Best OTF Knife to Buy (Oct. 2018): Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

OTF knife also known as out the front knife has a blade that opens from the handle of the knife. While they are primarily designed for military personnel, law enforcers, and first responders they are an excellent addition to any collection.

After hours of investigating the features on OTF knives, we give you this list of the 10 Best OTF Knife in 2018.

Best Overall OTF Knives for Outdoor Expeditions

Kershaw Brawler: Built with strength in mind, the Kershaw Brawler features a stainless steel blade. It boasts edge retention and corrosion resistance thanks to the black-oxide finish. This will be your best companion if you are fond of the outdoors. From taking hikes to mountaineering, Kershaw Brawler exhibits great usefulness.

MTech USA Ballistic MT-A705This is the beefiest one-hand deployment OTF knife. Available in a staggering array of colors, it will suit your exact taste. With a straight stainless steel blade, it opens up possibilities for numerous uses. Whether you want a knife for hunting purposes or for combat. Mtech will be of great help.

TAC-Force Spring Assisted Pocket Knife: Tailored towards search and rescue, the TAC-Force Spring Assisted Knife is an incredible tool. It is safe to deploy using the speedsafe thumb assisted stud. It is sleek and impeccably finished to ensure you get the best usage out of the knife. 

Best Knife for Survivalists

Smith and Wesson SWMP4LS: It comes with a distinctive styling fit for tough outdoor situations. Its grey aluminum handle along with the black rubber inlay is evident of a knife built for serious daily use. You will like it more because of the double security provided by the liner lock and security lock.

Best Overall OTF Knives

Kershaw Brawler
Our Rating: (4.9 / 5)
Best performing OTF knife
Specialized for piercing
Lock-up is secure
MTech USA Ballistic
Our Rating: (4.8 / 5)
Best for survival
Multi-functional knife
Titanium-coated handle
TAC-FORCE Rescue
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
Rescue knife
Multipurpose for medical
Comfortable grip
Smith & Wesson
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
High-quality stainless steel
Durable aluminum handle
Safety lock
TAC-Force TF-719BK
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
High-end design
Razor-sharp edge
Incredible design

Kershaw Brawler: Best Overall OTF Knife

Functionality: 4.9/5

Performance: 4.8/5

Durability: 4.7/5

This is arguably the best performing OTF knife. It is well-regarded for its size and friendly price. It is also the best-selling of the Kershaw Brawler knives since it brings true value from the design to the materials that make it.

Design Features

This knife explores the American Tanto design with a liner lock. It is a comfortable size to have with you all day thanks to the small blade size at 3.25 inches. It features a stainless steel blade with excellent edge retention. It provides easy sharpening typical of the stainless steel material. You are guaranteed longevity in a model that resists corrosion owing to the black oxide coating.

Functionality

It is specialized for piercing. It is the kind you pick when slicing or acquiring shavings when you need to light a fire. It promises excellent usefulness especially if you spend most of your time outdoors. Deployment is effortless, and lock-up is secure.

MTech USA Ballistic: Best Selling Knife

Functionality: 4.8/5

Performance: 4.8/5

Durability: 4.6/5

Microtech otf knives are one of the best knives in the market, MTech USA Ballistic MT-A705 is one of them. It is one you would like to have in a survival situation whether for gathering tinder or building a shelter. It folds nicely to only 4.5 inches so it won’t keep reminding you of its presence every time you sit.

Design Features

Mtech Otf comes in stunning colors to suit your style. When it is folded, it looks unobtrusive meaning it won’t be scary when someone else sees you with it. It is spring-assisted that allows fast one-hand deployment. It has a titanium-coated aluminum handle with silver color combinations. The blade is of stainless steel and is also titanium-coated.

Functionality

The MTech USA Ballistic MT-A705 is a multi-functional knife. The serrated blade will come in handy to slice through coarse stuff like game or rope. It includes a glass breaker and a bottle opener making it all the more useful in survival situations. This is an excellent utility knife that you don’t want to leave behind.

 

TAC-FORCE Rescue: Best Multipurpose Knife

Functionality: 4.8/5

Performance: 4.7/5

Durability: 4.6/5

Design Features

This is a unique type of out the front that uses speedsafe thumb stud mechanism. It has a liner lock and torsion springs that keep the blade in place. It explores an ambidextrous design that you can use either hand to open and close the blade. It comes with a high-quality stainless steel blade that is only 3¼ inches long. You will like using the black and orange aluminum handle that showcases a comfortable grip and long-term use.

Functionality

This tool is advertised as an all-around rescue knife. The blade is sturdy with a half-serrated part to enable cutting with high accuracy. You will be able to get out of a stuck seat belt or break through the glass in a car. What’s more, it has a pocket clip to keep it with you all the time. TAC-FORCE gives us a multipurpose knife for medical personnel. It remains sturdy through frequent usage.

Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS: Best for Survivalists

Functionality: 4.8/5

Performance: 4.7/5

Durability: 4.6/5

The Smith and Wesson SWMP4LS comes from one of the most dependable brands. It is another all-purpose knife that boasts functionality in lots of situations. It is a 4034 stainless steel, black oxide blade that protects the stainless steel and keeps it from glare.

Design Features

This model features a durable aluminum handle with a rubber inlay for a firm grip. You can depend on it for any situation such as gathering tinder or breaking glass. The serrated blade is useful for cutting through hard material, so if you are a survivalist looking to make a rope, this knife will be all you need. It has a safety lock and an ambidextrous thumb lock meaning everyone can use it.

Functionality

It is applicable in all situations. It is your best friend when heading out into the outdoors. It follows a durable design that will save you in cases where you would rather use a tool than your bare hands.

 

Best OTF Knives For Tactical Situations

1. TAC-Force TF-719BK: Best Self Defense Knife

Functionality: 4.7/5

Durability: 4.6/5

Performance: 4.7/5

The TAC-Force TF-719BK showcases a high-end design. It adds to its popularity owing to the effectiveness of the black stainless steel blade that is reasonably large for combat situations. The first impression about it is the solid feel that comes from the streamlined design that speaks of reliability in combat.

Design Features

The blade on this otf is not any longer than a regular switchblade, but the handle gives it the length needed for proper handling. It also has an assisted deployment mechanism which allows the blade to open in a dagger style. It comes with a force top and cut out slots with extended curved tangs. The knife comes ready to use, and getting a razor-sharp edge is fast and easy.

Functionality

It does not have lots of stuff going on, but it’s definitely a compelling otf for self defense. It keeps your fingers off the path ensuring you have a stable grip at all times. The black coating ensures that it will not glare so no one will be alerted to your position when you are hiding. Overall, TAC-Force has made an incredible design for serious combat or survivalists looking to own a high-end tactical OTF knife.

Functionality: 4.7/5

Performance: 4.6/5

Durability: 4.5/5

Gerber is a company that pushes performance such that you get top quality for the money you put in. Gerber Swagger is an everyday tactical knife that extends the boundaries of reliability. It offers ease-of-use, comfortable carriage, and straightforward opening.

Design Features

Gerber uses assisted opening technology to deliver a knife that has a silky-smooth one-handed deployment. The blade is secured using a plunge lock so that it stays where it needs to be. The handle is another incredible feature since it does not have any sharp points. In fact, it has been chamfered to make rounded edges that allow a natural grip.

Functionality

It can quickly be drawn out of your pocket. It has super sharp edges that allow you to use it in combat or in outdoor survival. Being that has a serrated option, you can quickly cut hard stuff or clean game effortlessly. Gerber is feature-packed considering its price range. You can cut through most stuff making it a highly useful tool.

3. Schrade Viper 3: Strongest OTF Knife

Functionality: 4.6/5

Performance: 4.7/5

Durability: 4.5/5

Schrade knives continue to maintain a high level of dominance in the survival knives industry. This particular model; the Viper 3 features a super-fast opening mechanism. It was introduced as one of their tactical models which remain highly regarded because of the spear-point blade.

Design Features

With a stainless steel blade, Schrade is sure to tackle tough outdoor tasks. The robust aluminum handle is not only reliable in self-defense, but it also provides a stable grip when busting out of a window in an emergency. The black blade also indicates a tough coating which will protect it from corrosion.

Functionality

It has a double-edged that is applicable in all outdoor situations. Its small size gives it an advantage in small, accurate tasks like the skinning of game or fire making. It does not have any uneven specs which mean it can handle a few rugged tasks.

This model is adequate for most outdoor tasks. It is not the greatest at batoning or chopping, but it can accomplish most jobs that demand a good pocket knife.

Benchmade: Best OTF Automatic Knife

Functionality: 4.5/5

Performance: 4.6/5

Durability: 4.4/5

It’s easy to see why Benchmade OTF are not going away even at a premium price. First, you have a knife that is aesthetically appealing and a small size that works as an everyday carry item.

Design Features

It has a green anodized handle. It has deeply sculpted swoops that are crafted on the sides to improve a steady grip. The blade has a construction of S30V stainless steel which is one of the best qualities on the market. You will find that it sharpens relatively easy meaning you’ll always have it in tip-top condition. It has a durable aluminum handle that guarantees reliability in all situations.

Functionality

It can cut through everything. Whether you need fit or rope-cutting or cutting thick plastic, it is going to be a breeze. It provides you with a natural grip and carries comfortably. You will get long-term usage in with it thanks to the use of high-quality materials.

