OTF knives also known as telescopic or sliding knives are your cooler, quicker, and more efficient versions of pocket knives, a badass blade in every right. For clarity, OTF is short for “out-the-front,” which aptly describes the way its blade extends out to the front in an open position when you engage its button or slider knob.
What makes it even cooler is the fact that when it closes, the blade slides neatly back into the handle like it never happened. This makes it portable, safe to carry about, and quite beloved and coveted by knife lovers. We gotta say it’s got that element of mystery and toughness.
Although they are yet to flood the open market as not many brands are producing, we have put together a list of some of the best, most budget-friendly, and most valuable finds in this review.
Table of Contents
- Here are the Best Budget OTF Knives:
- 1. NNK NK Double Action Knife — Best OTF Knife Under $100
- 2. Carl Safety Double Action Knife
- 3. KHW Double Action Knives
- 4. MagicKnife UltraMagic 4 Blade Styles Outdoor Tactical Knife
- 5. HaoMing Forged Knives, Double Action
- 6. HellCat Tactical OTF Mini – Spear Point Non-Serrated
- 7. KaiQing Sigil Double Action Knives Black Single Blade
- 8. Ry-Tac Mini Keychain Double Action Knife Carbon Fiber
- 9. Rise Mini Keychain Double Action Knife Black w/Clip
- Guide To Finding The Best Budget OTF Knife
- Maintaining Your OTF Knife For Longer Life
- Final Thoughts
Here are the Best Budget OTF Knives:
|1. NNK NK Double Action Knife||Check Current Price|
|2. Carl Safety Double Action Knife||Check Current Price|
|3. KHW Double Action Knives||Check Current Price|
|4. MagicKnife UltraMagic 4 Blade Styles Outdoor Tactical Knife||Check Current Price|
|5. HaoMing Forged Knives, Double Action||Check Current Price|
|6. HellCat Tactical OTF Mini - Spear Point Non-Serrated||Check Current Price|
|7. KaiQing Sigil Double Action Knives Black Single Blade||Check Current Price|
|8. Ry-Tac Mini Keychain Double Action Knife Carbon Fiber||Check Current Price|
|9. Rise Mini Keychain Double Action Knife Black w/Clip||Check Current Price|
1. NNK NK Double Action Knife — Best OTF Knife Under $100
Just like its name implies, this knife is powered by a double-action mechanism that operates in full swing (or spring) with minimal navigation. For instance, by hitting the switch once, the blade pops forward in its fullest glory and instantly sheathes back into its sleek body after use.
This blade, although fancy-looking does not at all compromise with its toughness, reliability, and performance. It also aligns symmetrically with the opening of the handle so it catches quite easily when you open the blade and is super easy to use as well as get comfortable with.
In addition to its included attachment clip which makes it easier to latch on to your belt or in your pocket when needed, this is the best budget OTF knife for your money and time.
- Product dimensions: 5.94 x 3.23 x 1.81 inches
- Weight: 11.3 ounces
- Blade Length: 9 cm / 3.5in
- Blade Thickness : 0.3cm /0.11in
- Blade Width : 1.8cm / 0.70in
- Easiest to use
- Sturdy and reliable
- Long-lasting blade performance
- Comes with an attachment clip for handy purposes
- You may need to re-sharpen the blade and lubricate properly in order to keep it at its full performing capacity.
An OTF blade that is easy to use, handy, of solid quality, and within your budget? Go figure. Like a gift that keeps on giving, it offers the best value and this is why we are endorsing the NNK Double Action Knife as our top choice.
Urban and with a minimalistic and incredible design that appeals even in its simplicity, the Carl safety double action knife is a prized tool with ample value retention performance to make you excited about every penny spent on the product.
Almost everyone that we know who have come across the Carl Safety Double Action knives and we are quite excited about a knife that performs like it is on steroids, exceeding your expectations when you think about the price.
