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Are there manual OTF knives?

Jan 18, 1999

Does anyone make a manual action Out The Front knife that can be opened with one hand? It doesn't seem like it would be impossible to do, in fact I have some ideas for mechanisms that might work. I like the idea of a blade that simply cannot fold back on your fingers (in a folding knife). It might look cool, too...

Gravity Knives are manual knives, if you are using "no spring" as the criteria.

They are very cool. Einhorn has a really nice German Paratrooper model if I remember right...

Do you have an idea for a mechanism to manually push a knife out forward? That would be really cool...


[This message has been edited by Elvislives (edited 01-22-2001).]
Take a look at the Bokermatic. It's a manual OTF made by Boker. There's a button you push up and it slides the blade out. Totally manual, not gravity, so it's legal. And about $30 I think. I took a look at one in a knife store and I wouldn't recommend it. Fits your description though.

Jason aka medusaoblongata
"Paradise lies in the shadow of swords." - Nietzsche

This is a good one made in Germany for Colt (United).

The CSAR is a unique single handed opening knife for almost any use, designed by EICKHORN-SOLINGEN and distributed by United Cutlery exclusively for COLT. The lightweight, sturdy and compact design makes this knife extremely well suited for Emergency, Rescue and Law Enforcement Professionals.

Length, Open: 8.625"
Length, Closed: 5.375"
Blade Length: 3.2875"
Blade Material: 420 Solingen
Stainless Steel
Handle Material: 30% Fiberglass
reinforced polyamid
Locking Method: Lever
Opening Method: Gravity
Clip: No, lanyard
loop included
Weight: 205 grams

The CSAR is tool equipped with a half-serrated blade, awl, bottle opener and lanyard. It can also be dissassembled for cleaning. The CSAR is built to withstand extreme temperatures and it is also fungus resistant.

The Colt CT-37 Search and Rescue tool lives up to it's name!

The CSAR comes in an attractive lined presentation case.

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The Christy knife is a manual OTF. My Dad used to carry one. It's a very small clip point, a keychain knife really, with a skeleton handle. The blade slides forward and locks in closed, partially open, and fully extended positions.

The Cold Steel ER-1 is a small mini-serrated sheepsfoot manual OTF with a Zytel handle. Very nice for places you don't need to draw attention to a blade, and razor sharp.
The ER-1 is probably closest to what I had in mind - gravity knives are illegal here in CA, so I might as well carry an auto.

I guess what started me on this train of thought is the idea that if the Ken Onion spring-assist mechanism is legal on regular side-opening folders, it seems that a similar spring-assist mechanism could be used to build a nice *legal* OTF folder. I imagine a knife in which the opening mechanism is a short-travel slider that compresses a spring which then propels the blade to the full-out position. I'm not sure exactly what key feature distinguishes an auto from a manual knife, but presumably it could be designed around.


Cold Steel made a few interesting variations with their Rescue series.

*Military Rescue- tanto blade
*Survival Rescue- spear point (double edged)
*Emergency Rescue- as Esav Benjamin mentioned

The ER1 (Emergency Rescue) is the sole survivor of that line. Beefy box cutters indeed...

I remember back when I was in 6th grade (1985) that one of my friends brought a manual out-the-front knife. It was soooo cool! Unfortunately he pulled it on one of my other friends and got suspended and the knife confiscated. I wish I was able to somehow go back in time and retrieve it...Oh, well...

Daniel D.
Back in the late 1960's I bought one in Mexico. It had a very short spring that slightly assisted the blade ejection. To but the blade back in the handle you pressed a button and the blade could drop with about 1/2 inch of point projecting. There was a hinged cover that you used to push the blade against the short spring to cock the blade and conceal it in the handle. Pressing the button with the point aimed down would extend the blade and lock it. It wouldn't work pointed any other way without a flick of the wrist.
The now discontinued Benchmark Rolox was a very nice manual OTF. They are around at knife shows fairly frequently. At least a couple of different sizes. Maybe Bemchmark will start making them again, if the new ownership has rights to past designs.