The Best Butterfly Knife: Top Reviews for Flipping and EDC

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

A butterfly knife, commonly referred to as a balisong knife, is one of the most popular pocket knives on the planet. These knives originated from the Philippines, where mass-production began in the 1900s.

During the 1900s, this flipping tool was primarily used as a weapon. These knives were depicted as a gangster’s weapon of choice in several movies. Due to their rapid deployment and intimidating nature, butterfly knives are illegal in several states.

Over the last few decades, top knife producers have introduced several excellent butterfly knives that are less scary. Modern balisongs are outstanding tools that are loved by both flipping and EDC enthusiasts.

Butterfly knives are unique tools that can be used for more than just entertainment. They can also serve as a hunting or camping knife, and even as a weapon — but I am sure you already knew that.

You might not know the difference between the several butterfly knives in the market and which balisong knife is perfect for you.

So, let’s dive right into it.

Our favorite is Schrade Manilla Butterfly Knife, as it can flip flawlessly and still slice with its sharp blade. Other than its classic design, this sturdy balisong can survive hard throws and falls.

The Best Butterfly Knives Are…

ProductDetails
1. Schrade Manilla Butterfly Knife

  • Blade: D2 Tool Steel
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Blade length: 4.01 inches
  • Handle: stainless steel
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2. Bear and Sons 517d Balisong Knife

  • Brand: Bear and Son
  • Blade length: 4.25 inches
  • Blade: Damascus-steel
  • Handle material: stag bone
  • Blade thickness: 0.125 inches
  • Total length: 9.25 inches
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3. DogBite Knives DB3.1 Balisong Knife

  • Brand: DogBite knives
  • Handle length: 5.125 inches
  • Blade length: 4.00 inches
  • Blade 440 stainless steel
  • Handle material: Titanium
  • Blade thickness: 0.13 inches
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4. Bear Song IV Balisong Knife

  • Blade length: 4.40 inches
  • Brand: Bear OPS
  • Blade: 1095-Carbon steel
  • Blade-style: clip-point
  • Handle material: carbon fiber
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5. Benchmade 62 Balisong Knife

  • Blade: D2-Tool steel
  • Blade thickness: 0.127 inches
  • Weight: 6.39 ounces
  • Blade style: 63-Weehawk design
  • Open length: 5.27 inches
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6. Benchmade 87 Ti Balisong Knife

  • Blade: CPM-S30V steel
  • Open length: 10 inches
  • Handle material: titanium
  • Blade length: 4.50 inches
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7. Benchmade-51 Morpho Balisong Knife

  • Blade: D2-Tool steel
  • Open length: 9.35 inches
  • Blade length: 4.25 inches
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8. Microtech Tachyon 3 Balisong Knife

  • Blade length: 4.50 inches
  • Brand: Microtech
  • Handle material: 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Blade design: clip point
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9. Bladerunners Systems Alpha Beast 3.0 Balisong Knife

  • Blade length: 4.50 inches
  • Handle material: titanium
  • Weight: 4.94 ounces
  • Handle length: 5.50 inches
  • Blade: 154CM steel
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1. Schrade Manilla Butterfly Knife — The Best Balisong Overall

The Schrade Manilla is a classic butterfly knife that resembles the legendary 1980s Manilla Folder knife. Unlike other flipping knives, this balisong comes with a sturdy blade and channel constructed handles. It has steel handles that can survive hard falls and throws. Schrade Manilla’s steel handles have 14 holes that add aesthetic components to this balisong.

For high cutting performance, Schrade’s blade has a sharpened edge that is perfect for slicing. Its sturdy blade is made out of high-end steel that is referred to as D2-tool steel.

This balisong has a steel latch that can easily hold the handles open or closed. Weighing about 8 ounces, this tool is not that heavy for everyday carry. Plus, its weight gives it strong momentum for a flipping performance.

The D2 steel used to make this balisong’s blade is not a 100% stainless steel. Therefore, it’s not as durable as other steel alloys. The D2 stainless steel blade can be hard to sharpen. Its handles can be quite heavy and slippery when flipping.

