What makes Butterfly Knives Illegal?

 

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Like me, I’m sure many of you have wondered “Why are there so many laws regarding butterfly knives”?  For some reason, there seems to be quite the stigma when it comes to butterfly knives.  But why?  What causes some places to outlaw these knives entirely?  Unfortunately, the answer to this is not an easy one or even one singular answer at all.  From what I have found, it seem to be a culmination of a bunch of different things that cause this awesome knife to be treated so negatively.

First and foremost there is the stigma that the butterfly knife is synonymous with crime?  Between 1981 and 1984 hundreds of thousands of butterfly knives were imported into the U.S.  Shipped from places like the Philippines, Japan, China and Korea.  Unfortunately, due to the sudden influx of knives, knife related crimes rose rather drastically during those times.  In an effort to try and control the crimes being committed, many places outlawed the knife, hoping to stem the tide.  However, once the knife became less of a novelty, its use in crimes dropped off.  However, lawmakers did not see this as a reason to once again allow the use of these knives.  In their minds, the knives were and always would be, used for crimes.  It may seem ridiculous, but we can thank Hollywood for keeping up the stigma.

Too often butterfly/balisong knives are used for very violent reasons in films.  Take for instance Hit-Girl in the film Kick-ass.  She is a vigilante that uses this type of knife in very violent ways.  And this is just one example of how these knives show up in films.  Too often they are depicted in the hands of muggers and gangsters.  Further cementing the idea that that’s all they are used for.  Which, of course, we all know is wrong.

Lastly, there is the idea that these knives pose a very real danger to the people using them.  In 1981-1984, when the knives really made their way over here, people were seeing an influx of visits to the E.R.  After some investigation, they found that a large number of these emergency room visits were due to self-inflicted knife injuries.  What that boils down to is, people were learning to flip these knives for recreation.  As part of the learning curve, they were nicking and cutting themselves, requiring a visit to the hospital.  The powers that be figured the only way to try and cut down on these types of things was to outlaw the knives.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t make sense to me either.  Now we have people, still flipping and cutting themselves, but because they could get in trouble, they don’t go to the doctor after cutting themselves.  Sounds safe.

Ultimately, the laws regarding these knives are outdated and miss-informed.  But, regardless, they are still laws.  Until we can show the general populace that these knives really aren’t that dangerous, please continue to follow the laws.  However, there are no laws regarding trainers.  So if you still want to learn to flip, but laws in your area prohibit it, get yourself a nice trainer.  These provide the excellent opportunity for you to enjoy “almost” everything flipping has to offer.

In case you are curious about butterfly knife laws in your area, check out this Wikipedia page.  It has some pretty great information about what is legal where, and how.

Have any more questions?  Let us know in the comments.  We always enjoy hearing from you!

Beginner Butterfly Tricks

Learning to use a butterfly knife is a relatively easy process if you know a few of the basics of knife flipping. What begins with some basic opening and closing of the knife can eventually lead to something far more impressive such as this:

Butterfly Knife Fundamentals

The first technique you need to master is flipping the knife open and closed. It is best to start with a trainer knife that is dull because you will most likely drop it or nick your hand with the blade. Hence, shoes are recommended when practicing with your butterfly. You butterfly has two handles: One with a latch attached called the bite handle and its counterpart is the safe handle. You can hold onto the safe handle and flip the knife around safely without cutting yourself with the blade. If you are flipping your knife with the bite handle and if the knife closes with your hand on this handle, you will cut yourself. 

 

Spyderco SmallFly Digi Camo G10 Butterfly Balisong Knife

 

You should start with the “Partial Opening Trick” or the “Partial Open Flip” to get a feel for the knife and the techniques involved in using it correctly.

You begin with your knife already half open. Holding on to the safe handle you should hold the knife outward with the blade handle hanging down vertically. Using a quick smooth motion, flick your hand upward bringing the hanging blade into an upright position. Adjust your hand slightly so the handle falls and reconnects with the other handle with the knife in open position.

 

Once you have mastered the Partial Opening Flip, it will take just a little more force to swing the knife open from the closed position.

Start with the knife completely closed. Hold the knife out as before but this time hold both handles closed. Let the bottom handle drop into the vertical position and swing it back around as before in one smooth movement. You should practice this until the movement becomes smooth and easy.

A great way to learn the basics of knife flipping is to watch one of the many instructional videos found online. Watching someone else do it a few times and having them explain what they are doing as they’re doing it is a great way to learn the first few basic moves. Here are a few great videos to get you started in your butterfly training.

