An assisted opening knife typically has a spring mechanism that facilitates quick opening of the blade once the user partially opens it with a slight flick of the thumb.
This is a kind of folding knife many people think is only for the hardcore knife enthusiast. On the contrary, I believe that assisted opening knives can be a versatile tool even for the ordinary Joe.
Assisted opening knives can be a valuable tool for campers. It can help in cooking tasks like peeling fruits and opening packages. You can also use it in preparing camps or working with a cord.
These knives can also be valuable in the kitchen. You can use it in opening packages or any food containers. And assisted opening knives can also serve as a good self-defense weapon.
Because assisted open knives are easy to open, they are ideal for the ordinary homemaker and even people with arthritis.
What To Look For In The Best Assisted Opening Knives?
In shopping for assisted opening knives, you might want to consider these factors:
1. Locking mechanism
This is the part of the knife that prevents the blade from opening and snapping down on your fingers while in use. There are different kinds of locks used in assisted opening knives like liner lock and frame lock.
Assisted opening knives can have a plain, serrated or combo edges. I will briefly discuss the difference between these three types.
An assisted opening knife with a plain edge is perhaps the most common. It has a continuous edge that makes it very versatile. This knife lets you perform general cutting tasks with minimal resistance. It can also cut through most materials.
One thing you’ll love about knives with plain edges is that they are easier to maintain. Plain edges are easy to sharpen. However, knives with plain edges are also not the best tool to use for cutting tougher materials like rope.
That’s basically where a knife with a serrated edge can help. A knife with a serrated blade has a series of small edges. It’s as if the knife has teeth. These serrations are designed to make it easier for the knife to cut into tougher materials.
The major downside to having a knife with a serrated edge is that maintenance can be burdensome. You’ll have to sharpen lots of small edges once they start to dull down.
But if you want a knife that is a jack-of-all-trade type, then look for an assisted opening knife with a combo edge. It gives you the best of both worlds--- plain edge combined with a serrated edge. With a knife having this kind of edge, you don’t need to carry two different knives with you.
While this may sound like the best option among the three edge types, keep in mind that a combo edge doesn’t offer the same length for both type of edges which means the cutting action may be affected.
3. Blade length
Small blades, or those that are under 2.75 inches in length, are ideal for everyday carrying as well as basic tasks like opening boxes or cutting string.
Medium blades, or those that measure 3 to 4 inches, can be used for almost any task. Knives with medium sized blades are very versatile, but you may not be able to carry them in your state.
Large blades, or those measuring 4 inches and above, are designed more for self-defense.
4. Add ons
The knife enthusiast in you would likely want assisted opening knives with a few add-ons like a bottle opener and glass breaker. These aren’t essentials at all, but you would definitely thank yourself for getting a knife with these add-ons during an emergency situation.
Now let’s look at four top rated assisted opening knives. I’ve grouped them into two--- those with plain edges and those with half-serrated blades.
Top 4 Best Assisted Opening Knives Available Today
#1 TAC Force TF-705 (Half-Serrated Blade)
TAC Force is a brand under Master Cutlery that is known to produce high quality knives. The TF-705 is a medium sized knife equipped with a 3.25 inch long half-serrated stainless steel blade. The blade is about 3 millimeters thick. The knife measures 4.5 inches long when closed. It locks securely into place thanks to its liner lock.
This knife features a sturdy aluminum handle. It also features a bottle opener, screw driver, and a glass breaker on end. The latter is strong enough to punch out the window of a vehicle during an emergency. There’s also a pocket clip designed for safe and easy carry of this knife.
This knife opens easily for most users, who would likely be impressed with the sharp blade that comes along with it. The blade can be very useful in everyday tasks like cutting ropes and opening boxes. It also helps that the knife folds compact enough to fit pockets of jeans.
#2 Kershaw 1605CKTST
This is another medium-sized knife that you will find very useful not just at home but also outdoors. The blade measures 3.1 inches long while the knife is around 4.25 inches long when closed. The overall length of this knife is 7.4 inches. It weighs 4.3 ounces.
This knife has a partially serrated blade that allows it to cut through tough materials like rope or webbings. The blade is made of 8Cr13MoV steel with a black oxide coating providing superior corrosion resistance and a non-reflective, simplistic look. It locks securely with a liner lock mechanism and opens easily with the SpeedSafe assisted opening system of Kershaw.
This knife has been getting a lot of positive reviews online. The most usual comment from satisfied users is that it feels good on hand. The blade is also described as being sharp, and the size makes this knife a good everyday carry.
#3 Kershaw 1990X Brawler (Normal, Not Half-serrated)
Another mid-sized knife that can be your next EDC, the Kershaw 1990X Brawler features a 3 inch blade and a glass-filled nylon handle. It measures about 4.1 inches when closed and 7.1 inches when fully deployed. Like the other Kershaw unit, it makes use of the SpeedSafe opening system.
Weighing less than 4 ounces, this knife is very lightweight. It fits comfortably in the pocket when closed, and feels very solid and securely when you hold it.
The blade is of the right length in my book. You should be able to avoid getting nabbed when you have this knife in your pocket. Still, the blade is long enough for you to use it for self defense. Its length also makes the knife useful in opening boxes and other household chores.
#4 TAC FORCE Black Tactical Rescue Folding Pocket Knife
Finally, this mid-sized knife features a stainless steel blade measuring 3.25 inches. It is the longest in this list when fully deployed as it measures 8 inches long.
It has a metal handle with a nice matte black finish. It feels solid in hand. It also features add-ons such as a window breaker and a seatbelt cutter both of which would come in handy during emergencies.
As you would expect from a knife with a plain edge, this isn’t the best knife for handling tough materials. But for everyday tasks like opening boxes, this folding pocket knife should prove useful.
Tips For Using And Storing Assisted Opening Knives
Before I end, let me give you some tip in using and storing this kind of knife :
- Always point the blade away from you when cutting.
- Clean the knife first before storing.
- Know exactly how the knife works before using it.
- Store knives in a cool and dry place.
- Always keep the knife closed when not in use.
All these knives are highly rated although my favorite is the Kershaw 1605CKTST for the half-serrated blade while I'm picking the TAC FORCE Black Tactical Rescue knife for normal or plain edged knife.
The Kershaw knife just looks and feels stronger and more durable than the other half serrated blade knife while the TAC FORCE Black Tactical Rescue knife is sharp and very versatile.