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An OTF knife means “Out-The-Front,” which is a perfect description of what exactly these knives are. There is also another type called ‘Folding-Half,’ where the blades are foldable and fit in a pocket, but it differs from OTF.
The folding knife works in such a way that when you want to cut something at that time, it opens up with the use of an automatic mechanism, and then when you are done cutting, it automatically closes.
When we think of purchasing something, everything has a purpose to it. Similar is the case of the knife. When you think of purchasing a knife, you should have the purpose that why you need the knife and what exactly you want to use a knife for. Because there are multiple knife varieties, and if you are thinking of buying an OTF knife, you need to think again which one?
Since we have already discussed the price, benefits, features, types, and functions, let’s talk more in detail about each type of OTF Knives.
- 9 Best OTF Knives 2021
- Buying Guide: How to Choose an Out-The Front Knife?
- Frequently Asked Questions:
- Final Verdict
9 Best OTF Knives 2021
OTF knives are quite useful for self-defense because they remain in the pocket and can be used only when needed. Microtech Ultratech is one of the best OTF knives in today’s date out of all we discussed above.
It has a sharp blade that can be sharpened out of the box. In addition, the blade has various ranges so that the knife becomes quite versatile. Though it’s the best choice for OTF knives buyers, we will talk more about other OTF knives in detail in this blog.
We can assure you that you will get the perfect guide in this blog to get the perfect OTF knife you have been looking for all these days.
1. Viper Tec Ghost
When you see Viper Tec Ghost for the first time, you might think of it as a small and fragile knife and not too much steady and sturdy. But it is one of the ideal knives in this range. It has a perfectly built mechanism, and also, for the pocket-size knife, it fulfills all the pointers if you want to avoid the bulky knife. It is great for hunting, outdoor adventure, survival, etc.
- It has an approximately 440C steel razor blade which measures 3.5 mm in inches.
- Edge types matter a lot when we talk about knives, so it has a double edge, tanto, and half-serrated blades.
- The tip is very much sharp, so when you are unpacking or using it, you have to be very careful
- The zinc alloy placed in the knife is quite comfortable and has a good mechanism. In addition, there are approximately six screws there to keep the blades more stable.
- The knives are available in many colors, including black, blue, and grey. In addition, you will find different styles and different blades in this version of knives.
- Damascus steel and American steel, which is tango style, are available in this one.
- There are mini versions available in double tanto style, which have a 2.7-inch blade that is 25% cheaper than the rest.
So, if you are thinking of buying an OTF knife and your budget is really low, you can go for a viper tech ghost OTF knife. It is considered one of the best OTF knives, not too expensive. Also, it can easily open up and can also retract immediately. There are different styles; one of them is the tanto style, and the names are Damascus steel and American steel. There are different styles and varieties available in this knife which has a 25% cheaper 2.7-inch blade.
2. RQ Double Action Knife
If you are a first timer and thinking of purchasing an OTF knife, then the RQ Double Action knife is the best choice. But still, it’s a nice choice for first timers, and it’s fully functional once.
- The blade is 3.9 mm sharp, and it has a quick deployment and retraction mechanism that makes it tight and perfect.
- The clip is placed so that it is integrated with a glass breaker and that also screw is not attached.
- The way it has a zinc-aluminum handle, the non-slippery rubber-like layer is very thick to stay for a longer time.
- The pros of this knife are that it is visually appealing, and the blade is too sharp. The knife has a sturdy build, and there is no loud spring vibration. The knife is comfortable and cheap as per the cost.
But as we discussed earlier, if you are cutting down the price, you also have to work out on blades because the lesser the price, the lesser the quality. The same goes for the RQ Double Action knife in that the price is less, but the blade is 440 inches which are according to price. So, if you are looking for the best OTF knife, you should go ahead with Microtech Ultratech.
3. Microtech Ultratech
As we have discussed above, Microtech Ultratech is one of the best knives for OTF knives. It opens up quickly and can be closed without getting hurt or something. When we talk about sharpness, the blade measures 3.35 inches. It is made up of stainless steel- primarily M390, but there are options available in the carpenter, and we can change it as per our need.
- The tip of the blade is quite sharp, and it can be used out of the box as and when needed.
- You don’t need to sharpen it upfront as it has a very sharp and perfect blade.
- The blades come in various styles, making the knife more versatile.
When it comes to handling, it has a 6061 T6 aluminum handle.
- It has a measurement of 4.84 inches which is suitable for both small and large handles.
- It has a clip back at the knife so if you want to carry it in the pocket, just hang it over your belt.
So, it is one of the best knives in the town with the perfect blade, size, shape, and everything. It has six bolts keeping parts together. Though it has a smooth surface, it does not fall off easily.
4. GP Piranha P19 Knife
You can never go wrong with a piranha knife, and P19 is a perfect OTF unit. The built is of USA, the knife is very lightweight yet solid, durable and has professional material. So, it can be used without any second thought, and the result will be as you are expecting, as it shows no sign of weaknesses.
- The 154cm blades measure around 3.44 inches in length and have perfect mirror finish work. The finish never goes away, though how often you use it.
