Why automatic knives?

Jan 31, 2001
No, this is not a trolling or flame, but I just don't understand why anyone would want one. They are more expensive than regular folders, & in many places they are illegal to boot. I live in California, & here the only kind of auto knife that is legal has an anemically short blade--less than 2 inches! Also, are they really that dependable? I know some automatics are well-made now, but I once owned two stilettos (front-openers), & they were nifty...but I didn't like the thought of the thin, spring-steel supporting rod snapping during a straight thrust with the knife. Would the blade shoot back into the handle or...?

Also, the reason for an auto knife is already covered by most quality folders nowadays. They come with thumb studs or disks, & a drop of oil will have one opening with one hand as fast as you could want. Given this, why would you want an auto knife?

Maybe it's just personal preference. Would someone on here let me know what is so good or useful about an automatic knife? (Using one to cut rope, etc., seems to me like hunting deer with an AK-47. Kind of ridiculous).


"Wise men argue causes, & fools decide them."

- Anarchus
I don't own any autos because of the legal aspects. However, as an engineering student, I think autos just increase the mechanical complexity of the knife...I think it's cool! Larry Chew is making a slick "Covert" D/A. I just marvel at the design and engineering behind it.

It's sort of like the Ferrari F1 transmission. A regular automatic transmission basically does the same thing. But the Ferrari F1 transmission is sooo much cooler.


My Hobby Page
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Would someone on here let me know what is so good or useful about an automatic knife? (Using one to cut rope, etc., seems to me like hunting deer with an AK-47. Kind of ridiculous).</font>

Your last statement would leave me to believe that you tend to take what the media says about 'assault' rifles at face value. Now, auto knives are not within my field of interest, although I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with owning them. I mean, whats wrong with cutting rope with them? Overkill you say? Whys that, does it cause the rope to be cut in a more grusome way because the blade 'jumped' open before the cut? I think not. The fact is, many people get the same pleasure from owning an auto knife as I do from owning a custom fixed blade.

Do you believe there is something inherintly evil or dangerous about an auto knife? Please give real reasons, instead of the tired old...'crazy man hunts deer with an ak47' analogy.

Oh, by the way, I do know a person who hunts deer with an ak47. First off, the are no different than any other semi-auto rifle on the market aside from the fact that its possible to hold more rounds as they have larger magazines. Big deal.

Oh geez, I may as well rant while im at it
Im not sure if this is what you mean or not, but many liberal attempt to mislead (or might even beleive it) by saying, 'gee, nobody has a reason to own an ak47, ar15 or whatever as they are "ultra powerful" weapons that will penetrate walls!!!!" Well, I got some real news for ya. The .223 or 7.62x39 rounds are relatively anemic when it comes to power. They are small, medium speed rounds that are only THOUGHT to be powerful by those who dont like the LOOKS of the guns that fire them.

Now, take an 'accepted' definition of a deer rifle. That would generally be considered a bolt action scoped rifle. Chamber it in 30-06 or even 375 H&H (for use on larger game) and the power of those 'accepted' guns will FAR OUTCLASS the 'assault rifle' rounds in power, distance and speed.

You see what im getting at, there are folks who can 'demonize' anything. Take the above mentioned deer rifle...dress it up with a heavy barrel and black stock, and folks lable them as 'Sniper' rifles not fit for civilian ownership.

Its all in how you look at things....try a common sense approach to your view on auto knives, and I think you will see that there is nothing wrong with owning them. Hell, its even ok to cut rope with them if ya want

Whoops, rant mode off.

Richard Todd - Digital knife photography
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While technically being illegal in my part of the world, I still own and carry them. Why? I guess just because I like them. They're neat- and as an engineer, just as Mitch said, I find them intriguing. It's true that there are many very sloppy autos, but the nice ones are very well done, and certainly worth their prices. I think my LCC/DA's at $220 or so- are well worth it for the trick mechanism, IMHO.

I have way more manual actions, but recently my attention has been turning to autos. As far as the legal aspect goes- yeah, I understand I shouldn't be carrying them, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. I have absolutely no fear that I'm going to be involved in anything that would lead to the discovery of an automatic knife on me. If it should come to that- then carrying an auto will most likely be the least of my worries!

