Have you ever watched someone flip a butterfly knife and think, “Oh, that looks easy”? Well, I did and I was completely wrong. Luckily, the first knife I bought was a butterfly trainer. After a weekend of constant practicing I realized that flipping a balisong is all about using the momentum of the knife while making sure your fingers are only making contact with the back of the blade.
The basic way to flip open a butterfly knife is to fling the one handle and the blade open, letting the ‘fling’ of the blade and ‘twist’ of the wrist build momentum, and spin the handle you’re holding.
Here are the steps to flipping a butterfly knife:
1. In your right hand hold the butterfly knife by the handle connected to the dull side of the blade.
2. Tilt your hand backward so that the other handle falls over the top of your hand.
3. Continue tilting your hand and move your hand at the wrist in a counter-clockwise circle.
4. Allow the momentum of the handle and the blade spin the handle you’re holding 180 degrees.
I practiced this basic move in slow motion for an entire weekend. After a while I felt comfortable flipping it faster and realized that I didn’t have to smack my knuckles every time I swung open the knife.
If you’re having a hard time following these written instruction, you are not alone. Like reading a foreign language, you will understand more as you practice and gain experience. Also, there are many instructional videos available online (just check out YouTube.com).
Once you’ve mastered the basics of flipping a Balisong, you’ll be able to perform tricks, flips, and spins that will no doubt impress anyone.
Butterfly Knife Care & Maintenance
By Amanda Carbajal
Inspect Your Knife!
If your butterfly knife is constructed with screws, tightening the screws on a regular basis will prevent the knife parts from separating, and will keep the movement smooth. You may want to use a quality thread locker such as Loctite Blue 242 on the screws to keep them firmly in place. Just one tiny drop will be plenty for each screw. If your butterfly knife is constructed with pins, inspect them periodically to make sure they are in place and are tight. Check your knife regularly for any debris or damage. If your knife is covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll want to have them service the knife for you in the event of any damage.
Clean Your Knife!
A well cleaned butterfly knife will last longer than a dirty one. Grime, dust, and even fingerprints can harm the blade, as well as any moving parts. We recommend a knife cleaner such as Benchmade Blue Lube Cleanser to keep your blades clean and free of debris. In a pinch, a little bit of mild soap and warm water will clean it right up. Be Sure to dry the knife thoroughly, inside and out, to avoid rusting.
Oil Your Knife!
Your knife needs to be oiled after every cleaning, and periodically through the year. Use a high quality lubricant on all pivot points, and on the blade. This helps prevent rust and keeps it looking good and moving smoothly. Benchmade Blue Lube is a great wet lubricant, though it must be applied carefully to avoid stickiness. Tuff Glide by Sentry Solutions is a dry lubricant that won’t attract dust like a heavier oil would. One to two drops on each moving part of either lubricant will be plenty. Apply a thin layer on the blade to keep the steel rust-free and looking good.
Sharpen Your Knife!
We all know that a sharp blade is safer than a dull one. Anyone can sharpen a knife properly, given the right tools. A knife sharpening system is a great investment, as most of them will work for any blade. Look for one that comes with detailed instructions, like the Spyderco Sharpmaker, which comes with an instructional DVD. Having your knife professionally sharpened periodically is a good option too.
Benchmade has released a new black blade version of their Model 51 Bali-song. The black version has all of the same specs as the satin blade: D2 tool steel, G-10 handles, blue titanium liners. The 51 is one of the best butterfly knives available in the market today.