Beginner Butterfly Knife Tricks – The Basics

Basic Opening/Closing

Fanning

Basic Backhand Twirl

Latch Drop

The Twirl

 

Ready to get started? Check out these Butterfly Knife Trainers

Below are a few butterfly knife trainers that you may be interested in. We recommend practicing with a trainer until you get the fundamentals down.

Bear & Sons Cutlery 4 Inch Butterfly Trainer 114Tr @ BladeHQ.com

 

Bear & Son 114TR Butterfly Knife Trainer – Silver Vein Only $31.95

Learn More

Bear and Sons Black Butterfly Knife Trainer

Bear & Son 114BTR Butterfly Knife Trainer – Black Only $31.95

Learn More

Benchmark Black Butterfly Knife

Benchmark Black Butterfly Trainer Knife Only $27.95

Learn More

You may also be interested in my favorite butterfly knives in every price range.

Properly Tightening Your Butterfly Knife

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So you have your Balisong, and after much practice you are starting to get better and better, but inevitably something is going to start happening.  Those pins are going to start getting lose, and unless you do something about it, you could hurt yourself, or even your knife.   If left unchecked, loose pins can break, and even lead to a cracked or broken handle, and at that point there is not much left to do.  So let’s avoid all of that and just take care of our knives in the first place.

First let me clear something up.  For those of you just starting to get to know your knife, a little bit of handle play is normal.  This gives you the ability to open and flip easily.   You DO NOT want your handles to be tight.  This will completely negate the point of a Butterfly knife.   Do not tighten the pins completely!

Ok, now that that is out of the way, lets first identify whether or not you need to tighten those pins.   Take your knife in a backhand grip, and look at the butt of the knife.  Gently, and I am going to say that again, GENTLY push the handles in opposite directions.  Push them as far as they will go without bending or forcing them.   Now take the latch and try to close it.  If the latch is blocked by the other handle, then you are in good shape.  Your knife is just loose enough for proper flipping.  However, if you are able to put the latch all the way down on the outside of the other handle, then it is time to tighten those pins.   For those Butterfly knives without a latch, just look at the relationship of the handles where the blade folds in.  If you can’t fully place the blade inside, then you need to tighten the pins.

So, now that we have identified whether or not you need to tighten, let’s get to how to actually tighten them.  There are a few options as far as tightening goes.  Depending on what you have readily available, you may choose one option over the other.

The first, and often the safest for the knife, is the vise method.   Open the vise just enough to fit the closed Butterfly inside them.   Make sure the pins are against the jaws of the vise.  Then very GENTLY squeeze the vice closed.  You are going to want to do one handle at a time, don’t try and do them both a once.  You will most definitely hurt your knife.   And don’t go crazy!   Gently squeeze the pin, then remove the handle and test it.  It’s easier to not do enough than it is to do too much!   You will continually replace the handle and squeeze a little more until you have it right where you want it.  Then, just repeat the process with the other handle until you are satisfied with the results.

The next option, and usually the more readily available method, is the hammer method.   This method is a little more risky than the vice method, but if you are careful, you should be just fine.  Emphasis on CAREFUL!  This method is pretty straight forward.  You will take your hammer and GENTLY tap down on the pins until you get them how you want them.  Make sure to tap them straight down.   If you do it at an angle you run the risk of damaging the pins.  Gently do a few taps, then check your knife.  Do this a few times until you are happy with how it feels.

These are just 2 ways to tighten those knife pins.  Is there a method you use that you prefer?   Feel free to share it with us in the comments below!   Once you have properly tightened your knife, you will notice a huge difference in the way your knife handles.  Hope this helped those of you just starting out with your butterfly knife.  We are happy to help with any extra questions you may have!

Impressive Butterfly Knife Skills

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Every so often, we like to feature different flippers showing off what they do best, flipping!   There are so many different people out there, all with their own unique, different, set of skills.  I’ve heard it said that, like snowflakes, no 2 flippers flip the same.  There are tiny different variations in each technique that makes them truly unique.   That’s why I think it’s important to learn, grow, and develop a technique all your own.

That being said, you have to check out this flipper we found over on Reddit!  This flipper’s username is itman290.  If you like his stuff, feel free to head over and check out his other posts.   Anyway, check out the gif below to see his impressive array of tricks!

G2mKNOV - Imgur

 

The speed and control this kid has is truly impressive.  One of the most important pieces of advice for any flippers, is confidence.  If you are too afraid of nicking yourself with the blade, that is going to affect your flipping, and ultimately end with mistakes.   You’ve got to have the confidence, and itman290 has that confidence.  He is flipping his Butterfly around with ease, and the result is rather impressive.

