Interested in purchasing an assisted opening knife? You’ve come to the right place.
Are these legal?
Yes! Assisted opening knives (also known as AO knives) are legal in all 50 United States and Canada. The main reason they are legal, as opposed to a switchblade knife (which is NOT legal) is the mechanism by which they open. These knives are categorized as two types: side-opening and out-the-front (OTF).
How do they open?
Glad you asked! This is the reason assisted opening knives are legal. To open an AO knife, you are opening the blade via a button on the handle. Further, the blade does not “spring” open like a switchblade. An assisted opening knife is opened through the use of thumb stud. The blade opens with the quick flick of your finger and a spring finishes opening the blade once it is about 45 degrees open.
Here’s a great video showing the differences between these knives and how to properly open an assisted opening knife:
What are some top brands?
- Smith and Wesson
- Heckler and Koch
- Columbia River (CRKT)
Pricing vs. Value:
Typically assisted opening knives cost around $15 to start and go up from there – with highly sharpened models in the $45 US price range.
The main drawback to an assisted opening knife is the fact most are very cheaply made. This is evidenced when you attempt to open the knife, the blade does not fully extend (or open). We’ve found them as cheap as $5 on the Internet – and you can only image how well these work, let alone hold up over time.
Note: other names for assisted opening knives include: AO Knife, Torsion Assist Knife, and Assisted Knife.
What is the best way to store my knife when I am not using it?
There are no real requirements for storing an assisted opening knife when not in use. Since there is no significant internal spring mechanisms, you generally do not have to worry about the opener. A friend of mine recommends that you try to store your knives in a temperature controlled environment – since humidity and moisture is sure to rust the blade. You might even consider coating the blade with a something rust proof if you won’t be using th eknife for a while – this will help ensure the blade is ready and ready to use when needed.
How can these be considered legal when I can’t bring them through metal detectors?
Well, keep in mind, there are alot of things that are “legal” but not allowed through airport metal detectors. Have you tried taking a can of shaving creme through recently? I did – and they took it! So, if they won’t let nail clippers or cans of shaving creme, why would you think a knife would be Ok?