Beginners Guide: How An Automatic Knife Works

Automatic Knife AKA Switchblades

Knives that open automatically with the press of a button or the pull of a lever. The speed of an automatic knife makes it ideal in emergency situations and for emergency personnel. Automatic knives are restricted in many areas, check your local laws before purchasing and possessing.

How does an Automatic Knife work?

Automatic knives have two types of mechanisms, a Single-Action or a Double-Action mechanism.
And the way they function depend upon the type of action.


They deploy quickly and easily with one quick action. Closing is a different matter.
Since the release button/lever only performs one action, you cannot close it as simply as you opened it.
To close, you will have to pull back a lever to return the blade inside the handle.


Double-action automatic knives allow you to quickly deploy and then close the blade simply and efficiently. This type of knife would be crucial if you need to handle the knife single-handedly.

This knife below, our Mini OTF, is a perfect example of a double-action automatic knife. The button on the front can deploy and retract the blade rapidly. Making this the knife to turn to if you need it in a pinch.

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