OTF knives are widely available these days with many manufacturers designing OTF knives with different blade lengths, handles, and blade types. There isn’t a manual for choosing the best OTF knife because all individuals require different things from their knives.
Some will buy an OTF knife for camping and hunting purposes whereas others might want to own an OTF knife for self-defence or as a backup knife to have in your vehicle dashboard compartments. However, most professional hunters and knife collectors recommend choosing an OTF knife with at least 3.5-inch blade.
Moreover, think carefully about the type of blade you would want to purchase as different blade types will have different task performance. For instance, straight blades are very easy to clean and sharpen as well as perform clean and precise cuts hence these blades are recommended for hunting and fishing.
On the other hand, fully serrated blades are great for tasks such as cutting ropes, cardboard or other semi-soft materials. Serrated blades often will stay sharper often for longer than half serrated or straight blades hence they can be great for someone not wanting to deal with sharpening their knives.
Top 10 Best OTF Knife Reviews in 2023
Tac Force Assisted Opening Tactical Knife
TAC Force Opening Tactical Black Coated best OTF knife is made from straight edge clip point stainless steel blade that has been modelled off the knife models that were used by the British military during the Vietnam War. Moreover, the stainless steel used in the production of the blade is sourced from Australia and is coated in a thin layer of Titanium Nitride for added durability and modern look.
Plus, the TAC knife features a full tang that spreads through the entire anti-slip handle that is wrapped in beautiful brown real leather for perfect grip. Also, the packaging box contains a sharpening stone that is easy to use to sharpen the blade once it starts to wear.
- The blade is made from Australian stainless steel
- Titanium nitride coating for added durability
- Modelled after authentic knives used during the Vietnam War
- Comes without a sheath or a box
- No online customer support
- The knife is made in Taiwan
HX Outdoors Tactical Knives
HX Outdoors Tactical Knives Anti-slip Handle has a rugged surface that has been reported to be very reliable and relentless. The blade is very big with extremely sharp Japanese made razor hence this bowie knife is great for slicing, chopping, and cutting. The blade is encased in textured rubber handle that is balanced and very comfortable plus the knife can be fastened to a belt or a backpack.
- Japanese blade
- Durable and textured handle
- Can be fastened to a belt or the backpack
- Plastic knife guard
- Made in China
- No sheath or box
OG Rapid Fire Series Knife
A solid Off-Grid pocket knife made in the USA with premium stainless steel blade, that is highly resistant to rust and corrosion. Plus, this knife is often recommended for avid valist and outdoor lovers. It has a sturdy and balanced handle made with anti-slip material that is easy to clean and does not slip in rainy weather
- Beautiful knife
- Acceptable price for this high-quality knife
- US made stainless steel blade
- Easy to clean and anti-slip handle
- Needs to be sharpened frequently
- Available in one design only
- Small blade length is not suitable for more serious tasks
- Available in one blade size only
Schrade Viper Assisted Folding Knife
This Schrade OTF knife has a very attractive and intimidating look to it with a balanced and comfortable handle despite its big size and heavyweight. Moreover, the belt sheath has been reported to be very durable as it is made from a high-quality nylon material that will perfectly protect the blade when the knife is not in use.
The knife is held in place by hook and loop strap plus there are grommet holes and slots for straps so as to provide plenty of other lashing options. The blade itself is made from titanium coated carbon stainless steel blade that is a little over 3 inches in length. Furthermore, the handle is covered with an anti-slip layer that will prevent the knife from slipping during use regardless of weather conditions.
- Sleek look with a durable design
- Anti-slip nylon handle
- Titanium coated carbon stainless steel blade
- Easy to control the blade and use in any weather conditions
- Too big to be carried on the belt
- Some customers have reported the blade chipping when large chunks of wood were cut
- A thin blade that is not suitable for serious camping tasks
Kershaw Assisted Opening Pocket Knife
Kershaw AM-5 Pocket 3.5 inches knife has a durable long clip point on the blade that can be used for opening jars and other small things making it very useful during camping or hiking trips. The blade itself is quite thick and as reported has a high flat grind with a black powder nit ride coating for added durability.
The coating is thick thus perfectly protects the knife from rusting or corrosion especially during the rainy weather. The coating, however, has been reported to wear off with time plus the blade is not very sharp thus do not count on using it to prepare meals or cut wood.
- Durable stainless steel blade
- Optimal length
- Great for camping and hiking
- Does not corrode or rust
- The handle was reported to become slippery when wet
- Does not slice or cut well
- Comes without a sheath
Wartech Buckshot Pocket Knife
A very compact knife that can be carried on your keychain for urgent needs and possible self-defence. It is made out of durable stainless steel blade and has a solid anti-slip plastic handle that does not scratch or scuff. Customers who have bought this knife have said it is very lightweight and makes a great gift on a budget.
Plus, the blade comes already sharpened hence you don’t have to worry about finding a sharpener. The blade deployment mechanism is quick and virtually fault-proof, the user will just have to oil the mechanism once in a while.
