The 5 Best Assisted Opening Knives For Everyday Use – 2018 Buyer’s Guide

In this article, we’ll help you look for the best assisted opening knife in the market. I will discuss the advantages of owning one. I will also discuss the different blade edge options available before finally getting into the specific models that are worth investing in.

More...

Here are our top 5 picks

*** For more information about the products listed, you may check individual items at Amazon.com.​​​​​

Why Buy An Assisted Opening Knife?

One of the first things to ask yourself is “why do I want to invest on a assisted opening knife?”. This is the most important question to ask throughout the purchasing process. If you’re going to buy a knife for show, an assisted opening knife is not for you. A heavy utility knife will do if you want to focus on appearance rather than function.

If you’re looking for a knife for self-defense or something you can use everyday, an assisted opening knife is the perfect option. It can take abuse and still be durable, you can use it for carpentry, cutting thin wires or steel, etc.

Durability

Depending on how many times you will use it, durability is a major factor in knowing a knife’s worth. Usually, knife owners will complain about knives that are subpar and don’t deliver in durability.

best assisted opening knife

You can check for a particular knife’s durability by reading forums about a particular brand, talking to other knife aficionados and asking questions like “what materials were used in making this blade?” and “can it cut through steel?”

Edge

With most pocket knives, you may get knives with one of many different edges, all of which have different uses and all have their ups and downs.

best assisted opening knife
  • Plain edge: A plain edge is great for smooth cuts and slicing. This kind of edge is ideal for self-defense and all-purpose knives where you do not want the knife to grab ahold of anything. Rather, you want it to slide with ease.
  • Combo edge: Some say that the combo edge is the best of both worlds, but ironically, it seems like the worst of both worlds too. What I mean by that is, it gives you the opportunity of using a serrated edge or plain edge depending on your needs. It’s a perfect all-around knife, but like a jack-of-all-trades, it is master of none.
  • Serrated edge: A serrated edge is perfect for sawing through objects when it needs to shred and grip. Ropes and branches are examples of things a serrated blade can slice through. However, if you’re looking for a blade for self-defense, a combo edge or even a plain edge would be better suited.

​Size

Usually, an average assisted opening knife is around 3 to 4 inches. It’s small enough to hold in the palm of your hands and carry around, heavy duty enough to endure abuse through time, and light enough to easily open.

An assisted open knife is fast to use, even faster for someone who’s experienced using it. It can be opened automatically yet are legal to a wide range market. This is the main reason it is favored by most because it does the job while remaining accessible, compact, and legal.

best assisted opening knife

Blade Shape

Another thing to consider when buying an assisted opening knife is the shape of the blade. Many assisted opening knives are functional and work for many purposes, while others are designed differently. Here some of the many types of blade shapes of assisted opening knives.

Drop point


One of the most common blade shape types is the drop point because of the excellent all-purpose blade. The dull end (spine) of the knife is dropped down to the tip in a slight curve.

It’s a perfect hunting knife because you can control the point of the knife and large cutting edge.

best assisted opening knife

Clip point


Another blade shape type is the clip point. The dull side is forged straight from the handle until about halfway, where it’s shaped into a curve like crescent, or straight to the point.

A clip point blade shape is ideal for piercing. The cutting area is large enough for slicing too.

best assisted opening knife

Spear point


A spear point blade shape is forged where the point is in line with the long axis of the blade and has symmetrical edges. It can be double edged ( both are sharp) or single edge. A spear point blade shape has a sharp and strong point, but not ideal for slicing.

Type Of Steel You should Look For

When buying an assisted opening knife, one consideration is the type of steel blade it’s made from. When looking for the type of steel, you encounter these things: sharpening ability, edge-retention, and corrosion-resistance.

Unfortunately, like everything in life, nothing is perfect. You can’t purchase a perfect blade with all features. You might need to settle for one feature more than the other.

For example, an S30V steel has the best edge retention, but it’s very difficult to sharpen.

Types Of Blade Release Instrument

Back in the old days, you would need to open a knife by using both hands. Usually, you need to dig your thumbnail into the nick near the spine of the knife, then you can pull the blade out.

You may find these kinds of knives, but now, assisted opening knives can be opened with one hand.

Most assisted opening knives can be opened with one hand. Each assisted opening knife model may have its unique mechanism, but there are three basic mechanisms to date:

Thumb Stud

The thumb stud is the most common release instrument out there. It is located on the side of the blade and can be on one hand or both.

