Best Otf Knife Under $100 For Your Budget in 2020

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Unlike the conventional knives, an otf knife is also called the out – the – front knife with one blade which comes out the hand instantly. Though otf knives are not popular than traditional ones, they have own benefits and satisfaction. If you are looking for an otf knife, then this guide could be your available resource to read and learn the best otf knife. So, you should not miss out it right now.

Best otf knives under $100 for the budget

Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS M&P Linerlock *****$$$
Schrade Viper 3*****$$$$$
Karshaw 1990X Brawler*****$$$$
CRKT CEO EDC Folding Pocket Knife*****$$$$$
TAC Force TF – 719BK****$$

1. Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS M&P Linerlock Knife – Best budget otf knife


A quick glance of the Smith:

  • The overall length: 8.50 inches
  • The length of the blade: 3.35 inches
  • The total weight: 3.1 pounds
  • The material of the blade: black AUS – 8
  • The material of the handle: aluminum

The Smith has the 3.35 – inch blade which is made from the carbon steel, and it enables cut with extreme exactness due to the pointed sword. The aluminum handle is also inbuilt from the aluminum material with corrosion – resistance feature in order to protect the blade and your hand.

With 3.1 pounds, this is a lightweight knife to engage a spring – resistance from the unlocking structure thanks to a gliding button. The otf knife also has a glass – roller point on the bottom of its form.

Furthermore, the overall designs of The smith are fabulous to be a knife collection, a versatile using and a self – defense weapon, so this blade is rated one of the best otf knife in the current market.


  • The material of the blade and the handle is good.
  • The knife is lightweight enough for most of the users.
  • The overall structure and the spring are sturdy and sharp.
  • The price is acceptable.


  • The product is not made for left – handed users.
  • The blade has a flaw when the users try to close it in one place.
  • Some buyers complain the slide and the button of the knife are inconvenient.

2. Schrade Viper 3 OTF and Handle Knife Serrated – Best double action otf knife

A quick overview of the Schrade Viper 3 otf knife:

  • The length of the blade: 3.5 inches
  • The length of the closed blade: 5.3 inches
  • The overall weight: 4.9 pounds
  • The material of the blade: 4034 stainless steel
  • The material of the handle: aluminum

The Schrade Viper 3 otf knife is pointed out one of the best otf double action knife under $100 as it has high – quality materials in the blade and the aluminum handle. On the one hand, the pocket knife could catch the high speed and it also ensures the safety of users.

The blade is very sharp that you will feel it looks like intimidating fangs of a venomous snake, but you could not be afraid of the blade while using as the knife has the safety protection for the users. The locking structure in the finger placement and an – extremist blade could protect your hand away from potential accidents.

In addition, you bring the product easily on your pocket, your bag or your clothes as it is also lightweight to control. In the handle part, the aluminum material could be corrosion – assistance from the outside environment with a glass comber.


  • The knife has solid, sharp and sturdy structure.
  • The price is available for most of the users.
  • The shipping time is also on time.
  • The knife has the metal blade with the plastic body and you could change from one side to another side.


  • The switch and the slides of the blade seems to be awkward.
  • Users could not control the product by one hand only. They need to handle the knife by both hands.
  • The quality of the design is not good.

3. Karshaw 1990X Brawler – Best otf knife under $200.

A quick glance of the Karshaw 1990X Brawler:

  • The material of the blade: the 8Cr13MoV steel with the black covering
  • The material of the handle: the glass -filled nylon
  • The length of the blade: 3 inches (=7.6 cm)
  • The closed length of the blade: 4.1 inches (=14.3 cm)
  • The overall length: 7.1 inches (= 18 cm)
  • The overall weight: 3.9 pounds (= 110.6 g)

Kersaw line products are designed in 1974 as a versatile tool with the greatest quality no matter it is a pocket knife, a hunting knife, a collecting knife, etc. With the Karshaw 1990X Brawler, you might recognize the blade is the tanto which is a skillful and salvage weapon to hit the strong materials.

