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Butterfly knives, for which balisong is a more accurate term, are frequently credited to the Philippines as its origin. The balisong knife, according to legend, dates back to the year 800. This kind of knife could be swiftly opened with one hand and was simple to employ as a weapon.
Since the invention of knives, the butterfly knife has been a magnificent piece of equipment. It’s a straightforward, user-friendly, yet incredibly powerful tool. It is one of the most widely used knives available in martial arts. Most butterfly knives are made of premium steel, and some of the versions can even be used in place of a chef’s knife. Because of this, they are excellent for usage in any circumstance when a conventional fixed-blade might not be the greatest option. Butterfly knives look identical, however they differ greatly from one another. Learn what to look for when choosing the best butterfly knife in the following paragraphs, along with the reasons why these particular knives are among the best available.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Butterfly Knives
A butterfly knife’s general quality will depend on a few important characteristics. The portion of the blade that extends into the handle is known as the tang, and it needs to be exceedingly strong. A blade with a full-length tang provides more support than one with only a partial tang. Although the cutting edge of the blade should be extremely sharp, the user’s hand shouldn’t be hurt by it. While cutting, a blade with a steep angle may feel great, but if it comes into contact with bone or tissue, it may cut through without being noticed. Because of this, chef’s knives often have a somewhat larger cutting angle than butterfly knives.
Carbon steel or stainless steel are both used to make butterfly knives. Each material has benefits and disadvantages.
- Stainless steel blades are perfect for longer, thicker blades that will experience heavy use. Additionally, temperature variations have less of an impact on these blades. Although sturdy and resilient, stainless steel blades are susceptible to rust. They are also more expensive.
- Carbon steel blades work best on blades that are thinner, more delicate, and better able to withstand heat. Despite being more fragile, carbon steel blades are sharper. A carbon steel blade may become brittle and snap if it sustains too much use and tear.
A stainless steel blade often has a carbon percentage of 18/10 or 20/10. The harder the blade, the higher the carbon content. These blades are more durable, but they are also more prone to damage. Because carbon steel can maintain a sharp edge, it is frequently used for fileting. Blades made of carbon steel have the drawback of being challenging to resharpen after becoming dull. However, you can use a carbide file to manually sharpen them.
Two different materials are also used to make the handles of butterfly knives:
- The most popular material for knife handles is wood since it is less expensive than metal, feels smooth when chopping, and has a more natural appearance. The issue with wood is that it can be challenging to keep its texture and color uniform. Over time, wood handles have a tendency to soften, which makes them simpler to cut.
- Popular materials include metal, which is more resistant to temperature changes and stronger. Although certain butterfly knives may have titanium nitride coatings, most have stainless steel handles. Titanium nitride is a resilient material that won’t rust and doesn’t need much upkeep.
Whatever material your knife handle is made of, check to make sure it isn’t too delicate so it can take the pressure and stress of a professional kitchen.
The majority of butterfly knives have a similar appearance, however there are some variations. These blades are made by expert bladesmiths using one of two techniques, referred to as sandwich construction or channel construction. Using a ball-bearing mechanism, the many metal layers that make up the sandwich construction are held together. The pivot points have an easier-to-adjust permanent binding and a tighter arrangement. Once closed, the two handles completely enclose the knife. On the other hand, metal components having grooves are separated and assembled to form a channel. Folded, machined, or integrally cast grooves are all possible. When not in use, the blade is laying there.
The length of a butterfly knife can vary based on the type of blade it has and whether it is an electric or manual variant. Compared to electric variants, which may be up to 5 inches long, manual butterfly knives are smaller, measuring about 3 to 4 inches. Butterfly knives that are manually operated are simpler to move in confined locations, like between things on a buffet table. Because they can chop larger chunks of meat or fish, electric butterfly knives offer greater versatility, but their use may be restricted by their need for a power supply.
Weight and Balance
A good butterfly knife should be easy to hold, have the right balance, and exhibit even weight distribution. Many people prefer wooden handles because they believe they will look attractive. When trying to find a good butterfly knife, the tang should be the main consideration. A strong tang provides a secure foundation for hanging the blade. To improve the stability and balance of the knife, look for a blade that is balanced toward the front of the handle.
One of the rare blades with the ability to cut in both directions is the butterfly knife. This is so that they may make deeper cuts by retracting their tip into the body of the knife or moving it out of the way to allow for a shallower cut. But there is a price for this adaptability: Cutting with precision, like when chopping delicate vegetables or herbs, will be more challenging to do with a butterfly knife that slices in both directions. An appropriate knife for this type of cutting would be a boning or traditional sushi knife from Japan.
