Choosing Your Next OTF


Choosing a new knife can be a hassle.  Whether you are the experienced knife collector, or just a newbie starting out, you want to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.  Especially when it comes to choosing a new OTF.  With so many moving parts, you really have to make sure you are getting something quality, otherwise you are just buying an expensive hunk of metal that doesn’t even work right.  Too often will someone just jump in head first and buy the first knife that catches their eye, only to find out that it doesn’t fire right, at which point they are just stuck with a mediocre OTF.  So how do you go about choosing the best OTF for you?  Well, it’s important to keep a few things in mind before you pick out the next addition to your collection.

First and foremost you are going to need to decide which type of OTF you are looking for.  Meaning, do you want a double action, or a single action?  A double action will extend and retract the knife with a push of a button, while a single action will extend the blade, and you will need to pull it back in with a trigger.   Both options are great when it comes to OTF, the decision is really up to you.  One of the best ways to narrow down your decision is to ask yourself “how will I be using my knife?”

How do plan on using your knife?  Is this something you are going to be using in a serviceman capacity, or will you just be using it around the house?  Are you going to need to be able to extend and retract the blade quickly?  If so, you may be better off with a double action.

Next you are going to need to take a look at blade size.  OTF’s come in all shapes and sizes.   It’s up to you to decide which one is the best size for you.  Again, how will you be using the knife?  If you are looking to use it lightly, for day to day things, consider going with a smaller blade.  Something like the AKC Minion ConcordThese are a small, reliable OTF perfect for use around the house, opening boxes or mail.  But you are looking for something to be more of a workhorse, you are going to need a bigger blade, maybe something like the Asheville Steel Paragon Estiletto Dagger.  This tactical knife will hold up much better on those tougher jobs.

Don’t forget to think about edge when choosing your next OTF.   Edge should always play an important role in deciding on a new knife.   For instance, a double edge, while looking pretty impressive, does double the area you will be cleaning and maintaining.  If you are looking for light use, or collection purposes, a double edge is perfect.  But if you are planning on putting your knife through the ringer, you may be better off with a single edge blade.  This will give you less edge to try and maintain and care for.

Of course these are all just suggestions.  When it comes to choosing your next knife, only you know what you want most.  Don’t let anyone try and talk you into choosing a knife that you just don’t feel is right for you.  Always trust your gut, but it does help if your gut has a little education backing it up.

How do you choose your next OTF?  Is there a specific set of parameters it has to meet to be worthy of your collection?   We want to you know how you choose your perfect knife in the comments below.

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