Also- to answer your querey in regards to reliability- yes, the ones I own certainly seem reliable enough. I mean, it's not like I can compare one to any of my manual actions and say- "yep, this one's gonna fail." For normal knife usage- almost all of the models I own- manual or auto could be termed "overkill" as you put it. Do you really need a 4" bladed folder to open mail? No- but I'm sure alot of us do so anyway!

I guess it just comes down to what you like. If you don't like 'em- don't bother with 'em. Simple enough.

BTW- here's what's going to the mall with my wife and I today-

Firebat- rebel without a clue.

Name's Ash......Housewares.

[This message has been edited by Firebat (edited 02-10-2001).]
I have two switchblades from the '60's when I was living through West Side Story without all the singing and dancing. A switchblade back then sure got your attention and I don't remember seeing any other knives that you could be open as fast and with one hand. That sure isn't true now.


Autos are just cool toys now, but for me I can't see paying the extra price. I mean after a while the "Jack in the Box" surprise of the blade springing out just loses it thrill for me. The only springers I would think of getting now would be a Case or Buck conversion, because these are normally knives that people don't think of as being autos.

I do get to handle a lot of autos and I do understand why people like them. Boys need Toys.

"Will work 4 Knives!"
My PhotoPoint Site

[This message has been edited by PhilL (edited 02-10-2001).]
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jsitm:
seems to me like hunting deer with an AK-47. Kind of ridiculous).


The AK-47 round is 7.62X39mm (what follows after "X" is the case length).

The .30-30 Winchester is 7.62X51mm(R).

Along with the .308 Winchester (7.62X51mm but a fatter case = more powder).

And the .30-06 which is 7.62X63mm...

Do the math and don't believe the Media's hype, hysteria and crisis creation of them and politicians and special interest groups.

"You are no more armed because you are wearing a pistol than you are a musician because you own a guitar." ~Jeff Cooper
And the same goes for a knife...
And, I'm a Usual Suspect.
I third Don and Richard's rants about the AK.
On the auto: The way a knife opens is totally immaterial to the use it's put to after it's open. I personally feel that auto or manual opening has nothing to do with the usefullness of a blade. Most makers do claim the autos have a stonger lock system than most manuals. My personal feelings on lock systems of ANY type are that, at best, a lock is going to fail. If you need to rely on a lock, you should be using a fixed blade. If that isn't practical, then you should be able to use the next best thing. If it happens that the next best thing opens using a button and a spring, that has zero impact on what you're doing once the blade is open.
Does anybody really NEED an auto?
Does anybody really need one of those easily concealed folding knives?
Why are they all black?
They should be International Safety Orange and clip to the OUTSIDE of the pocket instead of being covertly stashed away inside a pocket. Hidden from the eyes of unsuspecting passersby and police.
They should have fixed blades and be worn in a sheath on the hip.
They should have rounded blunt tips so you can't stab innocent people!
You should have to pass a written test to prove you safely know how to HANDLE a knife and you should get a permit.
Of course, you'd have to undergo an FBI background check, but we could make that an automatic check by computer that would only raise the cost of every knife by 20 dollars.
You should only be able to buy one knife a month, and if you've ever had a restraining order placed on you by an ex-wife during a divorce you shouldn't be allowed to carry, handle, or possess a knife at ALL

For that matter, what do you people need knives for?
A nice tiny set of round nosed scissors should take care of anything that really needs cutting!
You only want them because you grew up in a barbaric society that glorifies the senseless violence committed with them and makes heros out of the sick individuals who look for any excuse to draw blood!

The above is the logical extention of the question asked. This is where it leads, but not where it ends. Tyranny and oppression never end.

If the above seems unrealistic to you, realize that half the preposterous suggestions I made have been proposed to lawmakers around the country.
I'll leave it to you to guess which half.

Join the NRA even if you don't own a gun!
Because after the guns are gone, they'll be coming for the knives.
It's already happened in some parts of Canada and Australia.

Tráceme no sin la razón, envoltura mi no sin honor
I never liked auto blades.

