Best OTF Knife 2020
An OTF knife, or out-the-front knife, is a knife with a blade that moves directly forward out of the handle. This is a contrast in style as compared to a traditional pocket knife, where the blade folds out from the handle around a fixed point. OTF knives are certainly not as popular as traditional pocket knives, but they do have their advantages and conveniences. If you are in the market for a quality OTF knife, this article will help you work through the various options available to locate a suitable product for your needs.
While shopping for this item, you might notice that the term sliding knife is also used in reference this product. Generally speaking, a sliding knife and an OTF knife are going to be the same thing. As long as the blade moves in a parallel direction with the handle as it is deployed, the knife belongs in this category. There are not as many options in the market for this category as there are for a usual pocket knife (due to the lower popularity), but there still are plenty of good contenders for your business.
After reviewing all the top OTF knives available, we’ve selected our top 7 picks in the comparison table below. We’re confident you’ll find the perfect model for your needs.
Schrade SCHOTF3CB (our top pick)
OTF Knife Buying Guide
One of the main advantages of owning an OTF knife is the ability to deploy the blade of the knife without having to take your hand off of the handle. Obviously, with a traditional pocket knife, you have to remove your hand from the grip to unfold the blade into position. For the sake of convenience, it is nice to have the ability to extend the blade while holding on to the knife at all times. Also, from a safety perspective, you cannot fold the blade of the knife accidentally onto your fingers with an OTF knife since it just retracts into the handle. Most pocket knife owners have accidentally folded the blade back onto a finger at least once or twice, so it is nice not to have to worry about making that mistake.
The remainder of this article is dedicated to five OTF knife options for you to consider. Each of these knives received plenty of positive reviews from previous buyers. There is a range of prices represented on the list below, and each of these five options has its pros and cons. Take some time to review them all before making your selection.
Top Five Rated OTF Knives
1. Schrade SCHOTF6 Out the Front Assisted Opening Knife
To start our list, we have a moderately priced option from Schrade. The Schrade brand is one that is probably known to you if you have collected other knives in the past, as they have a significant presence in this market. Buyers who have left comments about this knife seem to think that it offers good value for the money, a comfortable grip, and a relatively easy to open and close blade.
The blade of this knife is 3.5, and the handle is an additional 5.5 in length. Schrade has used AUS-8 high carbon stainless steel for the knife, and there is black aluminum handle. At 3.5, the blade is smaller than some of the other options you will find in this market, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your needs and preferences. If you are looking for a basic OTF option that includes the standard features of this type of knife, the Schrade is a good item to consider.
2. Kershaw Ripcord Knife featuring OTF Deployment System
The second product on our list sees a large jump in price. However, this price point is more of the norm in this field, as many OTF knives come along with serious price tags. You have to be ready to make a serious investment to own this item. Of course, with a name like Kershaw behind the product, you can be confident that you will receive a quality item when you do make an order. To make the blade for this knife, Kershaw used Sandvik 13C26 stainless steel, while the handle is formed with anodized aluminum for a lightweight feel.
There are many excellent reviews of this product, with compliments ranging from the quality of the build to the speed with which the blade can be deployed when used correctly. If you already have a collection of Kershaw knives, and you are looking to add to it, the Ripcord is one that shouldn’t be missed. Of course, if you don’t yet own a Kershaw, now is a great time to start.
3. Microtech 120-1 UT Knife
Much like Kershaw, Microtech is a brand that is very well-respected in this field. Plenty of knife collectors make it a point to own at least one or two Microtech blades, and you will find yourself in good company if you decide to purchase one for yourself. With that kind of reputation, of course, comes high prices. And, with a blade length of 3.4, it is similar in size to the first item on our list.
However, the reviews that have been left for the Microtech have been extremely positive, which isn’t a surprise given the reputation of this brand name. The 120-1 UT is an out-the-front model which has received comments on its beauty, its quality, and more. You will have to think carefully about whether or not you are willing to invest this kind of money in your OTF knife –but if you are, the Microtech is a definite contender.
4. Schrade SCHOTF3CB Viper 3rd Gen
This knife has a more affordable price bracket. It is completely designed and built in the USA, and it has impressive reviews that have come from a number of previous buyers. Much like a couple of our previous entries, the blade on this knife is 3.5.
Some of the reviews for this knife have included comments on the nice design of the knife, the quality of the build, and the functional blade that it includes. Value for the price is also listed as a positive, which is not surprising considering the large price tags that come along with many of the other OTF options on the market. For a moderately priced OTF knife that you can add to your collection, both this and the first Schrade model on our list should be looked at closely.
5. Microtech 151-10 Black Handle & Stone Wash Blade Knife
This last option on our list is only going to be considered by those for whom price is little to no factor. With a high price tag, you have to be a serious collector to be interested in the Microtech 151-10. However, if you do decide that this kind of investment is worth it to you, your money will be rewarded with one of the highest quality OTF knives around. As was the case with our earlier Microtech option, reviews are hard to come by with products this expensive. What has been said about this blade has been positive, commenting on how Microtech always seems to get it right.
As for some of the specifics on this knife, the blade is made from Bohler ELMAX steel, and the blade itself is 4.5 long. That length puts it on the longer side for OTF knives, so that is something to consider when thinking about a purchase. The product is made in the USA, and you can expect to get the traditional Microtech quality when you order. Most will find the price of this knife to be prohibitive, but if it suits your budget, you can come away with an incredible piece of gear.
Out-the-front knives may not be as popular as the traditional style of folding knife, but they have a place in the market nonetheless. With an OTF knife, you can usually deploy the blade of the knife quickly, depending on the exact mechanism used within the handle. That attribute, combined with the safety provided by not having to worry about folding the blade onto your fingers, makes an OTF knife a product that many buyers will give strong consideration. Hopefully, with the help of the list of products above, you will be able to find a knife that suits your needs and your budget nicely.
Other Knife Guides
- Benchmade Models
- Boker Types
- Keychain Style
- Neck Knife
- Boot Knife
- Combat Category
- Buck 110
- Skinning Kinds