While researching this piece, I came across a number of interesting articles regarding the origin and history of the balisong knife. Before we get started, however, let’s touch on the correct verbiage. The word balisong, small case, no hyphen, is a common term referring to any knife with dual-hinged handles that swing open and closed. However, the term “Bali-Song,” capital letters and hyphen included, is a trademark owned by the Benchmade Knife Company.
Depending on the source, the balisong knife is hundreds and perhaps one thousand years old. The actual conception date for the balisong style knife is left to speculation. This is no surprise, as written records would have to date back several hundred years if not longer. It was not as though the first man to build a swinging handle knife rode his burro down to the patent office and filed the design.