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OTF Terms and Definitions you should know.

If you are new to the knife community or new to purchasing an OTF, you don’t know what you don’t know. When it comes to OTF knives, terminology can help you decide if the knife you are purchasing is the right knife for you.  Here are ten terms to help guide you to purchasing the right automatic knife. 

# 1 OTF-

OTF means Out The Front. This is referring to where the blade will be exiting the handle when deployed.  On an OTF knife, when the blade is deployed it comes out the “front of the handle” or some might say the top of the handle.

# 2 Automatic-

If a knife is automatic, it means the blade will deploy with a push or slide of a button. You do not have to manually open the knife to use it.

 #3 Action-

Action refers to the how the blade opens and closes. If a knife has smooth or good action, it means the blade opens with ease. If the blade has heavy action, it means it takes more effort to deploy the blade. 

#4 Double Action-

Double action on a knife means the blade is both deployed and retracted automatically with the push or slide of a button.  Watch for more information here: (210) TacKnives Double Action OTF vs Single Action OTF. What’s the difference? – YouTube

#5 Single Action-

Single action on an OTF knife means the blade is deployed automatically with a push or slide of a button, but then it is manually retracted.  Watch for more information here: (210) TacKnives Double Action OTF vs Single Action OTF. What’s the difference? – YouTube

#6 Belly-

The belly of a knife is found on the curved part of the blades cutting edge.

#7 Hardness-

Hardness in a blade is most likely referring to the Rockwell Hardness test. This test is an industry standard for the hardness of  steels.  The higher the Rockwell Hardness means the harder the blade and also possibly more brittle. The lower the hardness, the softer the metal. You can read more here

#8 Blade Steel-

When we talk about blade steel, we are talking about the specific steel that makes up that knife blade. Each blade steel is unique in composition and can perform at different levels of durability, strength, sharpness and so on.

#9 Blade Shape-

Blade shape refers the shape of the blade. Obvious? Sure. There are so many different blade shapes on the market that paying attention to which blade shape does what, could help you in your next purchase.

 #10 Misfire-

Misfire means that the blade either didn’t deploy at all, or the blade didn’t deploy fully. This can happen on an OTF. Read here for more information on misfiring. Is My Knife Broken or Just an OTF Knife | TacKnives (

If you are looking to purchase an automatic knife that is Out The Front, I highly suggest you take advantage of what TacKnives has to offer. They have an incredibly wide variety of OTF knives. There is definitely one that will not only fit your needs, but your budget as well.