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10 Best Flipper Knives: EDC, Flip-Open, Folding, Fast Open

Best Flipper Knives

Knives are knives; they look the same, are sharp, and small enough for everyday carry, right?

WRONG.

Flipper knives have varying qualities that suit different needs. You may prefer the flipper mechanism of one folding knife over another, and it all boils down to the specifics.

We’ve compiled the best flipper knives on the market — let’s dive deeper into them!

Best Value
Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer
Best Overall
SOG Twitch II Assisted Folding Knife
Best Budget Pick
Columbia River Knife and Tool M21 – 12SFG

Contents

The 10 Best Flipper Knives – Full Reviews

There are so many flipper knife variations and brands that it gets confusing.

We’ve reviewed our best picks based on their features, benefits, drawbacks, and overall thoughts.

1. SOG Twitch II Assisted Folding Knife

BEST OVERALL

This SOG folding knife hits the sweet spot between durable quality and reasonably priced.

It’s the perfect EDC knife by performance design, aesthetic, and access.

SOG Twitch II Assisted Folding Knife

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Cabelas «
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 2.65-inch; straight
  • Blade Material: Stainless steel blade
  • Handle Material: Tough aluminum handle
  • Weight: 2.6 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.15 x 0.55 inches
  • Overall Length: 6.2 inches
  • Additional: SOG Assisted Tech (S.A.T.); Folding Knife “Kick”

If you’ve been looking around for folding knives, you’ll know that the good ones are expensive.

Finding more affordable flipper knives with superb quality is rare, so we’re ecstatic about this one from SOG.

The design is best for everyday carry because it’s thin, sleek, and generally light. Plus, it lasts long. You can carry this for a DECADE, and it’ll still work well!

Pros
  • One-handed deployment is possible thanks to the S.A.T.
  • You can release the blade with two options: The thumb stud and the kick
  • You can control the opening blade for safety purposes; it has a safety lock
  • Reasonable pricing for its quality
  • Interchangeable blade
  • The belt clip is easy to remove
Cons
  • You may need to sharpen your blade from time to time
  • It's not dishwasher-safe

2. Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer

BEST VALUE

Although we love an affordable purchase price, there’s a reason why good folding knives are pricey.

The durability and features are no joke, and those who need well-made knives will find it a worthy purchase.

Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches
  • Blade Material: CPM 20 CV steel blade with satin finish
  • Handle Material and Length: Carbon fiber and titanium handle; 4.75 inches
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 3 inches
  • Overall Length: 8.8 inches
  • Additional: Reversible pocket clip; secure locking mechanism; KVT ball-bearing system

Almost all users of this knife are impressed by its performance. It’s one of the best Rick Hinderer flipper knives out there.

The manufacturing is said to have been discontinued already, so you can easily find slashed prices. Better grab this flipper knife while you still can!

Pros
  • The blade finish is fantastic — it's a balanced blend of coating and stone washing!
  • Blade deployment is accessible without the need for mechanical assistance
  • The frame lock is safe for one-hand deployment but also locks perfectly
  • The handle is durable and comfortable to hold even for long periods
  • It also contains features of manual opening knives
Cons
  • It's slightly heavy for an EDC knife
  • Beginners may find it difficult to operate at first
  • It may be discontinued for good soon

3. Columbia River Knife and Tool (CKRT) M21 – 12SFG

BEST BUDGET PICK

If you’re not yet ready to spend on expensive pocket knives, the CKRT M21 is a perfect choice.

The features are satisfactory for its lower pricing, and you still get a good knife blade!

Columbia River Knife and Tool (CKRT) M21 – 12SFG

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on Cabelas «
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 3.11 inches; 0.12″ thickness
  • Blade Material: High Carbon Steel/carbon stainless steel; Veff Serrations edge; Corrosion-resistant coating
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass
  • Weight: 3.7 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 7.38 x 1.8 x 0.51 inches
  • Overall Length: 7.3 inches
  • Additional: Reversible; Foldable; Manual
  • Style: Black Blade; G10 Handle; Drop point blade

A knife doesn’t have to be expensive to perform well. The late Kit Carson, a known military personnel and frontiersman, knew how to design the perfect blades with valuable features.

