How to Open and Close a Tactical Knife in 10 Seconds?

Written by

John Cotton


Logan Miller

how to open and close a tactical knife

Whether you use them for self-defense or as a tool to get by in the outdoors, tactical knives are a multi-purpose tool that is reliable.

Though there are different designs, it still serves its purpose: to cut through things. Besides knowing how to use your knife for cutting, do you know how to open and close a tactical knife properly?

Simply put, you need to hold firmly and avoid letting your fingers rest on the blade. Carefully press a stud or pull the blade with your other hand to open your blade. To the knife, you can slowly fold the blade back to the handle.

Learn more about different kinds of knife opening mechanisms as well as closing different types of tactical knives in this article.

Steps to Open and Close Different Types of Tactical Knives

1. Thumb Stud Knife


A thumb stud knife is much easier to open and close than any tactical survival knife. In fact, you can deploy the blade with one hand.

The knife is quicker to open because of the metal bulge on one side of the blade. The thumb stud can sometimes be attached through a screw. An example of a unique thumb stud knife is a snake eye knife.

Here are the steps to open and close a thumb stud knife:

  • To open the knife, place your thumb on the side of the thumb stud.
  • Next, using your thumb, press the knife’s stud firmly. This will instantly flick open a knife. Let your thumb follow the movement of the blade when you open it.
  • To close the thumb stud knife, you can use one finger or hand to close the blade back. Hold the blade tight and snap the knife blade back to the handle.
  • Ensure your fingers are not on the way when you close the blade.

2. Flipper Knife


A flipper knife has a distinct design with a bulging button at the bottom of the blade. This makes opening and closing the knife faster by using your index finger.

The blade is held securely by a spring in the grip and can be swung out by pressing a lever on the blade itself. A common example of a knife with a flipper or a button to be pushed is an albatross knife, Kershaw knife, and other automatic knives.

Smith and Wesson Extreme Ops knife is a great start if you’re in the search for an automatic knife. It is reliable and used in a lot of tactical activities.

Here are the steps to open and close a flipper knife:

  • To open a flipper knife, you must slowly push the flipper on the handle. This acts as the lever of the knife.
  • Then, you’ll have the knife open right away.
  • To close a flipper knife, hold the blade and bend it back to the handle.

3. Thumb Hole Knife


The blade of the thumb-hole knife has a hole in it rather than a stud, as the name implies. It’s important to note that the thumb hole and thumb stud both perform the same function, although the thumb hole knife is built slimmer.

An example of a tactical knife that has a thumb hole is a pocket knife Gerber.

Here are the steps to open and close a thumb-hole knife:

  • To open a thumb-hole knife, locate the thumb-hole carved into the knife’s blade.
  • Then, slowly pull the blade out using your thumb or one of your fingers while the rest of your hand grips the knife’s handle tightly.
  • To close a tac force knife like the thumb hole knife, you will close it the same as you open the knife.
  • Using the thumb hole as a guide, you can use two hands to put back the blade. Push the thumb hole slowly and retract the blade on the knife’s handle.

4. Nail Nick Knife

Nail Nick folding mechanism is common to classic pocket knives. An example of this is a Swiss Army knife, which is a traditional stainless pocket knife.

But if you ever find yourself needing a knife quickly, this is perhaps the least practical knife option. It takes both hands to open and close a folding knife.

Here are the steps to open and close a Nail Nickknife:

  • To open the Nail Nick knife, you can use your fingers or just your fingernail.
  • Slowly slide your fingernail to the nail nick mark on the blade.
  • Once the blade is out, you can pull it entirely using your fingers.
  • To close a pocket knife or a Nail Nick knife, grip the knife’s handle with one hand.
  • Then, on your other hand, slowly bend the blade back to the handle. Keep in mind before you put a pocket knife back down, make sure that the blade is completely tucked into its handle to avoid getting hurt.

5. Butterfly Knife


The Balisong or butterfly knife is probably one of the best-looking tactical knives on the market. Though you must make sure it is legal to carry this type of utility knife.

The butterfly knife’s amazing opening and closing can be achieved by two revolving grips linked to its blade. In fact, it is the most difficult tactical knife to open since it takes the user’s expertise.

Once you’ve understood one of the many advanced methods for opening and closing a butterfly knife, you’ll have complete control over it.

Here are the steps to open and close a butterfly knife:

  • To open a butterfly knife, you can try the two-handed opening technique. Using both of your hands, hold the knife in front of you. Its’ blade can either face upward or downward; it is up to you.

Reminder: when opening a butterfly knife, this is the safest method. Even if more advanced and faster methods exist, they are extremely risky and require much practice.

  • Next, carefully separate the handles, revealing the blade, then compress the handles back together. Tightly grip the knife’s handle as you use it so that the blade is locked in position.
  • To close a butterfly knife, do the same as you open it. You can either face the blade in an upward or downward position.
  • Next, using both hands, you should move the handle in the opposite direction and towards the blade.
  • Make sure your fingers are out of the way as you securely close the butterfly knife.

6. Lockback Knife


Lockback knives are one of the most popular tactical knives in the market today. It does not just look good but also, but it is easy to use as well.

The term “Lockback” pertains to its locking mechanism when you draw your knife. It requires you to release the lock before you can close the blade back to its handle.

Here are the steps to open and close a Lockback knife:

  • To open a Lockback knife, you can use both hands. One hand holds the handle of the knife, and the other hand is the one that pulls the blade.
  • Once the blade is out, it is locked in position. You cannot close it manually.
  • To close a Lockback knife, you need to press a release button located at the side of the handle.
  • After you have pressed the release button, you can now slowly fold the blade back to the handle.

Helpful Tips/FAQs


How do pocket knives stay closed?

The lock on most pocket knives is a spring bar, which prevents the lock from opening. This will protect you from preventing a pocket knife stuck open in your pocket or your bag.

What kind of knife opens and closes with a button?

A switchblade is an automatic knife that quickly deploys its blade by pushing a button in its handle. To close a switchblade, move the toggle on the bolster to one side to release the blade and bend it back to the handle.


Overall, there are many variations of tactical knives to choose from. You should pick one that fits your hand and gives you the most comfortable to use. Besides that, there are opening and closing mechanisms on different knives. You should be familiar with these mechanisms if you buy your own tactical knife.

Most importantly, you must be responsible for your own knife and use it carefully. When an emergency situation arises, you will know how to open and close a tactical knife the fastest way possible.

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