Knife is undoubtedly the most versatile EDC piece of gear. Leave alone keeping you ready for the next apocalypse, a decent blade by your side will help a great deal in your daily endeavors, no matter what the day may bring forth.
Of course, for a tool that you’re going to need to use often, you need to get the one with the best features. Most knife experts will tell you to pay heed to the construction type, design, portability, ergonomics, size, and shape.
Sure, the above are the main features one has to consider when shopping for a knife. However, we have a few seemingly minor things most people more often overlook. Surprisingly, these aspects can make a huge difference, especially on user convenience. A case in point is the blade deployment mechanism.
Your knife’s deployment mechanism will directly affect the speed of blade access, something that could make you live to see another day the next time you are in a live-or-die situation. That’s why if you are intelligent enough, you are going to pay heed to the seemingly less critical things about your knife when shopping for one!
For faster blade access, assisted opening knives work perfectly. The knives require the user to initiate the deployment process. It can be through the thumb stud or flipper index tab. After reaching a certain point manually, the spring assist mechanism comes in and makes the blade open fully.
Now, whether or not conversant with assisted opening knives, picking one option from the plethora of models can be a real puzzle. But not any longer— our article will be taking you through some of the industry’s finest assisted opening knives. Here we go!
11 Best Assisted Opening Knives
#1 Kershaw (1605CKTST) Clash Pocket Knife
- 3.1" 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade with black-oxide finish for excellent toughness, edge retention and wear resistance
- Textured Glass-filled nylon handle scales offer a solid grip with Gentle Contour and comfortable in-hand feel. Closed Length-4.25 inch
When speaking of best spring-assisted opening knives, we all know Kershaw is king. This premium knife manufacturer combines materials of the highest quality with excellent craftsmanship to produce reliable products that meet and surpass user needs. Now, our editor’s choice is from the very producer, and as we’d all expect, it’s worth the brand name it bears.
Firstly, the blade of this knife is of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, so durability is sure. The solid metal construction also offers superior edge retention, so you don’t need to worry about the hassle of sharpening the blade more often.
Additionally, the retractable steel blade has a durable blade-oxide finish. What that means, this black folding knife will not catch rust or corrosion with time. The premium coating also enhances its aesthetic value, making it one of the cutest pieces to own.
Moreover, the blade of this knife is semi-serrated. The serrations maximize its versatility, so you will find it useful for most daily tasks around the home, for instance, opening boxes, stripping wire, cutting ropes, and more.
The piece has a Kershaw Speedsafe assisted opening internal mechanism, liner lock, integrated flipper, and pocket carry clip. Hence, you can acquire the knife with the confidence that you are getting the best-in-class convenience.
- Convenient pocket clip.
- Reliable flipper opening mechanism.
- Partially serrated edge for versatility.
- A bit bulky.
#2 Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife (1660)
- Versatile 3 inch blade made with Sandvik 14C28N Steel, one of the highest performing knife steels in the world, for increased hardness, corrosion resistance and edge retention
- 410 stainless steel alloy handle provides resistance to corrosion and extra strength and hardness
The second product of our coverage is also from Kershaw, so it should also be a quality product. It packs a myriad of impressive features, and that’s why we have come second on the list as the best overall assisted opening knife.
At 3 inches, the blade here is shorter than that of the predecessor. Additionally, it’s of Sandvik 14C28N steel, one of the high-performing materials for knives. Therefore, about durability, not many knives will come close to what you get from this assisted model.
The knife handle is of premium steel alloy, which is more long-lasting than wooden grips. What’s more, this material of the handle is resistant to corrosion, so it retains the factory-fresh appearance for many years.
Like any other Kershaw A/O knife, this piece uses SpeedSafe assisted opening for deployment. This mechanism requires less amount of effort to open the knife, so the blade is ready for action as soon as you want it.
When not in use, the manufacturer’s exclusive locking system keeps the blade from opening accidentally. Plus, the blade folds back into the handle, so this EDC piece is among the few options that come with your safety in mind.
- Durable edge.
- Convenient size.
- Reliable locking mechanism for safety.
- The smooth frame doesn’t provide the most secure grip.
#3 Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS Assisted Knife
- DIMENSIONS: 8.6 inch (21.8 cm) overall length with a blade length of 3.6 inches (9.1 cm) and a weight of 7.6 ounces
- DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 4034 black oxide high carbon stainless steel with a black aluminum handle with rubber inlay
For knife lovers who want to get the most out of every penny they pay, this knife should make for their ideal model. The value you get from it is beyond what it costs, and that makes it the best-value assisted-opening knife.