Our favorite feature is the automated liner safety between the locking liner and frame, setting an additional safety lock feature fit for beginners.

If you’re looking for a first flipper knife, get this one from CKRT.

Pros
  • It has an automated liner safety for that extra lock security
  • Kit Carson designed it
  • It has a dual hilt as a blade guard for slip prevention
  • It's affordable, lightweight, and portable
  • The blade has a reliable sharp tip
  • The G10 handle is universally recognized
Cons
  • No spare pocket clip
  • While it's light, it may be too long to fit in pockets

4. Buck Knives 0347BKS Vantage PRO Folding Knife with Clip

Buck Knives has you covered for those needing a sharp drop point blade. It’s one of those heavy-duty options great for outdoor use.

Buck Knives 0347BKS Vantage PRO Folding Knife with Clip

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 3 and 1/4 inches
  • Blade Material: S30V Steel Blade
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass; ergonomic grip made from injection reinforced nylon; G10 material
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Overall Length: 6 inches
  • Additional: Thumb hope for rapid deployment

While you can’t compare this flipper knife with the other more known brands, Buck Knives are best known for the sharpness of the blade.

It has improved edge retention, flexibility, hardness, and corrosion resistance, proving its fantastic cutting abilities.

Pros
  • Durable and tough materials
  • The locking technology makes it easy and safe to use
  • The ergonomic handle fits comfortably into your hand
  • Reasonably priced
  • The steel blade is one of the best among other flipper knives
Cons
  • Some users complained about the liner lock — it's not as smooth as the knife manufacturers claim
  • A little heavier than your usual everyday carry knives

5. Zero Tolerance Hinderer 0562TI Pocketknife

We have another Zero Tolerance on the list!

This Rick Hinderer knife is the choice if you constantly drop or scratch your flipper knife — the rugged design makes these scuffs look seamless, perfect for outdoors and activities.

Zero Tolerance Hinderer Pocketknife

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches
  • Blade Material: CPM 20 CV Steel Blade
  • Handle Material: Titanium Handle
  • Weight: 0.19 kg
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 3.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Overall Length: 6.7 inches
  • Additional: KVT Ball-Bearing Opening System, Reversible; Unique pocket clip

A Zero Tolerance flipper knife works like a charm — always! They’re known for making sturdy knives with a sharp tip and edge. They’re made to last.

Think of the higher price tag as an investment. If you love camping or spending time outdoors, this Zero Tolerance Hinderer Pocket Knife will be helpful.

Pros
  • Perfect for active adventures
  • It has weight-relieving pockets on the inside front scale to carry it comfortably
  • The unique pocket clip attaches to the inside of the handle for extra-deep carry (different from other knives)
  • The blade is wear-resistant and has superb edge retention
  • It's sturdy
Cons
  • Expensive

6. Kizer Cutlery Folding PocketKnife Front Flipper KI3499

If you’re looking for a reliable front flipper knife, Kizer Feist has a great option.

It’s considered a high-quality knife for hunting, fighting, and camping.

Kizer Cutlery Folding PocketKnife Front Flipper

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 2.83 inches
  • Blade Material: CPM-S35VN
  • Handle Material: Titanium Handle
  • Weight: 2.58 ounces
  • Overall Length: 6.54 inches

The phrase “small but terrible” applies to the Kizer Cutlery Flipper Knife. It’s lightweight and a lot smaller than other knives, but it can perform just as well.

It’s smooth to use and has a discreet look, one that doesn’t intimidate people because it’s a knife blade. As some people call it, it’s a classy gentleman’s knife!