The top of the blade of the Brawler has a slog that is called the scuffle to support the blade is smaller and having much more powerful energy in the blade points. On the one hand, the body of the Brawler provides the cutting levels which are amazing and sharp enough.

With the handle, the users will feel convenient and flexible as the structure has the shape points which is fit on your hand. Furthermore, the best mini otf knife also has the Jimping on the back side of the blade to increase the friction.


  • You could open the blade easily thanks to the doubles of the board flat.
  • The knife is secure while using because it has the hand protection.
  • The blade is sharp and sturdy.
  • With this tool, you are able to fold the edges of the blade smoothly.


  • The blade could not come out of the box easily.
  • With the blade is made from China, the steel of the blade is too low to hold an edge.
  • The body of the knife is thick and it does not fit in the pocket.

4. CRKT CEO EDC Folding Pocket Knife – best otf automatic knife for the money

A quick overview of this knife:

  • The total length of the blade: 8.7 inches
  • The closed length of the blade: 5 inches
  • The overall of the weight: 5.6 ounces
  • The type of the locking system: the side lock
  • The material of the knife (the handle and the blade): the G-10 stainless steel

This has known as a lord of knives, self – defense weapons and other tools in the decade of changing and commitment.

The best otf knife is made from the classic model with the modern design, so the speed and the ease of use significantly increase due to the updating technology. One point to keep in mind that you could not flip the clip upside down because the clip is linked to two screws in the handle.

The blade is made from the titanium material to help you switch on the knife smoothly by only one hand. In the handle, the material is the G – 10 stainless steel to offer you a sticky grasp in under any circumstances.


  • The product has a limited lifetime guaranty.
  • The blade is sturdy enough to open it easily from the box.
  • The product is lightweight to carry on.
  • The price is reasonable for most of the users.


  • The locking structure in the blade does not work well in a long period of using time.
  • The size of the blade is smaller than the handle.
  • The product does not have the automatic locking when closing the blade.

5. TAC Force TF – 719BK – Best OTF under knife under $50

A quick glance of the TAC Force TF – 719BK:

  • The length of blade: 3.25 inches
  • The length of the handle: 4.5 inches
  • The close length of the blade: 4 5/8 inches

The covering of the knife is made from the stainless steel with the opening dagger. With the blade, it has the top edge with the cutout model and the rounded tangs. In addition, the handle is inbuilt from the addicted aluminum and the constitution layer.

The best otf knife also has the cutter belt and the glass wave to protect the user when taking on hand. The pocket clip has the cutout model with the black color, and the handles has a black layer.

To open the blade, you need to slide one of the points on the side as the product is unfold design.  and this is a little bit difficult for new users.


  • The blade is sharp and sturdy that you do not need to use one whetstone.
  • The clip is also strong and tighten to keep in your pocket
  • The clip has the slim size to put your hand or other things in the pocket.
  • You are able to open the blade quickly and easily.


  • New users or for those who have large hands could not open the blade smoothly.
  • The blade sometimes slips in other sides which users could not control it immediately.
  • Users could practice to use it regularly if they want to control the knife.

How many kinds of otf knife?

There are many otf knives that are selling in the market. However, they still have one difference between them for us to recognize – that is the function of the blade for using.

1.The manual otf knives

The manual types are the most popular otf knives which you enable to see in the stores. The blades equal to control them in a fixed place. Furthermore, it has one small button and a track enclosed to the blade.

To take out the knife, the producer gets the finger pressure to prevail the friction. So, the blade could slide along the track and move out to the handle.

2.The automatic otf knives

The blade of this type slip along the track like the manual otf knives, but the blade also has a button structure and a spring drive to discharge the blade. This platform will help the knives do not have the finger pressure to control the friction.

In the automatic otf knives, they divide two main kinds of knives – single and dual action knives. With the single action knives, you will not open the blade because it could instantly open. Nonetheless, you need to have the manual insertion, and the dual action ones might do everything automatically.

