Best OTF Knives for Your Money

Best OTF Knives for Your Money

Posted by Clayton on Nov 16th 2017

When it comes to Out-the-Front — a.k.a. OTF — knives, there are so many options that sometimes it is hard to decide which knife is best for your money. Since OTF knives are technically considered automatic knives, state governments highly regulate their purchase, so it is important to educate yourself before making a decision.

We have comprised a list of the best knives for your money, but first let’s take a closer look at this popular type of knife:

What are OTF Knives?

In your usual folding knife, the blades pivot and must be deployed by hand. With OTF knives, however, a button or switch is typically used to release the blade, leading to rapid and automatic deployment. Only with a select few OTF knives is the blade manually released. The basic kinds of OTF knives include single action and double action.

  1. Single Action

There is a spring that sends the blade out on single-action OTF knives. To retract the knife, the user must manually slide the blade back into the handle and reset the spring using a handle or lever.

  1. Double Action

Double-action OTF knives utilize a spring mechanism to both retract and propel the blade, meaning no manual manipulation is necessary. In comparison to single-action knives, double-action are increasingly popular because of the speed at which the knife can be released. This of course means that double-action OTF knives tend to be pricier.

The Four Best OTF Knives for Your Money

  1. G & G Hawk Deadlock

The Deadlock, a design that took G & G Hawk years of study to create, ensures that tolerances are as tight as possible so the blade remains stable within the handle. There is a secondary lock mechanism within the frame that creates tension to the side and upwards, while the primary lock provides forward stability. Typically, an OTF knife only has mechanisms holding the blade from the back, but Deadlock knives have your blade covered from three directions with their locking mechanisms.

Grant and Gavin Hawk produce all their knives within their home, guaranteeing they are built from top-notch materials with a sturdy, handmade construction. G & G Hawk Deadlock knives are durable double-action knives that are absolutely worth the price tag and long manufacturing times.

  1. Pro-Tech Dark Angle

With a weight of 3.6 ounces, this sleek, smooth knife represents everything we love about Pro-Tech knives. The Dark Angel releases the blade with a plunge lock and a flipper tab for manual blade retraction.

There are two categories to choose from when shopping for your Pro-Tech Dark Angel: custom and production. A custom knife may be a bit costlier than a production model, but with exotic materials, Damascus blades and the option of either a pearl or abalone push button, it is worth it.

A production Dark Angel will not hurt your bank account so much — at a modest $250 price tag — and are for buyers who prefer functional and sleek knives without the flashy additions.

If your interest is primarily in the lightweight features of this knife, purchasing a production Dark Angel knife is your best option. With all the flashy additions, the weight of a custom knife can quickly increase.

  1. Microtech Ultratech

Known to many as the go-to OTF knife, Microtech Ultratech knives have made a name for themselves when it comes to automatics of high quality. This model has an overwhelming variety of versions thanks to the company's dedication to constant improvement.

Although there is a large selection of Microtech Ultratech OTF knives on the market, all of them share the basics of what makes this brand so popular. Secured at the knives' bottom is a right-hand tip-down carry clip, and chamfered around the edges is an aluminum handle.

The lowest cost Ultratech OTF blade runs $265, and they tend to go up from there. With a variety of options, a strong spring, loud action and gently ramped long-thump slides with texturing to identify closing and firing directions, these knives are worth the price tag.

  1. Hogue OTF

If you are in the market for a functional knife with less focus on the design, the Hogue OTF is for you. It cuts well with its high, flat grind and utilizes a 3.375-inch stonewashed clip point blade in CPM-154.

The carry pocket clip is ambidextrous, making it perfect for both right-handed and left-handed knife wielders. Newer to the market than some of the older OTF knife varieties, this knife will surely rise to the top in popularity based on the quality of regular Hogue blades that have already proven themselves to be top notch.