What do you think?  Are you impressed with his flipping ability?  Maybe you want to show off yours?  We are always looking to feature new, and different flippers on our site.  Feel free to contact us, or leave a comment below.  We want to see your stuff!  Don’t forget, it is always the perfect time to get yourself a new Butterfly knife!   Until next time, keep flipping!

A Butterfly Knife Trick Worth Sharing

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Who wouldn’t want to learn a new trick with their butterfly knife?  No matter how busy you are, there is always time to add a new butterfly knife trick to that already impressive lineup of tricks.  I know I am always on the look-out for awesome new tricks.  In searching the web, I have found that, hands down, the best resource for finding phenomenal tutorials, and learning new tricks is YouTube.  There are literally thousands of different videos, all teaching new and unique tricks.   Recently, I came across a video for a trick I really wanted to learn.  The Cherry picker.  It’s an awesome knife trick, and one I knew I definitely wanted to master.  Now, I haven’t mastered it just yet, but thanks to this video, I am well on my way.  With a little more practice, I just may be doing this trick in no time.  So I figured I would share this video with all of you, and hopefully it can help you as much as it helped me.  Anyway, I’ll quite babbling and let you get to the video.  Check it out below.


So what do you think?  Did you find it educational, do you plan on learning the Cherry Picker?  As always, let us know what you think in the comments below.  And why not head over and get yourself a new Butterfly Knife to practice on?

What Do You Want?

 

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We love hearing from all you Butterfly Knife lovers out there. We work hard to bring you the stuff you want to read. That’s why we want to hear from you! What do you want more of? Let us know in the poll below, so hopefully we can bring you what you want. Feel free to add comments and suggestions as well.

What Do You Want To See More Of?

 
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A Butterfly For King Kong!

 

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Being a knife enthusiast, you come across some pretty interesting things.  Knives with dinosaur bone handles (yes really), bad flipping injuries, the list goes on.  But recently I came across something I knew I had to share.  It’s ridiculous, it’s impractical, but it’s just so freaking awesome.  This is definitely the biggest butterfly knife I have ever seen.  You have to check out the video down below.  It takes 2, yes 2, people to open this thing.  It’s like a butterfly knife for King Kong.  I’d watch a movie where he was using this thing, which would be just too great for words.  Anyway, I’ll quit talking and just let you watch this video.  Seriously, you have to check it out.

 

 

How cool is that?  It makes absolutely no sense, and that is just part of what makes it so awesome.  It would definitely make an awesome lawn ornament, or conversation piece.   I know I will never see a giant flipping this thing, but hey, a guy can dream right?  Makes me want to go out and flip my own, maybe even buy a knew one.  Head over and check out our selection, see just how big a butterfly knife you can flip.

So what do you think?  Cool right?  Have you seen a bigger butterfly knife?  Let us know, cause that sounds awesome.

Celebrity Butterfly Knife Enthusiasts

It’s always a cool feeling when you find out that one of your favorite celebrities is into the same hobby you are.  In this case, butterfly knives.  In looking around, I was rather surprised at some of the knife enthusiasts I found.  I expected big burly starts like Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris.  Instead, I found that several female stars are big fans of flipping.

Angelina Jolie has always been a leading lady, with action flicks like Tomb Raider, Salt, and Wanted under her belt, it should have been no surprise that this A-lister is a collector and avid flipper of butterfly knives.   Apparently, she has been collecting them for years.  In this scene from Conan, Angie shows off her insane skills.  The video even slows down to show you just how awesome she really is.  Recently she has taken to more family friendly films like Kung Fu Panda, and Maleficent, but apparently that doesn’t mean she has stopped being a butt kicker behind the scenes.   With Salt 2 in post-production, let’s hope we get to see Angie bring those butterfly skills to her characters.

Next we have Chloe Moretz.  Name doesn’t sound too familiar?  She was hit girl in the Kick Ass films.  And apparently, hit girl really packs a punch (every single pun intended).  It’s one thing to be practicing flipping for years, but it’s even more awesome when you realize that she was only 10 years old at the time of filming the first movie.  There is something truly “kick-ass” about a ten year old who can confidently, and accurately flip a butterfly.  In this clip from the DVD extras, at the end, you can see Chloe flipping her knife like a pro.  She is on impressive kid.

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Who are some of your favorite celebrity butterfly enthusiasts?  Comment below and let us know, we love to see who inspires you to flip!  And make sure to jump over and grab a new butterfly knife for yourself.

Anatomy of a Butterfly Knife

Anatomy of a Butterfly knife

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. An infographic by the team at Blade HQ   Help … Continue reading