More states in the US are decriminalizing switchblades, yet there are many other methods of opening a folding knife with one hand such as studs on the blade or groove to make it easier to open.

I am not talking about the ones that have double edged blades but rather standard folding knives such as this one,

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where the only difference is how you open the knife with one hand.

I have used a regular folding knife in the outdoors for whittling, skinning animals, cutting marshmallow sticks etc for years, and I am happy with my current one, but would there be any advantage of a folding knife with a switchblade method of opening?

  • I've never understood why switch blades are considered "faster" -- I've always employed the wrist flick to open my pocket knife one-handed with very little concentration.
    – Sidney
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 20:47
  • If the corollary of this question is "... and is it a big enough difference for them to be a felony to carry?", it's worth looking into the history of these laws - often you can find that specific types of knives were banned not due to them being significantly more dangerous, but because they were associated with different minority or fringe groups. For example, you couldn't make it illegal for a group of Filipino men to hang out on your street, but you could ban the Balisong, which only they tended to carry. A similar history can be found around drug prohibition - e.g. Opium and Chinese men. Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 19:24

2 Answers 2


Switchblades with the button-activating blade are just easier to open with one hand and require very little in the way of distracting thought.

This means that you can concentrate more on what your other hand is doing (say, holding down a rattlesnake) without having to spend effort in fumbling for the release mechanism on another kind of knife.

With wet hands or wearing gloves, a fumble can mean you drop the knife.

Having said that, I don't think a switchblade is that appropriate for outdoors use (mechanism would probably gunk up pretty quickly), but you asked for a reason....

  • Agreed, switchblade (or "automatic knife" as we call them) is much quicker, easier, and does not require exaggerated motion. If I was a one-armed man, I would want a switchblade. If I was a skydiver or paratrooper, I would want a switchblade. If I was a contract killer or military special operator, switchblade. I do so much want a switchblade. Also, they are cool as hell. Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 3:48

The point of the switchblade is how fast you can open it without needing any particular skill or practice. If you were that kid with a butterfly knife then the difference is negligible, but for anyone else, if the speed of availability is an issue then a switchblade would be your best choice after fixed blade.

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