Specs

  • Blade: D2 Tool Steel
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Blade length: 4.01 inches
  • Handle: stainless steel

Pros

  • The D2 steel has a high corrosion-resistance level
  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Sharp blade

Cons

  • Can be relatively hefty for some people
  • The blade is too hard to sharpen
  • The handle can be quite slippery

Overall rating – 3.6 out of 5

Conclusion

Schrade Manila Butterfly Knife can be a perfect tool for any EDC enthusiast who loves classic looking tools.

 

2. Bear and Sons 517d Balisong Knife — Best Budget Balisong

Bear and Sons 517D is an affordable and unique balisong that features timeless stylishness. This flipping blade has a great combination of stag bone-inlaid handles and Damascus steel. The Damascus steel produces a sturdy blade that has an exceptionally high edge-holding capability.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your blade losing its sharpness easily. 517D looks excellent, and if iconic looks are at the top of your list, then this flipper is for you. Compared to other balisong knives from the United States, the 517D is quite affordable.

The Bear and Son 517D can be a bit heavy for some people as it weighs about 5.9 ounces. However, due to its size and clip-point blade design, the 517D can be a perfect EDC tool. Even though it is a durable tool, the stag bone on its handle can break easily.

Specs

  • Brand: Bear and Son
  • Blade length: 4.25 inches
  • Blade: Damascus-steel
  • Handle material: stag bone
  • Blade thickness: 0.125 inches
  • Total length: 9.25 inches

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Beautifully designed
  • Sharp blade
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • The stag bone handle can break if it falls
  • It can be a bit heavy for some people

Overall rating – 4.5 out of 5

Conclusion

Bear and Son 517D is a flexible and beautifully designed butterfly knife with a sharp and sturdy blade that can surprise you.

 

3. DogBite Knives DB3.1 Balisong Knife

The DB3.1 is a full-sized flipper that is tuned to perfection and provides exceptional flipping performance. The DB3.1 has a wedged 4 inches long blade with double tang pins.

Its strong blade is made from 44C stainless steel, which has high levels of rust-resistance. This balisong knife has a refined construction with light skeletonized handles that are made out of titanium.

For a smooth action, this butterfly knife comes with stainless bushings and phosphor bronze washers. DB3.1 uses a very smooth bushing mechanism with zero handles tolerance.

Weighing about 4.98 ounces, this balisong can be a bit heavy for some users. However, it does feel smaller, especially considering its size.

While this might not be the best option for some people, it is still a great EDC tool. DB3.1’s titanium handles can be slippery, so you have to be careful when flipping it. DB3.1’s handles are too long for non-flippers.

Specs

  • Brand: DogBite knives
  • Handle length: 5.125 inches
  • Blade length: 4.00 inches
  • Blade 440 stainless steel
  • Handle material: Titanium
  • Blade thickness: 0.13 inches

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Perfect everyday carry knife
  • Rust-resistant

Cons

  • A bit hefty for some people
  • The handle can be a bit slippery

Overall rating – 4.6 out of 5

Conclusion

Even though DB3.1 is not ideal for some enthusiasts, this knife can be a great EDC.

 

4. Bear Song IV Balisong Knife

Bear OPS, together with their parent firm Bear and Sons are known for producing high quality and affordable tools. And this is one of their best butterfly knives that feature a T-latch, robust handles, and sturdy blade.

Bear Song IV’s blade is made out of 1095 Carbon Steel. Just like most classic butterfly knives, this balisong comes with skeletonized handles. These handles are made from carbon fiber.

For high performance, this knife has bronze washers that are bound to serve you for a very long time. The Bear Song IV is a perfect EDC tool that weighs about 4.4 ounces and has a 4.375 inches long blade.

This blade of this Bear OPS balisong knife is not that sharp; however, that shouldn’t matter if you bought it only for flipping purposes. This butterfly knife is an excellent option for people looking for a trainer and a live blade in one package.

To make their blade even sturdier, Bear OPS added double tang pins. However, these tang pins can easily fall off in the hands of a rough user.

Specs

  • Blade length: 4.40 inches
  • Brand: Bear OPS
  • Blade: 1095-Carbon steel
  • Blade-style: clip-point
  • Handle material: carbon fiber

Pros

  • Rust-resistant
  • Durable
  • Beautifully designed
  • Light
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The blade is not sharp
  • The tang pins can easily fall off in case of a hard fall

Overall rating – 4.8 out of 5

Conclusion

This Bear OPS knife doesn’t have a sharp blade; therefore, it can use for perfecting new flipping tricks.

