Automatic knives, valid for use?

fuyume

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Why anything then? Why a locking blade when your grandpa got along with a slipjoint sodbuster or barlow? Why 154CM when 1095 will cut too? Why a thumbstud when a nailnick will open your blade?

There are many tools with different features for different purposes and preferences. On top of that, for many of us, knives are a hobby too, and we like trying new and interesting things. If you have found your perfect knife, that is awesome! But the OP wants to try something new. Why hassle him for that just because it doesn't fit your usage needs?
No one is hassling anyone.

Why a locking blade? Because a locking blade offers substantially more safety over a slip joint, obviously.
Why 154CM over 1095? Well, for one, 154CM is stainless and 1095 is not. That's a very important difference, obviously.
Why a thumbstud and not a nail nick? Because you cannot open most nail nick knives with one hand, so the thumb stud is a dramatic improvement, obviously.

What is not a demonstrable improvement over a typical liner lock folding knife with a thumb stud or hole is a switch blade or assisted opening knife. The budget that goes toward the opening mechanism is better spent on other areas of the knife that would be either improved performance in real world use or a cheaper price.
 

sween1911

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Autos can be gimmicky but it depends on what you buy. Benchmade makes a number of very good autos as well as OTF's. I own one of each and I've been pretty happy with them. That being said, an axis lock can be had for cheaper and with a little practice they can be open and shut just as fast in my experience. There's a great fidget factor to auto knives which can't be denied. It depends on your use case and budget. What will you use it for?
Fidget factor! That's a great term for it. I bought a Lightning OTF from Bladehq awhile back just because a DA OTF is so much fun. And I was so curious about how it worked I took it apart. Wouldn't want to attempt that with a Microtech.
 

nbp

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What is not a demonstrable improvement over a typical liner lock folding knife with a thumb stud or hole is a switch blade or assisted opening knife.

You're entitled to your opinion as we are to ours. I enjoy having several autos in my collection in addition to Spyderco, Chris Reeve, Zero Tolerance, Medford and other stud and hole opening knives. I have come to my opinion through owning and using them, so I am confident in my feeling that they have a place in my usage rotation.
 

tech25

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I enjoy switching off with some of my knives.

I ordered an OTF auto for convenience, (times that I want to use it while doing a project where I don't want to put the knife down but don't want a blade waving about. much easier to retract the blade whenever I'm done with the cut)

Other times I go old school with a small traditional folding knife.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Summer of '76 bought 2 knives in Germany; most expensive out the front knife I could find. Never could trust it when the chips were down. Now, the other one was a gravity knife. It locked ready for action with authority if flicked out decisively. Simple design, metal body. Rarely carried because of possible confiscation, then Spyderco released the Endura... Thank you Sal for all these years. (Would like to check out a modern OTF for sure, though)
 

nollij

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Summer of '76 bought 2 knives in Germany; most expensive out the front knife I could find. Never could trust it when the chips were down. Now, the other one was a gravity knife. It locked ready for action with authority if flicked out decisively. Simple design, metal body. Rarely carried because of possible confiscation, then Spyderco released the Endura... Thank you Sal for all these years. (Would like to check out a modern OTF for sure, though)
Photos? Would love to see the gravity knife… heard of it many times, never seen one.
 

nollij

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No one is hassling anyone.

Why a locking blade? Because a locking blade offers substantially more safety over a slip joint, obviously.
Why 154CM over 1095? Well, for one, 154CM is stainless and 1095 is not. That's a very important difference, obviously.
Why a thumbstud and not a nail nick? Because you cannot open most nail nick knives with one hand, so the thumb stud is a dramatic improvement, obviously.

What is not a demonstrable improvement over a typical liner lock folding knife with a thumb stud or hole is a switch blade or assisted opening knife. The budget that goes toward the opening mechanism is better spent on other areas of the knife that would be either improved performance in real world use or a cheaper price.
I think with all knives, they have a purpose. You wouldn't take a penlight when you needed a searchlight but if it's all you have, it's what you end up using. Does one NEED a full auto knife vs. a nail nick slip joint? Maybe, maybe not. There will be very little fidgeting with a nail nick slip joint and you're infinitely more likely to "play" with a full auto but will they do they same job? Probably. Budget and expectations come a lot into play. If I need the one hand usability, I'm not going to choose the nail nick. Full autos (especially OTF's) with premium steel and reliable deployment mechanisms are going to come at a premium price. If I'm a first responder (and I sometimes am), I can get away with an axis lock (yes, there are other lock mechanisms that can do the job almost as well) but for me a nail nick slip joint is never going to cut it 😉 when time is of the essence. I'm of the option that 2 is one, 1 is none. So… I always have multiple options. Currently carrying a Benchmade 531 and a CRKT Provoke. At work I also carry a CountyComm Ti Breacher bar and a Bradford Knives 3.5 Tanto on my duty belt. I'm considering a Microtech UTX-85 to swap in rotation with my Benchmade 531.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Photos? Would love to see the gravity knife… heard of it many times, never seen one.
The state I now live in wants humans to avoid having this type of knife, even though there is a perceived contradiction in the applicable state laws. I sold the spring loaded out the front knife years ago. For images of the gravity knife, search Robert Klaas gravity knife. The talk blade.info site shows one in pristine condition.
 

