The Ultimate Guide to Out The Front Knives

The Ultimate Guide to Out The Front Knives

Out The Front (OTF) knives are unique amongst pocket knives; they open and close with a simple slide of your thumb! With this one-handed action, they become an attractive option for anyone looking for a knife that can be used quickly and conveniently. In this guide, we will cover the basics of what OTF knives are, their advantages and disadvantages, and the different types available.

What is an OTF Knife?

OTF knives deploy from a small cavity in the handle of the knife. The blade travels forward and backward through an internal track, meeting with an opposing ramped piece that locks the blade in place in the open or closed position.

Advantages of OTF Knives

OTF knives provide several advantages and features that are not usually associated with other types of folding knives:

  • One-handed deployment & use: These knives can be deployed with one hand, allowing you to keep your other hand free for tasks like opening doors and holding flashlights.
  • Convenience: These knives are great for everyday tasks, with their quick and easy deployment being perfect for those situations where speed and convenience are essential.
  • Safety: Although they are quite sharp, the closed design of the OTF makes them safer to carry than a traditional pocket knife or folding knife.

Disadvantages of OTF Knives

While OTF knives provide convenience and safety, they also have some potential drawbacks that must be considered:

  • High price: OTF knives are typically more expensive than comparable folding or pocket knives.
  • Scarce parts: OTF knives contain a few specific and hard-to-find parts, which can be difficult to replace if they become damaged or worn out.
  • Size: OTF knives are generally more bulky than traditional pocket knives and may not fit in some pockets or situations.

Types of OTF Knives

OTF knives come in several different varieties, so it’s important to be aware of the differences between them:

  • Automatic OTFs: Automatic OTFs deploy with the slide of a button and can be opened and closed with a single push. These typically cost more than manual OTFs and are usually illegal in some areas.
  • Manual OTFs: Manual OTFs deploy with the slide of a thumb-stud or switch, and must be opened and closed with two hands. These are usually cheaper and more widely available than their automatic counterparts.
  • Double Action OTFs: Double Action OTFs deploy with the slide of a thumb-stud and can be opened and closed with a single slide. These are usually the most expensive and difficult to find, but are also the strongest and most reliable.


Out The Front (OTF) knives offer a unique one-handed deployment, making them a great choice for everyday tasks that require convenience and speed. They also provide safety benefits over traditional pocket knives and folding blades. OTFs come in a variety of types, including automatic, manual and double action models. So whether you need a knife for quick and easy access, or strength and reliability, an OTF knife may be the perfect choice.

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