 

5. Benchmade 62 Balisong Knife

Just like the Schrade Manilla butterfly knife, this balisong is traditional in design. Benchmade 62 features skeletonized metallic handles mated to a classically shaped blade.

Its skeletonized handles come fitted with some stainless steel back-spacers. Benchmade 62’s 4.25 inches sharp blade is made from D2-Tool steel.

Its Wee-hawk shaped blade is secured using some screws, which means that it can be replaced or tightened. Its handles have a T-larch that can secure the balisong open or closed. Plus, its handles have some pronounced contours for an improved grip.

Weighing about 6.39 ounces, this classic butterfly knife can be a tad heavy for some users. However, its weight gives it a great flipping momentum. Many enthusiasts have claimed that it is too heavy for flipping but great for EDC. This balisong can feel slippery in sweaty hands.

Specs

  • Blade: D2-Tool steel
  • Blade thickness: 0.127 inches
  • Weight: 6.39 ounces
  • Blade style: 63-Weehawk design
  • Open length: 5.27 inches

Pros

  • Great for EDC
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Well balanced balisong
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • Balisong 62 can be a bit heavy for some users
  • Slippery in sweaty hands

Overall rating – 4.7 out of 5

Conclusion

Benchmade 62 is a classic Balisong with a Weehawk design that is loved by veteran flippers and collectors.

 

6. Benchmade 87 Ti Balisong Knife

Benchmade 87 Ti Balisong is an outstanding flipper featuring a single-piece, channel-construction handle. This premium balisong comes with a secure magnetic latch, custom hardware, and thrust bearing washers. Benchmade 87 features a Wharncliffe blade style that gives this knife a solid build.

Its sharp CPM-S30V stainless steel blade offers high corrosion-resistance. For heightened durability, it comes with billet titanium handles. Its thrust bearing washers guarantee you an excellent flipping experience.

Being on the heavier side, Benchmade 87 can be quite bulky for some users. Plus, its open length of about 10 inches is too big for people with small hands and children. This balisong can fit perfectly in our pockets; however, it doesn’t come with a pocket clip.

Specs

  • Blade: CPM-S30V steel
  • Open length: 10 inches
  • Handle material: titanium
  • Blade length: 4.50 inches

Pros

  • Durable
  • Sharp blade
  • High corrosion-resistance
  • Secure latch locking mechanism
  • Proper grip

Cons

  • Too heavy for some users
  • Quite costly

Overall rating – 4.9 out of 5

Conclusion

Due to its sharp blade and size, the Benchmade 87 can serve as an effective flipper and EDC knife.

 

7. Benchmade-51 Morpho Balisong Knife

Benchmade-51 Morpho is a bigger version of Benchmade-32. This flipper features black G10 handles mated with a spear pointed blade. It comes with a patented-liner spring latching mechanism that opens up with a squeeze and locks correctly.

Its latch never fails, and its spring-loaded action makes it quite easy and quick to open. Benchmade-51 is a great butterfly knife with a beautiful finish that rivals most flippers in the market.

Weighing about 3.3 ounces, this is an excellent butterfly knife for everyone. It has a sturdy crown-modified spear-pointed blade that is perfect for slicing. Plus, its sharpness and size make it an ideal EDC option. Benchmade made this balisong lighter without compromising on strength by adding titanium handles.

Most individuals would like to tuck a knife of this price range a bit deeper into their pockets. But, that is not possible since this tool comes with a short pocket clip. Benchmark 51 can be slippery, especially when flipped by a sweaty hand.

Specs

  • Blade: D2-Tool steel
  • Open length: 9.35 inches
  • Blade length: 4.25 inches

Pros

  • Light
  • Durable
  • Rust resistant
  • Sharp blade
  • Easy to use
  • Reliable latch locking mechanism

Cons

  • Slippery in sweaty hands
  • Shorter pocket clip
  • Quite costly

Overall rating – 4.7 out of 5

Conclusion

Benchmade 51 is a modified and bigger version of the Benchmade 32 mini-morpho Balisong knife. So if you liked Benchmade 32, then you will love Benchmade 51.