The kinds of the blade in an otf knife

When looking for the blade of an inexpensive OTF knife, you should pay attention to two core kinds of the blade – the edge and the shape.

  • The edge

The straight one

The straight one usually is sturdy, smooth and sharp in the length of the blade. They could cut the target as quickly as they can, so hunters prefer using this type in their outdoor activities.

The full – serrated one

For those who want to cut rough and solid materials, the full serrated one is your perfect choice as the length of the blade is jagged to support you have the sharp cuts.

The partially – serrated one

This is a combination between the full – serrated and the straight one. The jagged is inbuilt near the handle. Therefore, you are able to get it to cut different targets from outdoor activities to normal situation.

  • The shape

The tanto

With the tanto, the otf knives have many angles and combine two straight edges which are taken part in one sharp angle.

The blade is quite easy to recognize even if the edge is the serrated or the straight one as the blade has the special shape.

The tanto shape is strong because it has the angular model, and the spine has the steady width till it catches the angle. Then, it will have a razor – sharp point.

The drop point

The drop point is also the popular knives for hunters as the tip is underneath by a convex arc. The tip narrows down to the point, instead of having a blunt top.

Moreover, the arc of the drop point makes to stay strong in one place and it gives the blade is chunkier.

The spear point

The spear point is also called the double edged knives and you could use both sides of the blade. Normally, the spear point blades have one straight edge on one side with the partially jagged on another side.

On the flip side, the other two sides and the taper make a fine point. The spear point knives also are the daggers with full of functions.

Some interesting facts about OTF knives

Overviews of OTF knives history

Originally invented in the mid 18th century, OTF knives have received a lot of praises serving as versatile utility tools. Soldiers and military personnel truly adored these knives as they are light, compact and could be deployed with one hand. People could treat their OTF knives as eating utensils, light-duty cutting tools and in an emergency, self-defense weapons. However, while the design seems intimidating and there are several legislations that restrict OTF knives circulation, the lethality of such knives is mediocre at best. The blade of could pierce and slash but overall, OTF knives are not meant to be used as fighting knives.

OTF Knives: Are They Useful?

To put it plainly, OTF knives are switchblades that let the wielders deploy the blade right out of the front. Because of that, these knives prove handy when you have to navigate confined spaces and side opening blades are unusable. That being said, various experts and experienced knife users consider OTF knives to be only good for light-duty uses. Considering the delicate construction of OTF knives, rough handlings would cause vital components to fail and render the blade inoperable. Therefore, in the case you are looking for some hardcore survival tools, OTF knives might not be what you need.

Single-Action Vs. Double-Action: Which One Is The Best

As mention above, there are two kinds of OTF knives money can buy: Manual (single-action) and automatic (double-action). Overall, single-action OTF knives contain fewer parts than their double-action counterparts so the chance of failure is low. In addition to that, although the average price tag of OTF knives is fairly high, manual examples tend to be much cheaper than automatic ones. Hence, if you have a rather tight shopping budget and appreciate reliability, just go straight for single-action OTF knives. In the case you have money to spare, double-action models would be good choices.

The Legality Of OTF Knives

For most of the time, different places would likely have different rules regarding the purchase and possession of OTF knives. In some regions, it’s not that big of a deal to own OTF knives and people could buy one from stores with relative ease. On the other hand, certain governments make it illegal to bring OTF knives into their country unless the knives are exclusively imported for military use. That is why it’s a good idea to thoroughly research the local regulation before attempting to buy OTF knives. Due to the high acquisition cost, it’s truly a shame for you to spend a lot of money on OTF knives only to see the authority confiscate them later.

Materials Of The Knife Blade

Similar to other knives on the market, there are numerous types of steel the blade of OTF knives could use.  

