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Best Spring Assisted Knives of 2024


Spring Assisted knives get a bit of a bad rap. Many people think they are just a way to skirt switchblade knife laws or a band-aid fix for a bad action. While both are true at times, spring-assisted knives are useful for much more. They offer all the versatility of a folder, but with the reliable, one-hand opening of an automatic. There are plenty of people who like the sound of that, so the world is filled with spring assisted knives. If you’re shopping for one, read on. Here, I break down the best of the best spring assisted knives. 

Best All-Around Spring Assisted Knife – Kershaw Leek


In my opinion, the Kershaw Leek is the world’s greatest dad knife. It’s small and unobtrusive and features an innovative secondary lock to keep it closed when not in use. But when you need it, just disengage that lock and the knife snaps open with a press of the flipper tab. The Leek was designed by knifemaking legend Ken Onion and features the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening mechanism. Onion invented this mechanism, making clever use of a stiff piece of wire to make the detain shut and open with authority. It’s a great knife for anyone! 

Best Tactical Spring Assisted Knife – ZT 0350


Many military and police personnel got used to folders as children and young adults, but when they joined the force, they discovered a need for overbuilt strength and dependable opening. The 0350 uses a simple liner lock, one of the most common knife locks, but is backed up with a stout assisted opener and full steel liners. On top of that, it has a premium CPM S30V blade and grippy G-10 handle scales. It’s a knife built for the battlefield! 

Best EDC Spring Assisted Knife – CRKT Squid XM


Lucas Burnley has a gift for designing simple, attractive, and utilitarian folding knives. His Squid design is one of the most popular knives ever, but the Squid XM takes that design to a whole new level. Its elongated blade can be opened with either the thumb stud or flipper, and thanks to the assisted action, you can be guaranteed a dependable one-hand opening every time. But by all appearances, the Squid XM looks and behaves like any other folder. It’s a great knife to fly under the radar! 

Best with Safety Spring Assisted Knife – Gerber Highbrow


Many of those carrying spring assisted knives do so because they aren’t generally considered switchblades (please seek legal advice if you’re concerned). A good spring assisted knife can sub in but remember that the spring pushing the blade needs to be respected. The Gerber Highbrow features a secondary safety lock that will lock the knife shut if needed, giving you peace of mind when the knife is in your pocket. That lock can also lock the knife open, giving you added strength when cutting. Don’t discount the safety lock, they can come in handy! 

Best Budget Spring Assisted Knife – Kershaw Starter Series


The Starter Series was made to be a great start to a lifelong obsession with knives. These knives offer steel handles and easy-to-maintain blade steels, so you can learn the ropes of knife use and maintenance. One of my first knives was the Kershaw Median, and it will forever hold a place in my heart. These knives come in all shapes and sizes, but each of them is backed up with a dependable assisted opener. If you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality! 

Best Mid-Range Spring Assisted Knife – Kershaw Blur


The Kershaw Blur isn’t a new knife by any stretch. It turns 20 years old this year, but it’s more popular now than ever. People love its recurve blade that slices like nobody’s business and its grippy traction tape inserts. My favorite feature is its thumb stud. Instead of just rounding off like most do, the Blur has a ramp with generous jimping, giving your thumb a large surface to press on. If you fidget with your knife, that ramp will prevent your thumb studs from peeling your fingernail back. There’s a lot to love about the Blur! 

Best Premium Spring Assisted Knife – ZT 0770CF


Zero Tolerance is known for their meticulous attention to detail. They have zero tolerance for shoddy manufacturing, sub-par materials, or gimmicky designs, and the 0770CF is physical proof. Most high-end knives will either commit to being automatic or fully manual, but the 0770 stands as evidence that spring assisted opening can be as premium as anything. This knife boasts a CPM S35VN blade and a full milled carbon fiber handle. It has all the trappings of the high-end but provides you with the dependable action you want from an assisted knife! 

Best Hard-Use Spring Assisted Knife – Benchmade Barrage


Assisted knives tend to adopt the size and purpose of folders, but not the Barrage. Backed up with Benchmade’s AXIS Lock and a tough 154CM blade, the Barrage wants to go to work. Whether you’re cutting pallet bindings, separating chords of firewood, or sawing through insulation, the Barrage will keep coming back for more. The Barrage is many things, but it is not dainty. Don’t be afraid to beat the tar out of it! 

Best Outdoor Spring Assisted Knife – SOG Flash AT-XR


SOG is known for their spring assisted knives, with the Flash being one of the oldest patterns, but they recently took it into the space age with the Flash AT-XR. Combining the utilitarian drop point blade and neutral handle profile of the Flash with their innovative spring assisted XR-lock pattern was a genius move. It takes this knife from a useful tool around the campsite to a one-tool option for an entire adventure. It’s big enough for woodwork, slicey enough to handle food prep, and light enough for a backpacker. It’s a great choice for any outdoor adventure you’re on! 

Most Unique Spring Assisted Knife – CRKT Ritual


As we’ve talked about in this article, most spring assisted knives try to blend in with folders, but not the Ritual. This knife is a statement. Its blade has the deepest belly and most extreme trailing point I’ve ever seen. It makes me think of a ceremonial blade from an ancient culture, but it’s a modern EDC knife. Just press on the thumb stud, and its gargantuan blade launches open with authority. I honestly don’t think a traditional détente ball opener could provide enough force to open the Ritual. It needs that spring assistance. 

Why buy a spring assisted knife?


Spring assisted knives are just plain reliable. Even the most dependable folder will need to be cleaned out to keep opening smoothly, but a spring assisted knife has a spring that forces through dirt and grime to guarantee a solid lockup every time. I’ve never seen a spring assisted knife that wants to be placed on a shelf and admired, but I’ve seen thousands that want to be carried, used, and abused. And that’s what knives are for, right? If that sounds like the kind of knife you’re after, you can find the perfect one for you at Blade HQ!