 

8. Microtech Tachyon 3 Balisong Knife

Tachyon III is a simple butterfly knife with a sharp, strong blade and light handles that take on a classy design. It has a 4.5 inches long clip-style plain blade with a false top swedge grind that has a black DCL finish. For a smooth flipping experience, Tachyon III’s blade rides on a bearing pivot mechanism.

Its light handles are made from 6061-T6 aluminum with machine-grooves on either side. Tachyon III’s unique spring latching system is quite easy to open. All you have to do is squeeze the handle together, and it opens.

For easy carry, this butterfly knife also features a small serialized and branded pocket clip. Tachyon III has a screw-type construction, meaning that you can repair it if it gets damaged.

Weighing about 4.05 ounces, this balisong can be quite heavy for some users. However, its simple handles can be slippery in sweaty hands. So make sure your hands are dry every time you want to flip it. For such a reliable balisong, Tachyon III comes with a plain-looking blade.

Specs

  • Blade length: 4.50 inches
  • Brand: Microtech
  • Handle material: 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Blade design: clip point

Pros

  • Sharp blade
  • Easy to use
  • A reliable spring latching system
  • Comes with a pocket clip
  • Offers smooth flipping experience

Cons

  • Heavy for some people
  • Slippery in sweaty hands

Overall rating – 4.8 out of 5

Conclusion

Microtech Tachyon 3 is a simple looking butterfly knife with a plain-looking blade that can surprise you.

 

9. Bladerunners Systems Alpha Beast 3.0 Balisong Knife

Alpha Beast is one of the flagship butterfly knives from BladeRunners systems Inc. Alpha Beast features titanium handles and a steel blade. This balisong has perfectly-balanced handles and reliable pivots for easy flipping.

It has a robust 154CM steel blade that comes with a crowned spine and two tang pins. The length of this tool, when opened, is less than 10 inches making it a Perfect EDC knife. Its latch is quite simple but reliable. Alpha Beast is a well-balanced knife that can give you an outstanding flipping experience.

Weighing about 4.98 ounces, this butterfly knife can be a bit bulky for some users. The latch of a new balisong knife tends to stick a little bit, but this can improve with time. For a flawless balisong, this flipper does not come with a pocket clip.

Specs

  • Blade length: 4.50 inches
  • Handle material: titanium
  • Weight: 4.94 ounces
  • Handle length: 5.50 inches
  • Blade: 154CM steel

Pros

  • Well-balanced
  • Sharp blade
  • Durable
  • Perfect EDC knife
  • Simple and reliable latch

Cons

  • A tad heavy for some users
  • Lacks a pocket clip

Overall rating – 4.4 out of 5

Conclusion

BRS Alpha Beast 3.0 is a well-balanced and flawless butterfly knife that can serve as both an EDC and a flipping knife.

 

Buying Guide: Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Butterfly Knife

When selecting a butterfly knife, there is a long list of factors that you must take into consideration before purchasing one. Some of these things include blade sharpness, brand, price, and weight, among others.

Before you even start looking for the best balisong knife, you must find out whether owning this knife is legal in your state. Remember, this tool is illegal, even in its country of origin! A reliable butterfly knife should come with numerous significant features.

Here are some of the crucial factors you must consider before getting a butterfly knife:

Are Butterfly Knives Legal In Your Jurisdiction?

The first thing you must consider even before thinking about getting into this hobby is if balisongs are legal in your area. In most jurisdictions, the law restricts carrying a pocket knife with a certain blade length in your pocket.

That is regardless of the type or even size of the knife. Blade size aside, it is illegal to carry a balisong knife in most states since it is classified as a gravity or switch knife.

This is one of the main things that discourage many people from this hobby. Therefore, make sure you confirm if it is legal or not before purchasing one or carrying yours when traveling to another state.

Price

The price of butterfly knives ranges from as low as $20 to over a thousand dollars; therefore, your budget is the second thing to consider. Remember, you will get what you pay for! If you pay for a cheap knife, you will get a substandard tool.

But, that doesn’t mean that the most expensive tool is the very best butterfly knife. That being said, if you are going for a knife from a reputable manufacturer, you can be very confident that you will get your money’s worth. Therefore, make sure you get the best butterfly knife within your price range.

Construction

Butterfly knives are available in two forms (pin and screw construction). Pin constructions have a pin in the place where the blade connects to the bite and safe handles.

That means you can never adjust the tightness of either handle. With the pin construction, the ability to swing freely is locked and can’t be altered. However, almost all high-end balisong knives have a screw construction.

Balisongs with screws constructions are outstanding since you can adjust the handle’s swing to your liking.

However, the drawback to this option is that the screws can readjust themselves, which can affect your tool’s flexibility. But, you can repair it easily when it breaks down.

Balance, Handle And Blade Shape

The balance and the shape of the handle and blade of your butterfly knife will depend on your plans for this tool. If you are getting a balisong just for flipping enjoyment, then you should look for a well-balanced knife.

And if you are like most flipping enthusiasts, you will want one with symmetrical handles. The shape of the blade doesn’t really matter to some people as long as the butterfly knife is well balanced.

Is a knife with curved handles great for flipping? Well, the answer is no.

Curved handled balisongs are beautiful to look at, and they are reliable for EDC, but not flipping. Curved handles can spin easily; however, they are not balanced. These knives have offset pivots that can affect your ability to perform some tricks.

Another issue with balisong with curved handles is switching to straight ones can be really challenging. Because doing some of the tricks, you mastered with a curved knife can be almost impossible with a straight one. But really, the best balisong for flipping is definitely one with straight handles.

Blade Material

Just like all knives, the blade material determined the quality of the knife. So you should have to pay more for a stronger and sharp blade.

If you want a high-quality blade go for one made from CPM-S35VN steel. CPM-S35VN steel blades are very sturdy, and they are perfect for anyone who is going to be slicing things every day.

Remember, the ability to remain sharp for a very long time is important. But if it’s just for flipping purposes, you can go for another option. Butterfly knives are made using a wide range of steel alloys, which vary in strength.

What Is The Best Handle Material For Balisong Knives?

The most common and reliable materials for handles include aluminum, brass, steel, or titanium. So, the answer here depends on your plans for the knife and the kind of flipping tricks you want to perform.

Although steel and titanium have a great weight and can produce the best handles. Titanium is stronger and a tad lighter than steel. Titanium is perfect for rough users since it rarely breaks when it falls. Other materials used to make balisong knife handles include plastic, wood, and carbon fiber.

The Length Of The Balisong Knife

The best length for your butterfly knife depends on what fits perfectly in your hands. Some enthusiasts love longer butterfly knives, while others love short ones. However, flipping a bulky butterfly can be very dangerous if you have small hands.

That is because it can leave you with bruises, so pick something that fits in your hand perfectly. The open length of most balisongs ranges between 9 inches and 10 inches.

Smooth Action

If you want a butterfly knife for flipping, then you should get one whose rotation is very smooth. The smoother your knife rotates, the better the flipping experience.

Nobody wants his knife to get stuck while performing his favorite tricks. Remember, all parts of your knife can determine how smooth your balisong rotates.

Type Of Spacer

Most balisongs’ handles come with one solid piece for hiding the blade while others have 2 separate parts. The ones with 2 pieces have a gap when the latch fits, and this space is usually filled with either a blocked or barrel spacers. While none is better than the other, make sure you check the size of these spacers.

If they are not the same size, then the 2 pieces will not be parallel to each other. And this will end up affecting your balance. If they are too big, then they can mess with how the knife feels in your hands. It’s not uncommon to find low-end balisongs with wrong-sized spacers.

Final Thoughts

Butterfly knives come in a wide range of designs, sizes, and shapes. Other than flipping, balisongs can make outstanding everyday carry knives. You can carry your butterfly knife with you everywhere you go, but first, make sure it’s legal to own one in your state.

A flawless balisong should fit perfectly in your hand and be light and fun to use. Remember, a heavy one can leave your hand with bruises!

Still, many balisong enthusiasts have a tough time when purchasing a reliable butterfly knife. That is because there are many options from top brands to choose from. Therefore, we have prepared the above list of the top balisongs for you.

From our research, we have concluded that Schrade Manila Butterfly Knife is the best balisong knife in the market. It is a classy knife that can serve as an EDC and a flipping tool. This balisong can survive hard throws and falls.

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