In order to get the most out of you OTF knives, you need to ensure that they utilize the right materials for the right purposes. Below are some materials often used by OTF knives as well as everything you have to know about their characteristics. Crosscheck them with your tastes and preferences to make a wise decision at the store

  • CPM S30V

Also known as S30V, this is widely considered to be among the highest quality steels used by OTF knives and pocket knives in general. As a result, the costs of knives that employ CPM S30V could get pretty high. Introduced to the knife market by Crucible, CPM S30V is famous for its ability to retain edge sharpness for an extended period of time. The fine grain nature of the Crucible steel makes it an excellent material for a blade. Needless to say, CPM S30V is greatly favored by many reputable knife manufacturers such as Spyderco, Benchmade, Kershaw, Gerber … On the downsides, it takes times and efforts to re-sharpen CPM S30V blade

  • AUS-8

Originated from Japan, AUS-8 is a high Chromium, low Carbon steel which offers reasonable compromises between hardness and corrosion resistance. Generally speaking, AUS-8 is unable to retain the edge sharpness for as long as high-end steel on the market. That being said, people still thought of AUS-8 as an upper tier material and multiple commercial OTF knives use the Aichi steel for their blade. About the re-sharpen, you could restore the edge of an AUS-8 blade without much difficulty as the material is quite easy to work with. For most of the times, knives that utilize AUS-8 could be bought by most people due to their affordable prices.

  • D2

Despite the fact D2 is decades old and there have been considerable developments in metallurgy, many modern-day OTF knives till choose the venerable steel. Often considered as a “semi-stainless” steel, D2 nonetheless provide knife blade with a substantial amount of resistant against corrosion. The toughness of the D2 steel result into excellent but far from exceptional cutting ability. Compared to other types of steel, D2 blades retain edge sharpness well though the re-sharpen process is quite tedious. To get a fine edge on a D2 blade, you have to be experienced at sharpening and have proper tools.

  • VG-10

Produced by Takefu Special Steel, VG-10 is another Japan made blade material that you should keep an eye out for. Containing a considerable amount of Chromium element in its composition, VG-10 got superb corrosion resistance.  Moreover, the presence of vanadium guarantees that the Takefu steel would be able to handle heavy usages without any failures. With proper re-sharpens, VG-10 could get razor sharp so it’s a good choice for people that want to deliver swift and clean cuts.  The average OTF knives that use VG-10 nowadays would likely have more or less acceptable costs to most knife users.

  • 8Cr13MoV

Made in China, 8Cr13MoV is a cheap steel used by mid-range knives in order to reduce acquisition cost. Although it’s far from a top of the line blade material, 8Cr13MoV possesses good corrosion resistance and hardness. In less than ideal operating condition, 8Cr13MoV blades could handle rough handling as well as harsh elements no trouble. The tradeoff is that blades made from the Chinese steel quickly lose the sharpness of their edge and frequent re-sharpen is a frustrating issue. Nonetheless, if you are a budget-minded knife user, 8Cr13MoV OTF knives would allow you to save a lot of money for other uses.

Taking Care Of OTF Knives

As time passes by, various foreign elements (dust, gun,…) would accumulate on OTF knives and interfere with the operating mechanism. That is why it’s of utmost importance to provide these top rated OTF knives with periodic maintenance sessions if you want to keep them in good shape . Overall, once your OTF knives seem to be not working as smooth as usual, it’s the time to clean. While you could have the knives serviced by professionals, it’s not too hard to maintain them on your own. All you need are some rags, lubricants and a screwdriver.

Here is a quick guide to how to disassemble and clean OTF knives for beginners:

  • Step 1: Discharge The Knife Blade

Before you could actually maintain your OTF knife, you have to discharge its blade first. If the knife is discharged properly, the trigger would not retract/eject the knife blade and facilitate the cleaning process. Simply point the knife at cardboards, phonebooks and so on then fire the knife blade. After that, the spring mechanism would be rendered non-functional which allow you to safely access knife the interior components. Just in case, get a hold of the blade and proceed to shake it slightly in order to determine whether it’s loosened or not. Only move on to the next step if you are certain that there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.  