A thumb stud that’s located on the side (dual thumb stud) allows you to open from either side, so it’s perfect for people who are ambidextrous. To use it, put your thumb on the thud and extend it to swing the blade out.

Am assisted opening knife that has a thumb stud release is very easy to use because it gives your thumb a good grip on the blade and prevents accidents.

If you’re going to buy a thumb stud knife, you should consider the size and whether you want a one-sided or dual one.

There is another variation of a thumb stud called a thumb disc. It’s like a stud -- expect that it’s positioned flat on the spine of the blade, while a stud is located on the side. The disc makes a protrude motion on both sides which makes it ideal for ambidextrous people.

Thumb Hole

A thumb hole is located on the blade itself that’s usually round in shape, so the thumb can maneuver the blade in and out. The advantage of owning a thumb hole assisted opening knife is that it is ambidextrous. It provides an easy opening mechanism without any extra material like a thumb stud.

In my opinion, it’s probably the easiest to open with your hands, but some say it can be difficult when you’re wearing gloves.

Here is a video about knife opening methods:

Flipper

A thud and hole knife calls for the thumb. On the other hand, a flipper uses the index finger. The flipper is usually located on the spine of the blade, and it’s usually ambidextrous. It provides a safety feature between your fingers and the blade because of the distance between it.

The flippers also acts a finger guard while you’re using it. I suggest choosing a flipper mechanism if you’re more comfortable using your index finger.

A Detailed Review of the 5 Best Assisted Opening Knives

Gerber Covert Knife has a serrated edge on middle to the rough edge of the knife and is black in color giving it that cool look. This particular knife is popular in the army and hunters.

The Gerbert brand has an extensive selection of knives from hunting to survival, to everyday carry, and self-defense.

The Gerber Covert Knife with a serrated edge is a drop point blade shape, with a G10 handle. The blades are laced with black titanium for better toughness. It can open up to a length of 8.7-inch knife and closes to the length of 5-inches.

To quickly fold the blade, the Gerber’s feature a patented F.A.S.T technology (forward action spring tech).

On the website this knife is shown as a button release, not a button lock spring assist.

This Knife is built solid, when you press the button it acts as a locking mechanism when using it and closing is. The knife is well balanced when you grip it and comfortable yet slim design. The blade is really skinny but looks can be deceiving, because it’s very sturdy! Over all a great knife for everyday carry.


PROS:

  • Ambidextrous thumb stud
  • The black color and design gives it a sleek finish
  • Safety button to keep the blade from accidentally opening
  • Patented F.A.S.T tech allows quick and easy deployment

CONS:

  • The locking mechanism is flimsy

The Alpha Tek brand may not specialize on knives unlike the other brands on this list, but they make up for it by focusing on outdoor tactical everyday gear.

Their assisted opening knife options are multi-functional that is part saw and part bottle opener. The blade shape is drop point made with high-carbon steel, while the handle is a G-10 composite.

The blade length is 3.37-inches, and the overall length from the handle is 8.25-inches. It has a two blade release mechanism feature: flipper and thumb stud. That way you can choose what’s best suited for you.

The Alpha Tek is a great knife. It’s easy to open and not difficult to close, you can open it with one snap of the wrist. I use it for doing work around the house and outside, as well as for hunting and perfect for everyday use.

We brought some beer when I went camping with my buddies, but the assigned person forgot the bottle opener. Fortunately, I had this with me and I personally loved the bottle opener feature, as well as the serrated edge.


PROS:

  • The two blade release mechanism is very handy, especially if you’re working with gloves on.
  • Affordable
  • The hand sits comfortably while using it

CONS:

  • Can be difficult to open with just one hand

Kershaw is an award winning brand in the knife industry, so you’re guaranteed a durable and top notch performance when you buy one.

They have a vast selection of knives, in wide range of prices. But even the cheaper options are reliable and solid.

The Kershaw Cryo is a joint effort by Rick Hinderer one the best minds when it comes to assisted opening knives and the manufacturers from Kershaw.

Like all Kershaw’s, it features a SpeedSafe Assisted Opening flipper, which makes the release of the blade quick and easy. The blade is about 2.75-inches long when not opened and when opened, the length is 6.5-inches.

It’s size is perfect for everyday carry and multipurpose use. I like using this knife when we go for camping and hiking trips.