The budget model is from Smith & Wesson, a renowned manufacturer of top-notch knives for different situations. Therefore, even before we dig deeper into the features, we already know this knife gives one the confidence they need to face the day.
The durable carbon steel blade will hold its edge well with regular heavy use. Plus, this knife comes with 4034 black oxide, a coating that prevents it from corrosion and gives it extra hardness for even longer service life.
The black aluminum handle is durable and well-shaped to provide a perfect in-hand feel. The rubber inlay ensures that you get a non-slip grip, so expect maximum control even when using it with wet hands.
The unit comes with a clip for pocket carrying. Some knives have belt clips that require a significant amount of effort to operate. But that’s not the case here— the amount of pressure here is just enough to keep the knife clipped without making it difficult to attach/detach.
- The glass breaker is an exciting feature.
- Nice heft.
- Easy to whet.
- The opening lever is stiff with few first uses.
#4 Zero Tolerance 0562TI Pocketknife
- An ideal tool; on the job, for active outdoor adventures, for comfortable every day carry, or even adding to your collection
- Designed by custom knife maker Rick Hinderer, precision built by Zero Tolerance
If you are ready to part with any amount for the best-in-class performance, here comes the option that has you in mind. The price tag is on the heavier side, but the piece will live up to every coin you pay for it, and that’s why we have it as our best expensive assisted opening knife.
Obviously, for a unit of its price range, we expect the knife to be phenomenal in most aspects. And yes, that’s just what you’ll get from this model. From build-quality to ergonomics to quality of the pocket clip, there’s more for other models to imitate from it.
The blade utilizes premium CPM 20CV steel. With this type of material, we expect this pocket knife to last a long time. Plus, the steel blade is powdered, so you don’t have to worry that it will catch rust with time.
When it comes to the handle, it’s of titanium, a super-tough material that stands the test of time. Moreover, the handle has weight-relieving pockets, so you don’t have to worry that this knife is hefty to carry around.
The knife uses a flipper and a smooth KVT ball-bearing opening system to slide off the handle. When the retractable carbon steel blade is open, the secure lock will keep it from folding back. Hence, it feels more secured when using.
- Titanium handle.
- A unique deep pocket clip.
- Frictionless opening/closing.
#5 Zero Tolerance 0350 Folding Pocket Knife
- High performance and premium quality S350V stainless steel makes the recurve blade extremely durable, corrosion resistant and wear resistant
- Non-reflective black Tungsten DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) blade coating and black G-10 handle scales cleanly pair together for a sleek, smooth, aggressive knife
For knife enthusiasts who want high-end features but aren’t ready to meet the steep price, this option should meet their needs. It neither expensive nor cheap, but everything about it almost matches what you find in high-end models. As a result, it scoops fifth place as the best mid-budget assisted opening knife.
The steel used for the blade here has high contents of high-performing carbon and vanadium. With that said, this knife offers a hardened edge that’s going to remain sharp for long. The knife corrosion-resistant tungsten coating enhances its aesthetics and makes it even more durable.
The blade borrows Kershaw’s iconic Speedsafe blade deployment mechanism, so you can open it by using either the thumbstud or the flipper. About the flipper, it has an ambidextrous design for convenient use by left-handed and right-handed persons alike.
The quad-mounted pocket clip makes the knife easy to bring along wherever you want. What’s more, it will allow you to carry the knife tip-up or tip-down, convenience you won’t find in most assisted knives.
About applicability, you are getting an all-purpose knife here for your EDC. You can use it as a survival knife, tactical knife, and self-defense. And since it’s a high-performing piece, it also makes for a perfect gift to any knife lover friend.
- Pocket clip convenient for left or right-handed clip setup.
- Flipper acts as a finger guard.
- Thin profile.
- Thumb assist feels a bit closer to the handle.
#6 MASTER USA MU-A010PK Spring Assisted Knife
- 4.75" CLOSED
- 3.25" BLACK STAINLESS STEEL HALF SERRATED BLADE
Most of us want to pay the least but get maximum functionality from a product. While it’s possible to get a high-performance piece for a low price, most low-priced models perform just as the price depicts. However, this A/O knife is among the few that offer the most for the least amount of money. It’s the best budget spring-assisted knife on the list.
The premium blade steel of this budget knife is durable and has superior edge retention. The black finish on the metal piece enhances its looks and makes it more corrosion and rust-resistant. What that means is, expect this knife to retain its day one appearance for many days.
