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!

Smith & Wesson SWAT Special Tactical Automatic knife

Many budget knives are extremely large and bulky, not ones that you would like to carry around in your pocket all day. However, the Smith & Wesson SWAT Special Tactical Automatic Knife is extremely thin and is barely noticeable in the pocket. Once the blade is deployed the knife remains quite comfortable in your hands, whether or not you are gripping with your thumb on the scales or on the spine of the knife. The spring action is very smooth and the blade flips right out and locks up nice. There is a little bit of blade play but nothing out of the ordinary that you wouldn’t expect from a cheaper knife. The 440 stainless steel blade features a thin Clip-Point that almost looks like a dagger. The pocket clip is on the thin side, but it works great as long as you are careful not to bend it back too far. All in all, this is a pretty decent knife for the price. If you are looking for a minimal out-of-pocket knife that does the job, this Smith & Wesson Automatic Knife is a great candidate.

You can get a S&W SWAT at an outstanding deal at