italian stiletto designs to sturdy high-utility options, and everything in between. Here is a non-exhuastive list of some options you could consider!

Stiletto Switchblades

The stiletto blade is one of the earliest switchblade designs, dating back over 200 years! It is likely the switchblade you picture when you think of the word “switchblade”. The stiletto is characterized by a long slender blade and needle-like point. Even within this category, there are a variety of different blade options including bayonet, dagger, and flat grind.

You can find stiletto switchblades in different lengths too, including 8”, 9”, and 11”. One of the most popular brands for this type of knife is the Frank Beltrame Italian Stilleto Switchblade, but you can find a variety of brands that produce this style of knife.

Buck Switchblades

Buck Switchblades are gaining popularity. They are based on a traditional buck knife design, but with the addition of an automatic knife mechanism. The Buck Custom Switchblades and other similar buck-style knives are great for everyday carry, especially if a folding buck knife is already your go-to pocket knife preference. You can pick these up with various styles of blade on them, including drop point blades, skinner blades, and more.

Utility Switchblades

Well-known knife companies like Gerber, Smith and Wesson, and others produce a variety of excellent utility-focused switchblades. These can include partially serrated spear point blades, tanto blades, drop-point blades, and many other styles of blade that are useful for everyday tasks. In short, if you are looking for a specific type of blade, you can probably find it.

In this article, we have only scratched the surface of the many different designs and features that automatic knives and switchblades offer. Browse our wide selection of quality switchblades to discover which knife is right for you!

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