A butterfly-knife for carry?


August 26, 2013, 11:29 PM
Ok gentlemen, I'd like your opinion on this. I'd like a new knife, possibly a butterfly, but have some issues...

I'm considering a new EDC knife, particularly something slimmer than my other carry knives. I've pretty much given up carrying my Benchmade Mini-Ruckus because of its bulk in my pocket. Although it is in my opinion, one of the best folders ever made, it takes up a lot of space in my pocket, as I have this weird thing about pocket-clutter.

Then I have my Benchmade 41mc bali-song. (Did I mention I'm a Benchmade fan?) Now, I still carry this one on occasion, but I'm pretty selective about it. Mainly due to the fact that whenever I do use it, I sometimes get strange looks from people that haven't seen one in person before, followed by comments such as, "Dude, aren't those illegal?"

Well, in Kentucky they're legal. (And my CCW covers any gray-area that would arise... Plus I usually don't wave it around like a fool and draw unnecessary attention to myself, or use it in any manner that would be considered illegal or criminal, so lets not dwell on that for now.)

But, the weird looks and unwanted attention that inevitably comes about is a concern. I want to know if this would sway your decision to buy and carry a butterfly knife or not.

If I were to buy a new butterfly knife for EDC, that means I would be carrying it to work. We have a "no weapons" policy at work, and though I don't plan on using it in any way resembling a weapon, or playing show and tell even, I don want to get myself in trouble. Pocket knives are no big deal, and lots of guys carry and use them and its no big deal. And also, the specific knife in question (Benchmade 32 morpho) has a pocket clip, so it won't be as visible as if it were carried in a belt sheath. Also, with it's black G10 handles, it shouldn't draw much attention in the pocket either.

So what say you, fellow High-Roaders? Would you be put-off from buying a butterfly knife, based on unpleasant reactions?

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August 26, 2013, 11:35 PM
If you have a KY weapon carry permit I'd take the opportunity to educate others about the merits of a butterfly.

OTOH, if they're only legal for permit holders I wouldn't carry it to work. If they are, I'd consider carry at work as an opportunity to dispel myths about them.

The butterfly is a very safe knife for the user and can not fold up on their fingers (as opposed to a slip joint).

August 27, 2013, 08:48 AM
With regards to legality, butterfly knives aren't really addressed by Kentucky's laws. KRS 237 states, (and I'm paraphrasing...) that a conceals carry permit allows one to carry "any other knife besides an ordinary hunting or pocket knife." There's more to the text, but I believe a butterfly knife would be covered there. (It calls out num-chucks and throwing stars specifically as permissible.)

My general impression after reading the text of the law and discussing it with others, is that the law is written with such vague language on purpose, so that the courts may decide if such a knife were considered a weapon, for a given case. Now, I am not a lawyer, and I haven't researched to see if any cases would support this.

August 27, 2013, 08:57 AM
I personally would never bat an eye at any knife at work. But I love knives! So I am a bad measure, and I would guess most fellow High-Roaders are too. I do not care for balisongs myself in general, but for functional reasons rather than any kind of stigma.

With legal matters out of the way, the concern about work carry is getting fired. I would be very careful that your management was ok with it. Managers can be real morons about "weapons" and unfortunately their word is law at the workplace. Just saying I have dealt with enough dummies at work where it is not inconceivable for a supervisor to be ok with a Pentagon Elite but blow a gasket over a balisong. And it just takes one jerkwad coworker to rat you out to the boss.

August 27, 2013, 09:26 AM
JA... carry whatever you want but remember that butterfly knives aren't exactly discreet since they encourage a bit of "waving about" to open and use... For discreet carry I prefer something slender and on the minimum end of things. My current carry for dress occasions (and selected others) is an Al Mar Eagle ultra-light. If length is an issue the next size down (the Falcon, the Hawk?) is a bit shorter. They come razor sharp and ready for whatever uses required. Before purchase I'd make a point of handling one if your local knife works has them available - otherwise here's one at a bargain price on E-Bay (for a complete review of the various offerings there enter "al mar knife").


August 27, 2013, 10:24 AM
Your work place rules and their interpretation cover it. In the eyes of the administrators there, is it a weapon?