Some part of the carbon steel blade offers a clean edge while the remaining has serrations, making it a semi-serrated knife. This design maximizes the versatility of the tool for maximum benefit from the piece. With that said, if you want high multifunctionality without paying a hefty price tag, there may be no other option that will meet your needs better than this model.
The budget model measures just under 5 inches long when in a closed position. Therefore, it’s compact enough to bring it with you on a long journey. The pocket clip means you don’t have to worry that it’s going to take some space in your backpack.
Speaking of additional features, you still get a few bells and whistles here. For instance, the comfortable handle has a glass breaker, so it could be the tool to take you out of trouble the next time you are one.
- Premium ABS handle.
- Good quality for the price.
- The assisted opening mechanism is quite stiff at first.
#7 Kershaw Link Pocket Knives
- Kershaw takes the Link to the next level with CPM 20CV blade steel, which offers superior hardness, corrosion resistance, toughness, and wear resistance.
- The aluminum handle is anodized in olive green; its machined pattern gives it a unique look while providing enhanced grip.
If you want a quality knife but do not want to surpass the 100-dollar price point, you can consider getting this option. The high-performance piece takes the lucky number seven on our list as the best assisted opening knife under $100.
Of course, $100 isn’t little for a pocket knife. However, one thing to keep in mind is high-end features usually come with a high price point. Hence, if quality matters the most to you, you most likely have learned to fork out for your products.
Back to this knife, the piece makes use of CPM 20CV, popular steel for knives. Therefore, it’s extra hard and possesses strong corrosion and wear resistance properties. The metal will also hold its edge well, so you can do more with it before there’s the need to sharpen.
Additionally, this pocket knife comes with an anodized aluminum handle. What that means is, it’s strong, durable, and at the same time lightweight. Also, the olive green grip has unique machined patterns to enhance the look and make it more comfortable to hold.
The manufacturer’s signature Speedsafe technology means a simple pull back on the flipper is all it takes to initiate the deployment. Lastly, on portability, the conveniently-sized piece comes with a belt-carry clip.
- Great ergonomics.
- Cute olive-green handle.
- Built-in frame lock.
- The clip isn’t a deep pocket carry.
#8 Gerber Gear 22-47162N Pocket Knife
- Tactile texturing on nylon handle
- High carbon surgical stainless steel blade
The design, shape, and material of a knife handle can impact your outcome. A good knife handle needs to remain comfortable and grippy in all situations. And yes, Gerber Gear 22-47162N makes for a top-notch assisted opening knife with best handle.
Firstly, the handle is of premium durable Nylon, meaning you don’t have to worry that it will catch rust or mold when exposed to water. Plus, it features tactile texturing all over it, so it feels more grippy and will not slip even in wet working situations. And with its convenient size and shape, this knife feels like an extension of your hand.
Some knives aren’t well balanced, and that attracts hand fatigue with extended use. However, that’s not the case when it comes to this model. The exquisite craftsmanship featuring in this piece guarantees the best experience.
About the blade, it’s of surgical stainless steel, so it’s undoubtedly premium and going to stand the test of time. Plus, this blade is easy to sharpen using standard methods, so you will always have a razor-sharp edge for your projects.
The Forward Action Spring Technology (FAST) used for the deployment means you will always have the blade ready for action instantaneously. Also, the lightweight design goes a long way to improve the portability aspect of this knife.
- Textured grip.
- Reliable FAST mechanism.
- Easy to open with one hand.
- It may take some time to get used to the button lock.
#9 Kershaw Cryo II Pocket Knife (1556TI)
- Stealthy BlackWash finish on blade provides extra protection, helping hide scratches, scuffs and fingerprints
- 3.25” high-performance 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade features excellent toughness, edge retention and corrosion resistance
When shopping for an assisted model for EDC, get one with durable construction. The blade and handle all need to have heavy-duty construction. And yes, ninth on the list is the best-construction assisted opening knife.
The durable stainless steel construction provides super toughness, corrosion, and wear resistance. What’s even more interesting, the tool steel blade has a stealthy BlackWash finish, so it masks stains, scratches, and fingerprints perfectly.
The handle is of the same material as the blade, that is, stainless steel. Therefore, we neither expect it to disappoint when it comes to durability. And with that said, if you need a reliable EDC piece that will serve you for many years to come, you can consider giving this knife a shot.
