Question of the Day: Do Knives Need Safeties?

I’m pretty partial to assisted openers. In fact, my fave carrier of all time is my SOG Flash I. For me, it’s the perfect combination of size, weight and utility. And while I haven’t officially reviewed it here yet, about the only demerit I’ll be assigning is for that too-easy-to-engage safety switch. Some folks, though, think assisted openers need an on/off switch. Walking around with a non-lockable auto blade in their pocket gives them a wikkid case of the heebie-jeebies. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I’ve never had a knife prematurely deploy — in my pocket or anywhere else. Certainly not my baby, the Ken Onion Blur, above. So which way do you lean? Safety or no?


  1. Kevin says:

    Nope, completely unnecessary in my opinion. I removed the safety on my Leek as I kept enabling it accidentally. I ignore the safety on my Benchmade Volli and just keep it off all the time as it’s near impossible to flip on accidentally.

  2. jwm says:

    No. Been carrying a kershaw for years now with no problems. I always clip my knife to the pocket instead of letting it rattle around in the pocket. I don’t know if that makes a difference but my last edc was a spyderco native that I let rattle around in my pocket and it fell apart. Things worked loose on it and it got the wobblies real quick.

  3. David says:

    Awe – the brutal simplicity of fixed blades 🙂

  4. Mike says:

    I’ve been carrying a Kershaw Ken Onion 1660G10 for a little over a year. First few months with the blade locked. Put it in my pocket one day without locking the blade and nothing happened. Haven’t locked it since. Kinda like one in the chamber of my Glock. If you have to stop and unlock, well you get the drift.

    1. Chuck K says:

      I had the same experience as Mike with my SOG Twitch II. Hope it never does open in my pocket as it is the sharpest out of the box knife I ever bought, and I have quite a few.

  5. Aharon says:

    They don’t need safeties as long as the owner has attended a knife safety course.

  6. Sam L. says:

    My Chive has come loose in my pocket. Usually, it locks itself.

  7. Nate says:

    Never had one open. I think it only happens to inexperienced people that can’t deploy a knife properly

  8. Pat Carver says:

    I had a William Henry small auto with a button that sits proud of the handle open in my jeans watch pocket and cut me, and I have some other autos that I wont trust to carry without putting in a pouch for that reason. I have never had an assisted opener open on its own.

    The Kershaw Mini Mojo has an interesting twist in that the safety is paired with the assisted opener tab so that you have to swipe the tab with your finger to disengage the safety. The closing lock is unusual as well.

  9. Nate says:

    Here in mentally deficient Mass., P.R. of, public carry knife blades are ALL limited to 2 1/2 inches. An otherwise great pocket clipped CRKT Lightfoot Urban Shark 2.5 ended up accidentally slicing my thumb – not fun – so I went to a similar SOG Flash 1 assisted and VERY MUCH appreciate that Ill never have to worry about that nasty surprise again. You can always leave that little safety button off if you prefer. The only negative about the Flash is Ive already lost one as its pocket clip SUCKS, so I just inside pocket carry – end of problems.

    1. Steve in MA says:

      Knives are only kept under 2.5 ” as city ordinances, not State wide. Cities like worcester, salem, boston, and here in Beverly. Even then, it’s only a fine.

  10. Loyd says:

    My current EDC, a Coast Rapid Response 3.0, is my first assisted opening knife. I do not use the safety. It is very stiff (as noted in Chris’ TTAK review) and I doubt it’ll ever accidentally open. Depending on if I’m at work or not, it’s either clipped to my pocket or floating in my pocket. The knife can also lock in the open position, but I’ve never had a task that I felt needed to use it.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      An accidental opening on these knives is about as likely as ‘uncontrollable acceleration’ in a Hyundai Accent.

  11. mike says:

    The safety should be between your ears.

  12. Loyd says:

    Mike, in one sentence you have summarized life itself.

  13. janitor says:

    i love my kershaw blurs….but they are not “drop safe” and if i try to carry tip up, the thumb stud catches and i end up with an knife thats open when im not ready for it….i really like these knives too….only negative mark i can give th
    em so far

  14. Peter says:

    I would love to see some enterprising knife maker come up with a Glock type safety for assisted openers and automatics. Something like a pin that would pop through the clip when removed from your pocket but totally transparent from the user’s perspective.
    I have had a couple of near misses with tip up carry knives getting bumped open slightly and catching on the pocket when drawing, no blood just a torn pair of pants.

  15. Little says:

    My blur has opened on my belt a few times. It may be because I have the clip inverted, not sure. In any case it has not been a real problem. I think a safety would defeat the purpose of an assisted opener. I use this knife for work (a lot) and if I had to operate a switch before opening the knife, I’d just as soon use my old
    buck 110.

  16. @BladeNoob says:

    The whole point of an assisted opening knife is fast deployment. Adding a safety to the knife will slow down the process and defeat the purpose. My Leek has a safety and I don’t think it’s necessary.

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Question of the Day: Do Knives Need Safeties?

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