What one says this week might be overruled by his supervisor when he sees it. Policy changes as quickly as the leaves turn and fall.

Butterfly knives are generally regarded by middle and upper class supervisors as weapons, because they think their supervisors will see them that way. I don't see that changing as long as the wrong people keep getting promoted. But that's a different topic, too.

If the Mini Rukus is too much pocket clutter even hanging on the clip, I see it. My Rift isn't real small either, but I tolerate it because their is only one other thing in that pocket other than my hand. Same for the Sidekick I alternately carry, which is even bigger. If thin and capable of being seen as PC is important, then knives like the Boker Plus Tech, or a similar bolstered knife with satin blade would come off as more traditional, plus keep a flatter profile. A long 4" butterfly getting opened with two hands simply can't keep as low a profile in an environment which can get toxic in a moment's notice.

Not that I've have that problem lately . . .

August 27, 2013, 10:50 AM
I carry a SOG Twitch II. It's very slim and light, and well made.


August 27, 2013, 10:55 AM
Spyderco makes a nice edc-worthy butterfly knife. I am at work, but I will link it in a bit.

sent from my Galaxy Note II.

August 27, 2013, 11:41 AM
Given your state law on knives, I wouldn't carry anything at work besides a simple folder. The way the law there is written really gives your employer all the power to interpret what is or isn't a weapon in the work place. You don't have any protection from wrongful termination of employment.

August 27, 2013, 12:41 PM
A knife is a knife. Your state and employer don't seem to mind... why worry about it?

Non-knife coworkers seem to react mostly to serrations and less to plain edges. But whatever, they all eventually come crawling back to borrow a knife for something :).

August 27, 2013, 01:03 PM
Given your state law on knives, I wouldn't carry anything at work besides a simple folder. The way the law there is written really gives your employer all the power to interpret what is or isn't a weapon in the work place. You don't have any protection from wrongful termination of employment.
I hadn't thought about that aspect of it. That's worth considering.

Here's the knife in question for those unfamiliar. 3.25 inch blade, 7.5" long open, so it's certainly not a sword by any means. But still, to some its unfamiliar. BTW, the best method i've found for opening and closing, is a slow, one-handed flip. There's little drama, and it just works well.

Of course, I have something else to consider as well. I've always carried pocket-folder in my right pocket, but butterfly's in my left. (There's some weird left-hand dominant ambidextrous-ness going on here...) I also carry my phone in my left pocket, and only a small set of keys in my right. It might be more comfortable for me to carry traditional folder in my right pocket, rather than clutter up my left...

And if I went the folder route, these two come to mind...

Benchmade 530. Same length as the butterfly, but maybe a little thinner.

A 943. (satin blade, plain edge.) Its a little bigger than the other two, and maybe not as thin as I'd like, but still less than my mini-ruckus.

August 27, 2013, 01:06 PM
A knife is a knife.
I agree. When it all comes down to it the knives we have today are just vastly improved versions of one of mankind's first & oldest tool. However, some states don't see it that way, and if they don't put it into law then it leaves things wide open to employer, officer, or court interpretation.

That's why anyone who owns & uses a knife should be a member of Knife Rights. With their help my home state of Georgia has gotten rid of almost all of their silly knife restrictions. State code now clearly states that a weapon is a knife with a blade of 5 inches or more. Anything over 5 inches is legal to carry with a Georgia Weapons Carry License. KR also got preemption through in GA, so local jurisdictions can't make knife laws more restrictive than state law. Auto openers are legal; and gone are the silly dirk, dagger, bowie, etc wording found in the laws of many other states.

KR is getting knife law reform and preemption passed all around the country. If you want to carry whichever knife you choose without fear of prosecution or getting fired from work, then join Knife Rights & get involved.

August 27, 2013, 01:11 PM
JAshley, you posted while I was writing my last reply. I own a 530SBK, and it's super thin. It's one of my favorite Benchmade folders, and I think you'd be quite pleased with it. I carried one clipped into the waistband of my PT shorts when I was in Iraq, and carried a Griptilian in my DCU pants. The 530 was the perfect slim knife for me.

