What is a switchblade? A switchblade may be a knife with one or more sharp blades set into a hilt that opens automatically when the user releases pressure on a button, spring, or other device. Switchblades are illegal in many jurisdictions due to their potential for injuring others as well as the difficulty in withdrawing them from a victim. They can be simple, but few are actual switchblades as the state statutes in the United States define them. 

Most manufacturers make cool knives with a single blade and a hilt that opens from an upper handle or mechanism. To meet legal definitions of a switchblade, the knife must have multiple edges (the blades must be capable of folding into the handle), and they must be easily opened from the hilt by "pressure on a button or other device." The blade must open automatically when pressure is applied to the mechanism.

Despite the name, some criminal groups use switchblade knives for personal protection and have been recorded as using switchblades to attack police officers. These are illegal in most jurisdictions. Switchblades are classified as a Category C weapon in the United States under the National Firearms Act (NFA). 

The limit on possession is three (3) per person and an individual may possess only one (1) switchblade with a blade that extends more than two (2) inches or is equipped with a spring. Many states also have local laws against switchblade possession or use. Use in self-defense is permitted only by an individual who has had successful training in the use of such devices.

Types of Switchblade Knives

An armed switchblade is a type of knife with a blade that opens automatically by means of a spring. In many countries, an armed switchblade is considered a potentially lethal weapon, though some jurisdictions deem it legal to carry and use. The name "armed" refers to the potential for violent use in close-quarters combat.

The Spring Assisted Knives or SAK have both an exposed blade and an embedded button (or lever) that actuates the spring-assisted opening mechanism. When the user presses down on this button, often called the firing button, pressure on the back or spine of the knife's handle causes one side of its locking collar or crossbar to move outwards with respect to another. Here are some cool types:

1. Spring Assisted Knives

This type of deadliest knife is designed to be held open by a manual push which is done by the user that presses the button or lever on the handle of the blade. When the handle is pressed down, it sends back pressure to activate the spring which makes this weapon unfold from its closed position. These knives are sometimes referred to as an 'open' or 'flyweight' because they are so well-balanced.

2. Toggle-Lock Knife 

Also known as a "T" knife, this type of switchblade has both an exposed blade and a lock bar, which houses and engages a breaker plate/loaded spring when pressed down. With the lock bar in place, the knife is held safely Closed. The name Toggle-Lock refers to the lock bar's ability to toggle/lock into place, securing and holding itself through pressure from a loaded spring.

3. Automatic Knife 

This is a type of knife that when you depress the firing button or lever, will automatically release or activate and open the blade, making it so that you do not have to manually push down on the blade yourself after operating it with your thumb or finger. This makes it much easier to open, hence why it's called 'automatic'. 

Some automatic knives are considered switchblades because they have a spring-assisted opening. Whether it is considered a switchblade or an automatic knife depends on the laws of the country/state in which you live, but most places consider it illegal to carry an automatic knife as a weapon.

4. Out the Front Knife

Another type of switchblade is one that opens from the front (handle) end and is used by pressing down on the front of the blade itself and sending pressure to its back end. This type of weapon is often confused with an automatic knife, but differentiates itself as OTFs or Out the Front Knives have no moving parts under pressure like an auto does. These weapons are legal in most states as long as they contain no spring assist function.

5. Gravity Knife 

A gravity knife is considered a type of switchblade where the force of gravity is what keeps it locked/closed. Unlike other types of switchblade knives, it does not have a locking mechanism to keep it fully closed/locked that activates when pressure has been applied. 

These knives are considered illegal in many states and countries because they can be opened with little effort and can be operated by someone who is unfamiliar with how they work (such as tourists) which poses a safety risk due to the ease with which they can be opened.

6. Ricasso Knife 

A Ricasso is a type of switchblade that has a hidden blade that folds into the handle itself. These knives are often disguised as other types of knives/tools that fold, such as screwdrivers, and are used to attack or defend someone in self-defense. This one does not have any spring assist functions but some do.

Uses and Benefits of Switchblades

Switchblade knives are a novel and fascinating design. The key to its success is that it is easy to conceal under clothing. Switchblades are often associated with the armed forces, but they are more easily purchased by civilians in Latin America and Southern European countries. In some states, switchblades are legal for civilian use. 

Some people swear by their use because of the utility of a blade being able to be changed quickly and easily to make quick work of any situation that may arise while walking alone at night such as muggers or terrorists on public transportation. Switchblade knife designs vary from state to state. Some switchblades are straight and others have curves on them. The shape of the blade is not as important as the ability to have it open quickly, easily, and safely. 

Depending on the design of a switchblade knife, a tip may be exposed or it may be recessed, directly behind the handle or overhanging slightly. One prominent style of switchblade knife is the "chisel" design where a chisel-like blade protrudes from the top of the handle with a guard between it and the blade.

Handles are made from a variety of materials like stainless steel, wood, or plastic making them very durable and functional. However, the most common material found on switchblade knives is the more commonly available carbon steel. This type of steel is used because it is easy to work with and provides a good cutting edge for the knife.

These knives have a blade that is concealed under either a button or recessed in the handle. Outwardly, the blade may appear to be an ordinary pocket knife although professionally made switchblades are designed to hide blades as well as conceal them from casual view. Many of these knives are designed to come out quickly and easily should the user need it and they do this by having special hinges on the handle.