HSO

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viable option

Yes, they're a viable option. Do you understand that automatic knives have been used since the 1800s? Of course they're viable. OTOH, they're no more or less "viable" than assisted or one hand openers. A quality knife is more than just how you open it. The two knives pictured were viable options for ladies and gentlemen in the 1930s, '40s, and 50's.
 

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kerneldrop

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Piranha is the hardest firing auto knives on the planet, made in 'Merica, and are nicely priced. They fire harder than my hard opening Pro-Techs

Hogue makes an oustanding USA made auto as well.
 

nollij

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Piranha is the hardest firing auto knives on the planet, made in 'Merica, and are nicely priced. They fire harder than my hard opening Pro-Techs

Hogue makes an oustanding USA made auto as well.
I've heard lots of good things about the Hogue knives as well. I don't own one YET...
Checked out the Piranha knives on BladeHQ... I'm really liking the Virus.... sleek and sexy. The virus isn't a "hard use" knife per se, but damn is it sleek and sexy. May have to get me one
;)
 
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tech25

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Just got my Microtech. Definitely practical for EDC. In some ways, it's even safer than my other knives. (When I'm not actually cutting something the blade is retracted but the knife is still available for use immediately) I have been carrying this and a North arms Skaha 2, both great knives.
 

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nbp

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I've heard lots of good things about the Hogue knives as well. I don't own one YET...
Checked out the Piranha knives on BladeHQ... I'm really liking the Virus.... sleek and sexy. The virus isn't a "hard use" knife per se, but damn is it sleek and sexy. May have to get me one
;)

Piranha makes excellent knives. I had an X for a while before trading it to a friend. Very sturdy, very hard firing.

Just got my Microtech. Definitely practical for EDC. In some ways, it's even safer than my other knives. (When I'm not actually cutting something the blade is retracted but the knife is still available for use immediately) I have been carrying this and a North arms Skaha 2, both great knives.

You will love having it as a secondary knife on you in addition to whatever your primary blade for the day is. I like to shove an Ultratech in my back pocket, weak side, while my primary folder is in front pocket, dominant hand. Sometimes I need a blade and dominant hand is busy, so being able to reach back and grab the second knife is useful, especially since OTFs are so easily used with either hand. That is another nice feature of them. Ultratech is plenty of knife for most cutting tasks and yet very slim in profile and easy to tuck into almost any pocket.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Why anything then? Why a locking blade when your grandpa got along with a slipjoint sodbuster or barlow? Why 154CM when 1095 will cut too? Why a thumbstud when a nailnick will open your blade?

There are many tools with different features for different purposes and preferences. On top of that, for many of us, knives are a hobby too, and we like trying new and interesting things.
Oregonian Gerber 'nail nick' from the 70's purchased at Abercrombie and Fitch, New York. That was when they were truly outfitters to safari adventurers.
 

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ledbetter

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I've had an automatic or two since I was a kid, and they're a fun toy and now built to last, but they're no faster than my spydercos or Curtiss flipper. And I hate adding complications to a tool. Give me a bolt action over a semi, etc. They sort of fall into the category of my throw lights when everyone knows a flood is what you want and need for situational awareness. Throw is for fun and giggles, or you're hunting man or beast at night and that's not for me.
 

retiredtim

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I have an old Benchmade Autostryker from the military that is well built and is fun just to have. I don't daily use a knife, but I don't daily use flashlights either. I think they are cool, regardless of who can stab the other guy first.
 

old4570

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Lots of budget Auto out there ...
If you buy one with decent blade steel ( user knife )
These days , I think much like other knives - They are bolted together well enough .
So if you are looking for a fidget knife ... Just look for one with a decent number of positive reviews .
As for edge holding ?
 

kingofwylietx

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Someone once gave me a Benchmade Infidel. It is an OTF auto.
I wasn't overly impressed and sold it to a neighbor for like $150. Apparently, that was a very good deal for him....since I had no idea what it cost.
 
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