Why?1. Because I could not trust them! WRONG!! My LCC has shown that even a two foot drop did not fire it.
2. As they were poor quality crap "as seen on T.V.". Wrong, look at a LCC!
3. Because they button and laws over here made an auto to risky to import and own. Wrong! The LCC D/A is a normal knife... until you press here! No button and works like a folder

Hell it is a toy! But it is fun to use!

My Military will open just as fast, but I like the WOW! Factor of this knife...

Oh and I do not own one of course

This is all conjecture!


"To strive to seek to find and not to yield"
Ranger motto

A few useful details on UK laws and some nice reviews!
Certified steel snob!
One of the most obvious reasons that I like automatics is that they can be used one handed. Granted, most folders now can, but not without some form of hand gyration. My ProTech just kicks out, locks up strong, and folds up easily by using the button. Talk about safety and ergonomic reasons. A knife to me is a multifunction tool, and in my job, I don't want to carry any diagonal or side cutter pliers with me. I guess it's the "butt crack" factor when your tool belt hangs too low!
I've had "new, safety approved" box cutters recommended to me, but give me my knife any day. It's much more solid, safe, ergonomic, and really cool!

I recently bought a Microtech UDT. It is illegal where I live too, but I bought it after playing around with a cousin's LUTD. Being a quality nut, I must say that I have never before witnessed this kind of quality and workmanship in any production knife. There is absolutely no wobble in the blade, open or closed, and it came to me shaving sharp. Do we need autos? No, but do you NEED a liner locking knife with a thumb stud? I must say that auto laws are pretty ridiculous. My Kershaw Whirlwind is just as fast as the Microtech, and a knife like this is more likely to wind up in someone's belly because they can be bought anywhere.

Bottom line: Autos are cool, folders are cool and knives are just plain cool.

By the way, the new UDTs are made in the colors of the rainbow, including of course, black!
Why? Because I can!!
Why do rich people drive cars that cost more than my house? Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets? Why do you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? Seriously though, it is all about personal preference and the intended usage of the tool.I use mine at work where I usually need my other hand to do something else. We all have different taste in women and four wheel drives don't we? The world would be a boring place without variety and auto knives just add a little joy to some of our otherwise pitiful lives. Just my humble ramblings.

If firearms cause crime, then matches cause arson.
Well said, 9engine !!!!

I personally don't care for autos, whether knives or rifles (I know, SEMI-autos). But if you want one, knock yourself out.

As for the AR-15's, I ran too many rifle ranges in the Army to ever want that @#$% gun. Malfunction city. But if you want one, it's your money...

I went through basic training with an M1 Garand. Now THAT's a rifle! Even looks nice.
Why drive a Honda when you could drive a Corvette?Why ride a Suzuki when there are Harley Davidsons?Why shoot a Mossberg when there are Brownings?Why collect Frost Cutlery when there are Larry Chew D/A Auto"s?
The cars will get you to the same place.So will the motorcycles.
Been collecting Autos for a long time.
Been riding Harleys since I was 14.
Been shooting Brownings since the mid 60's.
Have had 30 or so Corvette's in my life[starting from 1953-1990]
We all have choices.IMHO


have a"knife"day
An even worse reason to carry an auto is that they can open in the pocket inadvertently. A rare occurence to be sure, but it has happened. Some even have safeties to prevent this making them even slower. I think people like autos because they are "cool." Obviously, there is no practical reason to actually carry and use one. I think it's just a matter of personal preference. To some degree, they are favored because they are illegal and forbidden in many areas.

I can understand the concept of liking them, owning them and collecting them. I really don't understand the concept of carrying them and using them. Take care.

Knife Outlet
I agree alot with Knife Outlet in that I can understand the interest in automatics but I think that a manual one hander is more safe and ultimately more reliable. Although I am as fascinated with automatics as anyone else, I do not collect them because even simple possession is illegal in Illinois. For that matter, even LEOs cannot legally own them in Illinois although many do. Although I have no reason to suspect a raid from the authorities, I think that it is good practice to obey the law unless it one has a strong moral disagreement, and even then, one should be prepared to take the punishment. For those who want to carry automatics, I think they petition their legislators to get the law changed.