- Product dimensions: 5.5 x 2.5 x 1.4 inches
- Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Blade Colour: white
- Full Length including glass breaker : 22.0cm / 8.6in
- Blade Length : 8.5cm / 3.3 inches
- Blade Thickness : 0.3cm /0 .11 inches
- Blade Width : 1.6cm / 0.6 inches
- Gross Weight : 170g / 6.0oz
- Sturdy and durable
- A little heavy
Carl Safety double action knives may be on the heavy side, but they more than make up for this with steadiness and a razor-sharp edge. Great value on money spent, and a great use of time.
P.S: For some reason, this product was named as a tactical folding knife on Amazon. This is false.
From personal experience, the incredible qualities of the KHW double action knives are exhaustive and uncompromising, making it one of the most popular products in this brand series.
Designed for outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, this blade is a dependable companion for those many trips out in the wild. Cuts like a dream too.
- Weight: 11.6 ounces
- Full Length: 25CM
- Blade Length: 9.9CM
- Blade Thickness: 0.3cm
- Blade Width: 1.8cm
- Knife weight: 230g
- Peak cutting performance
- Blade requires constant lubricating and sharpening for longer life
- Heavier than most OTF knives
We love how well-made this blade is, and trust it to perform the job for a long time depending on how well and how often you care for the blade in the way that it (rightly) deserves!
Coming power-packed with all the magic that its title promises, the MagicKnife UltraMagic outdoor tactical knife is a surprisingly welcome model of the brand, featuring four blade styles and perfect for the outdoorsy enthusiast.
Camping, hunting, or fishing trip? This tactical knife which also features a tanto blade is designed to take you outside of your comfort zone, and makes you enjoy every “inch” of it with a four-way blade that knows exactly what needs to get done.
- Full knife length: 18.5CM or 7.2″
- Closed length: 12CM or 4.7″
- Blade length: 8cm or 1″
- Blade thickness: 2.9mm
- Blade type: 3cr13
- Surface type: black edge wire drawing
- Handle material: Zinc-aluminum
- Auto off and on: double action
- Metal and durable design
- Optimized usage
- Easy to use
- Blade tends to wobble easily,
- Defective mechanisms may occur
Nothing beats a knife that understands what you want and helps you achieve it with performance, precision, and priority.
Its name speaks for itself in that it is one of the best OTF blades that gives the most magical cutting experience to find in the market as well as a tool for maximum utility and performance.
Whether it is for home or professional use, this blade will deliver in such a way that you feel like you have gotten all your money and time’s worth.
This brand of knives favors simplicity and comfort over aesthetics, suited for outdoor hunting, fishing, and barbecue. Maximum sharpness and usage, the HaoMing forged knives are a solid and edgy craftsman’s favorite.
- Product dimensions: 6.2 x 3 x 2 inches
- Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Full Length : 22.0cm / 8.6in
- Blade Length : 9.0cm / 3.54in
- Blade Thickness : 0.3cm / 0.11in
- Blade Width : 1.8cm / 0.71in
- Solid mechanism
- Convenient feel and usage
- Some products may emit a disturbing ringing sound when the blade opens or closes
The HaoMing forged knives may not appeal to everyone on account of its bulky nature, but when you consider the fact that its weight makes it handy for breaking through materials like glass in cases of emergency, in addition to its functionality and simplicity, you will know that this is quite a decent buy.
From the stables of the manufacturer Hellcat comes this power-packed mini OTF knife that gives thinner, more precise cuts on account of its spear-point non-serrated blade, available in colors black and silver.
Also featuring a Heavy-Duty zinc alloy handle and a 420 Stainless internal mechanism frame, this blade is a typical example of “you get what you pay for.” What’s more, it is a pretty and simple blade too.
- Weight: 13 ounces
- Handle material: Heavy-duty zinc alloy
- Handle and frame details: CNC precision milled
- Blade type: Spear-point and nonserrated blade
- Available colors: silver and black
- Rapid deployment
- Aesthetic design
- Mechanisms wear off easily
We particularly love the rapid deployment on this blade, coupled with the fact that its beautifully-designed handle is made of solid zinc alloy. Budget blade and good knife? Great combination.
This brings to mind one of the best series of all time, Game of Thrones. If the Kaiqing sigil double action knife were a sigil, whose house would it belong to? I’m thinking House Stark, that deadly combination of loyal and feisty.
