A Brief History of Out-of-the-Front (OTF) Switchblade

Posted by JeffersonJose256 on November 8th, 2019

Switchblades are cool. We’ve seen them being used in the movies, they are used by the military personnel, and they are kept as collectibles by enthusiasts. There’s something entirely distinct about these knives. There are types to these knives, such as side opening and out-of-the-front (OTF) switchblades.

In this article, we’ll take a quick look at the history of OTF switchblades.

OTF are not new on the switchblade scene. They have been around for many, many years. The first patented OFT switchblade was a gravity knife in 1860. And after that, the very first spring powered switchblade was made the following year. While these knives were useful, they had not gained currency in those times.

The next system developed was the thumb stud, which was only an erected stud close to the rear spine of the blade. This permitted the user to open the blade by applying pressure on it with the assistance of the thumb. It is not clearly known who came up with this model as a lot of makers simultaneously patented for this model.

After that, Emerson produced a device quite similar to the previous model by the name of ‘wedge.’ While it functioned like a thumb-stud, it was actually a flat disc, vertical to the spine blade. All of these types were produced in the 1970. In the 1980s, a switchblade with a hole for the tip of your thumb came up by Spyderco. It was regarded as the best high quality switchblade knife in terms of its opening system.

Automatic knives became famous because of the their display in the 1950s movies. These films featured fight scenes in which best automatic switchblade knife such as the Italian designed switchblades were employed. Switchblades, which began to be called as ‘Italian Stilettos,’ were in reality made to be given to sailors, to be employed as an utensil, and used for non-heavy work purposes. These were carried to the US after World War 2 by personnel of the US military as mementos. Media, at that time, gave these beautifully made knives a bad reputation by stating that they were used by gang members in the streets to kill each other. Killing each other with this type of knife was a rarity as Italian Stilettos were expensive and couldn’t be afforded by just about anyone. The media began highlighting any story in the films or books which lauded gang activities, which led to the ban on mechanically opening knives by the US legislation.

Author’s Bio: The author is a blogger. This article is about OTF knives and their history.


About the Author

Joined: November 11th, 2014
Articles Posted: 249

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