If you are considering purchasing a good tactical knife, you might want to consider an “out the front” or OTF knife. These devices are the modern-day successor to the switchblades of the past, in that they deploy using a spring assist, but do so through the front of the handle grip, rather than rotate out of the side on an axis. As far as single action weapons go, OTF knives are considered safer than the switchblades in bygone eras, in that deployment of the blade does not often run the risk of encountering the hand on the grip when activated, and have safety mechanisms and rubber grips that allow for better control. Furthermore, there is a certain amount of craftsmanship that goes into these knives, as they are beautiful to look at, while also being very practical for a variety of uses, ranging from chores to self-defense. So what are some good reasons to consider an OTF knife?
Unlike the spring-loaded blades in times past, modern OTFs are far more durable and less prone to breakage, a misfire of the spring mechanism, or the blade snapping in half due to the use of substandard steel. The OTF knife is typically used in harsh conditions, in survival and tactical conditions, and in self-defense situations. Because of this, these weapons must be able to withstand a lot of punishment.
The OTF knife has the same advantage that folding pocketknives have, in that when put away properly, the blade is protected by the grip from dings and nicks, or rust and moisture, allowing it to maintain sharpness. In blades that make use of high-quality steel with a good temper, such blades can be used for a variety of uses without dulling, in everything from cutting meat to slicing coarse rope.
In many parts of the country, OTFs fall into a legal gray area, mostly because in the past, laws concerning automatic knives were drawn around unsafe switchblades and similar blades. As stated above, these devices were unsafe due to how they were deployed, and the substandard materials used in their manufacture that made them prone to breaking. Many of these laws are outdated for existing OTF blades. The modern OTF knife is made from durable and safe material, deploys from the front in a much safer manner, and the handle grips are contoured in a way to ensure control over the tool, making it less prone to accidental mishandling.
You always hope that you will never need to defend yourself or someone you love, but unfortunately, we live in a world where this is a common necessity. Because OTF knives easily retain sharpness, are small enough to carry in a pocket, and can be deployed rapidly when needed, this makes them excellent self-defense weapons. You should always check with your local laws and ordinances concerning concealed weapons and spring-loaded blades, but in many locations, it is perfectly legal to carry an OTF knife in your pocket. With proper training from a certified instructor, learning to use your knife in self-defense is a skill everyone should acquire.
A good OTF knife purchased from a reputable dealer can be a long-lasting tool, even one that can be passed down as an heirloom, making it a good long-term investment. For the price of the knife, you get quality, usefulness, and durability, making most OTFs well worth the money. If you are considering an OTF knife, spend some time considering your own personal needs, the size of your hand and what size knife will comfortably fit your grip, and what your budget might be. You want to consider a knife that is visually pleasing to you while also serving as a functional everyday tool. A knife of any sort is useless to you if it does not comfortably fit your hand, or is too big or too small to be used for the tasks you have in mind. When you do find that perfect knife, however, it will become just as much a part of your pocket inventory as your wallet and keys.