Pros
  • Excellent edge retention
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Handles have a smooth gripping surface
  • It's small and portable; perfect for people who are always on-the-go
Cons
  • Front flipper design can be harder to navigate if you're not used to it
  • Some complaints of hard pivot — may need some adjusting/lubrication if the product is brand new

7. Kershaw Knockout Pocket Knives 1870OLBLK

The details in the Kershaw Knockout flipper knife are unique. It’s almost hard to believe it falls under the affordable price range.

Kershaw Knockout Pocket Knives

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 3.25 inch
  • Blade Material: Cerakote 14C28N Steel Blade
  • Handle Material: Anodized Aluminum Handle
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Product Dimension: 6 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Others: Speed Safe Opening, Sub-Frame Lock; Deep-Carry PocketClip; belt clips design

A lot of flipper knives have awkward sizing. Some are too heavy or big to carry around for outdoor activities, while some are too small for heavy-duty use.

The Kershaw Knockout is the “just right” option among everything on this list! We also appreciate its durable stainless steel blade. You’re sure that it’s solid and sturdy.

Kershaw flipper knives are all fantastic. You may want to know more about their other variants, such as the Kershaw Cryo II. There are a lot of Cryo II kinds to choose from, so check out this link.

Pros
  • It's one of the best flipper knives in quality and durability
  • The flipper mechanism is sleek and appealing
  • It has a stainless steel blade but a stonewash finish, proving strong and aesthetically pleasing
  • It has a belt clip design that's adjustable in 4 positions
  • Affordable
Cons
  • We're not big fans of the belt clip material
  • It's a little heavy

8. KATSU Camping Pocket Folding Japanese Front Flipper Knife

Filling in another spot for front flippers, we have this Japanese-style front flipper knife from KATSU.

KATSU Camping Pocket Folding Japanese Front Flipper Knife

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 3.9-inch
  • Blade Material: Alloy Steel VG-10 steel stonewashed blade
  • Handle Material: Titanium Carbon Fiber Handle
  • Weight: 135 grams
  • Product Dimension: 6 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Others: Frame Lock; Japanese Style Thumb Notches; Ball Bearing System

If you’re a fan of Higonokami knives, this one from KATSU is a sweet flipper knife dupe for it.

It has a blade sharp enough for camping needs, although the sheath and belt clip features aren’t the best.

Overall, it makes a great camping knife. It’s not Zero Tolerance, but it surpasses the standard.

Pros
  • The handle materials are anti-rust
  • It has a comfortable grip
  • Blade deployment is smooth and safe
  • The titanium material gives it a premium quality and look
  • Good customer service
Cons
  • It's pretty bulky for a pocketknife
  • The handle can get slippery when wet

9. Harnds Assassin PocketKnife Flipper Sandvik Steel Blade

Another gentleman’s knife, the Harnds Assassin PocketKnife, is slightly more prominent, but it’s slim.

But don’t let the larger frame fool you — it makes a good lightweight flipper knife for everyday use!

Harnds Assassin PocketKnife Flipper Sandvik Steel Blade

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 3.78 inches
  • Blade Material: Sandvik 14C28N
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Product Dimension: 5.4 x 1.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Others: Foldable, Locking Blades, Manual

You won’t go wrong with this Harnds Assassin Flipper Knife when it comes to a sharp edge and tip.

It’s one of the best options for an all-around knife, from self-defense to opening a package!

Be careful of its safety lock, as it can sometimes loosen when shaken too hard.

Pros
  • It's made of high-quality steel
  • Thanks to the ceramic ball bearing pivot system, you can easily open it with one hand
  • The G10 handles have good insulation, are moisture-proof, and have a non-slip grip
  • Smooth liner lock
Cons
  • The clip for the pocket isn't the best, but this version has an improved flipper cip
  • Liner lock, although smooth, doesn't have the most robust grip

10. CRKT M16-14ZSF EDC Folding Pocket Knife

Last but not least, we’re back with another CKRT variation!

It’s made to improve safety and stability features, so you can count on this knife if that’s what you’re looking for.

