TACTICAL POCKET KNIVES: THE MAIN TYPES OF OPENING AND WHEN TO USE THEM

One of the main differentials of tactical knives in relation to knives is the fact that they have retractable or folding blades. This feature makes knives more compact and discreet, without compromising functionality.

And even if you have already decided that a tactical knife is more suitable for the activity you intend to perform, there is another important decision to be made. There are different types of blade opening, each with peculiarities that may be convenient or not, depending on the situation.

Usually this plurality of alternatives usually generates a lot of doubts and indecision at the time of purchase. If that’s your case, check out this post! Here we will explain what are the types of tactical pocketknives to help you choose the best one for you.

Types of tactical knife openings

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Manual opening

It is the simplest type available on the market. It is necessary to pull the blade with your finger so that it opens fully until the knife is ready to be used. It is the method of opening par excellence of classic knives, most recommended for domestic use or for the practice of manual work, in which there is a gap in the blade where we usually fit the nail to open it.

But this type of opening is also found in several tactical knives, in which there is a need for quick opening, with the same hand that is holding it.

Some blades have a pin-shaped protrusion where the thumb must make the necessary force to open it. Others are equipped with an oval-shaped hole to accommodate the thumb, which also makes the opening movement. In all cases, the blade rotates until it is fully opened and a good dose of dexterity and training is required to handle the knife correctly.

Assisted opening

As the name implies, in the assisted opening, whoever is wielding the knife has an aid in the task of opening it. There is a small lever located on the back of the knife splint that can be quickly moved with your thumb or forefinger. This lever also called a flipper, activates a spring that pushes the blade and opens the knife.

Assisted opening pocket knives are often the most sought after for several reasons. They have more affordable prices, between R $ 50 and R $ 250, and are manufactured by practically all the most renowned brands in the pocketknife segment. Because they have a relatively simple mechanism, they hardly have any malfunctions. Added to all this is the fact that opening the blade does not require manual dexterity.

Automatic opening

The pocket knife with an automatic opening mechanism also uses a spring but requires even less effort. Simply press or slide a button, depending on the model of the knife, and the blade will automatically be released in a rotating motion, as in the case of manual opening knives. The price is in the range of R $ 150 to R $ 300, depending on the brand and model.

Front opening

Also known as  OTF opening  (“open the front”), the front opening is still a kind of automatic opening. In it, by means of springs, the blade is propelled out of the pocket knife splint in a rectilinear movement. The front opening can be “single-action” or “double-action”.

In the first, the opening of the blade is automatic, but the retraction must be performed manually. In the second, both the opening and retracting movements are automatic. It is possible to purchase a single action front pocket knife from R $ 400. Other models, such as double action, cost an average of R $ 2,500.

Wave aperture

This is the type of opening usually found in self – defense knives. It has a lock that should be stuck in your pants pocket. When the knife is drawn, the blade opens instantly. That is, while it is in the pocket, the blade is retracted, without offering any risk; to use it, simply take the pocket knife with wave opening from your pocket, which is extremely useful in emergency situations.

Note that the other types of opening are not recommended for self-defense, as they may eventually delay the release of the blade. Anyone looking for a pocket knife for self-defense and, for whatever reason, does not adapt to the wave opening, should give preference to  knives  with fixed blades. Wave opening pocket knives start at R $ 450 on average.

Simple opening (butterfly or balisong)

Butterfly knife - Wikipedia

Despite the name, this type of opening is perhaps the most complex of all and the one that requires the most skill from those who handle the knife. The splice of the butterfly knife, also called balisong, is divided into two identical portions that, when joined by a lock at the bottom, shelter the blade inside.

Once the splint is unlocked, the two segments open in rotation, releasing the blade. Then, the same lock must be activated to hold the two splice segments in a position diametrically opposite to the initial one, allowing the knife to be used safely.

As your opening system requires a certain level of manual dexterity, this type of pocket knife is often used to perform tricks. Therefore, some models are produced with a comb or even a  bottle opener in place of the blade. Thus, it is possible to train the opening and closing movements without risking injury.

If you want to know more about the types of lock, also check out this video that we prepared on the subject:

Security locks

In addition to selecting the most suitable way to open the blades, when choosing a pocket knife it is also essential to pay attention to the type of lock that the equipment offers. Once opened, most tactical knives have a mechanism that prevents accidental closing during use.

This is an essential resource for the safety of those who handle the knife. The locks can be of the liner lock, lock back, and frame lock types. Check the type of lock the knife has and make sure you understand exactly how it works before using it.

Now that you know how to differentiate the main types of the opening of tactical knives, visit the Crosstour website and see if you are able to identify each of them among the hundreds of models available.

