The Best Assisted-Opening Knives in 2019

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The Best Assisted-Opening Knives in 2019

You keep an everyday carry knife handy to have the best tool for the job. With an assisted 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 this year so far.

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 Opening EDC Pocket Knives


Kershaw Leek Carbon Fiber

Kershaw Leek Carbon Fiber

Purchase


Key Features
SpeedSafe Assist
Flipper Opening
Liner Lock
Reversible Clip
Specifications
Blade Steel
CPM-154
Blade Length
3"
Weight
2.4 oz
Material
Carbon Fiber
Reviews


Price
$$
One of the oldest assisted opening knives remains one of the best even in 2019. Lately, the Kershaw Leek has gotten a bit of an upgrade with lightweight carbon fiber handle scales and premium CPM-154 stainless steel in the blade itself.
Kershaw Seguin

Kershaw Seguin

Purchase
Key Features
SpeedSafe Assist
Flipper Opening
Frame Lock
Deep-carry Clip
Specifications
Blade Steel
8Cr13MoV
Blade Length
3.1"
Weight
4.8oz
Material
Stainless
Reviews


Price
$
The Seguin features lightning-quick SpeedSafe flipper deployment in a full-sized package with a handle that gives you enough grip to actually get big tasks done with ease. It’s also a way to get Les George’s custom knifemaking design language in your hands without breaking the bank.
Kershaw Al Mar AM-3

Kershaw Al Mar AM-3

Purchase
Key Features
Al Mar Design
SpeedSafe Assist
Flipper Open
Top jimping
Specifications
Blade Steel
8Cr13MoV
Blade Length
3"
Material
G10
Reviews


Price
$
This pocket knife features an extremely sharp and slim spear-point tactical blade, made in collaboration between Kershaw and Al Mar knives. It also features Kershaw’s speedy one-handed SpeedSafe flipper opening for quick deployment and a solid frame lock for reliability during rough use.
Zero Tolerance ZT 0350 SW

Zero Tolerance ZT 0350 SW

Purchase

Key Features
SpeedSafe Assist
Flipper Open
Liner Lock
Made in USA
Specifications
Blade Steel
CPM-S30V
Blade Length
3.25"
Weight
6.2 oz
Material
G10
Reviews


Price
$$$
This classic Ken Onion tactical assisted opening design is still hard to beat in the present day. Unlike a lot of knives that are made to look pretty, the 0350 is made to be used. Its unique blade features an organic curved blade that increases the cutting power of this compact knife to equal its bigger cousins.
Benchmade 495 Vector

Benchmade 495 Vector

Purchase

Key Features
AXIS Assist
Flipper Open
AXIS Lock
Made in USA
Specifications
Blade Steel
CPM-S30V
Blade Length
3.6"
Weight
4.11oz
Material
G10
Reviews


Price
$$$$
If you're looking for Benchmade-level quality when searching for a new assisted-opening EDC knife, the 495 Vector is one of the better choices. It features a 3.6“ CPM-S30V stainless steel flipper blade with a pointed spear-point shape that excels at piercing tasks, and the ergonomic G10 scale handle gives you the utmost control.
Benchmade 595 Mini Boost

Benchmade 595 Mini Boost

Purchase
Key Features
AXIS Assist
Thumbstud Open
Ergonomic Handle
Made in USA
Specifications
Blade Steel
CPM-S30V
Blade Length
3.11"
Weight
3.31oz
Material
Grivory
Reviews


Price
$$$
If control over the cut is your highest priority in an EDC assisted opening blade, Benchmade’s 595 Mini Boost delivers that in spades. It features a full-sized 4“ handle with enough thickness to give you a firm grip on the blade during use. It's composite nylon and dual Durometer scales provide extra control as well. And when you have it in hand you can leverage its 3.11” CPM-S30V drop-point blade with ease.
CRKT Gungho

CRKT Gungho

Purchase
Key Features
OutBurst Assist
Thumbstud Open
Frame Lock
Tanto Blade
Specifications
Blade Steel
8Cr14MoV
Blade Length
2.78"
Weight
4.7oz
Material
G10
Reviews


Price
$$
Small knives with tango blade shapes can do a lot with a smaller footprint, and when it's paired with spring assist technology, things become even more versatile. That's what the CRKT Gungho offers, with its compact 2.784“ 8Cr14MoV stainless steel tanto blade treated with black oxide coating to reduce reflections. The tactical notes continue with its G10 scaling on the handle and the solid frame lock mechanism.
Buck 288 QuickFire

Buck 288 QuickFire

Purchase
Key Features
ASAP Assist
Safety Operation
Lifetime Warranty
Made in USA
Specifications
Blade Steel
420HC
Blade Length
2.75"
Weight
3.5oz
Material
Glass filled nylon
Reviews


Price
$
Far from the traditional gents knives Buck is known for, the 288 QuickFire is a modern pocketknife that features what they call ASAP technology: a dual-spring assisted opening actuated with a thumbstud and secured with a rotating safety at the handle. That mid-lock system also holds the 2.75“ 420HC drop point blade on place during use.
OKC RAT 1A

OKC RAT 1A

Purchase


Key Features
Safety lock
Thumbstud Open
Liner Lock
Easy Maintenance
Specifications
Blade Steel
AUS8
Blade Length
3.5"
Weight
1.6 oz
Material
G10
Reviews


