• The Wait Is Over. From this thread, orders for the 2023 BladeForums Traditional Knife are open & here's your handy order button.
    OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS WITH GOLD OR HIGHER PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS OR have 25+ posts in the Traditional Forum Preorder price is $160 shipped CONUS, price increase on 9/25 11:59PM when ordering opens to anyone on the forums
    User Name

Does anyone make manual OTF knives?

Jan 18, 1999
With all the discussions and concern about blade locking mechanisms, it seems that the OTF (Out-The-Front) knife arrangement has some real advantages. The most obvious is that if the blade lock releases unexpectedly, the blade just safely slides back into the handle, instead of closing on your fingers.

I know several companies make automatic OTF knives, but does anyone make a manual OTF that can be opened with one hand? It seems entirely feasible, especially if you used some sort of "spring assist" like on the Ken Onion folders.

Does the OTF style of knife have any specific limitations or problems that makes it less desirable than a front-opening knife?


Boker makes one, I beleive it's called the bokermatic. Never had one in my hand and don't know anyone who's had one. Seem to me it sells in the low $30 range
Don't forget the Cold Steel ER series. Looked like a black zytel, thin boxcutter with a tanto blade. I have two of the ER-1's from a trade. Has a button that slid after being depressed to open and close. Relatively inexpensive.
The Cold Steel model mentioned above uses sliding lever, not a bad set-up, but I just don't like the knife. The Bokermatic, if memory serves, is actually a fixed blade with a spring-loaded shield that snaps down into the handle. Speed in opening is the biggest disadvantage in a manual OTF. Gravity or centrifigual force (flicking) would be a faster way of opening, but in many jurisdictions this would make the knife fall in to the same catigory as switchblades. This could also apply to my AFCK if the law was really pushed.