To many people, butterfly knives have a certain mystique and allure to them. They have a certain martial standing to them naturally, but they also seem to draw folks in with their hypnotic clacking as you flip the handles open and closed. A buddy at work tells stories of how every time the nuclear submarine that he was on made port in the Philippines, you’d hear the steady clacking of butterfly knives going up and down the tube of the boat for weeks after the port call. As a kid I can recall being fascinated by the design and how you could so easily flip it open and closed and the joy of seeing how fast you could do so without losing a couple of fingers in the process. Fortunately, I suppose, many of the knives available at the time could charitably be called junk so they often didn’t hold much of an edge. The downside to that was that, for many years, I relegated butterfly knives to the category of cheap toys and not serious working knives. That all changed when I had the chance to check out some of the new butterfly knives being produced by Spyderco. Far from the dull and sloppy butterfly knives I remembered from my teen years, Spyderco is making modern, precision tools that rival any of their other top-end knife styles.
In some recent discussions with some of my friends, we’d begun looking at the butterfly knife not so much from a martial standpoint but rather as a basic tool. While the butterfly knife can certainly be opened and closed quickly, it was more how they operated once opened that began to peak my interest after all this time. You see, once a butterfly knife is open, it’s practically impossible for it to close while you’re grasping the knife. Due to the design, and the way you’re holding the handles closed while grasping the knife, there’s really no way that it can close on you while you’re using it. About the only possible failure point might be the pins holding the blade in place. Even in the unlikely event that this occurred, the blade wouldn’t be likely to close on your fingers. Now, I can’t recall ever having a lock fail on me with a quality knife, but there are enough folks who have though. That it is something I keep in mind when I look at a knife for hard use. So I started thinking about it and realized that a knife that was fast to open and close with one hand and that was inherently strong by nature of its design might make a great carry blade for law enforcement and EDC use, where allowed by law. It is worth noting that while butterfly knives are by no means switchblades, they are regulated in many places throughout the United States. Check your local and state laws to be sure.