Automatic knives, valid for use?

Zenster

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Oct 29, 2007
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876
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Texas
I live in a state where automatic knives are legal to carry. What's the general consensus, are they a viable option or just a gimmick?
I love 'em. There are SO many times I had something in my one hand and needed to do a cut with my free hand. An auto makes it so simple and easy to work.
All in all, it's simply a "better" tool.
Of the several I have, one of my favorites is my letter opener; a Boker Automatic Kalashnikov Mini. All I use it for is opening mail but it's a handy tool.
When talk turns to automatics, it's usually about using them for self defense (and I have a couple that would serve that purpose well). But if self defense is in order, I'd prefer my authentic military KA-BAR over any other knife with the exception perhaps of my Ontario machete (Ontario being a military supplier of machetes).
 

Monocrom

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Aug 27, 2006
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D2?
No thanks. The current batch of budget D2 across the industry, likes to snap in half with hardly any effort. I intentionally stay away from any knife model that uses it.
 

Bob A

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Nov 30, 2023
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Maryland
Brand new poster here; came for the flashlights, but this thread popped up.

I've carried a flashlight and a folding knife for decades, every day. They both get a fair amount of use, and I'd be lost without them. Ever since packaging got stronger than me, a knife has been an essential tool.

That said, I spent decades in search of the ideal pocket knife; had to be sturdy, of decent quality, and most importantly, operable with one hand, to open and close. After trying the A G Russell one-hand, which needed two to close, a Buck 110 which I could sometimes manage to flip open, a Paul axial lock which was too tricky to get open every time, I finally found the Benchmade Omega lock knives, specifically the ones with the "reverse tanto" blades by Osborne. With more weight at the tip, they could be flicked open and shut with ease.

Two years ago, I finally bought my first automatic, a Benchmade Auto Stryker OTS. I found I was able to open my regular Benchmades as quickly, and didn't have to worry about the safety switch, or carve my fingers trying to close it against the liner lock. (I HATE liner locks, for this reason. But see below).

Sadly, I was subsequently intorduced to the world of OTF. Now I have a boxful of Microtechs, Heretics, Guardian Tacticals, and more. They're incredible fun to play with, very well made, with excellent materials. I really enjoy collecting them, but I still EDC my Benchmade Contego, an Omega flipper.

I'm especially charmed by the ingenious actions that appear in the automatic world. Guardian Tactical produced an OTS knife designed by Rat Worx, which operates via a chain drive! It became a must-have. The single-action HALO is a gas to use, but need two hands to close, so it's relegated to the toy bin too. The coolest one I have is a Spyderco Vallotton, which is normally opened with a thumb stud. Gorgeous mechanicals, elegant finish. But best of all, the designer, Butch Vallotton, made a number of them with a hidden switch to operate as an automatic. It is indistinguishable from the ordinary Spyderco, but if you know how to operate it, it will spring to attention with a push in the right place. It's a liner lock, but closes with a much more finger-friendly lock. If it wasn't so rare and beautiful, I'd certainly carry it.

Automatic knives are the <expensive> potato chips of the knife world; you can't have just one. Like potato chips, they're of limited usefulness, due to their unhealthy features, but if you get the habit, that won't stop you from excessive consumption.

AT least, that's obviously been my experience with them. Thanks for indulging my ramble.
 

vincent3685

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Mar 14, 2015
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Try hitting your thumb repeatedly with a hammer to train it. ;)
Thanks. I was wondering how you would train your thumb to withstand the aggressive knurling and resistance on a Microtech Ultratech. Opening it once or twice is fine, but repeated opening will cause undue stress.
 

Falcon9h

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Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
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Thank God Pa. repealed the switchblade law, and with a democrat governor, I'm amazed.
Strictly on a poor man's income so have a couple of no name OTF's but they're surprisingly good, and if it breaks or gets lost I won't cry.
Total one handed opening and closing with one arthritic carpal tunneled hand is a treat.
Having ADHD the fidget factor is a gas!
I pack a Kershaw Blur also.
 

Bob A

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Nov 30, 2023
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Location
Maryland
Thank God Pa. repealed the switchblade law, and with a democrat governor, I'm amazed.
Strictly on a poor man's income so have a couple of no name OTF's but they're surprisingly good, and if it breaks or gets lost I won't cry.
Total one handed opening and closing with one arthritic carpal tunneled hand is a treat.
Having ADHD the fidget factor is a gas!
I pack a Kershaw Blur also.
Yeah, the fidget factor is a major influence. The makers understand that; Rat Worx put out a youtube video demonstrating the machine they built to test their chain drive knives to the point of destruction. It seems you could run them all day for centuries before failure. Cool machine, too.
I'd venture to guess that the great majority of OTF owners have them for the flicker factor. I really enjoy playing with mine.
 

vicv

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Mar 22, 2013
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Southern Ontario
Personally I see nothing wrong with auto knives. They're no more dangerous than any other knife. Why is a spidie hole ok but a button isn't? I can stab someone just as fast with either. Auto knives are handy though when your hands are in a precarious situation, and you need the blade. My microtech utx-85 is plenty handy. Plus it's freaking cool. Something like a halo is fine too, but pretty big
 

vincent3685

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Mar 14, 2015
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I have the Nitecore MH27 in my truck. Has the red/blue police warning signal mode. Is it safe to keep Li-ion batteries in the glove box?
 

Monocrom

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Aug 27, 2006
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NYC
I have the Nitecore MH27 in my truck. Has the red/blue police warning signal mode. Is it safe to keep Li-ion batteries in the glove box?
I know some will say it's perfectly fine.... I don't take any chances with those cells. I'd say, no. For a glove-box, 2AA LED Mini-Mag., and check the batteries once in awhile.
 

vincent3685

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
108
No, and I was wondering about the legality of it. I imagine the police would frown on me using it. No? It's been discontinued by NItecore for some time.
 

vincent3685

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Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
108
What legalities.. Just don't intentionally shine in a cops eyes..

Have you checked out the newer model with NH27UV?

UV comes in handy for looking under bed sheets at Motel 6
Could I use it if my car broke down to warn other motorists? I really want a UV light for that very purpose. Recommendations?
 

knucklegary

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Messages
4,135
Location
NorCal, Central Coast
I use a Lumencraft 365nm drop-in in a 2D Maglite.. Unfortunately, just checked and they're no longer listed in his online store. If interested you can contact Matt, ask if any kicking around his shop.

Another option is Convoy store, Alibaba. They offer a S2+ UV very affordable
 

PhotonMaster3

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Joined
Aug 9, 2020
Messages
103
I like my Microtech double action auto knife. It's great if you're up on a ladder and need to cut off a piece of electrical tape and then retract the blade.
 
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rgcurrey

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Dec 2, 2023
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Pensacola
Retracting the blade is maybe the only advantage I had found while I owed an ultratech. I also made a mistake of using some hi-tech gun lube on it and gummed up the action for a while. When I got it working right again I traded it for a Spyderco Military sprint run and never looked back. I can deploy the Military almost as fast if not as fast, however, one handed closing takes much more time and movement. Still, I edc the Military everyday.

All that to say, I keep looking at the Kershaw Launch 16 with the M4 blade. It just looks like a great knife.
 
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