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:

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 Basics

Basic Opening/Closing


Basic Backhand Twirl

Latch Drop

The Twirl