View Full Version : "Assisted Opening" knives question

July 12, 2008, 09:24 AM
I own a twenty year-old Kershaw folding hunter and it's a wonderful knife, so I'm thinking about picking up one of the new pocket knives with the little assisted-opening feature (if that's what you call it). I'm speaking of the knives with the little tab you push with the knife closed and it sort of "springs" open.

Has anyone heard of one of these opening inadvertently when it was clipped to a pocket? I need the knife to be as reliably "closed" as it is "open."

Thanks in advance...

July 12, 2008, 09:35 AM
Has anyone heard of one of these opening inadvertently when it was clipped to a pocket? I need the knife to be as reliably "closed" as it is "open."

Most assisted opening designs are fine for pocket carry. I did have one of my AO's open in my pocket but that's becuase it has a flipper device. It only happened once and I carry it a lot. Its a Combat Elite RRF made by Darrel Ralph/Ryan Wilson. Its a great knife, but I carry my Axis lock Benchmades more now. I find the Axis lock as fast to open as any assisted opener out there.

July 12, 2008, 09:42 AM
I have the kershaw ken onion AO. I also carry it daily (for the past 2 years or so).

I have found it partially open in my pocket twice. Both times I suspected that I had not fully closed the knife before I slipped it on the clip.

I really like the AO feature. It seems like whenever I REALLY need to cut something, I'm holding onto it with one hand. Being able to grab and open the knife with the other is a a great feature.

July 12, 2008, 09:51 AM
Ever since Kershaw came out with their Black Out model I've owned and carried nothing but the Kershaw's assisted opening knives. And I've been had one open up on me when I did want it to. Plus they have pretty good customer service. I broke the spring while deployed on my Black Out so I send them an email and they mailed me two more springs free of charge. I have since lost the Black Out so I'm down to these two:
http://img392.imageshack.us/img392/8900/1000288dq3.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

July 12, 2008, 09:58 AM
Has anyone heard of one of these opening inadvertently when it was clipped to a pocket? I need the knife to be as reliably "closed" as it is "open."

Both of my Kershaw assisted openers have a tip lock to keep them closed. The lock's tension can be easily adjusted with a screw to keep it from accidently sliding to the unlocked position.

July 12, 2008, 10:29 AM

Couldn't quite get 'how' these worked from the descriptions, so youtube to the rescue.

Might have to pick one of these up. I've always been happy with how my thumbopeners work, but this just looks too cool.

Kershaw AO (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZiscl8JKTg)

July 12, 2008, 10:53 AM
I like the SOG Twitch XL. If you want something smaller, the Twitch II is good or very small... the Blink. All SOG products. Never had one open in my pocket. I suppose it is possible.

You might also look at the SOG Mini-Vulcan which is not an assisted opener. It is easier for me to open than the assisted openers. It is very fast and a very tough sharp knife. I carry it a lot. I quit carrying assisted openers as I find them unncecessary. The coolness factor was fun, but it wears off.

The Kershaws are good too as others have recommended. Take a look at the Mini-Vulcan before you decide. You may not really want the assisted opener after all.

July 12, 2008, 11:07 AM
I have two assisted openers, both with safeties ... I carried the smaller one -- I think a Chive -- for some time until the safety came undone and I suffered a serious cut on my hand as I reached into that pocket for something .. 7-8 stiches and a pretty messy pair of khakis ... don't carry that knife any more ...

July 12, 2008, 07:38 PM
Thanks for all the information. That's why I love this forum. I'll keep checking back for a couple of days before I decide which knife to buy.

July 12, 2008, 07:55 PM
+1 for the SOG Twitch

July 12, 2008, 07:58 PM
I've got a few Kershaw assisted-open knives (Chive, Scallion, Boa and Baby boa). The Chive has popped open in my pocket many times, cut me a few times and once basically filleted the back of my hand when I reached in my pocket and took my hand out - the thing is razor sharp and came very close to opening up a large vein.
It's kind of an amusing story - long story short: I was at a cash register in a store and had a really hard time trying to keep a straight face during the transaction while I was dripping blood all over their floor. I don't carry that one any more.

The Scallion has opened a few times; I used to carry that one almost every day, but lost it early this year after about 4 or 5 years and thousands of times used:mad:.

The Boa and Baby Boa have never opened unintentionally.
I don't care for the safeties, as I feel they defeat the purpose of having the assisted-open in the first place; I went so far as taking the safety out of the Boa because it would frequently slide down into the "safe" position.
Another problem with the Boa is the spring or "torsion bar". The first one snapped relatively shortly after I bought it. I got it off Ebay and didn't save the receipt. Being the procrastinator I am, I put it in a drawer and didn't get around to doing anything about it for probably about a year. When I did finally contact Kershaw to see if I could buy another spring (warranty period expired, no receipt, dont even remember retailer, etc.) they just sent me a pair of new springs, free of charge, which arrived in about a week - Very satisfied with their customer service! Anyway, I took it apart a couple of weeks ago to clean it, and the spring in there (been in there for about a couple of years now, probably opened 100-200 times?) and the spring is pretty bent out of shape. I suspect it will break some time in the near future. I do however love that knife.

