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The 10 Best Spring Assisted Knives for EDC in 2021

Jonathan Tayag
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The 10 Best Spring Assisted Knives for EDC in 2021

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For many people in the EDC community, the pocket knife is their most used tool. That’s because a good knife serves you well whether you’re performing everyday utility cutting and slicing tasks to leveraging a sharp edge in critical life-saving applications during emergency situations. It’s easy to see why having a reliable and sharp blade can be so useful, but not all knives are built the same. If speed is important, and you’re the kind of person who wants to bring a knife to bear on a task quickly, you’re going to want to EDC a spring assisted knife.

What are Spring Assisted Knives?

Spring assisted knives (also called assisted opening knives) feature a spring mechanism built into the pivot or handle of the tool that takes over and speeds up the process of opening everything up. Basically, to operate an assisted opening knife you start the process of opening it up, usually with the thumbstud or with a flipper index tab. Once you get to a certain point manually, the stored energy in the spring assist mechanism causes the blade to fully flip open without you having to manipulate the knife all the way. The end result is a blade that you can open up quickly and conveniently, usually only with a single hand.

Spring Assisted Knives vs. Automatic Knives

While spring assist mechanisms are faster than a standard manual opening knife, these type of EDC knives should not be confused with automatic knives (also known as “switchblades”). With an automatic knife, all you have to do is press a switch or button that’s completely separate from the actual blade to get it open. And while the technology in assisted-opening EDC knives now a rival the speed of automatic knives, that mechanical difference makes spring assisted blades generally easier to EDC and legal to carry in more locales compared to automatic knives, which are usually more restricted. But as always, do your own research and check your local laws to make sure a spring assisted knife is legal to carry where you live.

Now that you know what makes assisted opening knives special and desirable for everyday carry, you might be wondering what are the best spring assisted knives. The good news is that there’s a lot of variety of options out there for picking an spring assisted knife so you can pick the ones that suit your needs. To help you find the best spring assisted knife for your EDC, we've put together a list of our recent favorites for you to consider.


The Best Spring Assisted Knives


ZT 0350 Spring Assisted Knife

ZT 0350 Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Flipper opening
G-10 handle scales
Liner lock
Specifications
Blade Length
3.25“
Blade Steel
CPM-S30V
Weight
6.2 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
As a premium tactical knives brand alongside Kershaw in the Kai USA family, it’s easy to see why Zero Tolerance also has great everyday carry spring assisted knife options. ZT’s classic Ken Onion designed tactical assisted opening blade 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 is made of premium S30V stainless steel and it features an organic curved blade shape that increases the cutting power of this compact knife to equal its bigger cousins. It’s listed as having a liner lock, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not up to the task, there’s basically no blade place once the SpeedSafe flipper spring opening is engaged and you’re ready to get to work.
Benchmade Mini Vallation Spring Assisted Knife

Benchmade Mini Vallation Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Thumbstud opening
AXIS lock
Safety prevents unintentional opening
Specifications
Blade Length
3.2“
Blade Steel
CPM-S30V
Weight
4.58 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
Benchmade is well-known for their premium quality manual opening knives, but their assisted knives garner a lot of attention in the EDC community as well. They are especially great if you’re not a fan of flipper-style assisted opening knives. The Benchmade Mini Vallation, for example features a more-traditional thumbstud opening with an integrated safety built in to the AXIS-assist mechanism in the handle. The drop-point blade is made out of premium CPM-S30V stainless steel and you’ll appreciate the carbide glass breaker tip found at the pommel if you find yourself in an emergency situation.
SOG Flash AT-XR Spring Assisted Knife

SOG Flash AT-XR Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
AT-XR lock
GRN handle scales
Deep carry pocket clip
Specifications
Blade Length
3.13“
Blade Steel
D2
Weight
4.49 oz
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$
SOG is a go-to knife and tool maker for people looking for tactical gear for everyday carry, and they did a major refresh of their knife line for 2020, all featuring their new XR mechanism. And one in particular, the upcoming Flash AT, features an assisted opening. The older Flash knife was a fan-favorite for EDC, and its newest iteration is ready to take up that mantle with D2 blade steel and a huge belly in its geometry allowing for serious cutting and slicing power despite its compact 3.13" length. With GRN scales, it’s lightweight at just 4.49 oz in total and the ergonomic shape of the handle makes it good for long term use with it in hand.
Kershaw Random Leek Spring Assisted Knife

Kershaw Random Leek Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Frame lock
Reverse tanto blade shape
Flipper opening
Specifications
Blade Length
3"
Blade Steel
14C28N
Weight
3 oz
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$
The Kershaw Leek is one of the first popular everyday carry assisted knives, and years later it’s still one of the best choices for EDCing a spring-assisted blade today. As time has passed though there have been a plethora of Leek variants released, bringing its classic design into the modern day quite seamlessly. One of the newest is the ‘Random Leek’ which features a new reverse tanto blade shape that vastly improves the piercing potential of its 14C28N stainless steel blade. It also features an attractive blackwash finish both on the handle and on the blade itself. The quick SpeedSafe action that made this knife a popular choice for EDC remains (and so does the safety lever that keeps the blade closed when you don’t want it to fire). A solid frame lock holds everything in place during use.
Buck Paradigm Spring Assisted Knife

