Anatomy of a Manual / Spring Assisted Folding Knife

Anatomy of a Manual / Assisted knife

Anatomy of a Manual / Spring Assisted Folding Knife Manual knives are legal in most areas, which means they are extremely common. Often, this type of knife is also recognized as a “pocket knife.” Spring assisted knives are roughly the same as manual knives, but they have a spring inside the handle that helps deploy the blade much faster. Spring assisted knives typically have a … Continue reading

SOG Spring Assisted Knives

There are quite a few companies that make excellent spring assisted knives, but the company on our mind today is SOG Knives. They have a sizable offering of assisted knives in enough configurations that there’s certain to be something for everyone. Here’s a rundown of their models:

SOG Flash Series : The Flash comes in two sizes. The small size (the Flash I) has a blade length of 2.5″ and the larger model (the Flash II has a blade length of 3.5″. The Flash series knives come with a ton of great options including aluminum or Zytel handles, plain or serrated blades, and numerous blade coatings.



SOG Aegis Series: Like the Flash the Aegis comes in two sizes. The small Aegis has a 3″ blade and the larger Aegis has a blade length of 3.5″. Options abound with drop point and tanto blades and various color configurations.




SOG Blink Series: This is an older series, but it’s shape makes it stand out. With a 2.5″ blade this assisted knife is smaller, but still very versatile.





SOG Twitch Series: Like the Blink series this is an older model. There are currently three different sizes of the Twitch floating around (or twitching around). The small model (Twitch I) has a 2″ blade, the medium model (the Twitch II) has a 2.68″ blade and the large model (the Twitch XL) has a 3.25″ blade.



SOG BiPolar Series: If you’re looking for something with two blades then SOG has just the thing. The BiPolar models come with two assisted blade and they are available in three different configurations.




SOG Meridian Series: With it’s unique the Meridian is all SOG. Thee styles are available and the knife has a 3.25″ blade.





SOG Trident Series: The Trident series is one of SOG’s larger knives. With a 3.75″ blade the knife can handle any task and then some. There is now a mini version with a 3.15″ blade (still large for a “mini” version). Like most of SOG’s other models the Trident is available with different blade styles and comes in multiple color variations.


As previously mentioned there are numerous other companies who manufacturer excellent Spring assisted knives (Kershaw Knives, Benchmade Knives and Buck Knives, to name a few). But we dont’ feel like SOG gets enough credit for their outstanding Sprig assisted knife line so we wanted to put a little focus on them.

And good news SOG fans: has slashed prices on all your favorite SOG products making them even more affordable. Check out SOG Knives on today! 

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Posted by SAK, October 28, 2011

Intro to Gerber Spring Assisted Knives

Intro to Gerber Spring Assisted Knives


Origins: In 1910, Joseph R. Gerber started a company, “Gerber Advertising” in Portland, Oregon.

In 1939, as Christmas gifts for clients, he commissioned a local knife maker to craft 25 sets of kitchen cutlery. The knives, along with the beautiful walnut boxes created for them were so popular that Mr. Gerber asked his sons, Ham and Pete, to begin a new business: Gerber Hand-Made Blades.

In 1947, Gerber Hand-Made Blades became Gerber Legendary Blades—the official name of Gerber to this day—and adopted the now-famous symbol of the sword in the stone (how appropriate for the lowly ad-agent-become-knife-legend!).

In 1966, Gerber introduced the MK II Combat Knife, which quickly became a military favorite during the Viet Nam war. It was modeled after the Roman Gladius, a smart move—after all, it was the weapon of choice for the most efficient army for over 600 years! It is still in production, but now mostly for collectors.

In 1968, they introduced the “Armorhide” handles—a tough covering for metal handles, specially developed for military.

In 1981, Gerber introduced the Micarta handles with their L.S.T. knives (I love the Micarta handles!).

In 1991, Kraton rubber inserted itself into their quality handles (I love Kraton!). And in this new millennium we’ve seen the advent of excellent multi-tools, LED lights, and more outdoor gear than ever.

And in 2005, Gerber introduced their first spring-assisted folding knives. The first on the market was the F.A.S.T. Draw (Forward Action Spring Technology), with a one-handed opening mechanism exclusive to Gerber, patented by Butch Vallotton.

Their commitment to quality is even acknowledged by the now-legendary extreme survivalist Bear Grylls (I love Bear Grylls!). (No, not in that way ;-) . . .)

What Does Spring-Assisted Mean?

A manual knife is one you have to open all the way yourself. Most common pocket knives are manuals, like the Swiss Army Knife, for example.

An automatic knife is one which immediately opens on its own when you push a button, lever, or other mechanism; some common examples are switchblades, stilettos, and out-the-front knives (OTFs). Spring-assisted knives (also called ‘assisted opening’) are in-between these two. Once you manually begin to open them, the spring action takes over and opens it the rest of the way.

 Some of the more popular Gerber Spring-Assisted knives:

The F.A.S.T. Draw: Has a G-10 handle for good grip even when wet, a sliding lock safety, pocket clip, and a solid, thicker handle. The blade is of high-carbon stainless steel. It’ll hold up well to tough use—as long as you don’t try turning it into a screwdriver, of course! It comes in black and silver blade (various finishes), with tanto or drop-point style, a plain or serrated blade and in standard and mini sizes.