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO SHARPEN KNIVES WITH STONES? LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TECHNIQUE!

The man has already invented computers, space rockets and robots, but has not yet created any substitutes for knives. They have been part of our daily lives for millennia and will continue to do so as long as we inhabit this planet. However, in most cases, the utility of the knives is directly related to the cutting capacity.

And just as our ancestors did, today we also need to keep your blades constantly sharp. In this article, we will learn about the art of sharpening with stones, essential for the maintenance of knives. Come on?

See the difference between sharpening and sharpening

The verbs sharpen and sharpen are often misused as synonyms. When you press the knife edge on a very hard surface, it can become misaligned, slightly bent, which compromises the cut. In this case, it is necessary to sharpen the knife, that is, untangle the wire so that it is straight again and satisfactorily fulfills its function.

The sharpening action, in turn, consists of removing metal from the blade so that it returns to its cutting capacity. In other words, by sharpening a  knife,  we are creating a new edge on the blade. It is possible, therefore, that a sharpened knife is not sharp and vice versa.

Generally speaking, sharpening a knife consists of rubbing the blade against a rough and hard surface so that a new edge is formed. But several details need to be observed so that the best results are achieved and the blade is not damaged. Let’s go to them!

Discover the ancient art of stone edging

Leather and ceramics are materials commonly used to sharpen blades. However, as a rule, the surface of certain stones brings together the ideal characteristics for the sharpening process. The stones are hard and rough enough to remove excess metal from the blade and provide it with a new wire.

But it is not any type of stone that serves this purpose. Some of them found in nature have been used for this purpose by the masters of cutlery for centuries. In recent decades, however, they have lost space for synthetic stones, produced with different characteristics for each type of blade.

Understand the granulation of stones

Sharpening stones are classified according to the size of their abrasive particles. There are different granulations, also called weights, and each one is suitable for a specific situation.

Stones with a grain size of less than 1,000 are suitable for repairing chipped blades. Granulations between 1,000 and 3,000 are for blades that have lost their edge. Stones with granulations between 4,000 and 8,000 are suitable for finishing sharpening.

Therefore, the higher the number of the granulation, the lower its abrasive power. There are sharpening stones with a granulation of up to 30,000, in which the abrasive particles can only measure half a micrometer, a unit of measurement equivalent to one thousandth of a millimeter.

The steel type of each blade is also a variable that must be considered. Ordinary kitchen knives can be sharpened with a  sharpener, which is not the case with better quality knives, usually of German, Japanese, and North American origin. These knives have blades produced with more resistant steels, such as the S30V and VG10, and require special sharpening stones.

Know when and where to sharpen

Imagine that you need to take your pregnant wife to the hospital urgently, but find that your car is out of fuel. Transporting this example to the universe of knives, the importance of keeping them sharp is the same. After all, in an emergency situation, any second can be extremely valuable.

And even the relaxed atmosphere of a barbecue can be invaded by the bad mood of hungry guests waiting for the host who had not sharpened his knife. Therefore, the ideal is to carry out the sharpening process calmly and in advance, in an adequate and safe environment, without the presence of children or pets.

Nothing prevents sharpening from being carried out during outdoor activities, for example. Especially because, depending on the use to which the knife is subjected, it will inevitably need to be sharpened again to continue providing the desired cut.

Check out techniques and care to be observed

There are several types of sharpening stones available on the market, but the most popular are double-sided, with higher granulations on one side and smaller ones on the other. Thus, with a single piece, it is possible to sharpen the blade and also give the necessary finishing for a precise and effortless cut.

Most stones should be moistened with water before the sharpening process begins. Others, according to the manufacturer’s specifications, can be lubricated with mineral oil. Some are marketed with a  base to prevent slipping during sharpening, which can be dangerous.

Assuming you have a double-sided stone at your disposal, start sharpening on the roughest side, with the smallest grain. Drag the blade over the stone generating friction over the entire length of the wire. The movements must be continuous, in the direction of the person performing the task.

It is very important to maintain the blade’s angle of support   on the stone during the whole process, under penalty of damaging the knife, having a different cut than desired or wearing out the knife material due to sharpening refractions. This angle varies between 15º and 20º, but can be up to 30º depending on the type of blade. Use one hand to move the knife and the other to maintain the angle of support.

After sharpening the blade on one side for approximately two minutes, repeat the process on the other, always maintaining the same angle. Then, turn the stone and finish the sharpening using the highest grain (less abrasive) side, observing all the care already mentioned.

Now that you know the basics of stone sharpening, visit the Crosster website   to choose the stones and accessories most appropriate for your needs. A quality knife can take you out of complicated situations and make your daily life much easier. Take good care of her and she will take care of you.

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