CRKT M16-14ZSF EDC Folding Pocket Knife

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Amazon «

Specifications:

  • Blade Length: 3.88 inches
  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material and Length: Glass-reinforced nylon; 5.38 inches
  • Weight: 6.3 ounces
  • Product Dimension: 5 x 5 x 5 inches
  • Others: Lightweight, Foldable, Locking Blades; Serrated-Edge Blade; Dual Hilt

You don’t have to worry about accidentally cutting your index finger or sudden blade deployment with this flipper knife.

It has an auto-lock safety feature designed to maintain security intentionally.

We also appreciate the stainless steel material used.

Pros
  • There's an automated liner safety for that extra security
  • The stainless steel and glass-reinforced nylon materials ensure durability
  • The blade has triple point serrations for more cutting power
  • Fast blade deployment
Cons
  • Not the best belt clip

Honorable Mention: Spyderco Southard Folder G-10

Spyderco Southard Folder G-10

BUYING OPTIONS:
» DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER «

Sadly, the Spyderco Southard Folder G-10 has been discontinued. But we still think the features are worthy of discussion, so we’re adding this as a bonus!

If you read reviews online, people love this flipper tab knife because of its stainless steel and titanium handle combination.

The grip has a good target but can be locked well for safety reasons.

  • It has a unique a good lock platform
  • It’s made of stainless steel
  • It has a hollow-ground steel blade
  • It’s a full-flat grind

Choosing the Best Flipper Knife for You: Factors to Consider

So, how do you determine which is the best flipper knife for you?

Here are some things to consider:

#1 Materials of the Blades and Handles

The materials make the difference, while flipper knives look the same with a blade and sheath. It explains why there are more expensive variants.

Blade Steel

Most flipper blades are made of stainless steel because of their versatility. Stainless steel doesn’t rust, it’s easy to sharpen, and it’s guaranteed to have a robust quality.

You’ll also notice that some expensive blades are made of carbon steel. They’re robust and offer a sleeker look than stainless steel, but it’s harder to sharpen.

Handle

Of course, you would want a handle that isn’t painful to grip. The most common ones are titanium, carbon fiber, and fiberglass.

A titanium handle is the strongest among the three. Next would be carbon fiber, then fiberglass.

#2 Safety Lock

When talking about flipper knives, we always consider blade deployment first. We understand that the reason for carrying a flipper knife is the easy-access-and-use part when needed.

However, some knives have locks that are TOO smooth. A loose lock is dangerous, and you can endanger the carrier when the tip and edge of the blade dangle.

Look for flipper knives with suitable locking mechanisms such as a sub-frame lock or a reeve integral lock.

#3 Weight and Size

The main point of flipper knives is their portability. It’s something you want to bring around for different uses — be it for emergencies, for your hunting day supplies, when you suddenly need to peel fruit, or as a safety mechanism.

The best flipper knife weight and size will depend on your preference. You’re the only one who can determine what constitutes heavy or lightweight and what’s comfortable or not.

Though it’s not always true, the more durable flipper knives are often heavier.

#4 Comfortability and Smoothness of Deployment

We want a flipper knife that we can use with one hand and one that doesn’t hurt our palm or index finger. In easier words, it all boils down to comfort.

This is subject to the materials of the handle, too. Some manufacturers do a terrific job with the grip that fits your hand like a glove.

What You Need to Know About Flipper Knives

Before buying your first EDC kit, it helps to know more about flippers.

How Do Flipper Knives Work?

Flipper knives simply work by the pivot. A center point allows the blade to flip up when force is exerted on the flipping mechanism.

There are various opening mechanisms per knife brand and model — here are the common ones:

  • Thumb Stud: Creates leverage on the blade. You flick the stud like a button.
  • Flipper: A flipper spot on the opposite side triggers the flipper knife.
  • Automatic Buttons: Advanced knife variations have automatic buttons for simple pressing.
  • Nail Nick: A small dent on the knife blade will respond when you nick it with your nail.