- It has a sharp blade and a box thing, and it takes a few seconds to get in or out and has smooth automatic action.
- Although it is true to think that everything is under $300, it has surely got one of the best reviews in the town.
- The handle is symmetrical; it is made of aircraft-grade aluminum. However, it has a rugged profile, so it never slips out of hand and prevents it during an accident.
- It has a titanium clip to clip it over a belt.
Piranha’s first model was a P1 pocketknife. Then there were many more to come like the fingerling, the bodyguard, most fabulous knife, easy to hold, then comes mini bodyguard, it’s like a smaller version of bodyguard, it could be one of the most popular models all. After that comes the Excalibur, which opens and closes with the trigger with the top handle. Last but not least comes amazon, a large model of which the side opens automatically, and it is made with a grip groove in the handle.
5. Schrade Viper OTF
Schrade Viper is the best alternative to the S & W version, but this knife is much cheaper than that. The design is very sleek and steady, and the blade is good. It feels solid when you hold the knife, but it is also light.
- You have to hear about the safety mechanism of this knife.
- The lock is at the backside of the knife, which is easy to use.
- When we talk about the design of this knife, it has an excellent knife.
- Both the blade and handle are black, and it looks like a weapon, even though it has a small switch.
The blade is slightly different and too sharp as compared to others. However, it is perfectly sharp, and when it is used for cutting, it is done in microseconds. Moreover, it has a good quality blade immune to no rust and corrosion.
6. Microtech Exocet
The OTF knives from Microtech are much more admired for their quick deployment, and the blade’s retraction is high. The design is too creative, and tight tolerance is one of the highest, reflected through the Exocet. This stout OTF knife has 1.95 mm blades, and it has an automatic double action, and this knife is legal in California.
The blade works because it hides the blade and feels like a money clip.
- When you first look at the knife, you may get surprised.
- But once you start using the knife, it all goes away.
- It fires the simplest and is faster than almost any Microtech OTF.
- This model has white finishing on both sides of the handle and has a blade as shown in Star Wars, so the name is Stormtrooper.
- There is an Imperial Crest logo on the pocket clip, which looks regal.
- The alloy is such that it includes copper and brass. The weight of this knife is 3.5oz.
The blade is made of good-quality steel, and the handle is aluminum. This steel has good edge retention, high wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. The pocket clip is wide to use and the tool to double and soft, elegant money clip. In short, this EDC knife is treated to use and has most versatile to help in the various tasks.
7. Kershaw Kapsule
This super combat, super small, push-button EDC knife is the idea of Jens Anso, which is very easy to carry and cut. It opens with a sliding mechanism that holds a blade while using a button lock.
- This steel is too good known for its wear and resistance, corrosion-free, good sharpness, and good edge retention.
- The surprise capsule does not look like a tool; it feels like a non-threatening tool. Such is a design.
- It is very light in weight and has a PVD coating that looks very visually appealing.
The butt end has deep-carry, is removable, and has a single position clip that is very easy to carry. Overall, this small but Kershaw knife has the best utility through a combat body.
8. Hendrix Gear Karambit
Hendrix Gear Karambit is one of the most well-put-together and features a CNC construction on the outer hand. It is very much precise and is very much stable as compared to other knives. The finish is flawless.
- The mechanism on which this is operated is very well balanced.
- The hawkbill blade can shoot out instantly. Everything is curved, so the blade also follows the curved shape.
- And when we talk about edges, it is sharp, and so is the tip. It is five inches long and has a textured surface- so that it remains in hand and can easily slip out of the hands.
The knife is very much lightweight and has around four ounces. The materials used in the knife are very much of good quality. There is a curve in the design, and it is very convenient and looks good too. It has quick blade deployment, and also retraction is fast too. But just the problem is that it does not have a long pocket pin and is really expensive.
9. VT Karambit D/A OTF
This karambit knife is fully automatic and also very much ergonomic. It is used in all kinds of applications which is forward and backward and can become a proper extension for both arms. This knife is all about the curves, and it is perfectly placed in the knife.
- It is made up of zinc alloy, good-looking, durable, and strong.
- And the best thing is that even if you don’t get time to open the knife handle is also a reliable tool.
- It has pocket clips and comes with carbon fiber alloys.
The blade is very attractive and has three inches in length while 440 stainless steel and has a stonewash finish. The knife has a sharp tip and a flat edge, making it easy to cut. It is very easy to clean, and it is rust resistant. Plus, sharpening it is fairly simple.
Buying Guide: How to Choose an Out-The Front Knife?
Let’s dig deep into OTF knives, how and what exactly they are, their features, and if you are thinking about purchasing them, then which points should you keep in mind.
When people think about purchasing any knife, their second most important focus comes to price, after the product specs. Price range is a key here, especially when it comes to OTF knives, as the internal system of OTF knives is too complex. For safety, we need to make sure that the knife is good quality, the mechanism is sturdy, perfectly sound, and can be trusted easily.