Gerber Covert: Best Mid-Ranger OTF Knife

Functionality: 4.6/5

Performance: 4.6/5

Durability: 4.5/5

The Gerber Covert OTF is a powerful model in today’s military requirements since it provides adaptive storage while retaining the strength of a fixed blade.

Design Features

It features a 3¾ inch partially serrated blade. It combines Gerber’s F.A.S.T assisted opening technology with the classic Applegate-Fairbairn design. This gives it a smooth one-hand opening aided by the dual thumb dual studs. It comes with a patented locking system complemented by a stainless pocket clip. You will also like the natural grip provided by the grooved glass-filled nylon handle.

Functionality

The Gerber Covert OTF is excellent weapon for close combat. The titanium coated blade is sturdy and rigid to handle everything you throw at it. It is fast to sharpen, and it even gets sharp enough to shave. You don’t have to worry in a tricky situation when you have a Gerber Covert knife.

 

MTech Tactical: Best OTF Knife for the Money

Functionality: 4.6/5

Performance: 4.7/5

Durability: 4.4/5

MTech is a renowned brand. They have created it to accompany you on your combat mission, survivalist expedition, or rescue.

Design Features

Mtech has a dagger point stainless steel blade. It works great as a piercing knife which will come in handy when skinning and preparing game. It comes with a full aluminum handle and a glass breaker for emergencies. With the liner locking mechanism, you will never experience accidental closing of this knife.

Functionality

This is not just a knife as it is a useful tool for everyday use. It performs with excellence owing to the smooth-assist-opening and strong steel blade. It folds to a compact size which makes it one of those that you can easily slide into your pocket, and it will be ready for use when you are. 

Buyer’s Guide: How to make the Best Choice

Many brands are offering OTF knives today. The question is; which is your ideal pick? There are a couple of factors and features to consider since each one is designed to fulfill a specific purpose.

Why do you need an OTF knife?

This is your first task at hand. It’s essential that you identify the purpose to which you want an Out the front knife. Do you need this type of knife as an everyday carry-item that will stay in your glove box or do you need one that is useful in combat situations? Other knives are built to handle the tough outdoors like shaving tinder or making a rope from the bark of a tree.

After you identify the purpose of your knife, now you can narrow down on the features.

Deployment Style

1. Automatic Mechanism

Out the front knives have their blades deploy straight from the handle. OTF Automatic knives or the double action otf knives have a double-action mechanism that uses a quick-action spring system. The spring deploys and retracts the blade automatically.

2. Single Action Spring Mechanism

The spring in this type of OTF will deploy the blade, but you have to retract the blade manually and reload the lever using the handle or lever.

Blade Shape

This type of knife uses a popular angular shape. It has two straight edges that are joined. This knife is sturdy since the blade retains its full width and rigidity until at the tip. This knife is excellent at stabbing into tough materials.

This is a pattern that is usually common in hunting knives. It can handle butchering tasks like skinning, cutting, and carving. It is a traditional design that has lots of aesthetic value.

This knife has the tip at the center of the blade. It is double-edged to provide a compelling tip when throwing the knife. It is used in combat because of the increased control that it gives the user.

This is a popular design that features an unsharpened edge that runs to the center of the blade. It has a big cutting edge, and it is very controllable.

This is a double-edged knife with a needle-point tip. It has its most significant usefulness in stabbing or thrusting soft targets. It is usually used in close combat.

Blade Size

Depending on the intended work, a long blade will be useful for tough expeditions while short knives are excellent for everyday tasks.

Edge Design

Most OTF knives have either a straight or partially serrated edge. You may still find an all-serrated blade which is only for specific purposes like cutting a rope. A straight edge cuts clean and is an ideal choice for hunting. A partially serrated blade gives you the flexibility of both a straight and serrated knife.

Safety

Here, we are talking about the locking mechanism. A locking liner holds the knife into position after opening it. A lock back knife, on the other hand, has a locking mechanism that runs into the back of the blade. This method allows hooking the blade behind the lock after you open it.

Blade Material

Out the front knives use stainless steel blades. But the strength of the steel is what makes the difference. Manufacturers vary the amount of carbon and chromium used in the making of a knife. A knife that has more chromium is more durable than one with less. High-quality steel knives have a higher price than mid-range and low-grade knives.

Handle Control

A handle that fits snugly in your hands is of utmost importance. Most knives use aluminum on their handles. You will find that they are usually grooved to prevent slippage when in use. You can look for a rubber coated handle when you need a firm grip on tough jobs

Conclusion

It can take quite a while before picking the best OTF knife. This list has presented the 10 Best OTF knives in 2018. We hope we have covered essential information to help you choose the next knife for your specific situation.

The Kershaw Brawler (1990) is our top recommendation for all situations as it meets all our expectations. If you want a tactical knife, the TAC-Force TF-719BK Folding Tactical Knife is a nice pick.

Whichever your situation, we hope one of these knives will pick your interest.

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