Easiest to Control/Hold
Knives can be challenging to handle or control. However, the forms and patterns of modern knives have improved, making them more manageable. Not all knives available today, though, are simple to use. The easiest to use or handle is a butterfly knife. The knife is similar to having a stick in your hand. When the two handles are pulled apart, they collide and lock from the other side. When locked, they provide a fairly substantial handle. It would be easier to hold a knife with such a thick grip. The locking mechanism makes sure the handles are fixed in place.
The legal status of butterfly knives is not favorable in many countries. In fact, balisong is totally forbidden in many countries. This is due to the fact that it is a concealed-carry weapon by nature and is fairly dangerous. However, there are some types of butterfly pocket knives that are permitted in some nations.
Types Of Butterfly Knives
These blades are made by expert bladesmiths using one of two techniques, referred to as sandwich construction or channel construction.
- Sandwich construction refers to the butterfly handles’ layers being joined together with screws, pins, or spacers. In other words, there isn’t a single solid piece of material used to create the handles.
- Channel construction means that each handle of the butterfly knife is made from a single, solid piece of material. With this design, when the knife is closed, the blade normally rests inside the handle’s grooves.
Many of them appear to perform nearly identical tasks, with the majority of the distinctions being more subjective than objective. Nevertheless, some knives are slightly more adept than others at doing particular tasks.
Large, practical blades or a compact, cost-effective design may make balisongs that are preferred for EDC duty stand out. For convenience in transport, almost all of them would come with built-in pocket clips. Those with spring-loaded latches are simpler to open and safer to lock regularly until required. These knives frequently have the most durable, corrosion-resistant, and reliable construction to guarantee a long lifespan.
The sharpest flippers, usually with larger spear points or bayonet-type blades, are the knives that best fit this category since they are made of resilient materials and can withstand punishment. Nicer examples might also have pocket clips for EDC use and spring-loaded locks for simpler, faster deployment in tight situations.
Trainers are literally designed to teach enthusiasts how to use and flip their butterfly knives safely, as suggested by the name. They will frequently use the same materials and be manufactured with the same standards and build quality as the original. Some expensive trainers might even have pivots that are ball bearing-based, exactly like more expensive butterfly knives. All trainers will share the same distinctive feature: a blade with a dull, rounded edge that completely eliminates the possibility of self-cutting.
These include blades made of cheap steel and decorated with fanciful iridescent hues. They may also include inexpensive decorative knives that put a premium on style above performance. To cut wood, you wouldn’t use them. It is unlikely that you would consider using one to open mail. On a shelf, though, they do look lovely.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
The best-selling butterfly knives were our first stop on a Google Shopping search. Price ($30 and under, $40 and under, or $50 and under) and availability were the criteria we used to reduce our search. We also took into account limited-edition or collector’s knives.
In order to evaluate which knives were most appropriate for their intended use, we also compared the knives’ descriptions, testimonials, and videos.
Frequently Asked Questions About Butterfly Knives
What exactly is a butterfly knife?
Butterfly knives are frequently attributed to the Philippines, although the term “balisong” is more accurate. The balisong knife is said to have its origins around the year 800 AD. This kind of knife was simple to wield as a weapon and could be rapidly opened with one hand.
Which butterfly knife is ideal for beginners?
The ideal party trick and trainer for beginners is the Opener Butterfly. You won’t ever have to worry about losing screws or performing any maintenance because it has a 4.75-inch training blade with 5.125-inch handles and employs roll pins as pivots.
Are butterfly knives dangerous?
They may not be as deadly as a full-fledged military knife, but if handled incorrectly, they might still result in significant harm or even death. It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of these knives are intended more for practicality and/or display than for usage as weapons.
What length blade works best for a butterfly knife?
Your intended use will determine the ideal blade length for a butterfly knife. Go with four inches if you want to keep it in your boot for protection.
What should I look for in a butterfly knife?
The design and weight of the handles are two factors to consider. Some people choose large, thick handles, while others favor narrow handles. The majority of that is subjective opinion. You need a butterfly knife that swings easily on the pins.
Are butterfly knives effective weapons?
Even before it is opened, it can be used as a blunt impact tool that won’t kill. The exposed back of the blade’s tang or even the tips of the handle can be used to strike at an opponent’s crucial areas before you even deploy the blade.