You’re looking for a knife to carry on a daily basis, for your basic needs when out on the trail or in any situation where you require a blade. However, there can seem like an overwhelming number of options and varieties available. How is it clear when you need a switchblade or a knife with spring assist?
This guide breaks down the differences and helps you understand the factors that can relate to your every-day needs, so you can make a great decision on your purchase.
The next time you see a knife with spring assist for sale online, you’ll know what to look for to fit your needs.
The key feature defining a switchblade is that it opens automatically. This varies fundamentally from spring assisted knives which have a bias towards closure.
Switchblade knives use a spring under compression or tension, that is constantly trying to open the knife up. A lock or latch prevents this from happening during storage, in order to keep the knife safely stowed away – which prevents unwanted opening in your pocket or backpack.
A knife with spring assist also uses a spring, as the name suggests, but this spring typically works to keep the knife in position, whether open or closed. It won’t open unless you actively exert pressure on the blade to draw it out from its closed position. Once open, the spring then does the same – meaning only additional force will close the knife.
Advantages of Switchblades
- These blades can open in an instant, with no effort required. This means you can react quickly in a given situation and produce your blade if you urgently require its use.
- Switchblades can also open straight, unlike spring assisted and other folding knives, which always open from the side. This can actually promote safety, protecting your hands and has a certain “wow factor.”
Advantages of Spring Assisted
- Spring assisted knives can be easier to close, which may promote safety when putting the knife away.
- Unlike a switchblade, a knife with spring assist uses its spring to actively remain closed. This can reduce the chance of accidental opening when stored in your pocket, compared to switchblades – many of which lack safety locks.
- Due to the mechanism of switchblades, many of them lack a serrated edge because it can catch on the internal workings of the knife. A knife with spring assist has no such limitations, and therefore potentially more varied options are available.
So Which Is Better?
The only fundamental advantage of switchblades is their immediacy of use and potentially dazzling opening mechanisms. This might have utility in certain scenarios, where you may need to open your blade in an instant.
For every-day use, a knife with spring assist offers greater safety, variety and more convenient carrying. In most cases, this is the better option for your every-day-carry knife.