You don’t need to be confused with all the technical terms and formal names. A spring-assisted knife is just simply a flip-open knife. They’re ones that the bad guys in movies often use. So, how does a spring-assisted knife work?
Flip open knives come in several different types, shapes, and sizes. The ones we’ll be discussing here are the ones that are fully and partially automatic. These knives have quite a few moving parts, meaning we’ll have to break them down a little. Let’s take a look.
What Does ‘Spring Assisted Knife’ Mean?
The term spring-assisted means that there is a spring in the knife that helps to open the blade. Fixed blade knives don’t have a retractable blade, so you wouldn’t find any spring in those. Here, we’re referring to folding knives. To open a pocket knife or a knife of a similar design, you usually have to grab the blade with your fingers and open it up manually.
Those types of knives don’t have a spring mechanism attached to the blade. That is mainly because there are multiple tools contained inside it that provide no space to include a spring. Knives that do have springs are single-blade folding knives; these are very handy and are super convenient to carry around with you.
The spring is used to flick the blade open when the carrier wants. Fully automatic blades have a switch that opens the blade. Partially automated blades require that the handler opens the blade to roughly 25%, and then the spring kicks in and opens the rest of the way automatically. The spring’s role is to assist the blade’s opening, hence the name of the mechanism.
How Does a Spring Assisted Knife Work?
It’s a pretty simple mechanism and could probably be built at home on your own. However, that’s not such a great idea just in case you get hurt. A spring-assisted knife has a spring fitted into the frame of the folding knife handle.
The springs are typically made of stainless steel to avoid rusting and corrosion, so they’ll be easy to spot unless painted. As we mentioned previously, there’s a difference between fully and partially automatic mechanisms, so let’s touch on both types.
How Do Switchblades Work?
A fully automatic or switchblade is a folding blade that needs a switch or button to trigger the blade to open. Many people ask, “is a spring-assisted knife a switchblade?” Yes, it is, but it isn’t the only type. Switchblades are triggered by a button or switch that unlocks the blade, allowing the spring to push the blade up and out of the knife’s frame.
When the blade is closed and locked in place, the spring remains fully compressed, ready at any moment to spring open the blade. To lock the blade back in place, you have to release the frame lock, which supports the blade and keeps it in place while open and in use; after doing so, the blade can be pushed down. This action will compress the spring again for subsequent use.
How Do Spring Assisted Knives Work? – Partially Automatic
A partial ‘spring open knife’ uses the same kind of spring assist but doesn’t have any button or switch that triggers the action. Instead, the blade needs to be pulled out manually the first 20 – 25% of the way before it springs open the rest of the way.
The blade lock is positioned in such a way that to get past it and allow the spring to engage, it must be opened part of the way first. The reason for this design is safety; a common trend that has emerged from switchblades is the accidental opening of the blade.
Sometimes, the switch or button gets bumped and accidentally springs the blade open. As a result, the knife ends up being very dangerous and has hurt people in the past when the blade opened, but they didn’t realize it. So, as a precaution against that happening, manufacturers decided to develop a safer version that won’t be triggered accidentally.
How to Use a Spring Assisted Knife
It’s essential to know the ins and outs of both types of spring-assisted knives to avoid any problems and dangerous situations. As previously mentioned, the switchblade can sometimes open unintentionally. So you need to be aware of the place that you place it when carrying it on you.
Keep the switch away from the opening. Also, be careful when taking the knife out of the holster because it can get triggered when removed. Before opening the blade, hold it in the correct position and make sure you have it the right way round. Now make sure you point it away from you and have a firm grip when flicking the switch or button.
The same goes for a partially automatic assisted knife; You’ll want to position the knife and get a good grip before actually pulling the blade open. That’s because the automatic trigger might kick in unexpectedly, which could poke you or make you drop the knife, which isn’t safe for you or the knife. So take care when deploying the blade and be sensible until you get the hang of it.
How to Make a Spring Assisted Knife
“A tricky process” is the only way to put it. Most of these knives are manufactured by professionals and experts who do it for a living. For those interested in making them on your own, you’ll need carbon fiber or fiberglass and a shaping wheel or a lathe that can be used to shape the handle pieces.
You’ll need small stainless screws that are strong and durable, and of course, you’ll need high carbon steel for the blade. The spring and lock mechanism can be purchased online, or otherwise, just grab a spare spring if you need it.
You’ll want to attach a clip to the spring to the blade in a way that will be able to pull the blade up and out when released. Then, you’ll need to place a piece of steel between the two handle pieces that will act as the locking mechanism. This piece needs to be able to slide in and out of place to lock or unlock the blade. That’s the basis of what it takes to build your spring-assisted knife.
These key features describe the spring-assisted system in a nutshell; there are other points to consider when buying a knife of this type, for instance, but, when thinking, “how does a spring-assisted knife work,” this is a great start.
Spring open knives are very convenient and offer so much versatility when out and about. Please don’t get carried away, because they are still sharp and dangerous. So, be careful when handling these knives (or any knife for that matter.)
This spring-assisted knife is designed for lowkey work and low-stress tasks, so keep that in mind. These knives have lots of moving parts and skeleton frames, making them less tough and easier to break. That’s all we have for now on spring-assisted knives; if you want more info on how to make these knives go on and look up some videos that dive into more detail.