Are Flipper Knives Illegal?

No, it’s generally legal to possess flippers. This isn’t to be confused with the illegal switchblades, which have automatic opening mechanisms.

Technically, flippers are assisted. However, each state has varying laws.

You may want to check into the specific regulations before carrying one around. There might also be areas or buildings that generally don’t allow knives.

What NOT to Do When Handling a Flipper Knife

Deploying a flipper knife seems easy and self-explanatory, but there are safer ways to do them without hurting yourself.

Here are a few tips:

Don’t Passively Deploy a Flipper Knife

A flipper knife has a small control area that lets the blade flip open. However, non-knife people often do it the wrong way — not being able to flip the blade all the way through.

This is dangerous because you’d have to manually adjust the blade by hand, and it honestly defeats the purpose of having a flipper knife.

Pull down the flipper hard and fast, so it will go all the way through.

Don’t Forget to Check the Lock

One common mistake is forgetting to lock the knife after use. It’s risky, and the blade can easily pierce through your skin or clothes even with the slightest movement.

How to Properly Clean, Maintain, and Store Your Flipper Knife

If you want your flippers to last long, take care of them. Here are some tips:

  1. Clean the outside using knife-safe cleaner and a towel/soft cloth (this will depend on the knife material)
  2. Disassemble the knife to clean the insides (check your warranty if opening it up is allowed)
  3. Make sure that all parts are 100% dry before reassembling (this is to prevent rusting)
  4. Lube it up to bring back the smoothness
  5. Store in low-moisture areas

Watch this video for an additional reference:

What to Do With a Rusted Knife Blade: Solution for Flipper Knife Users

Rust is a knife’s worst enemy, so it’s important to deal with it as soon as possible.

Thankfully, you only need to do a few things to restore your best flipper knife to its former glory.

Here are easy steps to follow:

  • Use sandpaper or rust erasers to rub off the rust.
  • Use polish to restore the marks left by all the rust and friction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Flipper Knives Assisted?

Yes. They are considered assisted but can easily be deployed with one hand.

What’s the Difference Between a Switchblade and a Spring-Assisted Knife?

A switchblade is automatic with an open default position. A spring-assisted knife is closed by default and only opens when applied force.

The former is more dangerous and is illegal, while the latter is generally allowed.

Are Flipper Knives Safe?

Yes, they are safe if used properly. Beginners should not play around if they’re unsure how to operate it.

What Knife Is Better: Fixed Blade Knife or Folding Knife?

If you need something portable, then a folding knife is the way. But a fixed-blade one is undoubtedly stronger and sturdier.

Our Winner Picks

Let’s recap this best flipper knife reviews with our top 3 picks:

Best Overall – SOG Twitch II Assisted Folding Knife

The SOG Twitch II Assisted Folding Knife hits the sweet spot between affordable and good quality, and it’s built to last.

Best Value – Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer

Although expensive, Zero Tolerance produces the best flipper knives. Our favorite is the 0562CF Hinderer Slicer, which is still in the market, but they’ve discontinued the production.

SIDE NOTE: You can also check out other ZT variations, which are equally great and give value for your money despite the high price tag.

Best Budget Pick – Columbia River Knife and Tool M21 – 12SFG

The best flipper knives for you don’t need to be crazy expensive. CRKT knives prove that affordable doesn’t mean poor quality, and it’s even at par with the high-end brands.

Final Thoughts

Carrying around a flipper knife is convenient for many purposes, and getting one can be a game-changer.

But of course, we urge you to use them with care while still following the regulations of places you go to.

The best flipper knives aren’t made for the wrong reasons — they’re for convenience, security, and functionality.

 

CHANGELOG:

April 19, 2022 - Made major updates to the content and updated the products
April 12, 2022 - Made minor revisions to the content
October 5, 2021 - Added new product link options
September 17, 2021 - Marked 3 products as discontinued/unavailable
September 10, 2021 - Reviewed and updated article links, updated article title

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