Price
$
The RAT is one of the most popular everyday carry knife designs out there, and the 1A variation improves upon the formula with an assisted opening that makes for an easy one handed thumbstud deployment, secured with a safety on the handle itself. Everything else is classic RAT goodness: a 3.5“ full flat taper ground AUS-8 blade, G10 handle scaling, and a great ergonomic grip on the handle that really lets you go right to work.
Case Kickstart

Case Kickstart

Purchase
Key Features
Kickstart Assist
Liner Lock
Traditional Styling
Made in USA
Specifications
Blade Steel
High Carbon
Blade Length
2.78"
Weight
3.2oz
Material
Bone
Reviews


Price
$$$
Your eyes don’t deceive you, this is a traditional gent’s knife with a fast spring-assisted opening that lets you get a quick one-handed opening while keeping a more classically styled package.
Gerber US-Assist

Gerber US-Assist

Purchase


Key Features
BOSS Tech
Thumbstud
Plunge lock w/ safety
Made in USA
Specifications
Blade Steel
CPM-S30V
Blade Length
3"
Weight
3.9 oz
Material
Glass-filled nylon
Reviews


Price
$$
The US-Assist features ball-bearing assist technology in the blade pivot, and an intuitive push-button plunge lock in the frame that makes for easy operation. The glass-filled nylon handle is aggressively textured to give you a serious grip on the knife during use, and the 3“ S30V blade with ambidextrous ramped thumb studs is definitely sharp enough to take on all your everyday tasks.

Do you carry an assisted open knife? Leave a comment below with your favorite fast-opener that you think deserves a mention!

#assisted-opening #assisted-knives #knives #buying-guides #best-assisted-opening-knife #everyday-carry-knife #best-assisted-opening-edc-knives see all



Who Likes This (47)

38 others

Discussion (50 total)

I love carrying the Benchmade Emissary 470. Great 3 inch blade and super fast assisted opening.
My EDC blade is a Kershaw Blur with a plain edge. It lives in a cargo pocket (right next to the doggie poo bags) and I strop every couple of weeks to keep the edge sharp. I also have a Kershaw Leek flipper with G10 scales that is wicked sharp, holds its edge, is small enough to not be considered "tactical," but would serve in a tight spot. Both are great blades at attractive price points.
I carry a Hogue full auto with 4" blade. Tactical works as I work for a defense contractor. An Esee 6 rides ranger style across my belt in the small of my back.
I have the ZT0301for 4 years now and it’s been a workhorse it’s scuff up and worn well in I love it, my only negative is the price of ZT & other knives in Australia is ridiculous.
The Benchmade 2750 - Adamas (Tan) Automatic, gets my vote. Hands down, No matter how big or how small the job this blade here gets it done and done quick. Lightning fast opening, & holds a great sharpening !! 👍🏼
There are some righteous options listed here and I must respectfully disagree with your comment about “falling afoul” with the law. But am happy to see that you did end it the advice of checking with your local laws. If you live behind enemy lines, as I do, they don’t want you to even carry a butter knife. If you have a subway system in your city, you can forget about carrying anything at all. Recently the laws have changed where I live in regards to carrying certain knives which is a HUGE win for us knife EDCers. The subway is still the forbidden zone.
Ask your supply shop to order you an NSN # 1095-01-446-4348, then ask your S-1 to draft you up an "Authorization for Importation of Military Issued Switchblade Knives" letter in accordance with DTR 4500.9-R Part V and CENTCOM Reg 600-10, Appendix E, as permitted by 19CFR 12.98 and 15 USC 1244, "Exceptions". (Let me know if you need an example for your Adjutant to plagiarize)

Get your CO's signature on the letter, and carry that letter with you when you redeploy. Also be your unit's hero for showing them how to properly bring back your beloved auto knives without the customs nazis confiscating them.

A nice perk is that you also then have a signed document originating with the DoD that proves your knife's pedigree as having been carried in a combat zone. Your great grandchildren will thank you if you store that letter with the knife.
I carried both the Blur and the Leek for years. Lately, I have been carrying the Dividend(very similar to the Leek) or the Knockout, both with M390. The Knockout feels better in my hand but with lightweight shorts in the summer, the Dividend usually wins the EDC contest.
Can recommend the Kershaw AM3, great edc option.
Kershaw Cryo II | Black
I just picked up a Benchmade 940S-1 Osborne design with S90V and Carbon fiber scales. The action is amazing right out of the box. It’s a bit pricey, but the build quality and design makes this my favorite knife!
Give my a Case mid-folding Hunter with kickstart any day. It's small and doesn't attract any unwanted attention. From the outside, it looks exactly like a old fashioned pocket knife.
The Kershaw Link and the Kershaw Cryo II are probably some of the best buys you can find for EDC AO blades right now. Build quality, on the Link especially is outstanding.
I had a Cryo II for a while. Absolutely loved it. Got several of my friends Cryo IIs for Christmas gifts.
I love my Kershaw Blur Black Serrated Kershaw 1670blkst! The price is right and the blade is partially serrated.
I love my Blur as well. Probably even more than my Benchmade Griptilian.
The new CRKT Graphite just became my new EDCBFF...
Wow that's an interesting looking blade! Is it a frame lock?
Another vote here for the Kershaw Speedsafe system. Love it. I have long fingers and find most thumb studs too stiff, too close to the pivot point, useless. Even on my Cryo, it's an effort not to cut myself trying to open the knife with the stud. Quick tip when you get a new Kershaw...add a drop of RemOil to the pivot point and flip the blade open 20-30 times. Deploy the blade and start backing off the pivot screw until you detect a bit of blade movement when locked. Start tightening the screw a bit at a time and test until the blade is solid and stop there. Smooth as butter!
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