This rugged and sleek EDC knife is portable. You can easily carry it in your pocket, backpack, purse, lanyard, or on belt. The manufacturer even sends it with a quad-mount clip to give you convenience when moving it.
- The size of the blade is decent.
- Fingerprint and scratch-resistant.
- 4-way pocket clip.
- Heavy model.
#10 SMITH & WESSON SWATMB Knife
- DIMENSIONS: 7.5 inch (19 cm) overall length with a blade length of 3.2 inches (8.2 cm) and a weight of 3.9 ounces
- DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 4034 Black Oxide High Carbon S.S. with a black, aluminum handle with Trac-Tec inserts
Although most people don’t realize it, not many knives work ideally for left-handed people. Well, according to stats, lefties account for 10% of the world’s population, so it makes sense to have most knives support right-handed use. Now, if you are left-handed, here comes the best assisted opening knife for lefties.
Unlike in most assisted opening knives, the thumb knobs of this knife features an ambidextrous design. Therefore, it’s convenient to use, both for right and left-handed persons. What’s more, you can choose to use the thumbstud or flipper, all depending on your preference.
The 4034 Black Oxide high carbon stainless steel will stand up to everyday heavy use in the most rugged work environments. The decent steel also holds an edge pretty well and doesn’t require much energy to sharpen.
The aluminum handle feels sturdy and has a good amount of heft. The size is also well-thought-out, and that makes the knife comfortable to work with for extended periods.
On the downsides, one weak area of this assisted opening knife is the finish. While it looks nice, it doesn’t resist scratches like some coatings you will find in other flipper knives. But if you aren’t buying the knife for looks, everything about this piece is fabulous.
- Sharp out of the box.
- Textured feel.
- Safety lock.
- Coating not scratch-resistant.
#11 TAC Force- Spring Assisted Folding Pocket Knife
- Spring assist folding knife offers rapid one-handed deployment, locks securely into place with liner lock
- Black half-serrated stainless steel blade
If you want a knife for everyday all-around use, this piece should meet your needs perfectly. As our best versatile assisted opening knife, you will always be ready to face whatever the day brings your way, whether you intend to go out camping, hunting, or any other outdoor activity.
It isn’t one of the larger knives, neither is it among the smallest— the top-notch piece comes with a convenient size that offers a perfect balance of functionality and portability. It even comes with a convenient pocket clip for carrying transporting it.
The blade is about 3-1/4 inches long, so it has a larger cutting edge for a plethora of applications. Plus, the thickness here is 3mm, so it’s solid enough to face almost anything you throw at it. Hence, whether you are out fishing, hunting, camping, or even walking down a dangerous street, the knife should meet your needs.
We like that this blade is semi-serrated, so it offers beyond what you can get with a plain edge knife. Furthermore, the high-quality piece comes with a glass breaker, so it’s going to come in handy should you want to punch out the window of a car during emergencies.
- Blade lock feels secure.
- Well-thought-out size.
- It has a bottle opener and glass breaker.
- The bottle opener not well-positioned.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Assisted Opening Knives?
They are also called spring-assisted knives and use springs to help in blade withdrawal. However, the user has to initiate the opening with a flipper/thumb stud on the handle.
What’s the difference between assisted opening knives and automatic knives?
Although there’s an aspect of automation in assisted opening knives, they aren’t the same as automatic knives. For the A/O, the user opens the blade to about one-quarter of the way before the mechanism does the rest. Automatic knives work with a mere push of a button.
Folding or open assisted – which is the best knife?
While they are all great, assisted opening knives offer more convenient features than folding options. For instance, with the spring-assisted opening knives, you can open the blade with one hand. That’s a handy feature you can’t achieve with a typical folding knife.
Where’s the best place to buy an open assisted knife?
Definitely, it has to be online. Online shopping will allow you to compare the price of different knives relative to the features they offer. It also provides an opportunity to know how a product performs through reading customer reviews of people who already have experience with the product. Now, we recommend that you do your shopping on Amazon. This site offers the best prices and fast shipping, especially for a prime member.
Are assisted open knives legal?
Since they aren’t automatic blades, they are legal in most countries. However, the tool must rely on one hand or thumb for opening. It should also have a mechanism for safety.
Assisted opening knives are more convenient to use compared to the majority of other pocket knives. Before you buy one, ensure it’s strong enough and perfect for the needs you have at hand. Of course, we know sifting out the ideal one from the dozens of models isn’t easy. However, I believe our coverage has simplified things. Our top-notch models all come from top knife brands, so quality is guaranteed.