The Best Bali-song for the Price
By Alise Christensen
A Bali-song knife, also known as a butterfly knife or fan knife, is a folding knife with two counter-rotating handles and when closed, the blade is hidden by grooves in the handles. The knife can be opened with one hand by flipping or fanning manipulations which makes it a useful utility knife in situations where only one hand is available. Because of this, you want your butterfly knife to flip with a solid and smooth action and finding a Bali-song of quality construction is essential. I have chosen my favorite of these knives from 4 different price categories in an effort to help you find perfect flipper for you.
Under $25: The Regal
The Regal Flipper butterfly knife sets the bar high for low-cost Bali-song knives. It has a smooth, solid action thanks to quality construction and the Teflon washers at the pivot points. It features a 4” clip point blade with two tang pins. This allows for a tighter lock-up and less blade wear. There is little to no blade play; but just in case the blade ever starts to feel loose, the Regal had been constructed with Torx screws for easy adjustment. This knife is an excellent choice for someone on a budget or someone who is just starting to get into flipping.
$25-50: Silver Vein Butterfly 114
Another great choice for beginner flippers is the Silver Vein Butterfly by Bear & Son Cutlery. This butterfly knife has a stainless steel blade, aluminum handles, and a single tang pin. The skeletonized handles have a textured epoxy coating that gives it a tough silver vein look. Another plus I found I liked in this knife was that the latch on the kicker handle is tight when open so it doesn’t get in the way of the blade while flipping. This knife is, overall, a nice mid-range butterfly.
$50-150: Bradley Kimura II-VII
While Benchmade makes a great Bali-song, the Kimura by Bradley Cutlery (manufactured by Kershaw) would have to be my favorite. These knives are USA made and come in versions II, III, IV, V, VI, and VII. Each version has slight variations on the blade shape and the skeletonized handles. (All have two tang pins). For a limited time it is also being produced with a polished black finish and a spectrum finish. The Kimura is under 6oz. It feels solid when open and closed and flips with super smooth action. This is a great value butterfly and I would sincerely recommend the Kimura to anyone who enjoys flipping.
Over $150: Les Voorhies Model 1
A while back I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a Les Voorhies Custom Model 1 Balisong. The Model 1 features the use of the IKBS bearing system which gives it action superior to any other butterfly knife I have ever used. It flips quickly and smoothly. The Model 1 is also very durable and easy to maintain. If blade play ever does occur, it can be tightened by just a quick adjustment to the pivot screws. If you want a custom Bali-song, the Les Voorhies is the way to go.