(Please note that after publishing this article, Amazon removed many of the products that are linked to below and appear to no longer be allowing Balisongs in their market place. We are deeply saddened by this decision on their part, but are happy that they are still allowing many other types of knives, including OTF knives and assisted opening knives.)
Balisongs are commonly referred to as butterfly knives. The balisong is a two handled knife that uses two rotating handles to conceal a blade. There are hidden grooves within the handles that securely hold the blade. The balisong is opened by fanning or flipping the handles using one hand. This utility knife is valuable for situations when only a single hand is available. It is important to remember that this type of knife should open with a firm yet smooth motion. For that reason, choosing a quality balisong with solid construction is essential.
How to Choose a Balisong
When choosing a balisong, there are several factors to consider. These factors can include style, price, design, quality, manufacturer, and materials. In most cases, beginners should consider choosing a balisong that is under $50. This price range offers an inexpensive knife that users can gain experience with. More experienced users can purchase knives in a more expensive price range.
Materials and construction are important aspects of any butterfly knife. Quality materials and durable construction can produce a useful knife that offers a lifetime of use. For the most part, more expensive knives offer better materials and construction. These knives are more durable and long-lasting. Many users also consider the style and design of the balisong. Most of the premium balisongs are created using hex screws. These types of screws allow the user to adjust the tightness of the blade. This is also known as the “action” of the blade and this is a useful feature. Some manufacturers use pin construction which requires less maintenance but offers less adjustment.
It is important to remember when choosing a balisong; the user should find a knife they like. Moreover, choose a knife that has quality construction and durable materials. There are thousands of different styles, brands, and designs available. This large number of knives makes finding a knife that fits a user’s specific needs a simple task.
What to Avoid When Buying a Balisong
Although finding a balisong may be a simple task; choosing the best balisong may be more difficult. In most cases, there are thousands of options available on the market. These options can range from a couple of dollars to hundreds of dollars. However, quality is typically more expensive. Although a $10 balisong at the flea market is appealing, many users should avoid purchasing this knife. These types of balisongs are generally known as “CCC”. The meaning is somewhat ambiguous; however, many suggest the meaning is Charming Chinese Cheapies or Cheap China Copy. These balisongs are inexpensively crafted and will break within a week of ordinary flipping. In some cases, these knives may break within days. Some users believe these copies are worth the money; however, the amount of money spent over time on cheap copies will exceed purchasing a quality knife once. Simply put, CCC’s are not an ideal choice.
After looking around for a quality balisong, many users realize that there are not many inexpensive knives worthwhile less than a hundred dollars. However, there are a few knives around a hundred dollars that many users recommend.
This butterfly knife is priced between $75 and $95, depending on the seller. This is one of the best knives for beginners or flippers that would like to expand a growing collection. The Bradley Kimura VIII is considerably better than any CCC and offers a lifetime of flipping or fanning abuse. The VII features a T-latch and stainless steel handles. There is also a spear point, stainless steel Sandvik 14C28N blade. The Bradley VIII offers quality construction and uses premium steel materials.
- Complete Length is 8.88″
- The blade length is 3.88″
- The length of the handles are 5″
- When closed, the length is 5.25″
- The knife weighs 5.4 oz
The Blade Bear Song is another quality butterfly knife that is priced under $130. This knife is lightweight and flips somewhat better than the Kimura. The IV incorporates aluminum handles and bronze washers. The balisong community typically favors the Bradley Kimura series; however, this is durable knife for the price range. The Bear Song IV uses a T-latch, has tough handles, and incorporates tang pins. The blade steel is 14C28N.
- Complete length is 9.75″
- The blade length is 4.375″
- The length of the handles are 5.375”
- The knife weighs 4.4 oz
This balisong is considerably more expensive than the previous butterfly knives; however, it is more than worth the money. The price of the 51 Morpho is between $175 and $230. This knife is an excellent flipper that uses a thin D2 steel blade. Benchmade offers one of the best balisongs currently available. This knife features a pocket clip, G10 handles that incorporate titanium inserts, a spring latch, and Zen pins.
- Complete length is 9.35″
- The blade length is 4.25″
- The thickness of the blade is 0.10″
- Blade Material: D2 tool steel
- The length of the handles are 5.10″
- When closed, the length is 5.40″
- The knife weighs 3.30oz
Honorable Mention: Bear & Son Butterfly Knife
The Bear & Son Butterfly Knife with a large tanto blade is an inexpensive balisong. Many users consider this knife to be a CCC; however, this Bear & Son is crafted using better materials than many CCC’s. This knife can take increased fanning and flipping before breaking. The Bear is priced between $20 and $40. Unlike many other knives, this knife does not offer a latch gate. This can make flipping difficult. However, the knife uses a T-latch and aluminum handles. This knife is recommended for users on a budget and butterfly knives any cheaper than this is not recommended.
- Complete length is 9”
- The length of the blade is 4″
- The length of the handles are 5”
- The knife weighs 5.6oz
When choosing a balisong, it is important to remember that design and materials are key aspects of buying a quality knife. Other factors to consider include manufacturer, style, and price. In some cases, finding a well-known brand may help reduce the countless options. Although it may be appealing to purchase a CCC or a Cheap Chinese Copy; purchasing a quality balisong once may be considerably less expensive in the long run.