Manual, you have to depress a spot in the handle, pull out the blade with your other hand as it both locks when its in the handle and out. You could get yourself to whip it out but it never really makes it all the way, unless you took it apart and lubricated it well maybe. I love mine.
I wasn't knocking it, i love mine. I prefer to open it two handed because i have a blur and an m16 for easy one handed opening :-D. Its a lot of knife in a little package and you dont even feel it in your pocket. id recommend it.
Actually Benchmite II is a nice little knife. But I think it could be a bit lighter if they drilled the patterned on the backside. Currently, it is much heavier compare to the original Benchmite, which is Titanium and Drilled pattern. So if they can change the handel material to comething lighter, that would also do. Maybe Aluminium scale?
The blade itself is a bit too think at the edge. Make it a lower performance as a cutting tool. I would prefer to have it thinner, to improve the cutting performance.
Anyway, it is a nice little knife, and I love it. But if they could do some refinement, then it will be a perfect blade.