Imagine a situation where you need your knife to act quickly so you can defend yourself. Now, imagine waiting for the problem to wait while you open your knife. That does not sound right, right?
Our point exactly.
When you are faced with a critical situation you want your blade to be ready. Just a flip and you are ready to face it.
This does sound good.
Before we dive into assisted flipper knives let us understand flipper knives.
What classifies as a Flipper knife?
You will agree that knives are a part of our everyday life. And for the different tasks that we encounter, we prefer to use a different type of knife. There are different types and brands of knives - pocket knives, larger knives, cheaper knives, and more.
The fixed-blade combat knife is a good hunting knife. Also, their use as self-defense knives cannot be ignored. But, the main issue with a fixed blade is the carry. These blades are not easy-to-carry
So, what options do you have? What could be your knife of choice? The answer is a knife with a flipper mechanism. It is easy to recognize this blade because of its mechanism. You can use them for self-defense and also as your EDC knife for handling general tasks.
Also, a flipper knife is easy to open and close. It is more affordable compared to an expensive knife. This way you can get a good overall knife at a great price.
The flip mechanism makes it easy for the blade to open quickly. There are two types of flipper mechanisms - ball-bearing flipper and assisted flipper. More on that later.
The basic working of both these types is similar. Once the user engages the flipper on the knife, the blade comes out quickly to get into action. It is notable that flipper knives are considered safe compared to traditional folding knives.
The blade configuration of a flipper knife does not allow it to open accidentally when you use or carry the knife. This is done through the locking mechanism which keeps the blade in its place until the time you wish to engage it.
Due to this mechanism, these knives are popular in the knife community for their one-handed opening operation. The origin of these knives is unknown. Some say that it was developed by military personnel while some claim it to be the civilian knife makers.
All we know for sure is that these knives came into the public eye with the CRKT M16 flipper classic design by the avid outdoorsman "Kit" Carson. With 20+ years of experience in the military, Kit Carson made a knife that could withstand hard use with its durable build quality.
Master Sergeant Harold Joseph “Kit” Carson’s CRKT M16 was the first flipper-design knife that was mass-produced. This knife was made from a hardened stainless steel blade with an all-metal ergonomic handle design. With a comfortable grip, it featured a unique safety mechanism to prevent any accidental blade deployment.
This stunning knife was a must-have for anyone who wanted an easy-to-use and reliable blade that can face any challenge in front of it. Today, these knives are widely popular and available. These quick and easy-to-deploy knives have become a great self-defense option for the masses.
What is a ball-bearing flipper knife?
This type of flipper knife has a blade arc attached to the knife handle with the use of a ball-bearing pivot point. The small lever or thumb tab (the flipper) comes up from the handle side. When you apply pressure to this lever or tab, the blade is deployed.
These came after the sping-assisted knives. The ball-bearing allows this knife to open the blade smoothly around the pivot point using the flipper.
What is an assisted flipper knife?
Instead of the ball-bearing, the assisted open knives have a spring-loaded mechanism. So, just with a click of the index finger, the spring-loaded bar mechanism deploys the blade ready to defend you.
There are a variety of knives in the market similar to these, so it is quite normal to be confused. So, apart from its mechanism, one has to remember that these blades are not automatic.
At this point, you might have a question. If they are not even automatic, should you even consider them? We will answer that question by comparing the two after this.
For now, just remember they are not automatic.
The flipper for these knives is a lever or a thumb tab. Once the blade starts its movement, the spring-loaded mechanism takes control and quickly deploys the blade. Like their ball-bearing counterparts, these types of flipper knives too have a one-handed operation.
So, which one is better ball-bearing flipper knife or an assisted flipper knife? As per the data on the internet, we have found that people prefer an assisted opening pocket knife more. They believe that they open quicker and are more reliable compared to the ball-bearing mechanism.
First, let us answer a common question of whether a flipper knife is a switchblade.
Is a flipper Knife a switchblade?
No. A Flipper knife is not a switchblade.
You might have a question now - They open the same way so why not?
First, they do open the same way but not exactly the same way. What we mean is that a flipper knife uses a ball-bearing or an assisted mechanism while a switchblade is an automatic knife. They are often mistaken to be the same. But, there is a key difference in assistance among these knives - Assistance.
Say an assisted open knife blade is held in place by a spring or a locking mechanism. When the pressure is applied to the flipper, the blade is deployed. They can have a non-locking knife or a locking mechanism mainly a liner lock mechanism. But, one with. They are legal in most states though the blade length and overall size may have restrictions. So, check with your local authority.
Though, the restrictions will be fewer compared to automatic knives. We will discuss this a bit in detail after this.
Coming back to switchblades, you get the butter-smooth deployment of the blade with the push of a button. Because of such ease, these knives fall under a lot of regulations. Rightfully so, since their potential for misuse is high.
In the case of switchblades, when the knife is in the closed position, the button releases the tension from the blade. When you press the button, the tension gets transferred back to the blade. This tension-assisted opening allows the blade to open without outside assistance.
So, if you require a knife for super quick blade deployment, like opening packages and rope cutting, you can prefer an automatic knife.
If you have the option of having a super quick opening blade, then does that mean an automatic knife is better than an assisted open knife?
Is an automatic knife better than an assisted knife?
We mentioned to you the quickness of a flipper a lot of times. But, we said that the assisted flipper is not automatic. So, why should you even consider an assisted knife? If faster means better why not go for an automatic knife instead?
The reason is regulation.
> What the laws have to say
Knives are an essential part of American life. You can use it for self-defense, hunting, or everyday tasks. They were a crucial part of our survival before guns were made widely available. Even today, they are a popular tool that is carried by many for self-defense purposes in everyday life or as a part of their adventures.
But, as we said before there are regulations that come with automatic knives that knife owners must be aware of. Not to mention, they are sometimes confusing. In America, the only law that regulates automatic knives is the Federal Switchable Act. This law regulates knife manufacturers and the selling of automatic carbon steel blades.
On August 12, 1958, Public Law 85-623 passed. It was incorporated into the law in two sections. One prevents the import of automatic knives and their interstate sales while the second restricts the mail of automatic knives via the U.S. Postal service. Though there are some exceptions.
This is just one of the regulations that keep automatic knives in check. State and/or local laws can also restrict the ownership, use, and sale of these blades within certain borders.
If you want to take numbers into account, 44 states in the USA allow the use of automatic knives. But, the local laws may state otherwise. So, so you need to check with them before you make a decision.
There are still some restrictions like the blade length being less than 2 inches long, but, the laws are relaxed considering the past. With an assisted knife, you'll own a great knife that has fewer regulations. This is why we recommend you an assisted knife.
This prevents a lot of hassle that comes along with automatic knives.
With some practice, you can open an assisted knife like an automatic knife. So, you get to have a knife that is quick in deployment, convenient to carry, and falls under the required regulations.