Much like with any other weapon and tool, carrying a knife is a great responsibility and it requires ample knowledge and skill to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of those around you. Accidents can happen, so the more you know, the easier it is for you to use your tools and weapons in a safe and controlled manner. This is especially vital when it comes to handling knives – even when you have used them a good, long while, a simple slip can cause a major injury that you cannot treat yourself, hence the need for constantly updating your knowledge.
Learning about specific knives gives you another advantage: it allows you to choose the perfect knife for different situations and purposes. Enter: the OTF knife, which is a short form for “out the front” knife, a preferred knife version for many versed outdoor enthusiasts. Useful for many situations, the OTF knife can come in handy for all kinds of situations. Here’s the rundown on OTF knives and their most common uses that you might find relevant.
What is an OTF knife
OTF knives are officially a subcategory of automatic blades, as they leverage a mechanism that allows you to deploy the blade at the push of a button. Single-action knives are automatic for opening, but they require manual closing, while dual-action knives use the button both for opening and closing the blade.
The key feature that makes it so useful and multifunctional is that it allows you to use it singlehandedly, leaving your other hand free for other tasks and for added safety.
Self-defense with a knife
Self-defense can come in many forms, but depending on your local laws and regulations, you should be mindful of your weapon options, too. After all, if your attacker is coming at you with a weapon, you should know what the law allows you to use to defend yourself in these situations. More often than not, an automatic knife can be extremely handy for disarming your opponent and giving yourself enough time to escape and call for help.
Due to their folding blades, OTF knives are easy to store and carry (if permitted, of course), and even easier to pull out and use without delay. However, to stay safe, it’s vital to practice and to make sure you know how to use your knife without getting hurt.
Outdoor activities where OTF knives help
Their diverse nature makes these knives a great choice for adventure travelers, camping, hiking, as well as more challenging endeavors such as hunting or fishing. Depending on the type of activity, different OTF knives can be useful, and you need to be mindful of their overall quality and purpose when you’re making the purchase.
Its design can allow you to use it for cutting various materials, but also for safely breaking glass, keeping it handy by attaching it to your pocket, and the like. Look for dual-action knives that can automatically open and close as well, with durable mechanisms that will stand the test of time.
Choosing the appropriate blade
In addition to the overall quality of the knife, you should check if the blade suits the uses for which you intend the knife. For example, a fully serrated blade is extremely helpful for cutting rope and similar materials, so it’s best for any camping or fishing adventure you have in mind. Add to that, a serrated edge will outlive any straight blade, so it’s a long-lasting investment, especially if you choose a top-quality knife made of steel.
For general use, many people will opt for a combo, where a blade is partially serrated, so that you can use it for many different purposes and leverage its straight and serrated parts in equal measure. The blade can also come with different points, from a spear point for hunters, all the way to drop and clip point, both of which are popular for all kinds of uses.
Be mindful of the knife’s legality
Different countries and regions have specific laws on whether you can own a knife, as well as the extent to which you can use it and in what situations. Ideally, you need to inform yourself with regards to the local regulations, since the only way to safely use an OTF knife is to first make sure you can legally purchase, own, and use it for its designated purpose. Sometimes, the law will differ based on the blade’s length and type, which can help you determine which one you should invest in.
For travelers who rely on these knives, all the more reason to be mindful of their use. States can change these laws frequently and without any notice, so staying informed is the only way to avoid a hefty fine or any other penalties that come with illegal knife possession.
Even though your lifestyle will largely define whether or not you’ll need or use an OTF knife, it’s always good to know your options and research the varieties available in your country. For versed knife aficionados as well as outdoor enthusiasts, an OTF knife that’s made with quality and durability in mind can make all the difference for safety as well as multifunctionality. Evaluate the options you have, and always strive to invest in a knife that will serve its purpose for your lifestyle!