  • Step 2: Open Up The Knife

Grab the screwdriver and remover every securing screw present on the exterior of the knife. To avoid misplacing the screws when you reassemble the knife, leave them in their holes. Gently lift up the knife handle then get the internal component out including the slider, the spring and the blade. The slider along with the spring would likely offer no trouble but you should stay concentrate while removing the blade. By discharging the knife earlier, the blade should be loose now but you nonetheless need to hold on to its rear hinge to remove it. Needless to say, pay attention and handle the blade carefully as it could inflict injuries.

  • Step 3: Clean The Internal Components

Use the cloths to get rid of any dust, gunk and crumbs built up your spot on the knife components. Considering the precise layout of the deployment mechanism, it’s strongly recommended that you choose lint-free cloths to prevent leaving behind strands of fibers. There is no need to rush here, take your time and give each component of the knife a good cleaning. Regarding the knife blade, make sure that you don’t scrub its edge too aggressively. One mistake is enough to allow the blade to swiftly slice through the cloths and give you some nasty cuts. So it’s best to use moderate amounts of force and move your hands slowly.

  • Step 4: Throw In Some Lubricants

There are various types of lubricants you could get on the market but if you are looking for a solid product, WD-40 is for you. In the case you have better choices, feel free to use them by all means. However, remember to stay away from thick lubricants because they could restrict the movement of the blade and prevent the knife from firing as designed. As WD-40 is a light lubricant, it would slip in every nook and cranny of OTF knives without obstructing the operating mechanism in the process. In any case, use an appropriate amount of lubricant, you definitely don’t want the components to get too slippery.

  • Step 5: Put Everything Back Together

Wipe off the excess lubricant using pieces of clothes and proceed to reassemble the knife. In most of the case, you just have to redo everything that you just did in reserve order and that would be more than enough. That being said, in the rare case that you are unable to put everything back together, take a good look at the included manufacturer guide. It’s highly likely that by following the instructions, you should be able to figure out how to get your knife back in one piece. Otherwise, send your knife to someone that possesses more knowledge. Attempting to jam the component back into the handle is not a very good idea so don’t do that.  

Common Questions About OTF Knives

  • Is it true that OTF knives could cause injuries through the discharge of their blade?

Because of the intimidating deployment, there is a misconception it’s possible to hurt someone by pressing OTF knives against them and discharging the blade. Actually, the spring of most OTF knives is quite weak. For most of the time, the spring mechanism could only propel the blade forward for ¼ of the way and inertia take care of the rest. That means the blade of OTF knives could barely make a scratch on human bodies once discharged at close range, let alone deliver lethal wounds.  So if you have to use your OTF knife as a weapon, which is a role it’s inherently not suited for, get the blade out as soon as possible.

  • I hear that OTF knife users often experience shipping issues?

When it comes to shipping OTF knives, the local regulation is again the decisive factor. For instances, in the US, a lot of manufacturers state on their website that they would not ship OTF knives and alike to certain states. The US federal law also forbids the transfer of OTF knives between individuals with the notable exception of law enforcement officers as well as soldiers. That being said, the federal law on OTF knives and switchblade in general is not applied to manufacturers and dealers. Therefore, you could technically order OTF knives from certified brands in the US if the state authority tolerates their presence.

  • Why the blade of my OTF knife refuse to discharge?

Once discharge failures occur in OTF knives, it’s highly likely that the operating mechanism is going through some difficulty. In the case the blade does move out a bit but unable to lock up, the solution is quite simple. For most of the time, you should be able to solve such failures by adding lubricants to smoothen the components. The lubricants would also remove foreign elements that might obstruct the operation of the spring.  On the other hand, if you see that the blade is stuck tight and you could not move it at all, there must be something wrong with the components themselves. At this point, the sensible course of action is to send the knife for repair.

  • Must I store my OTF knife in the open position?

A lot of people claim that you must store switchblades including OTF knives in the open position to reduce spring fatigue. While it sounds realistic and practical, the truth is a bit different compared to theory. In fact, you would have virtually no trouble storing your OTF knife in any position you want, closed or open. Most springs don’t fail unless you decide to push them to their stress limits. That is why there is no need to store OTF knives in the open situation, especially if you don’t have the space to spare. Storing OTF knives in the open position raise a couple of issues regarding safety in the long run as well.