This knife’s edge is surprisingly sharp and seems to be very sturdy as I’ve been using it in my every chance I get. I bought this knife because I go hiking every other weekend with my friends since the cheap ones I’ve bought in the past didn’t satisfy me. The Kershaw Cryo is great, because I get to position the pocket clip where I want it, and the clip seems very sturdy and doesn't bend easily like my past knives


PROS:

  • The flipper mechanism is easy and smooth to use
  • The overall color and design is sleek
  • Pretty reliable for a low-budget knife

CONS:

  • It may close small, but the weight is pretty heavy for its size
  • The blade is not unique unlike the other ones on this list

Zero Tolerance is one the newest brands on the market. They first made knives on 2006, but for a newcomer brand, it took the market by storm with its top notch performance and quality blades.

The knives are famous with firefighters, law enforcement and military, and emergency medical personnel.

ZT knives are made with high-quality materials on their blades and handles. The blade is made with S30V steel with tungsten DLC coating and a non-serrated blade, while a G10 material is manufactured on the handle.

The surface of the blade gives it a clean and sleek look but more than its appearance, it also prevents wear and tear through time, and enhances the durability. It uses a thumb stud for assisted opening. For safety, it relies on the inner lock and quad-mount clip which prevents you from accidentally opening the knife.

This knife is the best that I have had the pleasure of owning. The spring assist feature of this knife is perfect for my camping trips, because it opens and closes fast. And you only need one hand to open it. The spring clips is tight but there’s a reason for that - so that it holds well in any pocket.

It opens up to a length of 7.6-inches, with the blade at 3.5-inches.


PROS:

  • Ambidextrous thumb studs
  • Great blade and smooth spring opening system
  • Pretty reliable for a low-budget knife. 

CONS:

  • Very expensive

As said above, Kershaw is one of the best, if not the very best assisted opening knife out there.

This is not your grandpa’s Sunday, go-to-meeting pocket knife. The blur series knives by Kershaw all have a slight bend, making it a perfect multi-purpose knife.

The shape of the blade allows effective slicing and piercing. Made with Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel, the blade is highly corrosion-resistant and hard while the handle is made with 6061-T6 anodized aluminum.

The Kershaw Ken Onion Blur is a tactical knife but can also be employed for everyday use and it’s also ideal for camping and hiking tasks.

Like all Kershaw’s, it features a SpeedSafe assisted opening and uses a thumb stud release mechanism. The knife measures at 7.9-inches, with a blade that’s 3.4-inches.

There is no pearl or stag handles, ivory, no gold plating or shiny chrome finish. Ken Onion and Kershaw have collaborated to make a one of a kind assisted opening knife. It’s big but not too much, fast, and aggressive knife that would perfectly comfortable on a campsite or battlefield.

I was surprise at how fast and steady the blade deploys - it snaps out of the handle with just a single flick of the wrist and locks into place. The blade finish is elegant and beautiful like that of an expensive kitchen knife.


PROS:

  • Easy to open and close
  • Thumb studs on both sides allow for ambidextrous use and for extra corrosion protection
  • Very sleek look. The black coating which is diamond-like carbon look makes it look elegant

CONS:

  • Very expensive

Conclusion

To avoid mistakes when choosing an assisted opening knife, you’ve got to do some research and of course, gain some background knowledge. Being our generous selves, we did those things beforehand so all you had to do was sit back and read.

Most of the time, the more expensive it is, the better the quality it offers. However, this isn’t always true. If you’re patient enough, you’ll find cheaper ones that are as decent.

The knives on this list are all great options if you’re looking for an assisted opening knife. But overall, the winner of the best assisted opening knife would be the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur.

For me, it’s really a great investment because of the SpeedSafe assisted opening feature and compactness especially when your bring it for hiking and camping trips.

Did you find this article useful? Have you had any experience with other brands of assisted opening knives? If you can recommend other assisted opening knife brands, feel free to comment below. Don’t forget to share this post. Thank you! And always be careful when using a knife!

Cindy Herrera
 

I’m Cindy, a free-spirited outdoor enthusiast. Since childhood, I was very much exposed to the outdoor environment. Our family frequently goes on weekend camps and my father, who was a skilled hunter, used to teach me and my siblings valuable things about wildlife survival. Now that I’m a married woman with two wonderful kids, it’s hard to keep up with outdoor activities while parenting at the same time… so I made this blog to share the best of my knowledge, experiences, and tips from other bloggers to you, my fellow outdoor enthusiast because merely talking about the outdoors makes me feel closer to it.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: