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3 Best Budget Butterfly Knives

If you’re in the market for a balisong, the prices for high-end, competition-grade butterfly knives can be scary. If you want to jump headfirst into the butterfly deep end, awesome! But if you’d like to test the waters a bit with a more budget-friendly bali, this list is for you!

You can find butterfly knives from less than $10 to well over $1000. The cheapest balis often have poor build quality and will frustrate a budding flipper more than anything. The more expensive knives are nice, but if you find out flipping isn’t your thing, you’re out quite a bit of cash. If you’re a newcomer, we’d recommend you budget between $50 and $100. That will get you a solid budget butterfly knife you can learn on and upgrade from in the future should you desire.

This article uses some butterfly knife lingo. Brush up on your vocab with our Introduction to Butterfly Knives article!

Bear & Son 114

No list of budget butterfly knives is complete without the Bear & Son 114. Featuring tough, stainless blade steel and solid zinc channel-style handles, this butterfly was designed to be used. For its price, a beginner would be hard-pressed to find a better balisong. Some folks aren’t thrilled by the pinned construction, but Bear & Son knives are made by skilled craftsmen in the USA, ensuring solid performance in each knife. The 114 comes in several colors and in both live blade and trainer versions.

  • Weight: 5.60 oz.
  • Blade Length: 4.00”
  • Overall Length: 9.00”

Boker Balisong

Boker has been making folders and fixed blades for centuries, but in 2021, they entered the butterfly knife game with a real contender. The Boker Balisong offers some high-end features at a price you have to see to believe. It has a D2 blade, making it a great EDC cutting tool, as well as user-adjustable TORX hardware, Zen pins, and a spring-loaded latch. If you want a great flipper that also performs as a general use knife, this is the one for you.

  • Weight: 4.90 oz.
  • Blade Length: 4.00”
  • Overall Length: 9.00”

Squid Industries Squiddy

While it flips like a butterfly knife, the Squiddy is hard to call a knife. It’s made completely out of plastic (except the TORX hardware) and doesn’t look at all like a knife. If you’re a kid, live in a less-than-knife-friendly place, or just want something harmless to practice with, the Squiddy is for you. It’s made by Squid Industries, which is run by competitive flippers who only accept the best.

  • Weight: 2.54 oz.
  • “Blade” Length: 4.375”
  • Overall Length: 9.875’

Honorable Mentions:

These are some solid options that, for one reason or another, didn’t make the top 3, but don’t discount them! These are great flippers in their own right!

Spyderco BaliYo

No matter how you swing it, the BaliYo is not a knife. It’s so not a knife, you could probably take it on an airplane and nobody would care. It’s first and foremost a pen, but it has two attached handles so you can practice your tricks. The BaliYo is affordable, with even the fanciest Fisher Space Pen models coming in under $40, and most standard models costing less than $10. These pens are a great place to start your flipping journey, but their weight distribution and size are so unlike a real balisong that you’ll eventually want an upgrade.

BB Barfly

Unlike many bali trainers, this bali puts its dull edge to good use as a dependable bottle opener. They have great weight for doing tricks, so if you like to show off when you’re hosting, the BB Barfly is perfect for you. They come in dozens of colorways and styles and even some premium options! As much fun as the Barfly is, it’s also loud and heavy, so you’ll probably attract attention when flipping. But if you’re mixing drinks at a party, that might be just what you want!

Kershaw Lucha

You’d have to up your budgetjust a little to afford the Lucha, but if you can swing it, it’s worth it. This balisong has all the trimmings of a competition-grade knife but is much less expensive and is more consistently available. If the sandwich-style construction isn’t your style, Flytanium makes channel aluminum handles just for the Lucha. It didn’t make our list due to its slightly higher price, but it’s worth considering!