May look nice, but this knife sure is feisty, tough, and solid as a great tool for experienced users, all at a great price. You will find that it comes with a holster but with its seamless auto-on and auto-off mechanism, you will also find that you’d hardly ever have use for one.
- Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Full Length : 23cm / 9”
- Blade Length : 9.0cm / 3.5”
- Blade Thickness : 0.3cm /0.11”
- Blade Width : 1.8cm / 0.70”
- Gross Weight : 210g / 7.5oz
- Features reversible pocket clip
- Comes with a holster
- Great internal mechanisms
- Solid: does not easily rattle
- Internal mechanisms may start out really stiff but gets better with time
- Blade will need more sharpening as it dulls with time
- If you don’t like feisty looking and bulky, this isn’t for you
For such a shockingly low price, the KaiQing Sigil Double Action Knives are like gifts that keep giving, real aggressive, and durable. It makes for great user experience by all standards, our lord and lady fans of the noble House Stark!
Here is a super tiny knife that is mightier than its size, serves as a firecracker or a keychain, and goes in your pocket like it’s nothing. At the flip of the switch, you have a fine, tight locking, and well-made blade by Ry-Tac.
The Ry-Tac Mini Keychain Double Action knife manages to look like a nice-to-have toy while getting the job in a surprisingly effective manner.
Featuring a crystal clear coating and custom hydro dipped in a carbon fiber pattern, this blade gives you efficiency, value, and performance in one teeny weeny package.
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Coating: Clear
- Edge: Plain
- Style: Button Lock
- Material: Carbon fiber
- Doubles as a firecracker knife or a keychain knife as well as a pocket knife
- Super portable
- Efficient to work with
- Easy to use
- Feels cheap to the touch
- Blade dulls easily
Everyone will not love a blade this tiny, but it is a great self-defense tool, especially if you are not used to being around knives. Handy enough to be a walk in the park for amateurs and effective enough to see the work through to its completion.
Last but not least on her highly dynamic review is the mini keychain and double action knife. A pocket clip, a keychain doubler, and a super portable find that mirrors the Ry-Tac Mini Keychain knife makes for a small, handy, and excellent-working knife.
As expected, most mini keychain knives may not perform as well as larger-sized knives but what they lose in dexterity, they make up for with portability and reliability. Knives like the Mini Keychain Knife by Rise are the most recommended for the seamlessness of everyday carry.
A tool that fits in your pocket so that it is mistaken for a pen, and offers multi-usage and versatility by doubling as a key chain — that’s a tool you need.
- Manufacturer: Rise
- Doubles as a keychain
- Material: Stainless skill
- Includes clip
- Ease of use
- Flexible use
- Efficient performance
- Blade feels cheap to the touch
- Blade might easily start to feel wobbly
As an amateur, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the bulkiness and complexity of larger-sized versions of the same OTF knife. However, discovering super small knives like the Mini keychain double action OTF has eliminated that idea that you need to be extremely skilled to use a knife and use it properly.
Hence, for self-defense, basic house chores, and outdoor activities that spring up here and there, the mini keychain double action OTF knife is a great choice for a start.
Not only does it give you flexibility, but it also comes with an assurance of a long-lasting experience from using a product that although small, will get the work done properly and will last long enough to let you realize that although the mini keychain double action knife looks like a plaything, it most definitely means business!
Guide To Finding The Best Budget OTF Knife
For you to understand enough to make a great buying decision, you must first understand the unique factors to watch out for when choosing an OTF knife.
Another reason for reading this guide before you make your choice is the fact that you don’t want to be bamboozled by a vendor’s sweet talk that would make you want to either buy what you do not need or more than you need.
Types Of OTF Knives
Manual OTF Knives
These are opened and closed by pressing a sliding switch downwards/upwards
Automatic OTF Knives
These are predictably savvier, and further divided into two sub-categories: single and double action. Both automatic OTF knife types can be opened by pressing a button and then it pops forward, but the difference is in the closing action.
For single action OTF knives, you have to close manually by pulling the slider back or whatever means the brand is designed.
