Single Action vs Double Action OTF: Which Is Right for You?

single action vs double action otf

Are you ready for a new knife? No collection is complete without an automatic knife like an OTF. The question is, which one is best for you?

These tools come in single action vs double action OTF knives, and each one has different benefits. To help you figure out which one serves your purposes better, we’ve compiled a list of the benefits of each, as well as how to carry and care for them.

Take a look below to help determine your next OTF knife selection.

What Is an Out the Front Knife?

Also known as OTF knives, out the front knives are knives with blades that deploy out of the front. They don’t flip up or fold like a jackknife. OTF knives are one type of switchblade, another word for automatic knives.

These kinds of knives have all kinds of everyday uses, from hunting and outdoor sports to helpful pocket tools. Some come with a built-in clip so you can attach it to your belt or pocket and reach for it easily.

While you’ll feel cool because of the noise the blade makes when it leaves the casing, you’ll also have an efficient tool to use when the need arises that’s durable and long-lasting.  

Single Action vs Double Action OTF Knives: What’s the Difference?

A single-action OTF knife deploys the same way a double action OTF knife does. It’s what happens afterwards that differentiates the two. A single action knife has to be manually retracted, whereas a double action knife automatically retracts when you push the button again.

TacKnives OTF double action knives are just one category that shows you the advantages of using a double-action tool. While they tend to be more expensive because of the extra function, they’re worth every penny.

Especially if you plan to use your knife outdoors or on a wilderness adventure, they’re really handy. You’ll be able to operate the knife with one hand, leaving one free for other tasks. Single action knives often take two hands to retract, a luxury you may not have on a camping trip or hike.

Double action OTF knives are also easier to use. Pushing a button takes less time, and it’s more efficient than manually closing a blade. For convenience factor alone, a double-action may be the best choice.

Benefits of Single Action Knives

If you’re looking for the best cheap OTF knife, then a single action may be more ideal. Besides the more attractive price tag, they’re less likely to malfunction. The blades deploy faster than with a double-action OTF, too.

There are fewer mechanisms inside a single action OTF knife, which means they last longer, too. These knives are more durable than the double action knives. There aren’t as many parts that can break, so this knife will stay with you longer than a double-action would.

Using OTF Knives for Safety

Another helpful use for out the front pocket knives is for self-defense. You can’t put a value on keeping yourself safe, and living in certain neighborhoods can make you feel more comfortable with an OTF knife nearby.

You should also make sure you are safe while using your knife, even if you’re not defending yourself against an attacker.

The old saying goes that the first thing you do with a new knife is cut yourself. You can avoid this by remembering these safety tips while using your tool:

Always point the knife away from yourself while you’re cutting. If you’re going to hand the knife to someone else, make sure that you retract the blade first.

Keeping your knife sharp is very important for safety. If you’re using a dull knife, you have to use more pressure, and there is more of a chance the blade could slip and cut you.

Taking Care of Your Tools

If you want your knife to last for a while, it’s important that you take care of it. Make sure that you’re keeping your knife clean and dry.

You may also need to keep it well lubricated. Check with the manufacturer for care instructions, as some knives perform best without oil making the parts stick. Others require regular lubrication to avoid sticking and misfiring.

The best way to lubricate your OTF knife is to take it apart and oil the mechanical parts inside. First deploy the knife, and then remove the screws.

Remove the parts inside, taking care to ensure that you’ll remember where each part goes. You can either take a video of the disassembly or take photos of each step as you go.

Oil each moving part, like the spring, the slider, and the blade. Then reassemble your knife, starting with the most recent photos (or the end of the video). For help reassembling, you can always contact the manufacturer.

You can use REM oil or another type of gun oil. WD-40 also works well. Be sure to find out which type of oil the manufacturer recommends, or you may void any applicable warranties.

The Best Tool

Now that you know the differences between single action vs double action OTF knives, you’ll be able to choose the right one for your purposes.

Whether you’re looking for self-defense tools or knives to take on your next wilderness trip, OTF knives are great options. Be sure to practice personal safety and take good care of your knives so they last a long time.

Shop single action and double action knives today and check out our product pages

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