Related Article: 13 Types of Knife Locking Mechanisms Explained (with Pictures)
OTF knives are very much focused on the pricier style spectrum, so you have to be careful with your purchase if your budget is under $150 or less. The reason is that they are dangerous and useless too if the blade or mechanism is not proper. Lowering the budget does not imply bad quality, but you have to keep these factors in mind before deciding.
There are two most important things regarding the deployment of blades:
First, whether the knives have a double mechanism system in them or not. Generally, in a double mechanism, the button or slider is placed inside the corner; when pressed, the knife opens up, and the blade comes out. Once you are done using it, retract the blades. Though it has nothing to do with OTF knives, this double mechanism should be taken care of for sure.
Second, you need to see exactly where the button or slider is placed, just for personal preference, because in some knives, you can manually close the knife once you are done using the blades. But, the major OTF knife has a spine-mounted slider.
The third factor is the type of Edge you want in your knife. In the case of OTF knives, you can have two choices: Single-edged or double-edged. Single-edged OTF knives are widely used in EDC, where the user can place pressure on the thumb of the blade and then cut it out. This is used majorly in utilitarian cutting tasks. And, when it comes to Double-edged knives, they are basically used in fighting and combat fights and self-defense.
There are multiple varieties of OTF knives that are present in the market. It’s all about the purpose for which you are purchasing the knife:
- Some knives range to handle under $150, including Viper Tech knife, RQ double action knife, Viper Tech Zedd knife, etc.
- Then comes OTF knives with hefty price tags in that Benchmade infidel, Microtech Ultratech, etc., knives are listed down in hefty price tags.
- Knives like best-assisted opening OTF knives in that Smith & Wesson SWOTF9B – Cheap Single Action OTF.
- Microtech Exotech and Kershaw Kapsule are cheap manual opening knives best in a mini version.
- And then there comes the last and the best OTF knives with Karambit design.
- The Hendrix Gear Karambit OTF knife overall comes in this category too.
When you think about the reason to purchase an OTF knife over a standard knife, the benefits are immense. First, it shows your requirement is clear, and quality is non-negotiable. Though people say that durability of OTF knives is less than the standard knives, it depends on the quality and type of knife. The best benefit about pocket-size knives is that they would last longer, as they don’t come into direct contact with water or anything which attracts rust or corrosion.
As discussed earlier, Microtech Ultratech is one of the best OTF knives. However, we have listed down the different knives used for different purposes and according to the price range if you are not thinking about not going to buy too many costly knives.
Related Article: 10 Best Budget Bushcraft Knives
If you want to go in the low range and lightweight, then you should go for Viper Tec Ghost, which ranges below $150 and is perfect for hunting and everything. Also, the piranha is one of the best knives, which is very sleek, and also, it is small in size and too sharp for the blade.
If you want to invest more than Microtech Ultratech is the best choice for the higher range, and also it is one of the best knives, as we have discussed before. It serves all the purpose and the blades, design, sharpness everything is perfect and well managed.
Then came karambit and many more varieties in OTF knives. Now again, the question is, what is your purpose. Is it for self-defense? Is it for hunting? Or just you like to keep a knife with you. If you have a limited budget, then go according to that. So, solve your purpose, and then you can go for it. Also, it is not advisable to keep a knife until and unless you need one. So, you have to be very careful when carrying a knife.
Frequently Asked Questions:
OTF knife simply means out-the-front knife. It is like the deployment of blades. It is like blades come out from the front and then retract. A major difference between OTF knives compared to standard switchable is they come out from the slide while it comes out from the front.
Regarding legalities, OTF knives are switchable knives and sliders, so the same rules and regulations are used as standard knives. However, in the United States, only six states allow knives to be used legally. Also, some have restrictions regarding the sizes of blades as well.
Also, there are many places where manual knives are allowed to carry, but when it comes to automatic knives, they aren’t allowed to carry them because they think of them as a weapon. So, if you are thinking of carrying an OTF knife, you should be very much aware of the legal formalities and how the laws allow you to carry it or not.
If you are not aware of the rules where you can carry an automatic knife and where to carry a manual knife, please have a look at the rule once because if you are confiscated with the knife, then there is the possibility that you can be heavily fined, jail or anything depending upon the situation.
After discussing all the types, varieties, prices, and mechanisms of an OTF knife, we are clear that it depends upon personal choice what the purpose of buying the knife is. Also, the price matters a lot when trying to buy a knife and the quality.
Also, if you are a fan of the knife, go for Microtech Ultratech because it is one of the best and most used OTF knives. It has all the features, design, mechanism, sleekness, and we can’t resist buying one of these knives.
Also, if we consider the karambit knife, it is one of the best knives in their range. They have different ranges starting from Kershaw capsule and Hendrix gear karambit, which is lightweight, good quality, and just four ounces like nothing. It is shaped like a curve, so it has curvature like a knife, and it can be used in self-defense. Also, the retention ring. They also have a good deployment, and also their retraction is good.
We hope you are clear about all the varieties and types of OTF knives. Also, we advise you to carry knives as and when needed, and please don’t spread any violence or carry a knife to harm anyone.