I would recommend staying away from the Scallion. They're neat little knives, but it hurts like a s.o.b if get cut on the back of your hand.
Cant really go wrong with the others.
They are all liner lock knives and I have found the Boa will close if I push hard enough, but I cant tell if I'm nudging the release with how I'm gripping the knife while doing it.

I also have a SOG Flash which I like a lot, and got my brother a Twitch for Christmas which I really liked and would like to get for my self. I think Kershaws have nicer blades, but SOGs do seem to have a stronger lock-up.

Both brands seem to make very nice medium priced knives which are excellent every-day carry pieces.

Hope this helps, sorry it got a little long winded.

July 13, 2008, 04:32 PM
I've been carrying a CRKT with this feature for over a year now, no problems. I think that assisted opening is actually a better option than fully automatic knives, you need to open the blade 20-25% of the way to engage the spring.

But truth be told I can open my old CRKT just as fast, but it's doesn't feel nearly as cool.

July 13, 2008, 06:04 PM
I have a Kershaw assisted opening knife and have never had a problem with it. I have carried it in both my hip and back pocket and never had an accidental opening. The only thing I have had happen is the knife caught some of my pocket lint before...I cleaned it out, but could see how it might not let the knife close all the way to where an accidental opening was possible. I say go for it.

July 13, 2008, 06:18 PM
I have a Kershaw with the auto open feature, I forget which model. It has never opened on its own in my pocket but I usually keep the safety on. They put safeties on for a reason, I figure.

July 13, 2008, 06:30 PM
I work at a dock, we are a kershaw destributor. I have handles many kershaws. Great knifes....BUT. I prefer buck....this is why. Kershaw has a plastic safety that can be removed near the end of the knife. It can be slid down to cover the blade. This keeps it fro opening. With out this. The knife rearely opens anyways as the first 1/4" of opening actually work AGAINST the spring to assure the knife wont open accidentally. However...for all safety fans out there theres the little safety. BUCK has a safety too! But instead of being way the heck down in no mans land on the knife its up where the tab that flings the knife open is. Flick the safety off, then flish the switch to open the knife. I ALWAYS leave the safety on because it is safer, and it only puts me out of my way .1 seconds. It can also be kept off. Heres my knife. I chipped the blade trying to open a door with it once....buck relaced the knife for me.
Great knife, I use it 5 or 6 times daily and it holds it edge, this is year two and Ive paid 4 bucks to get it sharpened ONCE. Why the heck not?
Note the tab up top the knife, that is the safety, when closed there are two tabs, flick safety and flick second tab (attached to blade) To fling er open! Spring assisted. Got mine for 75.00

July 13, 2008, 07:55 PM
I carried the smaller one -- I think a Chive -- for some time until the safety came undone and I suffered a serious cut on my hand

The Chive has popped open in my pocket many times, cut me a few times and once basically filleted the back of my hand

Ouch! Thanks guys. I carry a Chive in my pocket most days. I think I'll go check the safety now.

July 13, 2008, 09:02 PM
The safety on my SOG Twitch is always getting set "on" when I expect it to be "off" so it becomes habit to thumb it "off" whenever I draw it to open a box or whatever. I have yet to have it accidentally open or close on me.

Bill DeShivs
July 13, 2008, 09:04 PM
I'm around a lot of knives-probably more than most people :rolleyes:
I carry a SOG Flash assisted opener every day. The A/O knives with the flipper tab on the tang of the blade are dangerous, unless you use the safety. Using the safety defeats the purpose of having an A/O knife. The SOG Flash will not open in your pocket, even with the safety off. I do recommend using the pocket clip.

July 14, 2008, 10:40 PM
I have a Flash also. I have a couple that I use for "heavy lifting" at work. I have quite a few SOG blades, maybe too many. My latest is the Mini-Vulcan and I absolutely love this knife. I'll never need an assisted opener again. Bill you ought to check this one out. Added: I just went to your web site and I figure you probably looked at it before I did. I bought mine at the Blade Show a month or so ago. :)

July 15, 2008, 12:20 AM
I've got a Gerber with the F.A.S.T. action as well. It's got a manual safety on the handle. Slide the button up til it locks into place, then push on the knob on the knife to fling it open. You also have to hold the safety up while closing the knife. I love it.

July 15, 2008, 08:02 PM
I just bought the Kershaw Blur awhile back and love it. I don't know why I put up with cheaper knives for so long.

July 15, 2008, 08:34 PM
I have a lot of A/O knives including the SOG Flash II, SOG Trident, Benchmade Ambush, Kershaw Speed bump,and Assorted Kershaw Leeks. The SOG do have a safety but mine magically kept switching off in my pocket but they never opened. Ive moved on to carrying small fixed blades now. My current favorite is a Bark River Highland.