  • How often should I sharpen the blade of OTF knives?  

As with any other knife, it’s dangerous to cut with a dulled OTF knife so periodic sharpens are necessary. Generally speaking, the usage frequency would decide how often you need to re-sharpen the blade of your OTF knife. You could wait until you see that the blade is unable to deliver clean cuts. However, it’s best to sharpen daily use knife one a month or around that. About sharpening tools, there are a lot of options available at your disposal from whetstone to ceramic rod so just pick what suit your taste. In the case you really don’t have much confidence, sharpen service are excellent alternatives but they would cost you.      

Famous Brands for Affordable OTF Knife For Novice Shoppers

While you could get any OTF knife you like, it’s a good idea to prioritize products from reputable manufacturers. It’s true that even high-end products from well-known names would not always provide their users with satisfaction. Nevertheless, the OTF knife market is highly competitive and brands that fail to attract customer should not survive for long. That means manufacturers could only stick around and become famous by delivering quality products as well as reasonable customer service. Here are several knife brands you have to keep an eye out for while shopping.

  • Schrade

Founded in 1904, Schrade has introduced a large number of high quality fixed knives along with folding knives to the market. Capitalize on its reputation as a knife manufacturer with many traditions, Schrade strives to provide customers with solid OTF knives. Featuring quality materials and affordable costs, OTF knives made by Schrade receive multiple praises from knife users around the globe. Searching for dependable OTF knives? In that case, you have to take a good look at products come from Schrade. No matter what happens, Schrade knives would not disappoint you.

  • Microtech

Famous for their reputation of quality, Microtech is among the premier manufactures of OTF knives. There are multiple examples for you to choose from EDC to wilderness adventures, some even find their way into military services and law enforcement forces. A combination between expert craftsmanship and excellent steels results into rugged razor sharp OTF knives. Moreover, the strong automatic action of the Microtech switchblades makes them highly versatile utility tools in a lot of situations. Microtech products exhibit great tolerances to conform during production so they closely resemble custom designs.

  • Kershaw

A subsidiary of KAI Group (Japan), Kershaw is widely acknowledged as one of the most well-known knife manufacturers nowadays. The brand offers a huge selection of models including OTF knives to its customer and supports them with responsive services. Considering the quality, Kershaw products have commendable structural strengths and element resistances compared to other OTF knives available for purchase. As a result, most Kershaw OTF knives are highly sought after by people in need of something robust and straightforward. Want a hassle-free knife? Then Kershaw got a couple of quality examples for you.

  • Gerbe

Staring as a minor cutlery maker, Gerber is now a trusted name in the knife industry with thousands of stores. Dedicate to make long lasting product through the use of innovations and top-grade steel, Gerber receives favorable reviews from experts and experienced knife users. The life expectancy of Gerber OTF knives is high, most examples could last for more than a lifetime of use. All knives release by Gerber are backed with a full lifetime warranty and that tells a lot about their performance. Whether you want an OTF knife for daily use or outdoor excursion, Gerber would have a suitable model for you.

  • Smith & Wesson

Everyone thought of Smith & Wesson as a prominent firearm manufacturer in the US but also deal with knives. The brand offer up to several variants of OTF knives and they tend to acquire positive feedbacks from the users. While the majority of S&W knives are made in Asia (Taiwan, China,….) the quality remain decent for the price. The average S&W OTF knives would likely have no trouble matching the needs and requirement of the average user. As a result, Smith & Wesson proves to be a sound choice for budget-minded consumers.

Conclusion – Best value OTF knife reviews

Otf knives could not be common than folding knives, but the otf ones still have its unique and versatile. With an otf knife, you enable to use the blade quickly in some emergency situations relying on the structure of the knife.

Thus, you do not concern about folding your finger on the blade anymore. Everything you need to do is recognizing the different edges and shapes, then you should read the guide to pick the best otf knife under $150 for your pocket.

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.