August 27, 2013, 02:09 PM
Unfortunately, human nature is such that if an item is unfamiliar it's assumed to be "evil."

Fat Boy
September 22, 2013, 08:46 PM
Just tagging along - considering buying a butterfly as well and have looked at the Spyderco butterfly. But have also read about some law (federal) that owning a Spyderco butterfly is a violation of federal law due to parts importation. I would like to get a clear answer; can I legally own a Spyderco butterfly or not?
Thank you

September 22, 2013, 09:41 PM
Fat Boy, there is only one federal law on knives, Title 15 U.S.C. Chapter 29. It controls sale over state lines and importation from foreign countries, and only applies to the entity selling the knives. Nothing more. It in no way affects buying, ownership or carry; that is up to your state. Some states do ban ownership of butterfly knives, but most don't, so you will have to check your local laws.

September 22, 2013, 11:27 PM
There's also 18 USC 930, 18 USC 1716, 40 USC 5104, 46 USC 11506, and perhaps another but Spyderco got tripped up by Customs for importation of components of the Spyderflys and accused of breaking the stupid switchblade law (15 U.S.C. 1241-1245), but what he's talking about is old news these days since the Spyderfly's changed to being made completely in the US. The American made Spyderflys are readily available.

September 23, 2013, 12:08 PM

The 530 you show doesn't look like an especially useful EDC blade; it looks like a dedicated stabber.


September 23, 2013, 02:11 PM
"dedicated stabber"

Or it offers a second sharpened edge to extend the time between sharpening!?!;)

BTW, the only butterfly I carry is the Benchmade 53 Marlowe.


September 23, 2013, 02:37 PM
Wouldent carry a butterfly knife simply because of the wave style of opening, I'd find it too annoying. I've always thought as butterfly knives as weapons so theres another reason I wouldn't carry it. Tip tho, grasp it in your hand and do a rubbing motion with your thumb and see if there is any blade play? Most of the butterfly knives I've owned were cheap and had a good deal of play, more expensive and sturdy knives may not tho.

September 23, 2013, 02:46 PM
Most of the butterfly knives I've owned were cheap

That's the problem. If you're only familiar with the cheap junk out there instead of the solid ones it is difficult to understand what a good one is supposed to be.

September 23, 2013, 03:52 PM
I wish I could carry this one, but like my Benchmade auto, it has to stay home. :(


Notice the bandaid? Be careful out there. :scrutiny:


Practice mode:


September 30, 2013, 07:57 AM
My only concerns would be how the law could be interpreted, and your employer's weapons policy. If you're fine on both fronts, I see no reason not to carry a balisong. I've been carrying one for a few years now, in addition to a traditional lockback folder (Spyderco Chinook II). I use it at work, and at home.

The only issue I have carrying one are PA's fuzzy knife laws; we have pretty clear laws concerning firearms, but not knives. For example, in Philadelphia, it's illegal to carry any knife, unless it's work related, and then you can only transport it to and from work.

Luckily, in my county and municipality, we can carry any sort of knife we choose. As an added benefit, there is a court case (Commonwealth vs. Miles) that specifically names balisongs as NOT being prohibited offensive weapons, like gravity knives, blackjacks/saps, or brass knuckles.

September 30, 2013, 09:06 AM
HSO, correct me if I am wrong, but can't you only get the smallfly now?

September 30, 2013, 10:33 AM
That appears to be all that is offered by them right now.

October 2, 2013, 08:46 AM
I EDC a BM51 (like the 32 Morpho but longer). I continued to carry it when.I was working at a place with a "no weapons" policy. It is almost invisible in yer pocket and if you learn to do a "quick draw" aka "single flip" with the knife held along side your thigh, no1 notices.

Then again, my situation was a little different - in spite of the "no weapons" policy, my supervisor was aware of the fact I had a concealed firearm on me lol

October 2, 2013, 09:27 AM
Its a bad idea to put yourself at the mercy of your HR department.

If you think you need a weapon at work, consider finding something in you natural work environment that doesn't look at all like a weapon, and don't carry it on your person.

Butterfly knives are cool.
Getting fired for stupid stuff is not cool.

I'm self-employed, so I keep an M1 bayonet handy for those chores that might require a knife.

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