- Very affordable
- Compact and lightweight
- Stainless steel blade that comes already sharpened
- Makes great gift
- Fairly small blade length
- Not suitable for cutting wood or doing other more serious tasks
- Available in one color only
DH Benchmade Infidel Best OTF Knife
Mini Infidels are made with razor-sharp American stainless steel blades that have solid edge retention and are coated in an anti-corrosion layer hence you can be sure that this knife will serve you for years to come. The handle is made with black colored anti-slip material that has been curved to have enough palm swells so that your grip would feel comfortable. Plus, the handle helps keep the knife well balanced as well as adds to its overall beauty.
- High-quality blade and handle
- Anti-slip handle
- Well balanced with optimal weight
- The blade has to be sharpened
Oerla Tactical Outdoor Duty Knife
Oerla has been a long-time manufacturer of army and marine knives hence they have garnered a loyal customer following around the world. The blade is made of one piece tang stainless steel piece that has been reported to be super durable and great for cutting and chopping. The handle is made from an over-molded rubber that is anti-slip and is especially useful during raining weather.
- Over-molded rubber handle
- Great for cutting and chopping
- Trustable brand
- The blade is rather dull and needs to be sharpened
- Made in Taiwan
- Very heavy compared to other models
BTI Tools Schrade Viper OTF Knife
Benchmade Fixed Fidel Spear Point OTK Knife is a very popular knife among individuals who hike or camp regularly plus the knife is great for hunting and self-defense. The knife is very durable, well balanced despite its big size and surprisingly affordable for a knife this quality.
The blade is made from durable stainless steel that is 0.6 inches wide moreover it has a full tang that is a little rugged to be able to handle hard duty work. Furthermore, the blade is easy to clean, sharpen and store in the fabric sheath.
However, customers have reported the knife is hard to sharpen mainly because the blade was not designed to be a high precision knife. The handle is made from a hardwood material that was painted gray for a modern and sleek look. The customers have reported the knife to be very balanced and comfortable to grip.
- Reputable manufacturer
- The durable and thick blade does not chip
- Suitable for cutting firewood
- Not suitable for hard duty cutting
- Very heavy and could be better balanced
- Blade could be longer
Benchmade Tactical Fixed Knife
Smith and Wesson is an 9.21 inches OTF plus it is a very sleek and tactical, specially designed knife with glass filled nylon handle that is ergonomic and comfortable. It is made from strong and superior stainless steel that makes this Benchmade knife one of the best on the market of tactical open assisted knives. The blade has been reported to be very durable since it is made out of black oxide while the handle has Trac-Tec inserts.
Moreover, it is quick to open and has a very easy to pocket clip as well as a thumb knob. Also, the handle has been ergonomically designed and is very comfortable to use for cutting small firewood or other solid objects that are not hard to cut. Furthermore, it is very convenient to carry thanks to the pocket clips that can be used to attach the knife on the sides or upwards.
- Ergonomic handle design
- Easy to carry
- Needs rare sharpening
- Like with other models, deployment mechanism malfunctions after some time
- Available in one blade size only
- Comes without a sheath or a box
Like with so many other types of knives, the most important factor to look at it is the type of blade. Look for optimal thickness and length that will enable the knife to be used for a variety of tasks such as cutting, chopping and even batoning. This means you wouldn’t need to purchase many different knives.
Moreover, look for the ones that are already sharpened so you would not have to look for a sharpener. Also, carefully inspect the handle to make sure it has an ergonomic design and will be comfortable to hold for a long period of time without slipping and causing possible injuries.
What Other Blades of OTF Knives are Available?
Tanto blades often make OTF knives. You can tell them apart by the angular shape thanks to the two straight edges that meet together at the top. Users prefer tanto blades over other blades because they have proven to be much stronger especially at the tip. Another good blade is the drop point blade. Users mainly prefer these for hunting however, they have a much thicker blade than the Tanto.
How to Select a Good Stainless Steel Knife?
Nowadays, different countries make many types of stainless steel and they vary in their durability and strength. Often, the stainless steel used determines the quality of the knife as well as how long it will serve its user.
Manufacturers coat most Asian stainless steel blades such as 420, 440A and 7CR13MOV to be rust resistant. However, they are much thinner than other counterparts, and you need to sharpen them more frequently. American stainless steel blades are often stronger and contain a much higher percentage of alloy and chrome.
They tend to be sharper and have a tendency to better hold the edge. Hence, you don’t need to sharpen or expand a lot of effort in maintenance. Some examples of American made stainless steel blades are AUS6, 440C, and AUS8. Furthermore, Japanese stainless steel blades are the most expensive ones because of their high chromium level.
Moreover, manufacturers often coat these blades with another layer, for example, with vanadium for added strength and better edge maintenance. They often use vanadium for better rust and corrosion resistance as well. Makers mark Japanese stainless steel blades with CPM154, VG-10 or S30V. You can buy them with sheaths or in a box which protect the blade.
Whatever model of best OTF knife you choose, pay special attention to the care you will give it. Never clean the knife using harsh chemicals such as bleach or other solutions with abrasive particles. Professional campers and hikers, as well as knife collectors, recommend cleaning the knife using a mild soap solution and always wipe the knife with a clean cloth.
This type of care routine will prevent the blade from corroding or rusting and thus rendering the knife unusable. Lastly, try to store the knife in a sheath or a box so that it doesn’t get scratched or scuffed plus storing the knife in a safe place will prevent you from accidentally hurting yourself. Also, remember to once in a while oil the deployment mechanism so that the OTF knife will function flawlessly.