The double-action blades on the other hand open and close with a single button press, assisted by a spring technology that makes it pop forward and back.
By the way, if you are ever wondering whether to choose between a single or double action OTF knife, ponder on the fact that while double action knives are savvier and with “cooler” functions, the single action knife is less fancy but much more reliable in the long term.
Things To Consider If You Want To Carry A Knife
Now that you know both types, picture this: You need a great budget OTF knife for your hunting and camping adventures or to protect yourself or because your profession requires it, where do you go first?
No, not the local knife store. We have more practical answers on the issues listed below:
It is important to find out and understand the laws governing the possession of OTF knives in your area because as fun and effective as our pointy little friends are, they are also quite dangerous.
Thus, you might want to check out the state-by-state blade laws in the United States on this page. If you live outside the United States, contact your local attorney and get educated on the legal paperwork you require (or not) before you go shopping for an OTF knife.
Yes, you must always find the why. Is this something you want to do for the “art?” collecting some shiny steel toys and showcasing to your friends at dinnertime?
Is it really a pocket knife if it can’t fit in your pocket? Smaller sized and lightweight knives are usually the go-to weapon of choice for everyday carrying. On the other hand, bulkier and longer models are great for outdoor adventures.
There is a vast selection of blade types out there but don’t allow yourself to get confused. For their superior toughness and cutting range, we recommend 8cR13MoV Blades.
However, you shouldn’t buy them if you are not one to maintain your tools consistently, because these blades require regular sharpening and lubricating.
Essentially, you must always ask the vendor what type of steel the blade is made in before you make a purchase, and if you don’t know the blade, don’t give up on it just yet. Look it up online, you might be in for a good surprise.
The importance of your blade’s edge cannot be overemphasized. The major edge types are Straight blades for clean and sharp cuts thus perfect for hunting, fully serrated blades for ripping through the toughest materials with little need for precision, and partially serrated blades, a mix of straight and fully serrated, perfect for general use.
Grip is essential, so in this case, your first choice should be a rubberized handle or alternatively, an aluminum handle. An aluminum handle with a rubber inlay makes for a perfect blade.
Maintaining Your OTF Knife For Longer Life
Learn how to prolong knife life with the following measures:
- Keep your blade free of dust and moisture to reduce the risk of corrosion or rust. Should it ever get wet, dry immediately with a clean micro-fiber towel and keep in a dry place
- Clean your knife after every use and clean thoroughly. Before you clean, always disassemble the parts and ensure that every bit is properly cleaned. This will also keep the internal mechanisms dirt-free and in good working condition. You can use a screwdriver to dislodge the knife. Also, pay attention to the smaller details on the knife that your cloth cannot reach by using a Q-tip to clean those tiny areas
- Using light lubricants in small quantities, lubricate the knife after cleaning with emphasis on the internal mechanisms. As an extra measure against oxidation or corrosion, apply a thin layer of lubricant on the blade of the knife then reassemble your knife back to its original state
- Do not forget that a knife is only as good as its razor-sharp edge, and keeping your OTF knife sharp is one solid way to extend its life. While whetstones are generally considered a great tool for sharpening knives, note that not every sharpening tool is suited for your knife. That said, always research on the best kind of tool for sharpening your OTF knife before you make a purchase. Edge maintenance and retention is crucial to ensuring that your blade does not dull easily
- If you won’t be using your knife for a long time, discharge the blade and store both parts separately, as having a blade in its handle unattended for too long will lead to rust and corrosion
- When you are not using a knife, sheathe it and put it away immediately. It is not a toy for idle play. Also, store in designated areas rather than random places where anyone can pick them up
More tips on caring for your knives can be found here.
We hope that with this review of the finest selections in budget OTF knives, we have quelled the misconceived notion that you need to spend a fortune to get a good knife.
The best budget OTF knife for you could be anything from tastefully designed to heavy-duty functional, but there is always something for you. Therefore, it is important that you save some cash on the best deals in knives that suit your pocket literally and figuratively.
We think the best deal you can get is the NNK NK Double Action Knife, with its lightning-fast extension and retraction, uber-sharp and pointy blade, you can’t get better value than this.