As a knife enthusiast, you might already be familiar with the basic idea behind a butterfly knife. Also known as a balisong knife, the butterfly knife is one of the most commonly used knives worldwide. Butterfly knives are fun and their use requires skills that test your dexterity and improve your hand-eye coordination. You can practice a lot of tricks using your butterfly knife that would amuse everyone!
What is a butterfly knife?
A butterfly knife is basically a pocket knife. It’s distinct feature is that it has 2 handles that rotate in an opposite direction around a common fulcrum point. This means that, when closed, the blade of the butterfly knife is completely concealed making it the perfect pocket knife (small, light, concealed and safe to carry).
History of the Balisong knife
Between France and the Philippines, the birthplace of the butterfly knife is a very debatable topic. While some historians claim that the first butterfly knife was made by the French and then carried to the Philippines by Spanish sailors, the majority agree that the butterfly knife was first made in the Philippines at a time as early as 800 AD, focusing on the fact that the word “Balisong” in Tagalog is similar to the words baling sungay meaning broken or folded horn which is verified by the fact that the early Balisong knife’s blade was carved from bones and deer horns. Balisong knives are even considered traditional in the Philippines. Countless stands and stores sell handmade butterfly knives today.
The Modern Butterfly Knife and How It’s Made
Regardless of its origin, the butterfly knife is certainly one of the most used knives today owing to the fact that’s easy to use and carry around.
The modern butterfly knife is a folding knife with 2 handles: the bite handle and the safe handle (see picture below).
The bite handle is the handle that conceals the sharp edge of the blade and it usually has the latch on it, hence preventing any chance of injury when the knife is closed. The safe handle conceals the back of the blade (dull edge).
Each handle contains a groove that conceals the blade when the knife is folded.
The latch keeps the knife closed when not in use.
Both handles rotate 180 degrees around pivot pins. Their rotation is limited by a tang pin between them.
There are 2 types of butterfly knife builds: the sandwich type and the channel type.
While the channel type is the stronger build due to the fact that both its handles are made by one piece of material, the sandwich butterfly knife is the type that is recommended for beginners. Its parts are made of different materials all held together by pins and screws.
Uses of a butterfly knife
You may be wondering exactly why is the butterfly knife so commonly used. The main reason for that is the fact that it has a lot of daily life uses while it’s also very easy to carry. So why use a butterfly knife instead of any other knife?
- It’s a brilliant self-defense method. It can be carried safely around in your pocket at all times. It can be unfolded very quickly and doesn’t need a sheath, making it an excellent self-defense weapon.
- It’s a multipurpose knife.
- It can be used for tricks and is pretty impressive! However, we recommend that you use a trainer butterfly knife at first. It is dull and does not cause injury to the wielder of the bystanders.
A butterfly can basically be used in all the tasks a regular knife is used for. However, it is light and folded and hence much easier/safer to carry around than a regular knife.
Who would benefit from using a butterfly knife?
Basically, any knife enthusiast probably owns one butterfly knife. Anyone looking for an easy to use, light to carry, defense weapon can make use of a Balisong knife. It can also be used for fascinating tricks once you master it. It also works as any other pocket knife so it has a lot of purposes in the daily life tasks.
Purchasing your first butterfly knife: How to choose?
It is recommended that your first butterfly knife be a trainer knife to avoid any unnecessary injuries while still practicing your first knife.
While butterfly knives are very useful and entertaining, they can cause serious injury if used without proper training.
After practicing on a trainer knife, you can then move on to purchasing the butterfly knife of your choice.
You can watch a lot of videos online on how to learn new tricks using your practice knife. Most of the tricks are easy to follow and perform.
How to practice using a butterfly practice knife?
A practice or “fake” butterfly knife is a foolproof way to practice using the real one.
First of all, you need to practice how to flip a butterfly knife open. Although it may sound like a very easy task, flipping a butterfly knife open requires a lot of skills.
To start flipping it, you must first be sure that the butterfly knife is closed. Study the anatomy of your knife well and make sure your finger is placed away from the sharp side of the knife at all times. Despite the fact that your practice knife is dull on both sides, you must always be aware of the side that’s supposed to be sharp in a real knife. Flipping your wrist back should flip the knife open. This needs a lot of practice. You can watch videos online to make it easier.
There are a lot of flipping techniques to open your knife, some more complex than others. It’s a fun process to learn each one of them.
Beware that if your practice knife is a bit sharp, there’s a chance that you might cut yourself while practicing.
After mastering your butterfly knife, feel free to start choosing your real one out of a large collection of butterfly knives.
To sum things up, butterfly knives are one of the most common knives that every knife enthusiast owns. A knife with a rich history, fascinating features and multiple purposes, the Balisong knife is popular, fun and a must-have!