Who has opinions on OTF auto knives? - THR

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Old August 22, 2014, 12:32 PM   #1
Join Date: May 5, 2011
Location: East-TN
Posts: 58
Who has opinions on OTF auto knives?

I have a growing interest in one of these to replace (or backup) my pre-Grylls Gerber folder since in TN it's legal to carry about any sort of knife now.

I was looking at the Benchmade Infidel line but that stuff is pricey and it looks like the mechanism could be inadvertently tripped in my pocket. Has anyone heard of this happening? I also saw that they had H&K-licensed auto knives for less than their Infidel line and the tripping mechanism looks harder to accidentally trip. But, again, is worrying about that even an issue?

Here's a link to the H&K OTF

Are there any other brands I should be looking at that still have attractive prices? I'm pretty excited about getting my first OTF knife.

ETA: And if anyone knows of a brand that has an easy-to-use safety that would be cool

Last edited by Jon_L; August 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM.
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Old August 22, 2014, 02:04 PM   #2
Join Date: June 21, 2012
Location: Cypress, TX
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They scare the crap outta me. I just got my first auto Benchmade, but it's a side swinger.

I guess if you clicked the safety on, you'd be ok though...
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Old August 22, 2014, 03:32 PM   #3
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Paragon/Ashville OTFs are priced around $190 AND they're made in NC just across the border.

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Old August 22, 2014, 04:32 PM   #4
Join Date: May 1, 2013
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Quality is important. Especially with OTF knives. I own a Benchmade Infidel but the price of the warranty was worth it. I had two issues with the Infidel, both were fixed at no cost to me by Benchmade.

The first was the pocket clip broke off climbing into a vehicle. I contacted Benchmade and they sent me THREE pocket clips with extra screws. For free. The second was the knife fell from a significant distance, around 15-20 feet, and knocked the mechanism off balance. Contacted Benchmade, they provided a shipping label so all I had to find was the box. Had the knife back 2 weeks later, fixed, resharpened and fresh powder coated. Felt like a new knife.

The mechanism is not light or clumsy. I carried the Infidel as my EDC for well over a year and it never opened in my pocket. It works like a DAO trigger, long and stiff. You have to be dedicated to opening it. It will feel like a workout for your thumb.
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Old August 22, 2014, 04:40 PM   #5
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The problem I have had with auto knives is, you can send them back to Benchmade.

But they can't send them back to you unless you are LEO or military.

Took some real finagling to get a spring replaced in my Mel Pardue some time ago.

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Old August 23, 2014, 07:16 PM   #6
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I have a Dalton Custom nasty and large OTF but you lose a lot of blade size with the OTF format. The Dalton is ruggedly made and is scary FWIW but I don't ever play with it for many firings as there is no warranty I think, and any piece of relatively large steel being fired that vigorously and slamming to a stop is gonna break in the long run I am sure.!
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Old August 23, 2014, 07:54 PM   #7
Ed Ames
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I have used an Infidel in a "one hand for the ship" type situation (working in a tight, unstable, awkward space you wouldn't want a bare blade flopping around in). The ability to pop out the blade only when needed, then flick it back in, made the work much safer. It was eye-openingly handy. I have wanted one of my own since but when it came to spending money I bought a more conventional auto.

I don't think the infidel is likely to trip in your pocket. It takes a fairly firm pressure to work the mechanism. However, they cost a bunch of money for a rather small blade. I was told by the owner it needs to be kept very clean or it stops locking out positively...not ideal for pocket carry.

RC: Supposedly benchmade dealers can handle warranty returns for normal people. Some parts of the US have quite a few dealers. Others not so many.
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Old August 24, 2014, 07:55 PM   #8
Join Date: May 31, 2008
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I had a couple of Microtech Ultratechs when I was working in NYC. I thought they were very well made, you weren't going to fire them by accident. Sharp from the factory. A little spendy, but I felt you got what you paid for compared to other similar products.

Here's a site selling them: http://www.bladehq.com/cat--Microtech-OTF--92
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Old August 25, 2014, 11:31 AM   #9
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A quality double-action OTF auto will not fire accidentally under any normal conditions for much the same reason that, absent gross negligence, a double-action revolver will not fire accidentally.

For switchblades there is a large quality gap between the $30 S&W Pakistani junkers and the ne plus ultra of factory auto knives, Microtech. Benchmade's Infidel is a good knife, though as pointed out, warranty or repair service is difficult.

Honestly besides the novelty and cool factor, I think OTF autos don't do anything that less legally problematic knives can't do. The lock mechanism is a weakness, and while with a good one you shouldn't have problems, there are a lot of moving parts to gum up the works.
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