You keep an everyday carry knife handy to have the best tool for the job. With an easy-opening blade, you can spend less time opening a knife and more time actually using it. You might think that the only way to get this kind of speed is with an automatic knife, but you'd be wrong. The technology in assisted-opening everyday carry knives is now at the point where their speed rivals that of automatics.
There are a lot of different options out there for picking an assisted-opening EDC knife. We've put together a list of the best from what's available so far in early 2017.
The Case for Assisted Knives Over Automatics
Like automatics, assisted-opening knives are quick and easy to use with one hand. However, it's easier to carry an assisted-opening knife without falling afoul of the law. That's because you have to actually start opening them to a point where stored energy takes over and speeds things up.
With an automatic knife (commonly called a "switchblade"), you don't actually move the blade yourself to get it open. They open at the press of a button (or switch), usually located on the handle. That difference makes carrying automatics troublesome in most places compared to carrying assisted-openers.
Always check your local knife laws before buying a new knife!
The Best Assisted EDC Pocket Knives
The Kershaw Scallion is an excellent compact EDC choice for this category. Its 2.5” drop-point blade deploys in an instant via a flipper enhanced with SpeedSafe torsion bar technology. While it is an older design, it still remains popular in the EDC community. New production models of this knife include a frame lock for added reliability.
Zero Tolerance 0350
If you're looking for a slightly bigger knife that still has a SpeedSafe flipper, take a look at the 0350. Everything about the design of this knife maximizes your ability to perform cutting tasks easily and safely. It also has a modified drop-point blade with a huge belly that helps it cut like a knife that's much larger.
Benchmade 585 Mini Barrage
Benchmade's take on the assisted-opener integrates energy storage with their axis lock system. There is little to no blade play once you have the Mini Barrage open with a thumbstud flick. The blade on the Mini Barrage is one of the sharpest I've encountered. It has a very thin grind that remains sturdy because it's made out of M390 surgical stainless steel.
The CRKT Argus has a unique assisted opening system that includes a safety as part of the thumb wheel in its design. While opening the knife, you naturally rotate the thumbwheel and the safety is disengaged. With it, you can avoid it opening accidentally in your pockets and causing serious problems for you.
SOG Twitch II
The SOG Twitch II has the cleanest and classiest look out of the knives mentioned so far. It has a thin, drop-point AUS-8 blade with a full flat grind. The flipper enables quick one-handed deployment with SOG Assisted Technology. It also operates as a guard for your hands so that you don't accidentally cut yourself during hard use.
Do you carry an assisted open knife? Leave a comment below with your favorite fast-opener that you think deserves a mention!