The Statesman: Has a handle of anodized aluminum (a rather attractive finish) with wood inserts and a pocket clip. The blade is of surgical steel, so it holds an edge well and is very resistant to corrosion.

The Covert: The handle is also of anodized aluminum, only with a black finish; it tapers a bit from the hinge to the end of the handle, with an indentation near the hinge for better finger- and thumb-grip. The blade is of CPM S30V steel, which has a very fine grade and is quite hard and tough; don’t use a grinder belt to sharpen it, though—that will wear it down too quickly.

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Q. What is a Spring Assist Knife?

Q. What is a Spring Assist Knife?


A Spring Assist knife (or Assisted knife) is not the same as an automatic knife. A Spring Assist does not fall under the definition of a switchblade (Federal Law). The legal definition of a switchblade is “a type of knife with a folding blade that springs out of the grip when a button or lever on the grip/handle is pressed. There are two basic types: side-opening and out-the-front (OTF).”

With spring assisted knives, you apply slight pressure to either the thumb-stud* or the flipper* to open it. Once the blade is opened about ¼ of the way, the spring then takes over and propels the blade the rest of the way. This type of knife uses a spring assisted mechanism behind the blade. This mechanism allows the knife to be a “one handed, fast opening knife.”  It’s a great alternative for automatics, which are not available to everyone***

Additionally, there are spring assisted OTF knives. Like side opening spring assisted knives they must have the blade opened ¼ of the way and then the spring takes over and pushes the blade the rest of the way out.

* Thumb-stud:  Located on the blade; a nub/screw protruding horizontally out of the blade
** Flipper:  Located in the spine of the handle, which is part of the blade itself (base of blade)
*** Please be aware that every county/city may have additional laws, so please check with your local Police Department before getting a Spring Assist knife. (Example: there may be blade restrictions, even for spring assist knives).

by Anna Gardiner

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Care and Maintenance for Spring Assisted Knives

 Care and Maintenance for Spring Assisted Knives


Clean your knife regularly to keep it free from dust, dirt and other debris. The pivot area is the most important part to clean. You can use a cotton swab or soft knife care cloth to clear away most of the grime, and a can of compressed air may help with hard to reach spots. Don’t take your knife apart for cleaning – they can be hard to reassemble. If you’re determined to open it for cleaning, check with the manufacturer first to find out whether or not this will void the warranty.


Properly lubricating your spring assisted knife will ensure that it fires quickly and correctly every time. Use a light lube that is made for metal. You can use either a “wet” or a “dry” lubricant. Dry lubes won’t attract as much dust and can be easier to work with than wet lubes, but usually cost more. We recommend either Sentry Solutions Tuf-Glide (dry), or Benchmade Blue Lube (wet).

 With the knife open, put a tiny drop on each side of blade at the pivot point on the spine, then open and close a few times to get the oil moving around. With the knife closed, put a tiny drop on each side of the blade at the pivot point on the top of knife, then open and close as before. Wipe away any excess oil with a soft cloth. Next you’ll want to oil the blade. This will protect it and prevent the metal from pitting and rusting. Put a drop on the front of the blade, and rub the oil into the blade with a soft cloth, being careful at the sharp edge. Wipe off any excess. Repeat with back of blade.

 Adjust Screws

Every time you clean and lube your knife, you should also adjust all of the screws. Tighten all the body screws, including pocket clip screws, using the appropriate tool: torx driver, allen/hex wrench, or regular screw drivers. You may need to adjust the pivot screw from time to time. Loosen or tighten it ¼ turn at a time, making small adjustments for precise movement.


Sharpen your knife as soon as it takes any extra effort to make a cut. Use a sharpening system for the best results. We recommend the Spyderco Sharp-Maker, which comes with an instructional DVD to help you get the best edge.

By Amanda Carbajal

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Different Types of Spring Assisted Mechanisms/Releases

Different Types of Spring Assisted Mechanisms/Releases

There are three (count ’em 1-2-3) different release mechanisms for the Spring Assisted knives; Thumb Stud, Spine Flipper, and OTF ‘Slider’.

 The most common spring assisted opening mechanism is the Thumb Stud. No, I’m not referring to a devilishly good looking hand model but to the small, round piece of metal protruding from the blade of your knife. These are found on both manual and spring assisted knives.

 Up and rising in popularity, my personal favorite, the Spine Flipper. As the name suggests it is located on the spine and ‘flips’ your knife open. This mechanism is as close to being automatic you can get without actually being automatic!

 There are two different styles of the Spine Flipper:

 Most Spine Flippers are actually part of the blade. The blade is cut in such a way that a dull segment of it pokes out of the spine near the pivot. Knives with this Spine Flipper as part of the blade most likely will have a Thumb Stud as well, giving you the rare choice to decide “How do I want to open my knife today?”.

Smith and Wesson uses what they call the M.A.G.I.C. on their SWBLOP3. This Spine Flipper is a trigger versus being part of the blade. Push down on the trigger and a lever makes the spring does the rest of the hard work for you!

 Last, but not least, the Spring Assisted OTF. These knives have a ‘Slider‘ attached to the blade and must be retracted manually. Push the slider up, the spring takes over and *SHINK* ejects the blade. Pull the slider all the way down and *Ssshhhh-click* the blade locks closed.

by “Monty” Cox

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