Buck Paradigm Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Bolster lock
Spear point blade
Flipper opening
Specifications
Blade Length
3.125"
Blade Steel
CPM-35VN
Weight
4.8 oz
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$$$
You would be forgiven for thinking Buck knives are all heritage manual folders, but then you can come across knives like the Buck Paradigm. It features grippy G10 handle scales, premium S35VN stainless steel for edge retention, and a spring-assisted flipper mechanism that brings it firmly into the realm of modern EDC knife design. The knife also boasts an innovative bolster lock that uses part of the handle at the pivot to help lock the blade in place even during rough use. It also helps keep the blade closed up when you aren’t planning on using your knife anytime soon.
CRKT P.S.D. Spring Assisted Knife

CRKT P.S.D. Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Liner lock
Spear point blade
Flipper opening
Specifications
Blade Length
3.63"
Blade Steel
1.4116
Weight
4.6 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$$
This knife is also known as the Particle Separation Device, which is a futuristic name for a pretty futuristic-looking knife. But beyond its unique looks is a whole lot of practicality, and of course a spring-assisted flipper opening mechanism further aided with IKBS ball bearings in the pivot that makes deploying the knife lightning quick. The knife features a 3.63" blade composed of 1.4116 steel and a modified spear point design that features an extended belly with a bit of a recurve to improve its slicing potential. The design of the tool features a lightweight and stylish carbon fiber scale on one side and G10 on the other, and it conceals a secure liner lock to hold it all in place during use.
Gerber Highbrow Compact Spring Assisted Knife

Gerber Highbrow Compact Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Pivot lock
Drop point blade
Flipper opening
Specifications
Blade Length
2.8"
Blade Steel
7Cr
Weight
4.4 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$
Gerber’s Highbrow Compact is one of the smallest knives in the category, with a slick minimalist EDC-friendly look and a flipper assisted opening that makes for a smooth deployment even with one hand. It also features an ambidextrous pivot lock for ease of use, and the anodized aluminum handle is contoured for added grip even during rough use. Even more conveniently, the pocket clip allows for switching between right and left-handed tip up carry options.
Case Kickstart Trapperlock Spring Assisted Knife

Case Kickstart Trapperlock Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Liner lock
Clip point blade
Thumbstud assisted opening
Specifications
Blade Length
2.875"
Blade Steel
Tru-Sharp
Weight
3.58 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
Case is a good choice if you’re looking for traditional gents knives, or need a knife that won’t raise too many eyebrows in polite company, but they do mix in modern features into their offerings as well. Take their American-made 65315 Bonestag Kickstart Trapperlock for example. It has all the trappings of a classic gent’s knife like a clip point blade and a bone handle, but it hides a lightning quick spring assisted blade opening and a thumbstud opener instead of the standard nail nick manual affair most knives in this category are stuck with.
Ontario Knife RAT1A BP Spring Assisted Knife

Ontario Knife RAT1A BP Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Liner lock
Drop point blade
Thumbstud assisted opening
Specifications
Blade Length
3.25"
Blade Steel
AUS-8
Weight
5.2 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Ontario Knife RAT1A adds a super-quick assisted opening to a classic everyday carry tactical knife favored in the community for its ergonomics and performance especially for its price. It’s also a great knife to pick if you aren’t a fan of flipper style openings. The thumbstud opening is harder to accidentally actuate, and the handle itself also has a safety lock that ensures the blade remains closed before you actually intend to deploy it to accomplish your tasks. And its classic AUS-8 stainless steel blade rounds out the tactical look with an all-black scheme that helps keep things low profile in the field.
CRKT LCK+ Spring Assisted Knife

CRKT LCK+ Spring Assisted Knife

Purchase
Key Features
Liner lock
Drop point blade
Flipper opening
Specifications
Blade Length
3.62"
Blade Steel
8Cr13MoV
Weight
2.6 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$
The CRKT LCK+ (Lightweight Compact Knife) sports a slim and sleek minimal look that suits it well as a modern gents knife, but don’t let its looks deceive you: it’s ready to take on any cutting task you throw at it. Its 3.33" 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade features a hollow grind and a well-defined point that make short work out of cutting and piercing tasks, and its extended choil allows you to get in close with your grip for more delicate cutting tasks. And at just 2.6 oz thanks to its GRN handles means it won’t weigh you down too much in your pocket. Just draw and flip open with one hand thanks to its spring assisted opening. And if you feel you need a slightly larger knife on you, the LCK+ is also available in a slightly-upsized Large variant for your convenience.

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

#ontario-knife-company #case #gerber #crkt #buck #kershaw #sog #benchmade #zero-tolerance #buying-guides #spring-assisted-knives #testing see all



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