My Cart

Call us toll free: +1 305-504-7521


Are OTF Knives Useful?

Are OTF Knives Useful

Are OTF Knives Useful?

We most certainly believe that good OTF Knives are very useful tools. If you’re a regular outdoors person, you already know how handy an OTF knife can be. From simply helping to lighten your load while hiking to a means of safety when kayaking, there is no greater tool than the OTF knife. If you don’t already own an OTF knife and know about its usefulness, let us share our knowledge and experience on the subject with you. 

Patented in 1860, our ancestors were constantly looking for ways to be more efficient. And so, they designed a tool that could be easily used with one hand. That tool was a gravity OTF knife – when pointed at the ground, this knife would release a ‘trigger’ and gravity pulled the blade out. The following year spring-loaded OTFs were patented. And here we are now with hundreds of thousands of OTFs to choose from. 

In this article, we look at the usefulness of OTF knives and how their design is an advantage. 

Innovative Design

Designed to be used with one hand doesn’t just mean to open with one hand. It means to cut, slice, and poke with one hand. OTF knives were explicitly designed to do a lot of work for you with little effort from you. If that alone isn’t helpful, then we don’t know what is.

Being a one-handed tool means it should both open and close easily with one hand. This is where the Double Action OTF comes in. With a spring-loaded mechanism to both open and close your knife, the usefulness of this knife style just went up a notch. Whatever your everyday carry (EDC) needs are, an OTF knife can perform the job from beginning to end with one hand – making it not only useful but efficient. 

The History of the OTF Knife for Self-Defense

Here is where we slam on the breaks. An OTF knife is not meant for self-defense, which is why it’s a handy EDC knife. If you’re confused by that statement, stay with us here. Back in the fifties, history tells us that street gangs were running a muck slicing each other up with their beautiful and decorative Italian Stilettos.

However, history didn’t tell us that. Movies did. With that said, the federal government seeing the Jets and Sharks fictitiously dance-fight through the streets was enough to regulate this knife style.  

The truth is most gang members couldn’t afford an Italian Stiletto, so how did they get such a bad reputation? Well, because of the media with a small assist from American Sailors. OTF Italian Stilettos were given to American sailors as an eating utensil and a general-use tool or an EDC.

And why was that the knife of choice? Because OTFs are useful. American soldiers then brought them home, and to make a long story longer, the media made these knives out to be terrible, terrible things. 

In reality, criminals hardly ever used OTF knives to slay their enemies. It would be a terrible knife choice for this if you ask us. At this point, an OTF knife was mostly used as a one-handed tool for German paratroopers, European military special operations units, and, of course, as we mentioned earlier, American sailors to cut up their food. 

What Makes it Useful?

I bet you’re asking yourself, how does any of this information make an OTF knife useful? Because it’s safe. 

We are going to assume, just like the fifties street gangs, you are not running through the street slaying enemies with your OTF knives. Or at least we hope not. If our assumption is correct, you want a knife that can perform the jobs you need it to do, but it needs to be done safely. 

OTF knife blades will not deploy without the ‘trigger’ being moved. To move the ‘trigger’ or ‘button’ or ‘slide’, a good OTF will have tension in the ‘trigger’ created by the spring action mechanism in the knife handle. Therefore, the deployment of the blade relies on the force from your finger. This makes it unlikely to deploy in your pocket, causing injury.

But for fun, let’s say you are in a fight dancing street gang and facing another gang, and someone presses an OTF against your body and deploys the blade. You may experience a bit of a poke, but other than that, the knife blade will not deploy into you.

It will stop its deployment and then need to be reset for the next use. And this is what makes an OTF knife one of the safest options on the market. 

Popular Uses of Good OTF Knives

Many knife lovers use this particular blade for chores around the house or outdoor adventuring, especially when it comes to safety. Here are a couple of popular uses to note:

  • Around the house: for cutting and slicing food to DIY projects and opening containers
  • Camping and hiking: for setup, a lighter load, as a multi-use tool, and use with preparing food
  • Fishing: from cutting tangled lines to cleaning the fish
  • Diving and water sports: for underwater emergencies and rope issues
  • Simple first aid: remove a splinter or cutting bandages

If you want to admit it or not, a knife that enables your safety is extremely useful. Our number one useful OTF knife is a double-action OTF, hands down. The thing is, you won’t know for sure unless you try it for yourself. 

Our TK PRO and Distinctive Collection

If you’re fully committed to good OTF knives for your EDC, check out any of our knives in our TK PRO line and Distinctive Collection

Stay sharp out there, and don’t forget to follow us on all socials, including Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. For more information or to get in touch with us.

TacKnives TK PRO

The TacKnives Blog

Actionable advice and the latest industry happenings from the OTFs

Whether you are an enthusiast or a seasoned collector, find out the latest talks, on the latest trends, designs and everything OTFs.