Anatomy of the Different Types of Knives

We got together and decided that we wanted to make a comprehensive knife infographic. Rather than making you search for separate and specific infographics one at a time, we’re putting them all in the same place for your convenience. While we will introduce them one at a time, after the last infographic is released, we (and by “we” I mean our graphic designer) will arrange them nicely into one master infographic.

There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying a new blade, and we hope this series expands your knowledge and helps you discover the blades that fit your needs best. This first infographic includes the anatomy of all the different knife types along with their pros and cons.

Anatomy of the Different Types of KnivesClick to View Full Size Image


Anatomy of an Automatic Knife

Automatic knives are designed primarily for military, police and EMT duty. These knives are simple to open in an emergency by pushing a firing button or pulling a lever. Check the laws in your area before purchasing an automatic knife, as they are restricted in many areas.

Anatomy of an Automatic Knife InfographicAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ


Anatomy of a Manual / Spring Assisted Folding Knife

Manual knives are legal in most areas, which means they are extremely common. Often, this type of knife is also recognized as a “pocket knife.” Spring assisted knives are roughly the same as manual knives, but they have a spring inside the handle that helps deploy the blade much faster. Spring assisted knives typically have a thumb stud and/or flipper.

Anatomy of a Manual / Spring Assisted Folding KnifeAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ


Anatomy of a Fixed Blade Knife

Fixed blade knives don’t fold or contract like other types of knives. Fixed blades are perfect for nearly any use—they are carried by sportsmen, hunters, campers, and more.

Anatomy of a Fixed Blade KnifeAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ


Anatomy of an Out The Front Knife

Out The Front knives are similar to automatic knives in many ways; they are opened by pushing a thumb slide or pulling a lever, but with an OTF knife the blade always deploys out the front of the handle—not the side, like automatic knives. OTF knives are restricted in many areas so be certain to consult your local laws before purchasing these items.

Anatomy of an Out The Front KnifeAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ


Anatomy of a Butterfly Knife

Some people spend years trying to master the skill of flipping butterfly knives, A.K.A. balisong knives. It’s debatable whether it’s more fun to flip a butterfly knife or to watch someone flip— it looks really cool, and it’s practically mesmerizing.

Anatomy of a Butterfly KnifeAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ


Stay tuned for part 2: “The Ultimate Blade Breakdown.”

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Gerber 06 Automatic Knife Review

The Gerber 06 Automatic knife is the premier automatic from Gerber Knives. It is a top seller for the brand, and is pretty popular among fans of Gerber. We are talking about nearly half a pound of anodized aluminum, S30V steel and pure American magic. Granted, it does not have the strongest spring or the prettiest face. But you may be hard pressed to find a knife of this size and weight that fits as comfortably in your hand as this one. You can find this knife with a blade that has a tanto or drop point tip.

If this knife were to be a Batman villain, this would be The Penguin. Definitely not the most popular character and does not stand out above the others of the genre (and maybe a little on the stout side)….. But it is dependable and reliable enough to get even the stickiest job done.

If you are looking to add this to your collection of cutlery, you can expect to spend between a $250 and $280. Get this Gerber 06 Auto Knife for an awesome steal at!

Spyderco Citadel

Spyderco is known for their incredible folding knives, but they also have a few automatic knives that embody the high quality standards the brand has built a reputation on. The Spyderco Citadel is a fully automatic knife that has the sleek design and sturdy construction that Spyderco is known for. The Citadel comes in two different blade styles and sizes: a black blade version and a satin, and in 83 mm or 92 mm sizes.

The firing button and the safety are located conveniently on the upper front side of the handle. The design make retrieving the knife from your pocket and firing it into the open position a quick and comfortable process. The action on this knife is reliable and will fire the blade into locked position every time you use it. It has a plunger lock push button that deploys the blade easily. The knife has a textured aluminum handle that make it easy to maintain a grip with bare or gloved hands. It also includes a reversible pocket clip that can be worn tip up or tip down. The lightweight construction and sleek design make this a great choice for an every day carry automatic knife.

The only negatives with the Citadel have to do with the automatic features of the knife. Although the knife opens good, it can seem a little sluggish when compared to a top of the line side-opening-auto like a Protech. Oiling and breaking the knife in can ease this problem overtime, but some people will still find the quickness of the auto action a little disappointing. Another issue that this knife can have is concerning the safety switch. It varies for each knife, but some of these will have a very sticky safety switch. It will require a lot of force to switch the safety from on to off position. Some people will view this as a negative but others will not mind because it will prevent accidentally switching the safety off and opening the blade. 

Everything from centering to lock up to spring reliability are excellent on the Citadel. The Spyderco Citadel is a great choice for anyone who loves the high quality knives Spyderco is known for. I would not however recommend this automatic knife to anyone who is accustomed to the intense firing power of a Protech automatic knife. If you are more concerned with reliability than sheer firing power than you will love the Citadel.