OTF Automatic Knives: What Are They and How Do They Work?

OTF Automatic Knives: What Are They and How Do They Work?

OTF (Out-The-Front) automatic knives are known for their unique mechanism, where the blade extends and retracts straight out of the front of the handle, rather than folding out from the side. This design makes them a popular choice for tactical, survival, and everyday carry purposes.

What is an OTF Automatic Knife?

An OTF automatic knife is a type of automatic knife that deploys and retracts the blade through a mechanism that pushes it out the front of the handle. This is typically achieved by pressing a button or switch on the knife’s handle. The blade moves in a linear motion, making it quick and easy to deploy and retract.

How Do OTF Automatic Knives Work?

The operation of an OTF knife involves a spring-loaded mechanism. When the button or switch is pressed, the spring propels the blade forward out of the handle. To retract the blade, the same button or switch is used to pull the blade back into the handle. There are two main types of OTF knives:

  1. Single-Action OTF Knives: These knives deploy the blade automatically but require manual retraction.
  2. Double-Action OTF Knives: These knives can both deploy and retract the blade automatically with the push of a button.

Popular Uses for OTF Automatic Knives

  • Tactical Applications: Used by military and law enforcement for their reliability and quick deployment.
  • Survival Situations: Essential for outdoor enthusiasts who need a reliable tool for cutting and other tasks.
  • Everyday Carry: Favored by many for their convenience and practicality in daily tasks.


OTF automatic knives are a versatile and efficient tool for a variety of applications. Whether you’re a collector, a tactical professional, or someone who appreciates a reliable everyday carry knife, understanding the mechanics and benefits of OTF knives can help you make an informed decision. With their unique design and practical advantages, OTF knives continue to be a popular choice among knife enthusiasts.

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